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The Security Council And Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

The relationship between the Security Council and human rights is a complicated one, at least in part because the Council was never set up to operate in the field of human rights: it was set up as a more or less administrative body dealing in particular with peace and security, without any legislative tasks. Much of the Councils activities during the Cold War related to colonialism and the right to self-determination, often treated in the same breath in that typically the main candidates for utilising the right to self-determination were thought to be colonised territories. The end of the Cold War affected the relationship between human rights and the Security Council in two fundamental ways. First, it meant that the political divisions between East and West were no longer setting the agenda. Secondly, the end of the Cold War also meant a liberation of human rights.

Keywords: Cold War; colonialism; human rights; peace and security; security council



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