What are the strengths of international law

Strengthen the UN, in real life!

André Brie

To reinterpret the UN’s endorsement of a “monopoly of force” as a turning away from the peace course of the PDS, as suggested by 43 personalities in a letter to the party congress, can only be explained by ignorance of the Charter, because at least it does not entitle anyone, not even the UN, To wage war. On the contrary! It was probably not pure idealism on either side, but in 1945, just a few weeks after the end of the Second World War, in view of the destruction of people and human souls, the destruction of cities, factories and landscapes, hardly any government could outlaw war do not want. And if only it had to absorb an elementary mood of the people that dominated all political feelings and desires. "We, the peoples of the United Nations - determined to save future generations from the scourge of war that has twice brought unspeakable suffering to humanity ..." is how the Charter of the United Nations begins, and this is how it is meant . The Charter was (and is) much more than an idealistic or propagandistic declaration of intent. In Articles 1 and 2, a system of fundamental rules for international state coexistence was agreed upon, which every state recognized when the Charter was ratified and which is now a generally binding system of principles of international law. With the recognition of the Charter, a right that had been considered the highest expression of state sovereignty for millennia - the right to wage war, was abolished. But the UN Charter was not limited to that. The anti-war mood of that time went hand in hand with a realistic awareness of the problem of the unchanged real possibility of war. The already mentioned international law principles were seen as a basis and condition to be able to achieve this goal. After the recent experiences of the First and Second World Wars, however, no one was prepared to be guided exclusively by this peaceful vision and belief in the strength of international law. Even in the event of a military attack, states were only granted a temporary right of military self-defense under Article 51, and only until the Security Council took appropriate measures to end the attack. The "right" to violence, which had been withdrawn from the states, was granted exclusively to the Security Council, but only for measures against the violation of the prohibition of violence. Whether this right should be called "monopoly" may be an open question (but it is quite similar to the domestic monopoly of force); In any case, according to generally applicable international law, only the Security Council is authorized to use military force in such limited cases. According to Articles 40 and 41, he, too, must first take all appropriate non-military measures in order to maintain or restore peace. The charter even provided that it was not the states but the Security Council itself that should dispose of military contingents. In this respect, too, denationalization was planned, but this could never be realized. In any case, it must be taken into account that an organization of sovereign states, the UN and its Security Council can only be as strong as the member states allow. The UN Charter had weaknesses from the start; not infrequently it has been abused or disregarded, in some cases contrary to its own provisions even for the sanctioning of wars; the UN urgently needs to be reformed anyway, and the Security Council should be democratized. But at the moment there is a completely different danger than the backlog of reforms in the UN, a danger of a completely different extent, almost existential. What threatens with power and dangerous probability is that the US will drag the UN and its charter down. The security doctrine of the USA and NATO, as well as the military strategy concept of the EU published in June, defy international law with real brute force. The martial practice of the USA and its partners in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq has turned into a burning fuse on the powder keg. The USA assumed the worldwide monopoly of force. They want to go back to jus ad bellum, to the "right to war", and that too as a US monopoly. In these circumstances, defending the UN and its charter is more important than criticizing the deficits, no matter how justified. The reactionary attack by the US administration on international law and the UN should, in my opinion, not be complemented by a left attack on the UN. Not only because every barrier against the imperial militarism of the USA is needed (and the UN Charter is obviously not that weak), but because in the UN Charter a differentiated and fundamentally realistic system of international law is a peaceful ( er) en world. And also because it had expressed the still unfulfilled longing and hope of billions of people for the victory of the anti-Hitler coalition. André Brie holds a doctorate in political science and, as a PDS MP, is a member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL) in the European Parliament.

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