The maintenance of international peace and security is one of the objectives of the Charter of the United Nations. While violence and conflict undermine sustainable development, human rights violations are at the root of conflict and insecurity, which, in turn, invariably lead to further human rights violations. Actions to protect and promote human rights over preventive power, while measures for peace and security are based on human rights, transform that power into efforts for lasting peace. The normative human rights framework also provides a solid basis for addressing serious issues within or between countries that, if ignored, could lead to conflict. Human rights information and analysis make it possible to issue early warnings and to carry out rapid and targeted actions.
This is a tool that has not yet been used to its full potential, lack of respect for international human rights standards and failure to protect human rights undermine efforts to establish, maintain and consolidate peace. Global efforts to counter terrorism and prevent the spread of violent extremism suffer from this failure. Strengthening the United Nations emphasis on prevention and peacekeeping is essential, both for these approaches and for advancing sustainable development. We can help support both peace and development at the same time to what extent the implementation of human rights standards can resolve heartache, reduce inequality and increase resilience. This pillar also addresses the risks associated with new security technologies.
So what have we learned from the past fifteen years, for better or for worse? Considering prevention in the broad sense, prevention of the outbreak of conflict prevention in the proper sense, but also prevention of the continuation of the conflict, even of the relapse, offering here a summary point of the lessons learned, or that we would have. Had to learn, for each of the stages of the conflict cycle. Concluding with some observations on international terrorism and the form of violence that worries politicians and public opinion most today.
The mission of international law is to ensure and maintain peaceful relations between the subjects of the international community with the use of its own means and techniques. To do this, it is necessary to put in place mechanisms to strictly regulate the use of force and create a legal framework within which subjects of international law can attempt to resolve their disputes and try to find them. adequate solutions. The law of war, the mother of international law, had allowed States to have full jurisdiction to resort to war or not. So, we will be exploring how law enforcement officers should act in accordance with a human rights based approach and the keys actions for applying this approach in the criminal justice sector during times of emergency or conflict. Focusing on different efforts to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism in accordance with international law. Exploring some of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization work on Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism efforts with international law, the role of the European Union in maintaining international peace and security, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the future of the global non-proliferation regime, and the European law about the right to be forgotten.
NATO’s Work on Counter-Terrorism
NATO’s work on counter-terrorism focuses on improving awareness of the threat, developing capabilities to prepare and respond, and enhancing engagement with partner countries and other international actors.
- NATO invoked its collective defence clause (Article 5) for the first and only time in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the United States.
- NATO’s Counter-Terrorism Policy Guidelines focus Alliance efforts on three main areas: awareness, capabilities and engagement.
- A comprehensive Action Plan is being implemented to enhance NATO’s role in the international community’s fight against terrorism.
- NATO has a Terrorism Intelligence Cell at NATO Headquarters and a Coordinator oversees NATO’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.
- A regional Hub for the South, based at NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples helps the Alliance anticipate and respond to crises arising in its southern neighbourhood.
- NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and supports it through AWACS intelligence flights.
- NATO develops new capabilities and technologies to tackle the terrorist threat and to manage the consequences of a terrorist attack.
- NATO cooperates with partners and international organisations to leverage the full potential of each stakeholder engaged in the global counter-terrorism effort.
Counter-Terrorism Efforts with International Law
In order to explore the different efforts to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism are in accordance with international law, we will collect evidence and undertake more research, monitoring and reporting in support of our strategic defense on the role of human rights violations in violent extremism and terrorism, and the role of protection of human rights with regard to prevention. We will strengthen the capacity and commitment of government authorities and other actors to respect international law in their efforts to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism, and ensure accountability and respect for the rights of victims . The protection of human rights systematically includes strategies to prevent and respond to conflicts. We will actively engage with United Nations entities, regional organizations and Member States to demonstrate that the protection and promotion of human rights contributes to the effectiveness of conflict prevention, conflict management, and peace after conflicts. To this end, we will monitor the implementation of the relevant strategies. The world today does not at first glance suggest that we have learned much about conflict prevention. In Iraq or Israel, Sri Lanka or Nepal, Darfur or eastern Congo, Colombia or the Caucasus, London or Bali, anywhere in the world where the blood of the day is flowing, we are assailed to nausea by a continuous, seemingly endless stream of information about real wars, possible wars, or violent extremism. Nevertheless, despite everything that leads to war, civil wars, mass violence or terrorism, conflict is not inevitable. We have learned a lot about conflict prevention and resolution, especially over the past decade, the record is better than it seems at least for classical war or civil wars, if not terrorism, we could do even better if governments and international organizations applied the right methods in the right direction.
We can note an equally marked increase in the number of conflicts resolved by peace processes, mixing diplomatic negotiations, international mediation or other similar mechanisms: the Human Security Report states that about half of the peace agreements between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War. The Report of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change A Safer World: civil wars resolved through negotiation have been more numerous in the last fifteen years than during the past two centuries, the only frankly bad news is the sharp increase since September 11, 2001, in terrorist attacks causing high casualties, but the annual death rate from terrorist actions is only a small fraction of the annual death rate from war so far anyway, things could change if terrorists succeed in a nuclear attack.
Counter-Terrorism Efforts with International Law
In order to explore the different efforts to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism are in accordance with international law, we will collect evidence and undertake more research, monitoring, and reporting in support of our strategic defense on the role of human rights violations in violent extremism and terrorism, and the role of protection of human rights with regard to prevention. We will strengthen the capacity and commitment of government authorities and other actors to respect international law in their efforts to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism and ensure accountability and respect for the rights of victims. The protection of human rights systematically includes strategies to prevent and respond to conflicts. We will actively engage with United Nations entities, regional organizations, and the Member States to demonstrate that the protection and promotion of human rights contribute to the effectiveness of conflict prevention, conflict management, and peace after conflicts. To this end, we will monitor the implementation of the relevant strategies. The world today does not at first glance suggest that we have learned much about conflict prevention. In Iraq or Israel, Sri Lanka or Nepal, Darfur or eastern Congo, Colombia or the Caucasus, London or Bali, anywhere in the world where the blood of the day is flowing, we are assailed to nausea by a continuous, seemingly endless stream of information about real wars, possible wars, or violent extremism. Nevertheless, despite everything that leads to war, civil wars, mass violence, or terrorism, conflict is not inevitable. We have learned a lot about conflict prevention and resolution, especially over the past decade, the record is better than it seems at least for classical war or civil wars, if not terrorism, we could do even better if governments and international organizations applied the right methods in the right direction.
We can note an equally marked increase in the number of conflicts resolved by peace processes, mixing diplomatic negotiations, international mediation, or other similar mechanisms: the Human Security Report states that about half of the peace agreements between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War. The Report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change A Safer World: civil wars resolved through negotiation have been more numerous in the last fifteen years than during the past two centuries, the only frankly bad news is the sharp increase since September 11, 2001, in terrorist attacks causing high casualties, but the annual death rate from terrorist actions is only a small fraction of the annual death rate from the war so far anyway, things could change if terrorists succeed in a nuclear attack.
The Role of the European Union in Maintaining International Peace and Security
Since its origin, human beings have always been wishing for peace. However, the history of humanity is, in part, the history of a succession of conflicts. However, due to the extensive knowledge we have about the conflict and its consequences, make an approximation about the role of the European Union in maintaining international peace and security, and analyze the mission of the Union’s Foreign and Security Policy. The European Union and the Peace Missions of the European Union is necessary both on an academic and human level.
However, the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy allows it to express itself and act with its own personality on the international scene. Acting together, the 28 EU countries are stronger than if they did it separately. Regarding the Lisbon Treaty (2009), it strengthened the EU’s foreign policy by creating: The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, which is in charge of coordinating and carrying out foreign policy and common security (CFSP) of the EU, as well as the common security and defense policy, and the European External Action Service (EEAS), which is the diplomatic corps of the EU and its objective is to make policy more coherent and effective exterior of the European Union, thus increasing Europe’s influence in the world.
Thus, the mission of the EU Foreign and Security Policy is:
- Keep the peace and strengthen international security.
- Promote international cooperation.
- Develop and consolidate: Democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Likewise, through diplomacy, the European Union has the following challenges:
- Promoting the EU as a partner in democratic transitions, especially in the area of Neighborhood policy.
- Promoting the EU as a global economic power that responds to crises and uses trade as an engine of change.
- Promoting Human Rights through high-level political dialogue with our partners and strategic cooperation programs.
- Promoting the EU as a security provider to respond to global security threats.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Future of the Global Non-Proliferation Regime
This year the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) reached a fifty-year milestone since its entry into effect. While there continues to be a global non-proliferation movement there remain states that are still covertly acquiring nuclear weapons and those that have not ratified the treaty. However, this is not to say the NPT has been unsuccessful in attaining its fundamental goals that were envisioned fifty years ago. The focus should be directed at questioning in which areas has the treaty been a success in curbing proliferation, where is the treaty falling short, and what could be done to remedy the areas that are stopping the treaty from attaining all the goals it envisioned fifty years ago. It should be noted that most of the success of the treaty might have been attained at the end of the Cold War but there is still room for nuclear reductions by nuclear-armed superpowers (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China) and covert nuclear powers (North Korea, Pakistan, Iran).
There is a consensus among nuclear experts that the upgrading of The Additional Protocol which is not a stand-alone agreement, but rather a protocol to a safeguards agreement that provides additional tools for verification has been instrumental in strengthening how inspectors operate particularly in countries they suspect of covert nuclear build-up. However, it should be noted that the downside remains that the inspectors still require permission from states to inspect nuclear sites. States like North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan have been known to dismiss nuclear sight inspectors even though there might be comprehensive safeguards agreements like in the case of Iran. In June 2020, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran had been blocking inspections of two suspect locations. It can be argued that moving forward such pitfalls could be avoided by adding rigorous measures (monitoring system, and the threat of sanctions) and verification protocols within the treaties that require stricter adherence to allowing inspectors to carry out their job. Overall, the NPT should not be dismissed yet for there is enough room for it to learn from past and present mistakes. The fact that more than 10 000 nuclear warheads still exist, is the reason why more states, particularly nuclear powers, need to ratify the treaty and why the treaty has more relevance more than ever. The only viable path is for inspection clauses within the NPT to be made more stringent while taking into cognizance that there remains a small number of nuclear-armed states and it should be kept that way. Conclusively the NPT has created some of the broader political context and moral pressure that has led to these numbers staying significantly low and controlled (there are only nine countries that have nuclear weapons). Besides, nuclear weapons have not been used since World War II. However, there are warning signs that its continued success cannot be taken for granted due to the increasingly unsettled international security environment particularly between the U.S.-Russian and U.S.-Chinese bilateral relations which are drastically deteriorating.
European Law about the Right to be Forgotten
Firstly, it is important to strengthen the definition of human rights and fundamental rights and to demonstrate that, although very similar, there is a minimal difference between these concepts. Human rights, by definition, are the basic rights and freedoms that belongs to everyone in the world, from the moment they are born until death and they are applied regardless of where you are from and they are recognized by international law through treaties. On the other hand, fundamental rights refer to those rights that are recognized and legally typified in the sphere of positive constitutional law.
Having said that, it is possible to present some rights that are regarded both as human and as fundamental within the European Union and EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, such as the right to dignity, presented in article 1 as “human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected”, integrity, presented in article 3 as “1. Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity”, freedom of expression, pictured in the article 11 as “1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers”. However, these three rights cannot always exist in harmony and as an example of this case, there is the ”right to be forgotten”, which brings numerous controversies about the balance between the right to dignity and integrity in relation to the right to freedom of expression. This is mainly the case today due to the advancement of technology and the ease of obtaining information online, through tools such as Google search and social media such as Facebook and Instagram. The big question in this case is related to understanding that, often, freedom of speech ends up pushing boundaries and hurting the integrity of another person.
To solve such a conflict, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), after a lot of press after the 2014 judgment from the EU Court of Justice, used the creation of the ”right to be forgotten”, which became EU law in April 2016, to strengthen limits and preserve the fundamental rights of the dignity and integrity of the human being. The “right to be forgotten”, presented in Article 17 of the GDPR, states that “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall have the obligation to erase personal data without undue delay”. In other words, the right to be forgotten can be considered as the right to have an “imperfect past” and it maintains a person’s integrity.
In conclusion, this relationship between such rights demonstrates that a person’s right ends when the right of another person begins, that is, through the understanding that it is not correct to abuse the very use of a right, such as freedom of expression, it is possible to analyze that there are limits to be respected even in the exercise of human and fundamental rights. Thus, it is understood that establishing a harmony in the applicability of fundamental rights is unfeasible for the resolution of conflicts.
On the one hand, the end of the cold war has completely changed the international situation in terms of security, conflicts are now more often internal than between states, which is why the United Nations. has had to redesign and make more effective the various instruments at its disposal, by strengthening its peacekeeping capacity to deal with new situations, by making greater use of regional organizations and by developing its capacity for post-conflict peacebuilding especially since the beginning of the 21st century saw the emergence of new threats such as international terrorism, on the other hand the disagreements between the great powers, the evolution of the nature of conflicts and crises of international stake, and in particular the multiplication of internal conflicts accompanied by a disintegration of the state apparatus, have profoundly altered the role of the UN in the preservation or restoration of international peace and security, prompting the UN like member states, initiatives, the legality and legitimacy of which have been the subject of constant and renewed contestation.
Significant innovations have been made in the implementation of the measures provided for in Chapter VII of the Charter. In cases where force has been used, the U.N could only act through forces engaged by member states, its role being the authorization and legitimation of the force 8” So we recognize that the U.N. was created primarily to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, to ensure that the horrors of the two world wars the world has known are never repeated.
More than sixty years later, far from being limited to wars of aggression led by States, the greatest dangers which threaten our security today, and which will doubtless continue to threaten it in the decades to come, also have for name civil wars and violence within states, risks of use of deterrent weapons, terrorism and or transnational organized crime. Today, in view of the crises and conflicts that the world is going through, we have to recognize and ask ourselves these two questions: how to maintain international peace and security? What is the need for it?
Ian holds a MA in International Politics from the University of South-Africa, In his MA he focused on the use of time delay tactics by North Korea to entrap the US-South Korea alliance during the Six-Party Talks. His areas of research are Nuclear Diplomacy, Cybersecurity, and Foreign Policy. He is also a member of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization Youth Group. In addition, he is a member of the British American Security Information Council’s Emerging Voices Network.
Antoine Andary holds a Master’s Degree in Political Communication and International Affairs. Henceforth, he pursued higher studies in Criminology, Global Security and Defense, focusing strategically and operationally on Transnational Organized Crime. His main research areas of interest focus on Communications, Politics, International Relations, Governance, Policy, Human Rights, National and International Security, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, Anti-Human Trafficking, Anti-Money Laundering, Geopolitical, Military, Police and Intelligence Affairs.
Laura is a Research Fellow at the SRC Conflict, Security and Crime. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations. Researcher at CISDE International Campus for Security and Defense. Her interest is International Relations, Conflict Resolution, Peace Research, Peace Building, Peace Making, Peace Keeping, International Cooperation, Global Security, Security and Defense Affairs and Geopolitics.
Rita is an internationalist, graduated in Social/Political Sciences and International Relations at the University of Bologna. She is a member of the SRC Conflict, Security and Crime and she is currently in law school, planning to have a career in an international level and to study more about international law, crimes and conflicts.