The 'S Word' and Security Council: The Role and Powers of the United Nations Security Council in the Creation of New States
44 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 15, 2015
The quest for statehood — as perhaps no other notion of this or similar kind — has been a source of the most extreme human events and experiences: ranging from consent to conflict, destruction to dignity, hope to hell, and more. From its birth, typically traced to the Treaty of Westphalia (albeit its widespread manifestations date at later times), this quest has changed its faces and taken various shapes in the course of its development, evolution, and sometimes — devolution. This constant change and variation is dictated by the very nature of constant change that is variously demanded by human beings or communities. They accommodate themselves in ways that seek to effectuate their aspirations, broaden their goals, and maximize their accesses to desired outcomes. As the needs and wants of various groups change and their realizations differ, so differs and changes the need for the creation, modification or termination of various territorial communities. The immediate past trends in decision indicate an increasing and significant role of the world community, formally expressed via the principal organs of the United Nations, in settling the often tense and conflicting positions of the parties affected or involved. Thus, the quest for statehood shall be situated on the increasing, though not unlimited, role of the United Nations — in particular the Security Council. The ultimate issue that this Article seeks to explore is the relationship between the Security Council and territorial integrity. The inquiry is placed in the context of the scope of this UN organ’s powers to possibly effectuate the establishment of new States or dismember existing ones — including the precise source of authority and circumstances that might lead to, or support such a result. It ends with a note that, in contrast with State sovereignty and territorial integrity, displays a superior role of the Security Council, when acting under its Chapter VII powers; one that under qualified, exceptional circumstances may involve changes to the territorial makeup of a sovereign and independent State. A broader picture, which shows the application and evolution of the Council’s powers to a constantly changing world public order, including the breadth and depth of these powers, and their probable limitations and subjection to judicial review, is also offered.
Keywords: United Nations, Security Council, statehood, state sovereignty, territorial integrity
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation