Humanitarian Intervention Essay

2049 words - 8 pages

The debate of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect have been discussed in international relations discourse more seriously within the last 60 years. The major historical developments which have led to an increase in the intensity of these debates have had beneficial and detrimental effects on Earth within the last 20 years. Several factors have contributed to this including; globalization, the rise in international accountability, an increase humanitarian consciousness to prevent major atrocities from occurring, the expansion of territorial to global responsibility of the western world, and the realization of the western world that regional sovereignty no longer accounts for national security. To develop an opinion on the subject of humanitarian intervention and how beneficial it has been to global justice one must examine the institutions which were created to achieve peace, justice, deterrence, and international stability.
The military tribunals following WWII for Germany and Japan called the Nuremburg and Tokyo trials enlightened the victors of the great war. As a result the Allies felt it was essential to create an over-arching legal system of governance in the international spectrum. These trails established that human rights violations which once only gave rise to state responsibility now could be prosecuted against individuals. These trials also brought about the realization in the international community that international law can over-ride domestic law. In 1945 the United Nations was established with the goal of creating international principles and policies which would bring order to the chaotic international political and legal reality. Following WWII nations around the world recognized the need for an institution which would influence the interactions between nations. This regulating body prohibited the use of force between countries unless for the purpose of self-defense and humanitarian intervention on behalf of those who were in need of assistance or rescue, but only with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Articles 1, 55, and 56 are the center pieces for promoting and protecting human rights. During the cold war humanitarian intervention went stagnant because the two superpowers who were facing off (US & Russia) were at odds about ideology and this caused world peace to be thrown into turmoil. The UN was very new and did not have the international legal clout to stop either superpower from promoting its system of governance through invasion or indirect military support. The Cold War caused social, economic, and political upheaval globally which allowed for the UN to revise its interpretation of humanitarian intervention. This allowed for a larger consensus among nations about which circumstances required intervention. From 1945 to 1976 five major human rights documents were adopted; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Genocide Convention, Geneva Convention, Laws of War,...

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