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Neutrality, Impartiality and Our Responsibility to Uphold International Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter touches upon a few samples of neutrality discourse around the turn of the millennium, then brings in Hammarskjöld and with him as a springboard analyses the concept of neutrality and gives some hints of what might be its role in the future. It moves from traditional neutrality in war to humanitarian affairs, to the international civil service to peacekeeping and then back to the position of third states in a war, before the argument ends in the field of professional ethics. Humanitarian neutrality means neutrality regarding the goals of the conflict but not in relation to international humanitarian law. The chapter passes to another field where the concepts of neutrality and impartiality have been heavily debated, and where they have also been connected with the neutrality of states - namely, the role of the international civil servant in general, and the position of UN Secretary General in particular.

Keywords: humanitarian affairs; impartiality; international civil service; international humanitarian law; neutrality; peacekeeping; war

10.1163/ej.9789004170162.1-340.117
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