Permanent Stagnation: The United Nations Security Council and Syria

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.

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UN Mission Brief Review

UNMOP – Prevlaka

Facts and Evaluation

  • United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka came about on February 1, 1996 under UNSC resolution 11038 (1996).
    • Duration: February 1996 to December 2002
  • Observers had been deployed in the disputed region since October 1992.
    • Prior to 1996, the mission was under United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) and United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation (UNCRO)
  • The trigger event could easily be considered the breakup of Yugoslavia and the resulting war.
    • During the Yugoslav Wars that followed, Croatian and Yugoslav forces either occupied or re-occupied the peninsula.  
  • There were 28 military observers; supported by 3 international civilian personnel and 6 local civilian staff.
    • Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russian Federation, Switzerland and Ukraine all contributed military personnel.
  • This was considered an independent mission but UNMOP drew its administrative and budgetary support from United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH)
    • According to the United Nations the financial figures for this mission have not been made available.
  • Fortunately, this mission did not incur any casualties
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