International Peace and Security
Nowadays many international or regional organizations are involved in peacemaking, peace-enforcing and peacekeeping activities: United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, African Union, European Union, etc. In fact, they send multinational forces to the various conflict areas. While the expression ‘collective security’ does not occur in the United Nations Charter, it is often used to refer to the system for the maintenance of international peace and security under the UN Charter and the corresponding provisions of regional organizations. According to the UN Charter the United Nations have the primary responsilibility ‘[t]o maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace…’ (Art. 1 (1) UN Charter). If it determines, in accordance with Art. 39 UN Charter, the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the UN Security Council may make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken by members of the UN to maintain or restore international peace and security.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of International Peace and Security. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → International peace and security and subject heading (keyword) International Peace and Security are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
- Benner, T., S. Mergenthaler and P. Rothmann, The New World of UN Peace Operations: Learning to Build Peace?, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Isely, E.R. (ed.), United Nations Peacekeeping in the 21st Century, New York, NY, Nova Science Publishers, 2011.
- Kawamura, N., Y. Murakami and S. Chiba (eds.), Building New Pathways to Peace, Seattle, WA, University of Washington Press, 2011.
- Martel, G., Twentieth-Century War and Conflict: A Concise Encyclopedia, Chichester, Wiley Blackwell, 2015.
- Orakhelashvili, A., Collective Security, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Ángeles Cano Linares, M. de los, Orígenes y fundamentos prácticos del mantenimiento de la paz en Naciones Unidas: las posiciones durante el período de la Guerra Fría, Madrid, Dykinson, 2011.
- Bellamy, A.J. and Paul D. Williams, Providing Peacekeepers : the Politics, Challenges, and Future of United Nations Peacekeeping Contributions, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Gaese, L.-M., Zwangsmaßnahmen des Sicherheitsrates bei völkerrechtskonformem Staatenverhalten?, Hamburg : Kovač, 2013.
- Hehir, A., N. Kuhrt and A. Mumford (eds.), International Law, Security and Ethics: Policy Challenges in the Post-9/11 World, New York, Routledge, 2011.
- Mangala, J. (ed.), New Security Threats and Crises in Africa: Regional and International Perspectives, New York, NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
- Nasu, H., International Law on Peacekeeping: a Study of Article 40 of the UN Charter, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2009.
- Peou, S., Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific: Theory and Practice, Santa Barbara, CA, Praeger Security International, 2010.
- Tshiyembe, M., Le droit de la sécurité internationale, Paris, l'Harmattan, 2010.
- Winther, D., Regional Maintenance of Peace and Security under International Law : the Distorted Mirrors, London, Routledge, 2014.
- Apostolidis, C., "Le souverain, la regle, l'exeption", Revue ge´ne´rale de droit international public, 117 (2013), No. 4, pp 795-831.
- Carswell, A.J., "Unblocking the UN Security Council : the Uniting for Peace Resolution", Journal of conflict and security law, 18 (2013), No. 3, pp. 453-480.
- Corso, N., "À propos de l'applicabilité du droit de l'occupation militaire aux forces des Nations Unies", Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur internationales und europaisches Recht, 23 (2013), No. 4, pp. 609-638.
- Daillier, P., "Les opérations multinationales consécutives à des conflits armés en vue du rétablissement de la paix", 314 Recueil des cours, The Hague, Hague Academy of International Law, 2005, pp. 233-431.
- Feldman, D., "The Role of Constitutional Principles in Protecting International Peace and Security through International, Supranational and National Legal Institutions", in C. Geiringer and D.R. Knight (eds.), Seeing the World Whole: Essays in Honour of Sir Kenneth Keith, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2008, pp. 17-47.
- Khan, R., "United Nations Peace-Keeping in Internal Conflicts: Problems and Perspectives", Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, 4 (2000), pp. 543-581.
- Hampson, F.O., "The Evolution of Security in a Globalizing World", in G. Finizio and E. Gallo (eds.) Democracy at the United Nations : UN Reform in the Age of Globalisation, Bruxelles, Lang, 2013, pp. 217-229.
- Schmalenbach, K., "Der Schutz der Zivilbevölkerung durch UN-Friedensmissionen und die Rechtsfolgen bei Mandatsversagen", Archiv des Volkerrechts, 51 (2013), No.2, pp. 170-200.
- Juma, M. (ed.), Compendium of Key Documents relating to Peace and Security in Africa, Pretoria, Pretoria University Law Press, 2006.
- Weijers, H. (ed.), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation: 60th Anniversary : Selected Basic Documents and Background Materials, Nijmegen, Wolf Legal Publishers, 2009.
Periodicals, serial publications
- International Peacekeeping
- Journal of Conflict & Security Law
- Journal of International Peacekeeping
- Vierteljahreszeitschrift für Sicherheit und Frieden (S+F)
Systematic classification → Peace and Security, Intervention, Use of Force
Dubler, R., and Kalyk, M., Crimes Against Humanity in the 21st Century : Law, Practice, and Threats to International Peace and Security, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
In Crimes Against Humanity in the 21st Century, Dr Robert Dubler SC and Matthew Kalyk provide a comprehensive analysis of crimes against humanity in international criminal law. The text tracks the crime from its conceptual origins in antiquity, to its emergence in customary international law at Nuremberg, to the establishment of the ‘modern definition’ at the Hague with the ICTY, ICTR and ICC, and finally to recent state practice and jurisprudence. The text sets out conclusions about the legal elements of the crime and contends that the raison d'être of the crime is located not in the inhumanity of its authors’ actions but in the extent to which its authors threaten international peace and security so as to justify international intervention.
Müller, H., and Rauch, C., (eds.), Great Power Multilateralism and the Prevention of War : Debating a 21st Century Concert of Powers, Abingdon, Routledge, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
Great-power conflict and great-power war are still the most dangerous risks the international community is facing today. This edited volume investigates the feasibility of a modern day concert of powers as a way for managing the risk of great power conflicts in the 21st century. The volume takes its inspiration from history.
The 19th century European Concert was not only able to ensure a period of exceptional peacefulness among the European great powers, it also limited the scope and duration of the few wars that did break out. The chapter authors discuss the achievements and limits of the historical concert, define the requirements that a new concert would have to meet, critically evaluate obstacles and risks of the approach and indicate how a 21st century concert of powers could complement, and fit into, the present legal and institutional setting of global politics.
This volume offers a systematic examination of the norms and tools of the historical template and scrutinizes these tools for their utility in our time. It will be of great interest to a wide range of scholars and students in areas such as International Relations, History and International Law.
Wittke, C., Law in the Twilight : International Courts and Tribunals, the Security Council and the Internationalisation of Peace Agreements between State and Non-state Parties, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2018. (e-book)View this title in our discovery service
An informative book focusing on the internationalisation and legalisation of peace agreements to settle intra-state conflicts between state and non-state parties. Cindy Wittke focuses on two key issues: how international courts and tribunals deal with peace agreements; and what implications the United Nations Security Council's involvement in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements has for the agreements' legal nature, the status of the non-state parties to agreements and the interpretation of peace agreements. Wittke argues that the processes of negotiating and implementing peace agreements between state and non-state parties create new spheres, spaces and forms of post-conflict law making and law enforcement. For example, contemporary peace agreements can simultaneously take the form and function of internationalised transitional constitutions and agreements governed by international law. The resulting characteristics of contemporary peace agreement lead to permanent ambiguities shaping their interpretation and enforcement.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Peace, Right to, International Protection, by D.L. Tehindrazanarivelo and R. Kolb.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Collective Security, by E. de Wet and M. Wood.
Language of Peace is a research tool providing access to around 1000 peace agreements concluded in the post-WWII era, categorized article by article according to the issues they address, from ceasefires through human rights to power sharing. Through this innovative tool, users can search agreements according to 226 issues, organized under 26 main issue headings, and refine their results through a number of filters, such as parties/witnesses, region, date range and conflict type, or make use of the word search function. Search results can subsequently be bookmarked and exported in either PDF or DOCX format. Furthermore, in order to provide information about the broader context of provisions on a particular issue, Language of Peace is linked to the UN Peacemaker database, which contains full text PDF documents of the agreements. Language of Peace was developed as part of the Legal Tools for Peace-Making project at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Political Affairs; the website was designed and developed by PASTPRESENTFUTURE. The project is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.
UN Peacemaker is an online mediation support tool developed by the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) in the Policy and Mediation Division of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). Intended for peacemaking professionals, it includes an extensive database of peace agreements, guidance material and information on the UN’s mediation support services. UN Peacemaker is part of the UN’s overall effort to provide advice and support to the Secretary-General and his Representatives in their efforts to resolve international disputes and internal conflicts. It is also intended to be useful to UN partners actively engaged in peacemaking efforts, including Member States, regional organisations, civil society, non-governmental organisations and national mediators.
The end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Russian president, Vladimir Putin, held his yearly ‘State of the Union’ to the Russian federal assembly on Wednesday 20 February 2019. In his speech he addressed the recent tensions between the United States and Russia, following the suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF-treaty) dating from 1987. Putin said that Russia will not hesitate to deploy new nuclear weapons targeting the United States if the United States deploy such weapons in Europe. Russia has no intentions of deploying these weapons first, but feels forced to do so if the United States continue to place weapons in Europe, namely in Romania and Poland.Read more
The Declaration of Christmas Peace
A Declaration of Christmas Peace is announced in several Finnish cities on Christmas Eve. The oldest and most popular event is held at noon at the Old Great Square of the former Finnish capital Turku, where the declaration has been read since the 1320s. The Declaration of Christmas Peace is a tradition which launches the Christmas celebrations and in a way marks the official start of Christmas. The exact wording used during the first few centuries of the tradition has been lost over time, but the main contents of the declaration remain the same: the declaration is read out loud to remind people that Christmas Peace has begun, to advise people to spend the festive period in harmony, to threaten offenders with harsh punishments, and to wish all a merry Christmas!Read more
SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions → the Peace Palace!
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations that came into effect in January 2016, are the most important goals that the world should work on for the future. These goals are the successor of the Millennium Goals. In the Sustainable Development Goals, the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies was included a an essential goal for the future for the first time. This is SDG16. It is a goal that matches the ideal with which the Peace Palace was founded well! The Carnegie Foundation – Peace Palace signed the SDG Charter in September 2017. A year later, on 24 September 2018, the Peace Palace was appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands as official ‘SDG 16 House’, the first of its kind in the world.Read more
In Memoriam: Kofi A. Annan (1938–2018)
Mr Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the UN passed away peacefully on Saturday in Bern, Switzerland. He was 80 years old. Annan passed away after a short illness. The Ghanaian top diplomat was the seventh Secretary-General and served for two terms between 1997 and 2006. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work jointly with the UN as an organisation in 2001. “Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law,” the Kofi Annan Foundation and Annan family said in a statement.Read more
Faking it to the Next Level: Are Deep Fakes Threatening Our Democratic Society?
On 31st July 2018, Facebook has posted an article in its Newsroom explaining how the platform is being used to manipulate the Facebook-community. 32 pages have been removed by Facebook and Instagram because they were found to be “involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior.” The manipulation of digital video and audio files, has become increasingly sophisticated and accessible. While the world is more or less accustomed to the idea of image manipulation through ‘photoshopping’, video or audio files that present people saying of doing things they never did nor said, pose a new kind of challenge to democracies and national security. Audio and video manipulation then enter a realm that is generally described as ‘deep fake’.Read more
Perspectives on Mass Violence: Peace and Conflict Studies and Genocide Studies Compared
This week’s compelling guest blog compares the fields of Conflict Studies with Genocide Studies, its intriguing differences and similarities and the general lack of cross-pollination between them, even though they both deal with questions of collective violence and individual participation in violence. The author, Kjell Anderson, is a jurist and social scientist and works in both fields of Conflict Studies and Genocide studies.Read more
What are Peace Museums? Lecture by Joyce Apsel
What are Peace Museums? How are they distinct from War Museums? Is there overlap?
Location: Peace Palace Library. Date: 2 March 2018. Time: 16:45 – 18:00 (CET)
Dr Joyce Apsel is Professor of Liberal Studies and lectures on International Human Rights, Human Rights & the Environment, Global Violence at New York University. She is also President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide. In her talk Joyce Apsel will provide images from a range of peace museums and discuss the images, narratives and education which promote cultures of peace.Read more
U.S. Nuclear Strategy
30 January 2018, U.S. President Trump, during his State of the Union speech, called for a nuclear arsenal “so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.”
The President made clear that his first priority is to protect the United States, allies, and partners. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (2018 NPR) lays out important policy changes with regard to U.S. nuclear weapons. The renewal of its nuclear forces will have huge implications for the security of the country and its allies, its public finances and the salience of nuclear weapons in global politics. While the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction.Read more
Jerusalem and International Law: A Bibliographic Overview
US President Donald Trump’s pledge to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has caused considerable controversy across the world. If the United States moved the embassy to Jerusalem, it would mean that the US effectively recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That would overturn 70 years of international consensus, and, many argue, would effectively signal the end of moves to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We have created a bibliographic overview on this topic intended as a starting point for research.Read more
From Classic Wars to Hybrid Warfare
Thinking about wars people used to see battlefields with tanks, trenches, armies with conventional weapons, uniformed soldiers under strict hierarchical military command structure (‘Befehl ist Befehl’). Wars between nation-states were waged conform international (humantarian) law (Geneva Conventions 1949), in line with Clausewitz’s military theories. However, the concept of warfare is changing rapidly. The war of the Western coalition against Islamic State for instance, is an asymmetrical conflict. If all the jihadi’s would be competing with all Western allied forces on one battlefield, the battle would be over in no time. That’s why Islamic State uses insurgency and hit and run guerrilla-tactics, avoiding army-to-army confrontations.Read more
Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?
Deir az-Zor is a sleepy town on the banks of the Euphrates in the Syrian desert, and did not ring much of a bell for most non-Syrians. Except for Armenians. During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government deported hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians to Deir az-Zor, where they were left to die or were killed outright. A German diplomat who was stationed in that area wrote that the Armenians were “slaughtered like sheep”. To the casual observer this looked allegorical or even hyperbolical, in any case unreal, removed far away in geography, time, and culture. Until recent times, when ISIS videos surfaced online. And again the desert soil of Deir az-Zor shone red with blood, and once more the word ‘Deir az-Zor’ served as a symbol of bloodshed.Read more
The Raid on the Medway, 1667: Forcing Peace at Breda
350 Years ago, the Treaty of Breda was signed at the Dutch city of Breda, 31 July, 1667, by England, the Dutch Republic, France, and Denmark-Norway. It brought a hasty end to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) in favour of the Dutch. It was a typical quick uti possidetis treaty. In the latter stages of the war, the Dutch had prevailed. Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter virtually controlled the seas around the south coast of England. His presence encouraged English commissioners to sue for peace quickly. Negotiations, which had been long protracted, and had actually begun in Breda before the raid, took only ten days to conclude after resumption of talks.Read more
European Union in 2017
2016 has been a turbulent year for the European Union and its member states. Brexit, the armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis, terrorism and the Italian referendum; all topics covered by the Peace Palace Library in several Library Specials and Library blogs.
2017 promises to be a defining moment for the continuation of the ever closing Union. This blog touches upon a couple of developments which can lead to discussion within the European Union and its members.Read more
Interview Sigrid Kaag
This month, we have the honor of interviewing Ms. Sigrid Kaag, a top Dutch diplomat who currently serves as a United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). Last month, the Dutch Carnegie Foundation awarded Sigrid Kaag the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize. Before the ceremony took place, we took the opportunity to interview Ms. Kaag to discuss her work at the UN, in particular, the succesful UN-OPCW joint mission Ms. Kaag led to eliminate the chemical weapons programme in Syria. We also discussed the role of international law in her daily work at the UN. Here’s what she had to say.Read more
Defending Europe with an Army?
During the U.S. election campaign Trump threatened to abandon U.S. allies in Europe if they did not spend enough on defense. Apart from undermining the deterrence-effect of NATO, this policy would be disastrous for European security. Fortunately U.S. President Barack Obama has said: “In my conversation with the president-elect he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships and so, one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the transatlantic alliance.” Although president Trump will retain America’s commitment to the NATO alliance, Europe is awake now after dozing in under the U.S. security umbrella.Read more
Peace & Security Salon on Biological and Chemical Weapons
What if a non-state actor like Daesh gets hold of a biological or chemical weapon? Why was the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2013? These and many more topics concerning current threats and future developments of biological and chemical weapons were discussed at the third Peace Palace Library Peace & Security Salon on May 11th.Read more
Peace Weekend Celebrations – International Rule of Law?
This weekend The Hague will celebrate the International Day of Peace, September 21st, with a designated ‘Peace Weekend’.
The celebrations vary from a peace run (with a Peace Palace team) to The Hague Open Doors Event, where the Peace Palace Library, together with the other international organizations of The Hague, will open their doors to the public.Read more
Nuclear Deal, Sanctions, Nuclear Diplomacy
After nearly two years of arduous negotiations a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program of Iran was signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015. In exchange for reducing Iran’s nuclear activities drastically, the United States and the European Union would lift their nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian economy. Most countries and international organizations welcomed the agreement. Will U.S. President Obama be remembered as initiator of this ‘historic’ deal? The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a nuclear agreement signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union.Read more
Coalition against Islamic State: Too Many Obstacles?
After weeks of fighting, Islamic State succeeded in taking over the Iraqi city of Ramadi and it currently controls large parts of the al-Anbar province, which borders on Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Almost 25,000 residents have fled Ramadi. This week Islamic State also overran Syrian government troops to seize Palmyra (Homs province, Syria), home to the ruins of a 2,000-year-old city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.The U.N. human rights office in Geneva said a third of Palmyra’s 200,000 residents may have fled the fighting in the past few days.Read more
Drones Deployed during War raise Various Legal and Ethical Questions
Drones can be used for many different purposes. The use of drones raises various legal and ethical questions ranging from humanitarian to privacy issues. The Peace and Security Salon of 9 April discussed these questions in the context of the deployment of armed drones and robots during wartime. Three specialists each discussed the use of drones from a different background.Read more
Drones and Robots as Means of Modern Warfare
Several aspects of autonomous weapons systems and the deployment of drones during warfare will be discussed during the upcoming Peace and Security Salon: “Drones and Robots as means of modern warfare” which will be held at the Peace Palace Library on Thursday, the 9th of april. The use of drones as a weapons system has increased exponentially in recent years and this has given rise to a significant degree of controversy and a number of specific questions relating to their use. Questions which arise in relation to drones and autonomous weapons systems include whether they are in conformity with or potentially capable of complying with IHL requirements in conditions of contemporary warfare, issues of accountability and responsibility and ethical questions.Read more
Africa's Peacemakers: Nobel Peace Laureates
As Africa and its diaspora commemorate fifty years of post-independence Pan-Africanism, Adekeye Adebajo’s new book ‘Africa’s Peace Makers: Nobel Peace Laureates of African Descent’ provides profound insight into the thirteen prominent individuals of African descent who have won the Nobel Peace Prize since 1950. These laureates have been variously involved in women’s rights, environmental protection, and nuclear disarmament. ‘Africa’s Peacemakers’ reveals how this remarkable collection of individuals has changed the world.Read more
Palestine in the International Criminal Court: impact and consequences!
The year 2014 ended with a cliff-hanger for the Israeli-Palestinian question. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute on New Year’s eve, a day after a UN resolution mandating Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank failed to pass at the Security Council. As a result, on 6 January 2015, the UN secretary-general confirmed by an official note that Palestine will accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on April 1, 2015. In this blog I will explain the meaning of the Palestinian accession, the procedure of preliminary examination by the International Criminal Court and possible consequences for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.Read more
The Youth Peace Initiative 2014 and the Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian Permanent Peace!
Between 11 and 18 October the Youth Peace Initiative 2014 took place in The Hague, international City of Peace and Justice. The Youth Peace Initiative 2014 (YPI 2014) has been set up to get Israeli and Palestinian youth involved with the current peace negotiations between their nations. The YPI 2014 participants discussed and deliberated a whole week to achieve consensus on ideas and solutions for the peace process.Read more
Extending the Coalition against Islamic State
Yesterday, Turkey’s parliament has backed a motion that could allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria to join the campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants. While Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar have quickly joined the bombing campaign, Washington’s traditional Western allies had been slow to answer the call from U.S. President Barack Obama. France was the first Western country to respond, but this week national parliaments in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia have approved to join the global coalition against Islamic State too.Read more
Modern Technology and Its Potential Role in Peace Building and Conflict Prevention
On August 20, the Hague Institute for Global Justice organized a high level panel on ‘Peace Technologies’ together with the newly established Peace Informatics Lab of Leiden Univeristy. A discussion was held between experts from civil society groups, governmental institutions, academia and the private sector to exchange ideas and examine what role modern technology can play in peace processes or in the prevention of conflicts. The event was an important opportunity to share knowledge in what is considered to be a revolutionary field. This blog will provide a brief summary of this event as well as give some background information on this particular subject.Read more
Hague Academy Model United Nations on Drone Warfare and International Law
Directed energy weapons, drones, self targeting bullets, mobile tactical high energy lasers, military robots, spy weapons, weapons undetectable under an x-ray scan, remote controlled insect armies, self driving tanks, robotic mules, thermal camouflage, surveillance technologies and autonomous unmanned systems are some examples of the high tech weapons and military technology that are now used during warfare. The use of this state of the art military technology raises serious ethical and legal questions: (when) is the use of drones acceptable?Read more
Interview: Dr. Christian Noack
This month, our first time guest editor and colleague, Ms. Anna Duszczyk, invited Dr. Christian Noack from the University of Amsterdam, for an in-depth interview on the current crisis in Ukraine. Dr. Noack is an expert on Eastern European History, Media Studies and Slavonic Studies. In this interview, he will discuss his views on the current political situation in Ukraine and the role of Russia and the European Union in the crisis.Read more
Nuclear security: Dangers and Achievements
Nuclear security is generally accepted to mean “the prevention of, detection of, and response to, criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities, or associated activities”. In short it is about preventing terrorists from acquiring radioactive material or attacking nuclear facilities. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, nuclear security concerns have been heightened, but how real is the danger and what are the legal instruments to combat nuclear terrorism?Read more
A Justification for Russia’s Intervention?
In the last week Russian military forces have occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula where the majority of the population is ethnic Russian and the Russian Black Sea Fleet is deployed in the city of Sevastopol. In the Russian constitution a few articles describe circumstances where a primacy of Russian constitutional law above international law may occur. How does Russia legally justify its intervention? Guest Blog by Anna K. Duszczyk.Read more
Nuclear Security Summit 2014: Preventing Nuclear Terrorism Around the Globe
On 24 and 25 March 2014 the Third Nuclear Security Summit will take place here in The Hague. Nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. Even though the chance of a terrorist nuclear attack is small, the consequences would be enormous. The Nuclear Security Summit aims to enhance international cooperation in order to combat nuclear terrorist threats by preventing the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as smugglers and terrorist groups.Read more
Open Season for Whistleblowers? Snowden and the right to privacy
One of the best known whistleblowers at the moment is Edward Snowden. Snowden gave certain selected NSA documents to the Guardian and the Washington Post because “I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building”.Read more
ARGO and the Follow-Up: Iran and the United States
33 Years after the event, Hollywood has turned its attention to an episode that traumatized the United States for months: the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. As the US Embassy falls to a group of Islamist students and militants in support of the Iranian revolution and in retaliation for the USA’s sheltering of the recently deposed Shah, six diplomats slip out and seek sanctuary in the Canadian’s ambassador’s residence. It is up to the CIA’s Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to extract them from the country before they are discovered by the Revolutionary Guards. The plan? Create a fake movie, called Argo, and pretend they’re the crew.Read more
Colombia: At Last Peace with the FARC?
Columbia’s fourth attempt at peace with the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) started formally last month in Oslo and will continue the 15th of November in Havana, Cuba. The earlier attempts- starting in 1984, 1990 and 1998- to end one of Latin America’s longest and bloodiest armed conflict all failed. Why would the outcome of the peace talks this time be different?Read more
The Legality of Drone Attacks
According to a recent report by Stanford and New York Universities’ law schools (Living Under Drones), the current US drone strike policy is counterproductive, has injured and killed civilians and undermines respect for international law. This blog explores briefly both the ius ad bellum and ius in bello implications of drone attacks.Read more
The Body Counts : Civilian Casualties in War
Throughout the post Cold War period there has been a widespread view that war and armed conflict have changed radically since the First World War to the point where some 80-90% of war victims are now civilians. Many modern wars have been accompanied by significant depopulations, along with destruction of infrastructure and resources.Read more
Ivory Coast : UNOCI mandat prolonged until 30 June 2011
At 20 December 2010 the United Nations Security Council (SC/10132) extended the mission in Cote d’Ivoire until 30 June 2011, strongly condemned attempts to usurp the will of the people and urged respect for the election outcome : Alassane Ouattara, a former prime minister, banker and leader of the opposition, has been recognized as the winner of November’s election by the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and the European Union. The incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo has resisted repeated calls for him to cede the office.Read more
The Nobel Peace Prize 2010: Liu Xiaobo
Foto scanpize reuters handout The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long held the view that human rights and peace are closely linked. Human rights are essential for […]Read more
Cyberwar: From Fiction to Fact
Computers rather than missiles could pose the biggest security threat of the future with nations able to cripple rivals by using cyberwarfare. Computer strikes could damage a country’s infrastructure as well as defence equipment, cutting off communications, power supplies and military command systems. Major interference on a large scale can be generated by computer viruses. A computer hacker can launch an attack by infiltrating databases and destroying critical data in any industry, company or government organization. Imagine the devastation of a deliberate power outage or shortage in the water supply. We’ve seen the dire results when this occurs because of a natural disaster. Such conflict has the ability to completely incapacitate an economy. The use of computers and internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace, is becoming increasingly more sophisticated.Read more
Military coup in Honduras: Zelaya going for president again? No (update)
The Organization of American States (OAS) suspended Honduras on Saturday after the Supreme Court of Honduras has rejected to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya.
The plane was kept from landing at the main Honduras airport Sunday because the runway was blocked by groups of soldiers with military vehicles, some of them lined up against a crowd of thousands outside. His Venezuelan pilots circled around the airport and decided not to risk a crash.
Honduran coup leaders had three days to restore deposed President Manuel Zelaya to power, the Organization of American States (OAS) said Wednesday, before Honduras risks being suspended from the group.Read more
North Korea Confirms Nuclear Test
North Korea has conducted its second nuclear test, the country’s state news agency KCNA announced today. The nuclear test was expected. Earlier this year North Korea conducted a failed intercontinental missile test.Read more
International Conference on Afghanistan, The Hague, 31 March 2009
On 31 March 2009, the Dutch government is hosting the ´International Conference on Afghanistan: a Comprehensive Strategy in a Regional Context´ at the World Forum in The Hague. Building on the achievements of previous Conferences in Bonn, London and Paris, this Conference should reaffirm the solid and long-term commitment of the international community to supporting […]Read more
UNHCR concerned about displaced Congolese and continuing LRA attacks
On 13 January 2009 the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR published a news story about the humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The UNHCR estimated that 537 people had been killed in LRA attacks since September in Oriental Province, which borders Uganda and South Sudan.
On the same day, Joe Bavier of Reuters reported UN-“officials said the security and humanitarian situation in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Oriental Province had sharply deteriorated since the military operation started on December 14. Uganda, Congo and South Sudan launched the joint offensive against the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Congo’s Garamba National Park.”Read more
New Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to be signed on December 3, 2008
Cluster Bomb Tour Bus takes on Eastern Europe On Wednesday, 1st October an eight-week campaign trail through Europe was launched to convince all governments to sign a groundbreaking treaty banning cluster bombs, in Oslo on December 3, 2008. Beginning in Belgrade, Serbia and ending at the signing ceremony in Norway, the Ban Bus will rally […]Read more
Peace and Justice!
On Thursday, 31 July, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1828 (2008) renewing the mandate of UNAMID, the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, for another year (resolution [PDF] and meeting record S/PV.5947 [PDF]).Read more
United Nations Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Leadership Vetoed
A United States-led attempt to impose United Nations (UN) sanctions against Zimbabwe failed when on Friday, 11 July, China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted against a draft resolution that would have instituted a travel ban and asset freeze against President Robert Mugabe and thirteen senior government/security officials in connection with the election violence in Zimbabwe.Read more