CRITIQUE OF UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS AS AN EFFECTIVE MEANS OF ENSURING INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

CRITIQUE OF UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS AS AN EFFECTIVE MEANS OF ENSURING INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

ABSTRACT

The quest for an international body authorised to regulate the conduct of states in international law and prevent war and aggression was long and arduous; and was seemingly achieved with the establishment of the League of Nations in 1919. International euphoria was short-lived however, as the League’s existence was truncated by World War 2 following which the United Nations (UN) was created in 1945 to maintain international peace and security. The UN via its mandate is empowered to take effective collective measures – including the imposition of sanctions, to prevent and remove threats to and breaches of world peace, and to suppress acts of aggression. Sanction measures include the complete or partial interruption of economic relations, the various means of communication and the severance of diplomatic relations between the target state and UN member states. Sanctions became prominent after the demise of the Cold War and have been increasingly employed by the UN in executing its global mission. UN sanctions are aimed at altering the objectionable policies of the target state or entity in conformity with rinternational law. This research investigates the effectiveness of UN sanctions in eradicating threats to world peace by appraising its sanctions regimes imposed from 1945 to 2014. The inquiry is inspired by the unrelenting proliferation of international crises and the current precarious state of global peace and security, in spite of the UN’s prominent use of sanctions. The review adopts both doctrinal and empirical approaches and exhausts the expository and analytical methods in achieving its objectives. The findings establish first, that UN sanctions have limited effectiveness in addressing threats to international peace and security; and second, that the impediments to UN sanctions effectiveness are not intrinsic to or inherent in sanctions, but reside in current UN practices concerning their formation and deployment. The study then identifies and scrutinizes the factors responsible for the poor record of UN sanctions, and concludes by proposing a comprehensive blueprint for their effective imposition in international law enforcement.