The Indecision of the UN Security Council in Relation to Intervention in Syria (2013) Reflects Serious Weaknesses in the Structure of International Law (Essay Sample)
This is a thesis that examines the indecision of the UN Security Council in response to the Syrian crisis. The task for the paper was to show the failures of the UN Security Council by discussing its response to the Syrian crisis, to discuss proposed reforms and offer recommendations for UN Security Council reform.source..
The Indecision of the UN Security Council in Relation to Intervention in Syria (2013) Reflects Serious Weaknesses in the Structure of International Law
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of …………………………………
This research presents a thorough, in-depth analysis and critique of the UN Security Council’s response to the ensuing humanitarian crisis in Syria for the purpose of assessing the extent to which divisions and indecision of the Security Council reflects grave weaknesses in the structure and application of international law. This objective is achieved at through an exhaustive review of the UNSC’s role in international peace and security and its response to the Syrian conflict. In addition, this study synthesizes vast amounts of literature on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the current structure of the Security Council to establish the need for reform, measure key proposed reforms, and consequently derive reform recommendations for reform of the Security Council structure.
Syria has been engulfed in crisis since 2011. Human rights in the country have been blatantly violated in the country through civilian killings under the Assad regime. The UN Security Council is an institution mandated to intervene in the crisis such as the case of Syria, but the institution’s inability to authorize military action against the Syrian government has sent the message that the body is ineffective in discharging its functions. Similar observations of the ineffectiveness of the United Nations Security Councils ineffectiveness and the weakness of international law have been made by different parties. For example, Saudi Arabia rejected the appointment to membership in the Security Council citing inaction against Syria, while both Chile and Iran presidents have criticized the Security Council’s structure as illogical, undemocratic and ineffective.
The case of Syria demonstrates the utter ineffectiveness of the UN Security Council, which clearly reflects a serious weakness in international law, and shows the need for reforms on the institution. A vast sprawl of literature is available on the United Nations Security Council’s structural weaknesses, and ineffectiveness, and the need for reform of the institution has been documented by a plethora of scholars and academicians. Several reform alternatives available for the UN Security Council and they include proposals by the High-level panel, G4, Uniting for Consensus, Ezulwini Consensus, and also the academic Models X and C. Each of these proposals has its own strengths and weaknesses. The implementation of UNSC reforms is faced with the barriers of the UN Charter amendment procedure and the divisions between states. The establishment of consensus between states pushing for reform of the structure of the institution by increasing the number of permanent members and improve decision making, representation and democracy, is tantamount to the success of such endeavors. This study is envisaged to be of significant value to scholars, governments, political organizations, non-governmental bodies, and any other parties that have an interest in international welfare.
Table of Contents
TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560470" Abstract PAGEREF _Toc383560470 \h 2
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560472" Introduction PAGEREF _Toc383560472 \h 5
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560473" Background and Context PAGEREF _Toc383560473 \h 5
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560474" Scope and Objectives PAGEREF _Toc383560474 \h 6
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560475" Methodology PAGEREF _Toc383560475 \h 7
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560476" Research Importance PAGEREF _Toc383560476 \h 8
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560477" Overview PAGEREF _Toc383560477 \h 8
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560478" The Indecision of the UNSC on the Syrian Crisis and the Weakness of International Law PAGEREF _Toc383560478 \h 10
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560479" The UN Security Council and Its Roles PAGEREF _Toc383560479 \h 10
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560480" Syria’s Crisis (2011-2013) PAGEREF _Toc383560480 \h 12
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560481" Crimes against Humanity in the Syrian Crisis PAGEREF _Toc383560481 \h 15
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560482" Division and Indecision in UNSC Regarding Syria PAGEREF _Toc383560482 \h 16
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560483" Timeline of UN Security Council’s Response to the Syrian Conflict PAGEREF _Toc383560483 \h 19
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560484" Evident Weakness of the International Law in UNSC’s Response to Syria PAGEREF _Toc383560484 \h 21
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560485" Veto power PAGEREF _Toc383560485 \h 25
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560486" Democracy and representation at the UNSC PAGEREF _Toc383560486 \h 25
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560487" Role of UNSC Member States PAGEREF _Toc383560487 \h 26
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560488" Summary PAGEREF _Toc383560488 \h 28
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560489" Structural Reforms for an Improved UN Security Council PAGEREF _Toc383560489 \h 29
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560490" The Need for Reforms PAGEREF _Toc383560490 \h 29
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560491" UNSC Reform Proposals PAGEREF _Toc383560491 \h 32
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560492" The high-Level Advisory Panel’s proposal PAGEREF _Toc383560492 \h 33
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560493" The G4 proposal PAGEREF _Toc383560493 \h 35
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560494" Uniting for Consensus PAGEREF _Toc383560494 \h 36
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560495" The Ezulwini Consensus PAGEREF _Toc383560495 \h 38
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560496" The S5 Reform Plan PAGEREF _Toc383560496 \h 39
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560497" The Overarching Process PAGEREF _Toc383560497 \h 40
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560498" Model C and Model X PAGEREF _Toc383560498 \h 40
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560499" Discussion PAGEREF _Toc383560499 \h 41
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560500" Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc383560500 \h 44
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560501" Barriers to Reform PAGEREF _Toc383560501 \h 46
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560502" Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc383560502 \h 47
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc383560503" References PAGEREF _Toc383560503 \h 49
Background and Context
Anti-government protests across Syria started as peaceful demonstrations in March 2011. Syrians were protesting against the Assad regime and calling economic, social and democracy reforms in the country (Casey-Maslen, 2013). The Syrian government, under the leadership of President Assad, deployed its military forces to quell the uprising created by the demonstrators. The Syrian Armed forces used violent means to suppress the Anti-Assad dissidents, majority of whom were operating under the Free Syrian Army banner movement (Lawson, 2013). By November 2011,,,,, peaceful demonstrations had been replaced by a violent civil war characterized by repeated violation of human rights. The Syrian Air Force, the Military Intelligence, and the Syrian Arab Army are the armed government forces that are reported to have committed the majority of human abuse cases in the country. A United Nations Panel named ‘The Commission of Inquiry on Syria’ investigated the allegations of human rights violations in the country found that the Syrian government troops routinely executed the Free Syrian Army members and even targeted their children to kill opposition to Assad (Casey-Maslen, 2013). In 2012, the crisis in Syria continued. The Syrian military troops shot down a Turkish air force fighter jet in summer 2012. Syria was also accused of staging car bombings in Southern Turkey towns and using mortars on the Turkish border. In 2013, the Syrian government used chemical weapons i.e. toxic gases, to fight off protests against the government, and scores of civilians died in the attacks.
The intervention of the UN Security Council (hereinafter UNSC) was greatly needed in Syria. However, the Council did not authorize any military action against the Syrian government. Unequivocal calls from France, USA and UK the UNSC to authorize military action against Syria have not yielded any NYSC interference through military attacks on the country and Assad’s government. Russia and China, protecting their client, pushed for a diplomatic settlement instead of military action.
HYPERLINK /~kjt/research/conformed.html Scope and Objectives
This research study tests the following hypotheses:
H1: The UN Security Council’s indecisive response to the lengthy conflicts in Syria reflects the inability of the UN to discharge its security functions as international law prescribes.
H2: The UNSC’s indecision in adopting collective security measures in Syria since the start of its civil war ad humanitarian crisis in 2011 has significantly undermined international political confidence in the ability of the UN to discharge its functions under international law.
H1: The structure and working methods of the United Nations Security Council should be reformed through a structural reform that would include increasing the number of permanent members.
The scope of this study, as the above hypotheses show, involves research on the response of the UNSC to the Syrian crisis and the structural reforms that the institution should implement in order to discharge its functions better. The key objective of this study is to answer two research questions. These questions, which are the primary research questions of the resear...
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