Obligations of States Contributing to UN Peacekeeping Missions under Article 1 Common to the Geneva Conventions
in Heike Krieger (ed.), 'Enforcing International Humanitarian Law in Contemporary African Conflicts', Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2015 Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2014
Date Written: April 23, 2013
Common Article 1 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions imposes, it has been claimed, a legal obligation on third States to intervene when parties to armed conflicts commit, or fail to prevent, atrocities. This paper considers the extent to which Common Article 1 applies to the activities of United Nations peacekeepers. It is argued that Common Article 1 does impose duties upon troop-contributing States but that they are qualified by the control that the UN exercises over national contingents during peacekeeping operations. In particular, whatever the general scope of the provision, it does not impose any positive obligation on troop-contributing States to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by parties to conflicts which peacekeeping missions seek to police. Such a duty (if it exists) lies solely with the UN.
Keywords: UN peacekeeping, responsibiltiy to protect, Geneva Conventions, CA1, State responsibility, responsibility of international organisations
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation