Point A: Peace
Merriam-Webster defines peace as
“a state in which there is no war or fighting.”(
1) It would seem obvious that any action that goes “beyond self-defense” is the antithesis of peace.
Point B: To engage in offensive operations is outside the role of, and contrary to, peacekeeping as defined by the U.N.
“Today's multidimensional peacekeeping operations facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law.”
Within this role is no indication of offensive legitimacy. Offensive actions could in fact compromise the ability of peacekeepers to achieve many of the goals here listed. This is due to offensive actions often lead to endangering civilians, as well as destroying or crippling an existing political systems or processes.
Point C: Rule of Law
As shown previous, one role of peacekeepers is to “assist in restoring the rule of law.” For peacekeepers to ignore their own rule of law to achieve such a goal is ludicrous. The U.N.
Charter, the rule of law of the U.N., states the following in Chapter 1 section 2…
“The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”(3)
“All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”(3)
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”(3)
“Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the
Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.”(3)
Surely the Peacekeepers of the U.N. would need to adhere to its own rule of law if one main purpose is to assist others in restoring a rule of law. The sovereignty of the nations subject to peacekeeper offensive action would be violated. Offensive action does not promote settling international disputes by peaceful means. All of this aside, it is explicitly stated that
“Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” ●
Peacekeepers guiding principles oppose the use of offensive action.
As per definition’s provided Peacekeepers
“are guided via three basic principles: impartiality, consent of parties, and only use of defensive operations.”
A core principle of the U.N. Peacekeepers highlighted in the definition provided is to treat all groups and people in an unbiased and equal way. To maintain the integrity of impartiality requires a necessary exclusion of offensive operations as anything
“more robust” then “self-defense” would clearly be biased and unequal.
The Status Quo is effective
We have, built up an impressive record of peacekeeping achievements over more than 60 years of our existence, including winning the Nobel Peace Prize.”(4)
“Since 1948, the UN has helped end conflicts and foster reconciliation by conducting successful peacekeeping operations in dozens of countries, including Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Mozambique, Namibia and Tajikistan.”(4)
“UN peacekeeping has also made a real difference in other places with recently completed or on-going operations such as Sierra Leone, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Haiti and Kosovo. By providing basic security guarantees and responding to crises, these UN operations have supported political transitions and helped