ILC Passes Report That Is Thorough Yet Lacking in Ambition

By Alex Wilde, for The Washington Post

After a weekend of debate, hard work and (regrettably) late starts, the ILC has just completed drafting its report on humanitarian intervention.

There are many positive elements in this report. Recognising ‘Responsibility to Protect’ as a norm allows the UN to prioritise human rights over the state’s responsibility to maintain sovereignty in carrying out military intervention. This is highly important as reliance on this norm gives the UN the ability (to some degree) to conduct preventive operations that quell the potential for a humanitarian crisis to grow. Delegates adopted this principle in light of the 2011 UN Security Council Resolution on Libya, cited as a rare example of the UNSC conducting preventive measures effectively.

However, there is much more that needs to be done in the future. The codified report barely attempts to challenge the competency of the UNSC in its ability to conduct intervention operations. Success of intervention programs is contingent almost entirely on an effective UNSC. Reforms to P5 veto power, lack of representation and non-transparency of decision-making must be addressed in a future session for the aims of this session to be completely realised.

With that said, all delegates should be commended for their efforts over the past weekend, and hopefully the potential for crisis to occur in the future has been narrowed as a result of their work.

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