The United Nations, as an organization created by equalsovereign states and built upon a single set of principles as the UN Charter,has the capacity and responsibility to deal with matters in the sphere ofinternational peace and security. The Cold War put an obstacle in the way ofthe Organization to use its delegated powers in conflict resolution within thefew years of its establishment. As a result, and because of the necessity todeal with international conflicts, the institution of peace-keeping emerged withthe aim of deploying forces not to end the aggression, breach of or threat tothe peace, but for supervision of cease-fires or providing an interpositionforce between the belligerents, characterized by impartiality and a limitedmilitary capability. The demise of the Cold War offered the opportunity to the Organization,especially to the Security Council, to use its powers to implement law andorder among nations. In the post-Cold War era, the Security Council extendedits interpretation of the notion of “threat to the peace” andrestricted the principle of “domestic jurisdiction”.
The Council has authorizedan individual state or a group of states to use force for humanitarian purposesand human rights concerns. To study the role of the United Nations in the fieldof international peace and security, and to investigate its developments,legality of actions, successes and failures, it is necessary to gain a clearunderstanding of what was originally intended by the founders of the Organization.This thesis examines initially the provisions of the Charter on the role of theUN organs in maintaining and restoring international peace and security withreference to the discussions at the San Francisco Conference.Since the institution of peace-keeping was not envisaged inthe Charter, an investigation is carried out on its constitutional and legalbasis, referring to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justiceand Chapters VI and VII of the Charter.A distinction is drawn between peace-keeping, observationand humanitarian operations and the cases dealt with by the UN aredistinguished accordingly. The facts of the disputes are briefly described andthe constitutional basis of the operations are analyzed, followed by anassessment of their effectiveness.
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It is stressed that peacekeeping forcesshould be given achievable mandates, the period of their presence should bekept to a minimum, and peaceful efforts to settle the disputes should accompanypeace-keeping. In humanitarian crises, a balanced humanitarian, political andpeace-keeping presence by the UN should be more successful than a dominant militaryintervention.Two conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Iraq-Iran war of 1980and the Kuwait crisis of 1990, are considered separately as the two extremes ofthe Council’s approach toward aggression that represent the spectrum ofmeasures taken by the UN in restoring international peace and security. Thebackground of the disputes and the position of the parties are examined, andthe constitutional basis of the UN operations is analyzed. In the case ofKuwait, a discussion is made on the legal basis of UN economic sanctions andthe authorization of the enforcement action against Iraq, which hasnecessitated a comparative study of the cases of Korea and Haiti. The legalityof the intervention by the UN and individual states on humanitarian grounds isfinally investigated that includes the establishment of no-fly zones in Iraq.