The failure of the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) to enact any meaningful response to the conflict in Syria is eroding not only life in Syria but the very foundation of international order. This report uses the Arab Spring conflicts which the conflict in Syria is a part of to talk about larger systemic problems in the UN framework. This report argues the responsibility to protect (R2P) needs to be utilized in Syria because it could end the violence and further entrench R2P as customary law. This report also argues that the permanency of the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia and China in the UNSC, known as the P5, represents a lofty roadblock to fully realizing the R2P. As well, the P5 are halting the progression of human rights, state sovereignty, and a ceasing of bloodshed in Syria. Authoritative regimes are on the rise, and as soon as 2017 the international community could see three out of the five permanent seats of the UNSC governed by such regimes. The UNSC is in peril and needs broad reform if the UN desires to continue its hegemony in diplomacy. However, this report concludes the international community will not utilize the prescribed solutions because it would kill any legitimacy in the UNSC, albeit a decidedly false legitimacy.
Post-conflict state-building is here to stay as a rule to follow when resolving and reconstructing a war-torn area. Regional organizations in cooperation with the United Nations (UN) are a promising division of labor to utilize in state-building. When any organization, be that state or non-state actors intervene in a conflict, it presents numerous challenges. This essay, using punitive and reconciliatory measures as a focus, highlights the challenges to sovereignty, the use of force, and accountability inherent to state-building as a norm in the international community.
State/nation-building as a term to describe the resolution of conflict and reconstruction of an area post-conflict is an oversimplification of the variables at play. However, for the sake of clarity, the term state-building will be used in this essay. James Dobbins et al. (2003) underpins this when describing other conflict resolution terms by saying, “we believe it comes closest to suggesting the full range of activities and objectives involved” (p. 1). Other names that include similar activities found in state-building are occupations, peacekeeping missions, as well as stabilization and reconstruction missions.
Policymakers face increasing challenges when utilizing the tools of conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. These devices are interconnected, however, since the end of the Cold War their connections have become critically important due to the overwhelming degree of intrastate conflict. This essay will explain conflict resolution and reconstruction as well as why conflict is notably internal post-Cold War. Understanding the connections between political, security and economic tools of resolution and reconstruction will aid in understanding how they are applied. As well, this essay will analyze the challenges actors come up against when using those tools in an attempt to resolve a conflict of notable intrastate dynamics.
Wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo
International involvement in the violent clashes the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has faced since the dwindling of the Cold-War can be summarized into three terms: subsidization, systemization, and sustainability of conflict. This essay will draw out in detail why the international ‘response’ to clashes in the DRC is anything but an intervention and more indicative of the creation and maintenance of a political economy of conflict surrounding natural resources. The principal mechanism of exchange shown in this economy will be resource theft and weapons smuggling, with rebels groups acting as proxies for foreign interests facilitating an ultimately self-defeating quasi-state security apparatus for traders. Understanding how this economy of conflict works is acutely relevant in predicting future relations in the DRC and progressing towards a lasting peace. It is worth noting the DRC arguably has never had non-violent elections, and a new round of presidential elections are coming up in November.