Strengthening International Law and International Peace Norms

Strengthening International Law and International Peace Norms

The ban on violence in international law must be reinforced at all levels. This includes reforming the UN, for which, with all its imperfections, there is no alternative. The UN Security Council must be reinforced and democratized as a body for preserving world peace. If a conflict arises, all preventive, political, economic, and diplomatic means must be utilized in full to avoid an escalation of violence. If these do not succeed, there must be clearly defined criteria and objectives for military operations that may only occur with a Security Council mandate.

From a human rights perspective – as described above – the international community is called upon to address human rights violations taking place in the context of violent conflicts or failing states at a very early stage. For this purpose, there is a wide repertoire of measures available to the international community, even though, more often than not, none of these are implemented. A military intervention, even when carried out with a Security Council mandate, is always a poor solution, because it is not preventive, but is employed only after human rights have already been gravely violated. Moreover, violence always tends to generate new violence. Nevertheless, there must be clearly defined criteria for military interventions. One of these criteria is that participating states should provide mixed-gender troops specially trained for these purposes. Expertise in gender and intercultural issues, as well as experience in civil conflict management, are indispensable.

We entirely reject operations without a UN mandate, whether by NATO or the projected European deployment force. In addition, emphasis must be placed on civil peacekeeping measures. These too must be performed by personnel trained in programs of which gender sensitivity is a central feature. Every UN mission should strive to fully implement Resolution 1325. This in turn requires action plans to be implemented in both the individual states and within the UN. Civil society organizations with proven gender sensitivity must be commissioned to develop these plans. An action plan on the international level could also serve as an example for similar action plans in individual member states.