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The 10 Worst U.N. Security Council Resolutions Ever [Copy link] 中文

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Some time, the UN Security Council Resolution could be useless and rhetoric for the underlying fighting between the members.
Here are 10 worst resolutions


1\The Somalia Swan Song Resolution: 1863

Four days before Barack Obama was inaugurated as president of the United States, George W. Bush's administration pressed through a Security Council resolution calling for the establishment of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which was on the verge of losing its Ethiopian occupiers and being overrun by Islamist militants. The move had been strenuously opposed by the U.N. secretariat, which argued that there was no peace to keep in Somalia and no countries willing to send troops.

"Some view U.N. Security Council resolution 1863 as simply an empty gesture -- a call for a U.N. peace enforcement operation in Somalia by an outgoing Bush administration which knew the force would never be deployed," said Kenneth Menkhaus, a scholar at Davidson College.

2\The Condi & Sergei Do-Nothing Iran Resolution: 1835
Relations between the United States and Russia deteriorated dramatically after the United States sided with Georgia in its conflict with Russian troops over the breakaway republics Abkhazia and Ossetia. In the midst of the standoff, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report concluding that Iran had not complied with U.N. demands to cease its enrichment of uranium and that it could not verify whether Iran's nuclear program was peaceful. Such reports typically serve as a trigger for sanctions. Moscow made it clear it was not prepared to support a U.S. push for imposing new measures against Iran. But in an effort to demonstrate that relations between the two powers were not irreparable, then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to put forward a resolution reiterating each country's support for existing U.N. agreements on Iran's nuclear program, but including no new measures.

3 The "We Command You to Stop Killing Your People ... Please" Resolution: 1706

In August, 2006, the U.N. Security Council passed this little-remembered resolution authorizing the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan, to use "all necessary means" to protect Darfuri civilians. But the resolution, which was championed by the Bush administration, required the consent of the Sudanese government to be implemented.

4 The Pick Your Terrorist Resolution: 1530

In the hours after al Qaeda-inspired militants bombed a Spanish train in June 2004, in Madrid, killing 191 people, Spain's President José Maria Aznar mustered universal support in the Security Council for a resolution condemning the armed Basque separatist movement, ETA, for carrying out the attack. The Spanish initiative, taken three days before Spain's presidential election, showed how easy it is to bend the will of the council when a member is confronted with a national tragedy. But the ruse didn't work at home. Aznar was voted out of power, in part because of anger over what was seen as a political ploy to win support. Although no one in the Security Council still considers ETA responsible for the attack, the resolution still remains on the books.

5 The "Trust Me, He's a Terrorist" Resolutions: 1267 and 1390

Resolution 1267, passed after the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, imposed a series of travel and financial sanctions on members of the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan for refusing to surrender al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to stand trial for the embassy bombings. After the September 11 attacks, the council expanded the list of targets to al Qaeda and affiliated groups, setting the stage for the United States, Russia, and other countries to propose the inclusion of hundreds of individuals on a U.N. terror list.

The measures created a Kafkaesque predicament for those targeted by them. The accused had no legal recourse to challenge their listing, and in order to be removed, they had to convince the state that had placed them on the list in the first place. But some individuals had no way of even establishing which country had placed them on the list, because the procedures allow governments to secretly finger individuals.

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Post time 2010-5-26 15:18:40 |Display all floors
6 The Genocide Rescue Brigade That Never Was Resolution: 912
In April 1994, as Rwandan extremists unleashed the largest mass killing operation in modern history, the Security Council reached agreement on Resolution 912, which called for the reduction in the size of an already under-equipped U.N. peacekeeping force. In a compromise, the United States allowed the resolution to include a provision that stated the council's willingness to consider any recommendations by then Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali concerning the size and the mandate of the mission. Eight days later, Boutros-Ghali appealed to the council to reverse its decision, saying the U.N. mandate was insufficient to confront mass killings. But the United States blocked any decision by the council to expand the mission.

7 The Bosnian Unsafe Haven Resolution: 819
In 1992, the Bosnian Serb Army ethnically cleansed large swaths of north eastern and central Bosnia, forcing more than 100,000 civilians to flee to enclaves. On April 16, 1993, the U.N. passed Resolution 819, creating a "save haven" in Srebrenica, but then failed to muster enough forces to protect it. It compounded the problem by setting up other safe havens. The site would later become the site of the worst mass murder in Western Europe since World War II. Even at the time of the resolution's passage, Bosnians had little doubt as to the fecklessness of the gesture. Bosnia's U.N. ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Sacirbey, immediately denounced it as a cynical and meaningless act.

8 The Iraqi Collateral Damage Resolutions: 661 and 687

These resolutions played a central role in the defeat, containment, and ultimate overthrow of Saddam Hussein, showing that U.N. resolutions can have extremely sharp teeth. But Resolution 661 of 1990, which imposed a comprehensive economic oil embargo, inflicted such extreme hardship on ordinary Iraqis that it has since been politically impossible to rally support for comprehensive embargos. Today, the council mostly imposes targeted sanctions aimed at a country's ruling elites.

Resolution 687 of 1991, known to U.N. diplomats as the Mother of All Resolutions, set the terms of Hussein's military defeat in the first Gulf War and required he destroy the country's weapons of mass destruction. (A decade later, the U.S. and Britain cited Iraq's alleged violation of this resolution as the legal justification for their overthrow of Saddam Hussein, against the objections of other council members.)

9 The "You Say Territories I Say Des Territoires" Resolution: 242

As if the Middle East conflict weren't complicated enough on its own, the Security Council approved Resolution 242 -- which introduced the "land for peace" formula in 1967, right after the Six-Day War -- with an ambiguous translation. In English, the resolution calls for the "withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict," which Israel interpreted to mean it could give back some, but not all, conquered territories in a final settlement. The French version says that Israeli is obliged to withdraw from "des territoires occupés," which the Arabs interpreted as requiring Israel give up all the land it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War. The meaning of the resolution has never been fully resolved, and has tried the patience of linguists, politicians, diplomats and armed militants. It has also provided material for countless university dissertations, books, and papers with ponderous titles like "A Case Study in Diplomatic Ambiguity," and "A Legal Reappraisal of the Right-Wing Interpretation of the Withdrawal Phrase with Reference to the Conflict Between Israel and the Palestinians." The ambiguity reflected an inability of the council to agree on language defining the fate of Arab territories. "This situation could lead to real trouble in the future," then Secretary of State Dean Rusk would later recall.

10 The "What's Bad For the Bolsheviks, Is Bad For the Yanks" Resolution: 82

This 1950 resolution authorized the U.S. intervention into the Korean War and provided an early demonstration of the Security Council's extraordinary power. It also spurred the development of a way to circumvent the council entirely. After the Soviet Union realized the folly of its failure to block Resolution 82 (on account of a decision to boycott the council in protest over its refusal to transfer the Chinese seat from Taiwan to Beijing), Moscow committed to vetoing all further resolutions challenging North Korea.

In response, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson introduced a new procedure to the General Assembly called the "Uniting for Peace Resolution." Its purpose was to allow a member state to bypass the Security Council and seek approval for action in the General Assembly, including recommendations on the use of force.

But the Uniting For Peace formula would later come back to haunt the United States. The resolution also allows for convening an open-ended emergency special session to address threats to international peace and security ignored by the council. Under the leadership of Arab states seeking a way around the U.S. veto, the 10th emergency session was first convened in 1997 to address the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, and it has never been formally closed.

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