New Research Project Focuses on How the United Nations Security Council deals with IHL

A man enters the room of the UN Security Council A man enters the room of the UN Security Council

2 April 2020

In the past years, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been increasingly dealing with international humanitarian law (IHL) via either specific debates or thematic and/or country resolutions.

‘Compared to other thematic issues such as the rule of law or individual criminal accountability, little attention has been paid to the consistency – or lack thereof – of the UNSC’s practice in relation to this legal framework’ underlines Emilie Max, Researcher at the Geneva Academy.

‘Similarly, the prevailing discourse on the UNSC's dynamics tends to only focus on the organ’s five permanent members to the exclusion of the other members, the so-called ‘E10’’ she adds.

Our new research project precisely aims at critically assessing this trend. Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with over 30 experts (scholars, diplomats, as well as representatives of the United Nations, NGOs and relevant international organizations), it will analyse how the UNSC has recently dealt with IHL and formulate a series of recommendations to policy-makers working with this organ to ensure consistency in addressing IHL issues.

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