Legal Framework Peace Ops

Legal Framework of Peace
Major Dan Tran
Legal Training Officer
• Peacekeeping was pioneered and
developed by the UN
• 63 UN peace operations to date
History of peacekeeping: six
• 1946-56: observer missions
• 1956-1974: first “golden age”
- first armed peacekeeping operations
- UNEF I became the prototype
• 1974-88: first lull
• 1988-94: second ‘golden age’
- numbers increased; nature of conflicts and
missions changed
- “sub-contracted” peace operations
History of peacekeeping
• 1994-1999: second lull for UN
stepped into the breach
• 1999-present: the pendulum swings back
- 13 new UN operations since 1999…
- …as well as many non-UN operations
(large and small)
Peacekeeping today
• Today, about 93,500 uniformed personnel
in UN missions, plus 21,000 civilians
• About 84,000 in non-UN operations
(mainly NATO in Afghanistan and Kosovo)
However …
United Nations
• Peacekeeping not mentioned in UN
• Nor is ‘Peace Enforcement’ or ‘Peace
How are they created?
• UN peace ops
– By consent
– By binding Security Resolution
• Regional/Coalition peace ops
– By consent
– Regional arrangements
How are they created?
• Legal Authority
– Chapter VI Pacific Settlement of Disputes
– Chapter VII Action with Respect to Threats to
the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of
How are they created?
Regional Arrangements
Chap VIII, Art 52: “Nothing in the present
Charter precludes the existence of regional
arrangements or agencies for dealing with
such matters relating to the maintenance of
international peace and security as are
appropriate for regional action (However this
is subject to other provisions of the Charter)
Classic Peacekeeping:
Chapter VI
• Principles
– Consent
– Impartiality
– Limited Use of Force
• Missions include:
– monitoring elections
– acting as a presence
– establishing civil administration
Peace Enforcement:
Chapter VII
• Security Council powers to deal with
Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the
Peace and Aggression
– Consent
– Impartiality
– Limited Use of Force
Regional and Subregional
Eg. African Union: Protocol Relating to the
Establishment of the Peace and Security
Council of the African Union
• N.B. (eg EU/ASEAN in Aceh)
• The mandate will have specified tasks but also
implied tasks eg UNSCR 1244 (1999) - Kosovo:
“Ensuring public safety and order”. What is
reasonable and necessary to carry out this task?
• One implication of been given a ‘task’ is that you are
also given the authority to carry out that task
• NB: Interpretation of the mandate does not IHL or
other relevant applicable law eg International Human
Rights law - (“…all measures necessary”!)
The UN General Assembly
• Powers are limited to recommendations
(Articles 10-14)
• Can the UN General Assembly establish a
peacekeeping operation? YES
• Uniting for Peace resolution (1950 re
• Used to authorize UNEF I (1956) and
ONUC (1960)
Certain Expenses Case
• ICJ – 1962.
• Funding for Congo & Middle East missions.
• Peacekeeping within power of Security
Council and General Assembly though only
SC can oblige action.
• ICJ found authority for peacekeeping
within Articles 10 (GA may make
recommendations) and 14 (GA may make
recommendations for peaceful
adjustment) both in Chapter IV .
Defining Peace
Multiple terms -
mil. liaison/obs. missions
Conflict prevention
Peacemaking interpositional forces
Peace support
regional missions Peace enforcement
Peace making
Peace-building Humanitarian missions
•None of the classification schemes are commonly agreed or ideal
The Spectrum of peace and security activities.
Defining Peace
Three different types (but these categories are not airtight by
any means):
• Conflict Prevention/Peacemaking
• Peacekeeping Operations
- “Traditional” Peacekeeping Operations
- Peace Enforcement Operations
• Peacebuilding
Brahimi Report, paras. 10-14
Conflict prevention
involves the
application of
structural or
diplomatic measures
to keep intra-state
or inter-state
tensions and
disputes from
into violent conflict.
addresses conflicts
in progress and
usually involves
diplomatic action to
bring hostile parties
to a negotiated
‘Traditional’ peacekeeping
Mainly based on UN Charter Chapter VI
• Prototype: UNEF I (Suez Crisis)
• Guiding principles:
- consent
- impartiality
- non-use of force except in self-defense
• monitor a cease-fire, troop withdrawal
and/or buffer zone
Peacekeeping Missions
• verify compliance
• cease-fires/withdrawals
• primarily unarmed
• investigate/report violations
• lightly armed
•Current examples:
UNDOF (Syria, Golan
Heights), UNFICYP (Cypress)
Peace enforcement
• Mainly based on UN Charter Chapter VII
(and Articles 39, 41, 42 and 47)
• Enforcement of resolutions against
“breaches of peace and acts of aggression”,
‘as may be necessary to restore or
maintain international peace and security.’
Peace Enforcement Missions
• Forcible Separation of
• Establish Protected Areas
• Enforce Sanctions/
Exclusion Zones
• Deny Movement/
Guarantee Movement
• Protect Humanitarian
Peace enforcement
Use of force is NOT limited to self-defense.
use of force for limited objectives (i.e. not to
defeat an enemy or win a war)
PEO may involve use of force to separate /
disarm warring factions
Peace enforcement
• do not depend on full and reliable consent of all
the local actors
• The operational area will normally include
civilians and req. special consideration of :
• Militia groups, threat identification, collateral
damage, civilian casualties, etc.
• examples include Somalia in early 1990s, Bosnia,
East Timor, Sierra Leone, DRC, Haiti, and Darfur
Peace keeping or Peace
• line between PK and peace enforcement
(PE) is increasingly blurred
• now accepted that PK and PE are on a
• today, the line being blurred is between
PK/PE on one hand, and war on the other
(eg in Afghanistan)
PEACE BUILDING - covers post-conflict
actions, predominantly diplomatic, economic,
legal, and security related, that support political,
social, and military measures aimed at
strengthening political settlements and legitimate
governance and rebuilding governmental
infrastructure and institutions. PB begins while
PEO or PKO are underway and may continue for
Joint Pub 3-07.3
Peace building
• Focus on the implementation of a peace
• Acknowledges that peacekeeping can’t succeed
unless accompanied by a viable political process:
- keep main parties politically engaged
- foster political inclusiveness
– Peacebuilding operations are neutral
– third-party interventions, in that they do not take
sides among the former parties to the conflict
when supporting
– As the peace
– process develops, this neutrality shifts away
from a focus on the parties to a neutral
guardianship of the peace process.
Peace building
• also firmly consent-based, but more complex
• implementation of comprehensive peace
• Early examples include Namibia, El Salvador and
Mozambique in early 1990s
• composed of military, civilian and police
performing multiple functions
• help to transform a society in hope of doing
away with root causes of conflict (eg El
Peace building
Post civil war conflicts:
UNTAC (Cambodia)
UNAMSIL (Sierra Leone)
• Nowadays, many operations are partially under
Chapter VI and partially Chapter VII, eg
- Haiti (MINUSTAH) and Darfur (UNAMID)
- protection of civilians (Sierra Leone and DRC)
• Also regional and subregional arrangements
outside of UN structure
Brahimi Report
• Review of UN peacekeeping
• Conclusions
– Use of force remains the foundations of peacekeeping
– Peacekeepers must be able to defend themselves ROE must be appropriately robust
– Peacekeepers in dangerous situations should not cede
initiative to attackers
– Peacekeepers should intervene when faced with
grievous breaches of humanitarian standards
Limited Use of Force.
Legal Authority
Peace Operations
• Joint Pub 3-07.3 Peace Operations
• Handbook on UN Multidimensional Peacekeeping
Operations (2003)
• Multi-disciplinary Peacekeeping: Lessons from
Recent UN Experience (1999)
• UN Peacekeeping Training Assistance Teams:
Advisor’s Guidebook (1996)
• UN Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and
Guidelines (2008)
• UN Peacekeeping Training Manual
available at