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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses developments in operations authorized by the UN Security Council in the context of the rules governing use of force in international relations. It considers three elements surrounding criticism of the carte blanche nature of Resolution 678 authorizing the use of ‘all necessary means’ against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait. First, the authorization has no time limit; secondly, it has an extremely broad mandate; thirdly, coalition forces were asked ‘to keep the Security Council regularly informed’. The chapter examines whether the trend towards more Security Council control of authorized operations has persisted. It analyses elements of the authorization resolutions adopted by the Council between 2000 and 2012 and their implications for potential UN responsibility. It argues that operational decision-making is outsourced to implementing states or international organizations but that there are cases when the UN may be held responsible for wrongful acts committed by the authorized operation.

Keywords: authorized operation, UN Security Council, use of force, international relations, Iraq, Kuwait, coalition forces, UN resolution, United Nations

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