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The Security Council Response To Extreme Political Violence

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Chapter Summary

The Security Council has been involved in civil conflicts and coups d'état virtually since its inception and has accumulated a considerable amount of practice. This chapter undertakes a review of the resolutions of the Council in the 32 civil conflicts it had been involved through September 30, 2003. It looks at whether certain forms of political violence are consistently being rejected. The Security Council has the primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security pursuant to the powers granted in Chapters VI, VII, and VIII of the U.N. Charter. The Charter provides little guidance to the Council on how to address civil conflicts: the original debates suggest that the Charter did not anticipate the Council addressing civil conflicts. The practice evidences a generalized rejection of conflicts that cause massive violence against civilians in line with the preexisting legal rules.

Keywords: civil conflicts; political violence; security council; U.N. Charter



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