The Human Rights Dimensions of International Peace and Security and Humanitarian Intervention After 9/11
Stefan Kirchner, HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, 2008
Posted: 15 Oct 2003 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
While international peace and security require the stability provided by the Westphalian system of International Law, it can at the same time be endangered by massive violations of human rights. On the other hand, Human Rights can only be enjoyed in times of peace while the Westphalian system can limit the effective and universal enforcement of Human Rights in cases in which the UN Security Council has failed to take action under Chapter VII.
This paper is an attempt at reconciling these needs - which are at times directly contrary, and at other times interlinked - ones with a special focus on massive violations of human rights which are not being addressed effectively by the UN Security Council. To this end, we will look at the Human Rights dimensions of international peace and security outlined above before we come to the core issue of the paper, the legality of the use of force for the protection of Human Rights in cases in which the UN Security Council fails to act, or, in other words, the question of how far the need for universal respect for human rights can overrun the need for peace, given the links between both factors indicated above. At the end of the paper will be a suggestion for a step-by-step approach regarding the effective enforcement of Human Rights aimed at preserving international peace and security as much as possible while at the same time taking into account national and regional systems for the protection of Human Rights. Special attention will be given to the role of Humanitarian Intervention in a world dominated by the war against terrorism in the wake of the September 11, 2001, Al Qaida terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon as well as in Pennsylvania.
Keywords: Human Rights, International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, 9/11, war, international peace and security, peace, security, war, armed conflict, terrorism
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