Posts Tagged ‘UN Resolution 2249’

UN Resolution 2249 (2015) has implicitly invoked Chapter 7 and sanctions military action against ISIL in Iraq and Syria

November 21, 2015

UN SC Res 2249

UN Resolution 2249 which was passed yesterday at the initiative of France actually does invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and goes very much further than some are arguing. The resolution does not just sanction action against ISIL (ISIS) but calls on member states which can act, to do so:

”  Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, …….  on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts….”

Any member nation is therefore fully authorised  – in international law – by this resolution to attack ISIL (ISIS) (or any other of the named terrorist groups) in Syria or in Iraq. 

I have heard arguments from the left in the UK that this is not the explicit UN sanction for military action under Chapter 7 that they are looking for before agreeing to any attacks on ISIS in Syria, but this is just wishful and incorrect thinking. The UN itself explains in its Research Report No. 1 that the Security Council can exercise its Chapter 7 powers without explicitly invoking Chapter 7 in the text of a Security Council resolution.

UN Research Report No 1 Chapter VII 23 June 08

There can be no doubt that Chapter 7 is being implicitly invoked.

UN Charter

The beginning of Chapter 7 (Article 39) is specifically addressed to “any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and yesterday’s resolution “determines …….  the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security”.

The United States Deputy Ambassador to the UN provides this explanation to the US President of yesterday’s resolution:

Mr. President, in recent weeks barbaric terrorist attacks have startled the world’s conscience. From Europe to Africa to the Middle East, innocent men and women have been slaughtered. Families destroyed in Beirut. Concertgoers slain in Paris. Air passengers bombed in the sky. Tourists killed on the beach in Tunisia. ……

For this reason, we welcome and applaud this resolution’s resolute call on states to take all necessary measures in compliance with international law to counter ISIL and the al-Nusrah Front. We must also choke off funding, arms, recruitment, and other kinds of support to ISIL and the al-Nusrah Front.

As the resolution recognizes, Iraq has made it clear that it is facing a serious threat of continuing attacks from ISIL, in particular coming out of safe havens in Syria; and the Assad regime in Syria has shown that it cannot and will not suppress this threat, even as it undertakes actions that benefit the extremists’ recruiting. In this regard, working with Iraq, the United States has been leading international efforts to provide assistance to combat the threat that ISIL poses to the security of its people and territory, and we are taking, in accordance with the UN Charter and its recognition of the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, necessary and proportionate military action to deny ISIL safe haven. …….

Any government of a member state in general, and the UK government in particular, needs no further UN sanction if they wish to act against ISIS in Iraq or in Syria. In fact with this resolution in place it is quite unlikely that the UN Security Council will produce another resolution to cover ground already covered.

David Cameron now has all the UN sanction that he could ever desire to extend military strikes on ISIS in Syria. He can even, with justification, go to his parliament at any time and explain that all member states with the capacity to attack ISIL (ISIS) in Syria have a duty to do so under Resolution 2249 (2015). St Jeremy really has no leg to stand on – Chapter 7 has already been invoked.

%d bloggers like this: