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1 Forum: General Assembly 1 - Peace and Security Issue: The question of defining guidelines of justification for violating state sovereignty. Student Officer: Priyadarshana Kapadia Position: Chair - General Assembly 1. Introduction: In the recent years, violating state sovereignty or questions regarding state sovereignty for various reasons have become headlines, however, the concept is not new. Since the seventeenth century, through the teachings of de Vittoria and Grotius, states have recognized each other s right to sovereignty. The term state sovereignty refers to a nation s right to prevent other nations from interfering in their internal affairs, however, in certain circumstances, these affairs affect the international community, in which case interference may be necessary. Whether it s former Pakistani president Musharraf claiming that the United States of America violated Pakistan s state sovereignty by sending in special forces to kill Osama Bin Laden, or the question of US - NATO threats to Libyan sovereignty and integrity, it is clear that guidelines as to when it is acceptable to violate a state s sovereignty or not, must be defined clearly. Chapter seven of the United Nations Charter, repeatedly stresses the importance of having the Security Council involved when action in a particular situation regarding threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and/or acts of aggression are in question. According to United Nations Charter, chapter seven, it is the Security Council that determines what sort of action must be taken, the states that may be involved in the decision making and the states that may carry out authorized action. However this leads to a series of questions such as, What if the Security Council does not recognize something as an act of aggression, threat to the peace or breach of the peace? or What is the Security Council fails to take action in such cases? In such instances there are other documents such as Responsibility to Protect (R2P) that may set guidelines in instances where it is acceptable to breach the sovereignty of a state. The UN charter may also define whether an action may be considered an act of aggression, breach of the peace or threat to the peace or simply defense of the states in question or an internal affair with which a state is well within its rights to handle without external intervention. Recently the question of violating state sovereignty has been seen in scenarios where governments are perpetrating actions against their citizens or a certain class of their citizens and claim state sovereignty when the international community tries to intervene. Defining guidelines as to when violating state sovereignty is acceptable is therefore important, as

2 it may prevent internal conflicts, as well as preventing states from violating another state s sovereignty with ulterior motives. As delegates, it is your purpose to discover, read and research these documents thoroughly and understand them. It is also your purpose to keep in mind the point of view of the state you are representing when writing out your resolutions and representing your respective states. In order to do this, delegates must be aware of some of the key definitions relating to the topic and previous solutions used to combat the issue. Definition of Key Terms: Violation - breaking or failing to comply with (in this case, a UN resolution or the sovereignty of a state.) Sovereign State - A sovereign state is a state with a fixed population with some level of loyalty to the state. It must also have a defined territory, a government and must be recognized by other states as a sovereign state. Aggression - An unprovoked, offensive act of hostility, attack, or violence on the individual, communal, regional, or governmental level. In the legal sense, aggression refers to military attacks by one nation-state against another or its armed forces. In such cases, the aggressor is commonly identified as a result of violation of a treaty, or a mutually recognized, binding agreement. The United Nations defines aggression as the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state, or in any manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations (UN General Assembly Consensus Resolution 3314 of 14 December 1974). Genocide - Acts aiming to significantly reduce or eliminate entirely a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group through murder, physical or mental harm, unfit living conditions, birth prevention, or forcible population transfer. The crime of genocide was fortified and defined by the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948 and further elaborated in Statute Article 2(2) of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Although the specific actions defining genocide are well articulated, murkiness surrounds what constitutes a recognized group. Genocide excludes groups that individuals join voluntarily; membership must be by birth into a stable, permanent group. Thus, mass killings or violence perpetrated against groups not recognized by the Genocide Convention have sprouted terms such as politicide, democide, and gendercide. Those suspected of the crime of genocide are bound by international law to face trial. Good Governance - According to the World Bank, good governance entails sound public sector management (efficiency, effectiveness and economy), accountability, exchange and free flow of

3 information (transparency), and a legal framework for development (justice, respect for human rights and liberties). Sanctions - Penalties threatened or imposed by a government, institution, organization, or group on a targeted party for actual or anticipated failure to act in accordance with standards, obligations, or expectations. Forms of sanctions may range from the political to the economic to the cultural. Economic sanctions include embargoes and prohibition of foreign aid. Political sanctions may target diplomatic links or international organizational participation. Cultural sanctions may limit educational exchanges and involvement in sporting events. Implementation may be unilateral or multilateral, comprehensive or selective, and initiated by official authorities. In common usage the term sanctions is often used to describe penalties imposed among nation-states. In all cases, sanctions are enacted to coerce the party in question and influence its behavior. The effects of punitive sanctions are widely debated, particularly concerning the detriment to civilians affected in undemocratic societies, because they are often unable to influence policy in their own country or may have been weakened by opposing the targeted regime. Selective sanctions are increasingly used to target specific personnel and elites, thereby limiting the effects on the general population. International Intervention - Involves the intrusion of forces, supplies, and/or observers into the territory of another state. General Overview: In today s world, there are few reasons as to when it is acceptable to violate a state s sovereignty. The most common one that we see on the news is that of humanitarian intervention. This is when a state may breach another state s sovereignty if the government fails to protect its citizens from harm or human rights violations or if the government is the perpetrator of such crimes against its citizens. This is where the Right to Protect or R2P comes into play. States may use any means short of military intervention, be it diplomatic or humanitarian to protect that population. The most common, peaceful method of international intervention is economic sanctions. However if any of the aforementioned peaceful means fail to work, the use of force must be authorized by the UN Security Council. Another reason why states may breach upon the sovereignty of another state is that they deem the actions of a state harmful to them or the international community. However, some states exploit this for their own political gain. States may intervene under the pretense of lending a helping hand, with alternative motives, to either change the government to one better suited to them or to exploit the natural resources of the state, amongst other reasons. In the same way, states that perpetrate heinous crimes against their population hide behind the concept of state sovereignty. The general picture in the international world is that it is acceptable to breach a state s

4 sovereignty if the actions of the state may be harmful to either its population, or the international community. The main document that deems infringing on state sovereignty as acceptable is R2P. Nowadays it seems to be in the spotlight with cases such as Libya and Syria. It has also been the document that has let the international community intervene in different parts of Africa in the past. Sadly, when a state s sovereignty is wrongly breached, there is not much the international community tends to do rather than sit back and condemn the act. Take for example NATO breaching certain clauses of resolution 1970 by the UN Security Council with a special emphasis on the clause that imposes an embargo on arms supplies to the conflict zone. Dmitry Rogozin, a well known Russian diplomat, was quoted as saying We have information that certain European states are acting more and more on the side of the Libyan rebels. However, there seem to be no consequences for the parties involved apart from the UN and certain international leaders condemning the breach of the resolution and requesting for certain European states to stop plying poorly armed rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire (Ria Novosti News). UN Perspective on breaching state sovereignty: According to the UN charter under no circumstances is it acceptable to go to war with a state. However, a state may take the necessary measures to safeguard itself in the event of war or from the threat of war. The UN charter renders all military intervention decisions to the Security Council. However, when it comes to the Right to Protect, the UN embraces peaceful measures which may be condemned by certain states as infringing upon sovereignty. On the 15th of July 2008, in Berlin, Ban Ki-moon addressed those at the event Responsible Sovereignty: International Cooperation for a Changed World. At the event, he went on to explain the concept of R2P and how it came about. He claimed R2P was in accordance with the UN charter to help protect populations from the listed crimes and violations. He goes on to state that the responsibility to protect does not alter the legal obligation of Member States to refrain from the use of force except in conformity with the Charter. Observation: While R2P is meant to function in accordance with the UN Charter and by default the Security Council. Member states realize this takes time, the drafting and approval of a resolution and therefore either breach the resolution or simply go ahead with action. As seen in the case of NATO and Libya. This also makes it time consuming and therefore not the most efficient and effective method. Time Line of Relevant Resolutions and brief analysis: 21st December Resolution on the topic of Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and

5 Sovereignty (2131 (XX)) - The first clause of the resolution claims that no state has the right to intervene in another state s affairs for any reason whatsoever. While the second clause goes on to condemn the use of sanctions to coerce another state to co-operate. However, the last clause goes on to state that the resolution does not affect in any manner chapter VI, VII and VIII of the United Nations Charter which deals with international peace and security. This resolution states that excluding any reasons that may be a threat to international peace and security, infringing on a state s sovereignty is unacceptable. It is clear that human rights violations are a threat to international peace and security as they have consequences such as refugees that the international community must deal with. However, this can be rebutted easily as a state may manage to keep in all refugees or at-least claim to do so. Furthermore, nowhere does the resolution or the UN Charter specifically state that human rights violations are a cause for the international community to infringe upon the sovereignty of a state. The many documents and procedures and their vagueness fuel the debate over whether infringing is acceptable or not. 15th December Resolution on the topic of Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including policies of racial discrimination and segregation and of apartheid in all countries with particular reference to colonial and other dependent countries and territories (2714 (XXV)) - This resolution condemns South African authorities for the inhuman treatment of prisoners and in general warns the international community that any other state to indulge in inhuman acts shall be internationally condemned. This resolutions only form of enforcement is the act of being internationally condemned as resolutions are not enforceable and not international law. However, it is a stepping stone as this is the first resolution issued by the UN which infringes upon the sovereignty of South Africa by involving itself in matters of the state, which are obviously not a threat to the peace and security. Moreover this resolution shows the UN how much work is left to be done when it comes human rights violations that are not against an entire population but a part and are being perpetrated by the government. It also shows how the UN does not have a particular resolution dealing with such a situation and how the international community might react. Still today, the international community tends to condemn human rights violations like this in places like Singapore, for example, Singapore s corporal punishment. This is an infringement as it tells states in what manner to deal with certain persons. 17th December Resolution on the topic of Inadmissibility of the policy of State terrorism and any actions by States aimed at undermining the socio-political system in other sovereign States (39/159) - This resolution deals with several states taking military action against others for personal gain in this case to install a more favorable government. This goes to show that either the United Nations Charter was not clear enough, (ch. 5,6,7) or states feel it is easier to operate of their own accord, in which case some form of implementation would be in order. The resolution that was debated right before this had to do with Implementation of the collective security provisions of the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security which proved to be successful as no further resolutions were debated regarding such a topic and the Security Council did not need to intervene regarding military action against such states.

6 Other relevant theories and documents: Right to Protect states that any state has a responsibility to protect its people and that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility. It has become the sole norm under which states intervene in the affairs of other states when human rights violations are concerned, as states have an obligation to protect the people of another state if its own government cannot do so. The Commission on Human Security(CHS): Human security according to CHS is the vital core of all human lives that enhances human freedoms and fulfillment" this goes over and beyond just pinning for the absence of violent conflict which includes ethnic cleansing or genocide. One of its goals is to protect and this is meant to be carried out by the state in which one may reside, however the private sector, NGOs, international and regional organizations, civil society and lastly the international community must all play a role to achieve such a goal. Just War: The just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical. The theoretical aspect is concerned with ethically justifying war and the forms that warfare may or may not take. The historical aspect, or the just war tradition, deals with the historical body of rules or agreements that have applied in various wars across the ages. For instance, international agreements such as the Geneva and Hague conventions are historical rules aimed at limiting certain kinds of warfare which lawyers may refer to in prosecuting transgressors, but it is the role of ethics to examine these institutional agreements for their philosophical coherence as well as to inquire into whether aspects of the conventions ought to be changed. The just war tradition may also consider the thoughts of various philosophers and lawyers through the ages and examine both their philosophical visions of war s ethical limits and whether their thoughts have contributed to the body of conventions that have evolved to guide warfare. However, just war is simply a theory and barely brought to the spotlight in the international community with other more pressing issues, however, it may be used by delegates as certain aspects may help with the understanding of breaching a state s sovereignty and when it is acceptable. Possible Solutions: Seeing as several documents, strongly worded, each with a different purpose in mind create vagueness and spark debate as to when it is acceptable to breach the sovereignty of a state, it is clear that another document taking into account all of the aforementioned documents and their views on sovereignty and breaching it, would be easier to comprehend and would act as the sole document of guidelines in cases regarding sovereignty. This document may consist of the different perspectives of states as sovereignty is a much debated topic today. The UN charter could be reviewed with amendments being made to chapters VI, VII and VIII to incorporate the mention of human rights and clear wording as to what action a state might take in such a matter.

7 A separate resolution regarding harsher, swifter punishment against those states that perpetrate heinous crimes may be crafted, while appealing to the Security Council to enforce it. A UN committee which oversees the humanitarian condition in states, solely for the purpose of reporting to the Security Council on the matter and having appropriate action ensue may also be established. Works Cited HumanSecurity > Home." OCHA Coordination Saves Lives. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug < "UN security council resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya â full text World news The Guardian." Latest news, comment and reviews from the Guardian guardian.co.uk. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug < Bignell, Paul. "Western allies in breach of UN Libya resolution - Russia's NATO envoy World RIA Novosti." RIA Novosti. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug <" "Charter of the United Nations: Chapter VI: Pacific Settlement of Disputes." Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug < "Charter of the United Nations: Chapter VII: Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Agression." Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug < "Charter of the United Nations: Chapter VIII: Regional Arrangements." Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug <

8 "Economic and Social Council." United Nations. N.p., 5 Jan Web. 4 May < "INTERVENTION AND THE JUST WAR TRADITION." International Society for Military Ethics (Formerly JSCOPE). N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug <" "International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP)." International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug < Miller, Christopher. A Glossary of Terms and Concepts. second ed. Paris: University of Peace, Print. "Rights and Responsibilities." Relief Web. Relief Web, 5 Sept Web. 3 Apr < 077B4E0-rights%20and%20responsibilities.pdf >. "Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug <

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