A critical analysis of humanitarian intervention justification
Mosarwa, Pontsho S.
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
MetadataShow full item record
This research critically analyses the United Nations humanitarian interventions to determine what informs the decisions and to ascertain whether the decisions are following any logical pattern. This is a desktop research that evaluates three war conflict cases (Rwanda - unauthorised non-intervention, Kosovo - unauthorised intervention and Libya - authorised intervention). It asks whether decisions of humanitarian intervention are politically motivated and biased towards a country’s strategic relations and position with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) permanent members. The study proposes that more often, decisions to or not to authorise a humanitarian intervention are not necessarily informed by United Nations policies, which makes them inconsistent and biased towards permanent members’ interests. The study reviews UNSC’s draft resolutions and debates as well as scholarly contributions to establish what informs the UNSC’s decisions to or not to authorise humanitarian intervention. The results indicate that, decisions of humanitarian intervention are not necessarily informed by UN policies. In fact the policies do not provide a defined approach to humanitarian intervention leaving the entire decision making process to the Council members. The research concludes that, contrary to what the International Community expects, decisions of humanitarian intervention are influenced by the permanent members’ national interests and are controlled through their special veto privilege. Therefore the UNSC permanent members are not necessarily protecting the interest of the International Community but their interest. Based on this study, it is the researcher’s opinion that decisions of humanitarian intervention are inconsistent and as such logically unpredictable. The study recommends that there is an urgent need for the UN to develop a common position within the International Community on issues of when it can or cannot authorise humanitarian intervention.
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