The Charter of the United Nations (UN) is the foundational treaty document enacted on October 24, 1945 after ratification by the five permanent members of the Security Council and with the ratification of the majority of signatories. The UN is an organization of independent states formed in 1945 to promote international peace and security and, due to its unique international character and the powers vested in its founding Charter, it can take action on a wide range of issues through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.
Article 2(4) is a section of the UN Charter that specifically states that: all member states shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. Section two is a specification of the broad scope of the UN Charter which, in general terms describes the purpose of the UN to maintain international peace and security and to take necessary actions to prevent and remove threats and to act in the suppression of aggression and breaches of peace.
However, there have been many instances since the time of ratification of the charter which have borne witness to the intervention of states into the affairs of others which have called into question the power of the United Nations and the effectiveness of Article 2(4). This essay will critically analyses the efficacy of Article 2(4) and instances of interventions into the affairs of states by analyzing three recent examples. Secondly it will analyze other key factors that may contribute to, or impede against the efficacy of the Article 2(4).
Military force and violent persuasion are means that have been used by man kind since the earliest days to influence and achieve desired outcomes in trade, politics, development and other initiatives. These can range from militant activities such as the unwavering pursuit of a dedicated outcome, like the Syrian backed Lebanese group Hezbollah's single-minded aim of transforming Lebanon’s multi-religion state into an Iranian-style Islāmic state, or to the NATO action in Kosovo on humanitarian grounds, an action that saw the first major armed use of destructive force since the creation of NATO and force that was undertaken with the stated purpose of implementing UN Security Council resolutions but without the Security Councils authorization. Though before looking at the Kosovo conflict more closely, a brief analysis of the Israeli / Syrian conflicts and breaches of Article 2(4) will be used as an example of blatant disregard for the territorial integrity of neighboring states.
Israel is well-known to rely heavily on the UN Charter in support of its activities, in particular on Article 51 that states that nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a...