International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations Security Council

Started in January 2020

The past few years have seen an increase in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s focus on international humanitarian law (IHL), a trend that started before and goes beyond the 2019 commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. In 2019, the UNSC notably adopted resolutions on missing persons in armed conflict, as well as on the situation of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies (resolutions 2474 and 2475, respectively).

However, contrary 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. The prevailing discourse on the UNSC's dynamics also often focuses on the organ’s five permanent members to the exclusion of the so-called ‘E10’.

Objectives

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), this project aims at critically assessing how the UNSC has recently dealt with IHL. Drawing from this organ’s practice as well as from identifiable legal and/or political dynamics, it will notably – to the extent possible – formulate recommendations to policy-makers working with this organ to ensure consistency in addressing IHL issues. The project will also particularly focus on the potential roles of the UNSC’s elected members (the above-mentioned ‘E10’).

RESEARCHERS

Portrait of Emilie Max

Émilie Max

Researcher

Émilie Max's research focuses s on the intersection between international humanitarian law and international human rights law

Sisyphean Task: Promoting International Law while at the United Nations Security Council

28 January 2021, 15:00-16:30

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Publications

Cover page of the Briefing

Room for Manoeuvre? Promoting International Humanitarian Law and Accountability While at the United Nations Security Council: A Reflection on the Role of Elected Members

October 2020

Émilie Max

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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NEWS AND EVENTS

A view of the UN Security Council News

New Briefing Examines the Promotion of IHL at the UN Security Council

12 November 2020

Our new Briefing assesses the UN Security Council’s recent engagement with international humanitarian law and accountability.

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

2 April 2020

This research will analyse how the UN Security Council has recently dealt with international humanitarian law (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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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

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How Will the 2021-2022 Academic Year Look Like?

9 February 2021

Discover our plans for the upcoming academic year for or LLM in IHL and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice.

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Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict: What Alumni Say

19 April 2021

Diego Ruiz Gayol is a Mexican diplomat working at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN in Geneva where he is in charge of human rights issues. In this interview, he tells about the programme and what it brought to his career.

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Open House: Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict

16 June 2021, 12:30-13:30

Join us for our open house to learn more about this part-time programme designed professionals, meet staff, students and alumni, and discuss career opportunities.

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A wide view of the UN Security Council Short Course

Sanctions in Public International Law

Winter 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides an introduction to the regime of sanctions under international law and their effectiveness in addressing contemporary forms of conflict. It addresses the questions related to state responsibility, the pacific settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.

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Syria, destroyed building and ambulance Short Course

Basic Principles of International Humanitarian Law

Fall 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the sources of international humanitarian law (IHL). It provides an introduction to the key principles and terminology of IHL.

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Screenshot of the RULAC webpage Project

Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC)

Started in May 2007

The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.

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Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

Via a new lecture series on disruptive military technologies, this project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

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cover of the publication Publication

Military Briefing: Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict

published on March 2021

Alice Priddy

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