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HIDAYATULLAH NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY

Uparwara, Naya Raipur

SIGNIFICANCE OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL


LAW

2018-19

SUBMITTED TO
MS. VINITA TRIPATHI
(ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, FACULTY OF PIL)

SUBMITTED BY
RADHIKA SHARMA
SEMESTER IV,
SECTION C
ROLL NO. 113
Significance of Regional Organizations under International Law

DECLARATION

I, Radhika Sharma hereby declare that the project work entitled, ‘Significance of Regional
Organizations under International Law’ submitted to H.N.L.U., Raipur is record of an original
work done by me under the able guidance of Ms. Vinita Tripathi, Faculty Member, H.N.L.U.,
Raipur.

Radhika Sharma
B.A., LL.B. (H)
Semester IV
Section - C
Roll no.-113

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Significance of Regional Organizations under International Law

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I feel highly elated to work on the topic “Significance of Regional Organizations under
International Law”.

The practical realization of this project has obligated the assistance of many persons. I express my
deepest regard and gratitude for Ms. Vinita Tripathi, Faculty of Public International Law. Her
consistent supervision and invaluable guidance have been of immense help in understanding and
carrying out the nuances of the project report.

I take this opportunity to also thank the University and the Vice Chancellor for providing extensive
database resources in the Library and through Internet.

Some printing errors might have crept in, which are deeply regretted. I would be grateful to receive
comments and suggestions to further improve this project report.

Radhika Sharma
B.A., LL.B. (H)
Semester IV
Section - C
Roll no.-113

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Significance of Regional Organizations under International Law

INTRODUCTION

Regional organizations and their role have been presumed by UN in early 1990’s. The
implementation of International law and its power in peace keeping is always a matter of concern;
the regional organizations had chalked out the way. The regional organizations have worked over
the concerns of UN and since they are the organizations of like members with common consent
and limited membership, the effective implementation of the International Policies and discursions
in the limited membership group is feasible.

Recently, the world has seen both pragmatic and sudden changes in international relations.
Cooperation between Super Powers, along with regional organizations, seems to be possible today.
Regional organizations may further the security interests of the world community, provided they
be placed under the exclusive authority of the world organization which is powerful enough to
assert its supremacy.1 But a strict centralization, even if attainable, would be hardly desirable.
Despite the increasing "universality" of many interests which require consideration and decision
by a world organization, their implementation can be conveniently left to subordinated regional
bodies.

Under optimal conditions the world authority would not only determine the existence of a situation
justifying an action by a regional organization, but would also authorize and terminate it. 2Any
exception to this highly centralized decision-making process would in principle weaken and
disintegrate the authority of the world organization. Thus regional organizations would represent
centers of power delegated by a world organization. However, such decentralization could operate
to the benefit of the world community only if there would be a considerable differentiation between
the power of the world organization on one side and of the regional organizations on the other.

1
Royal Institute of International Affairs, International Sanctions 135-136 (1938).
2
The proposal of the Norwegian Government on an improved application of the principles of the Covenant, League
of Nations Official Journal, Spec. Supp. 154 (1936. VII. 9; Off. No. A.31.1936. VII), p. 13.

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Significance of Regional Organizations under International Law

The United Nations Charter in general follows this pattern. It attempts to place regional
organizations within the framework of the world organization. Chapter VIII of the Charter dealing
with regional arrangements is, of course, the most conspicuous evidence of this effort.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

1. Research Objective

The objectives of this project are:

a) To understand the relationship between United Nations and Regional Organization.


b) The significance of Regional Organizations under International Law.

2. Research Methodology and Source of Data

This project work is doctrinal in approach. Given a study of this kind, a descriptive analytical
method has been followed to carry out the study. The present study based on the secondary sources
of information for systematization, analyses and conclusions.

Source of Data: Secondary Sources of data have been used to carry out the study. These include
Books, Research Papers, and International Documents etc.

3. Hypothesis

It is hypothesized that the role of Regional Organization in offering a number of advantages to UN


and its Importance in carrying out regional conflict management tasks is overlooked.

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Significance of Regional Organizations under International Law

4. Research Questions

 To understand the relationship between Regional Organization and International Law


 To understand the working together of UN and Regional Organization.

5. Chapterization

The focus of the Objectives of the “Significance of Regional Organizations under International
Law” is on the following topics-

1. Introduction
2. UN AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
3. ACCOMMODATION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN UN CHARTER
4. UN FRAMEWORK FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION
5. WORKING TOGETHER: UN AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
6. ADVANTAGES OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
7. PARTICIPATION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS
8. INSTANCES OF INTERACTION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND UN
9. Conclusion

6. Mode of Citation

A uniform mode of citation has been followed through Harvard Bluebook 19th edition.

7. Scope and Limitation

The study is limited to the theoretical study of relation of Regional Organization and International
Law. The scope is the working of UN with the Regional Organizations for the proper
implementation and understanding of International Law.

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Significance of Regional Organizations under International Law

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I) DECLARATION...................................................................................................................1
II) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS …………………………………………………………………2
III) INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................3
IV) RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ...........................................................................................4
V) UN AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS..............................................................................7
VI) ACCOMMODATION OF REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS IN UN CHARTER…….…………..9
VII) UN FRAMEWORK FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION…………………………………….11
VIII) WORKING TOGETHER: UN AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS…………………………13
IX) ADVANTAGES OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS...............................................................15
X) PARTICIPATION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS.....17
XI) INSTANCES OF INTERACTION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND UN........................19
XII) CONCLUSION.....................................................................................................................21
XIII) BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................................................................................................22

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1. UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Covenant of the League of Nations, in its Article 21, 3 noted the validity of regional
understandings for securing the maintenance of peace. The Security Council has increasingly made
use of regional organizations in the context of peacekeeping and peace enforcement. Chapter VIII
of the UN Charter concerns regional arrangements. Article 52 provides that nothing contained in
the Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such
matters relating to international peace and security as are appropriate for such arrangements or
agencies, providing that these are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations
Organization (herein after referred as UN) itself.4 Article 53 notes that the Security Council where
appropriate shall utilize such arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority.
Without the authorization of the Security Council, regional enforcement action is not possible. 5
Article 54 provides that the Security Council is to be kept fully informed at all times of activities
undertaken or in contemplation by regional organizations. The definition of ‘regional
arrangements or agencies’ is left open, so that a useful measure of flexibility is provided, enabling
the term to cover a wide range of regional organizations going beyond those strictly established
for defense co-operation.6

In its Resolution 49/57 of December 9, 1994, the General Assembly approved the Declaration on
the Enhancement of Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Arrangements or
Agencies in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security, and was convinced that its

3
Can be accessed at: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/leagcov.htm#art21.
4
MALCOLM N. SHAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW 1273 (6th ed., 2011).
5
M. Akehurst, Enforcement Action by Regional Agencies, 42 BYIL 175 (1967); C. Borgen, The Theory and Practice
of Regional Organization Intervention in Civil Wars, 26 New York University Journal of International Law and
Politics, 797 (1994); I. Pogany, The Arab League and Regional Peacekeeping, 34 NILR 54 (1987).
6
A number of organisations specifically self-identify as regional agencies as understood by Chapter VIII, such as the
Organisation of American States (see article 1 of the Charter of the OAS, 1948), the Organisation for Security and
Co-operation in Europe (see para. 25 of the Helsinki Summit Declaration, 1992 and the Charter for European Security,
2000, 39 ILM, 2000, p. 255 and General Assembly resolution 47/10) and the Commonwealth of Independent States
(see 35 ILM, 1996, p. 783).

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adoption would contribute towards strengthening the role and enhancing the effectiveness of the
United Nations and of the regional arrangements or agencies in this regard.7

The Charter of the United Nations does not provide a specific definition and character for the
regional organizations. This flexible nature of the Charter in dealing with the roles of regional
organizations permits various organizations to work for international peace and security regardless
of their different organizational objectives.8 The term "regional organization" is used in a very
broad sense; it covers not only regional arrangements and regional agencies "within the meaning
of Chapter VIII," but also regional organizations based on collective self defense as referred to in
9
Article 51. Chapter VIII records an international consensus regarding global-regional
relationships that was formulated, though not fully worked out, at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference
in late 1944 and at the San Francisco Conference concluding in June the following year.10

Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter does not preclude regional organizations from taking
regional actions in the maintenance of international peace and security. As long as such regional
actions are taken consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Charter, regional
organizations can play a pivotal role in the peaceful settlement of regional disputes. Enforcement
measures must however be authorized first by the Security Council.11

7
Hans Corell, Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Institutions, 2 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 643
(1995-1996).
8
Id, at 644.
9
Gerhard Bebr, Regional Organizations: A United Nations Problem, 49 Am. J. Int'l L. 166 (1955).
10
Anthony Clark Arend, The United Nations, Regional Organizations, and Military Operations: The Past and Present,
7 DUKE J. COMP. & INT'L L. 7-15 (1996).
11
Supra note 7, at 644.

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2. ACCOMMODATION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN UN CHARTER12

The new United Nations Organization was intended to be the paramount world institution."
13
Nonetheless, three "fundamental concessions," as Francis Wilcox has characterized them, were
made to the idea of regionalism and region-based peacemaking in order to give a regional entity
"elbowroom to deal with local disputes in the first instance" and make it less necessary for the
United Nations itself to become involved."14

The first concession, stated in Article 33(1) of Chapter VI on the Pacific Settlement of Disputes,
was the provision that parties to any dispute endangering international peace and security "shall,
first of all, seek a solution by ... resort to regional agencies or arrangements," by direct negotiation,
third-party mediation, arbitration, or by some other means of their own choosing. Chapter VIII on
Regional Arrangements states that nothing in the Charter is to preclude "the existence of regional
arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international
peace and security as are appropriate for regional action."15 Chapter VIII further declares that U.N.
members "entering into such arrangements or constituting such agencies shall make every effort
to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such
regional agencies before referring them to the Security Council." 16 Such regional efforts to
maintain peace thus were, at least in principle, actively promoted by the U.N. Organization,
without derogating from the independent right of the Security Council to investigate peace-
threatening situations17 or the right of any country, even a non-U.N. member, to bring a local
situation directly to the attention of the Organization, either to the Security Council or to the
General Assembly.18

12
Alan K. Henrikson, The United Nations And Regional Organizations: "King-Links" Of A "Global Chain
13
Article 103 of the U.N. Charter unequivocally states: "In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the
Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international
agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail."
14
FRANCIS 0. WILCOX, REGIONALISM AND THE UNITED NATIONS, IN THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE BALANCE:
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND PROSPECTS 425, 427 (NORMAN J. PADELFORD & LELAND M. GOODRICH eds., 1965).
15
U.N. CHARTER art. 52, para. 1.
16
U.N. CHARTER art. 52, para. 2.
17
Id. art. 34.
18
Id. art. 35, para. 1.

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The second concession to regionalism was the allowance in the Charter for the continued operation
of existing mutual assistance pacts, including the 1942 Anglo-Soviet Treaty of Alliance against
Nazi Germany and its European associates19 and the Four-Nation Declaration signed in Moscow
in October 1943."20 Article 53(1) of Chapter VIII declares that measures against "enemy states,"
defined in Article 53(2) as those that during the Second World War had been enemies of any
Charter signatory, could be taken immediately, without prior authorization by the Security
Council, in accordance with Article 107 in Chapter XVII on Transitional Security Arrangements.21
These measures could continue until the United Nations itself assumed responsibility which, as
the wording of Article 106 in Chapter XVII suggests,22 might not be possible if the aforementioned
Article 43 special agreements making armed forces, assistance, and facilities available to the
Security Council, for its use, had not already been negotiated and implemented. Article 53(1)
explicitly states that these measures of immediate enforcement against former enemy states might
result from "regional arrangements directed against renewal of aggressive policy on the part of any
such state."

The third and, in its consequences and present meaning, the most important concession to
regionalism was the signatories' recognition via Article 51 at the end of Chapter VII (Action With
Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression) of "the inherent
right of individual or collective self-defence." This right, which as "inherent" is natural or
inalienable and not timebound, could be exercised regionally, or in any other way. Article 51
usually has been understood to allow for treaties of mutual assistance for the purpose of collective
self-defense.23

19
Treaty for an Alliance in the War Against Hitlerite Germany and Her Associates In Europe, May 26, 1942, U.K.-
U.S.S.R., T.S. 2(1942), Cmd. 6376; P. (1941-2) IX 641; 144 B.S.P. 1038; 204 L.N.T.S. 353.
20
Declaration of Four Nations on General Security, U.S.-U.S.S.R.-U.K.- R.O.C., 1 FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE
U.S. 749,755-56 (Nov. 1, 1943).
21
U.N Charter, Art. 107.
22
Id. art. 106.
23
HANS KELSEN, THE LAW OF THE UNITED NATIONS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ITS FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS 792-
96 (1950).

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3. UN FRAMEWORK FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION 24

On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the UN in 1995, the then Secretary General, Mr. Ghali
released the second document that is in focus for this literature review, i.e. Supplement to an
Agenda for Peace. In the intervening period (1992-1994), between the publication of these two
documents, the UN had been through a series of complex peace enforcement/humanitarian
operations that had not only been inconclusive but were perceived to be (and to an extent the
perceptions were justified) operational disasters. The UN was over extended in its operations in
Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda to cite some of the less successful missions. Ghali
identified UN shortfalls in unambiguous terms hoping to create further debate and spur reform in
the way the UN conducted peace operations. In his report he identified five ways in which the UN
and regional organizations could cooperate in the maintenance of international peace and security.
These were:
1. Consultations. Formal and informal; the purpose being to exchange views on conflicts that
both the UN and the regional organization(s) may be trying to solve.
2. Diplomatic Support. The regional organization would participate in the peacemaking
activities of the UN and support them by diplomatic initiatives and/or by providing
technical input where necessary.
3. Operational Support. Such as the provision of air support by NATO to the United Nations
Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia. For its part, the UN could
provide technical advice to regional organizations that undertook peacekeeping operations
of their own
4. Co deployment: of UN field missions in conjunction with peacekeeping troops from
regional organizations wherein the regional organization carried the main burden but co-
opted a small UN operation for technical support and verification that the operation
functioned in a manner consistent with positions adopted by the Security Council.

24
Birender S. Dhanoa, The Increased Role of Regional Organizations in Peacekeeping and Effects on the United
Nations Preeminence in Future Peace Operations, A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and
General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree (2003).

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However, the political, operational and financial aspects of such an arrangement would
require great attention prior to deployment.
5. Joint Operations: This was the last of the ways the UN and regional organizations could
cooperate. A good example mentioned in the document was the United Nations Mission in
Haiti, the staffing, direction and financing of which were shared between the United
Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The report pointed out “the capacity of regional organizations for peacemaking and peacekeeping
varies considerably. None of them has yet developed a capacity, which matches that of the UN,
though some have accumulated important experience in the field and others are developing
rapidly” (Ghali 1995).

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4. WORKING TOGETHER: UN AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The UN has looked into this issue in a study titled Cooperation Between the United Nations and
Regional Organizations/Arrangements in a Peacekeeping Environment: Suggested Principles and
Mechanisms25 (UN: New York, March 1999). The document, complied by the Lessons Learned
Unit of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, after an in-depth case study on six cases
of cooperation between the UN and regional organizations mostly in the 1990s, recommends areas
of expertise that different organizations should concentrate on when involved in peace operations.

The UN report 26 cites examples for forms of cooperation that include, the operational support
provided by the NATO-led multinational Implementation Force/Stabilization Force (IFOR/SFOR)
to the United Nations Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western
Sirmium (UNTAES) in establishing a safe and secure environment in that region of Croatia. The
operational support provided by the Commonwealth of Independent States forces to the UN
observer mission in Tajikistan, co-deployment of regional forces and UN military observers in
Liberia and Sierra Leone, and joint operations in Haiti. Interestingly, in each case the main role of
regional organizations, by the UN’s own admission, centered around providing a safe and secure
environment in the area of operations by deploying ground forces, air assets, and naval task forces
when necessary, to undertake tasks that were military in nature. Evidently, for a peace operation
to fulfill its mandate, the provision of a safe and secure environment is an objective that must be
secured early on in an operation’s time schedule. The military muscle needed to achieve it can
apparently be provided by a regional organization, while the UN deploys its personnel for
observation and monitoring tasks and securing the politico-economic objectives set out in the
mission’s mandate.

Cooperation between the regional organization and the UN could be through either one of the
suggested three mechanisms, depending upon the particular needs and sensitivities of the region.

25
UN Security Council Press Release SC/6727. 15 September 1999 (online). Can be accessed at
http://www0.un.org/News/Press/docs/1999/19990915.sc6727.doc.html.
26
Lessons Learned Unit, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Cooperation Between the United Nations and
Regional Organizations/Arrangements in a Peacekeeping Environment: Suggested Principles and Mechanisms, 8
(1999).

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In the case of Europe especially, “NATO will almost certainly prove the primary organization in
shaping the future of Europe in terms of peacekeeping roles and missions”.27

The March 1999 UN Report also acknowledges some of the advantages of using regional
organizations in resolving disputes such as their better knowledge about the root causes of a
conflict in their particular region as well as the parties and personalities involved in the conflict.
They may be more flexible than the UN in the allocation of resources and, therefore, are able to
deploy assets, including troops faster than the UN within their own regions. Further, the UN Report
goes on to say, rich regional organizations/arrangements are able to provide adequate resources to
support their own operations.28 (Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Lessons Learned Unit
1999, 12).

27
WILLIAM H. LEWIS AND EDWARD MARKS, SEARCHING FOR PARTNERS: REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND PEACE
OPERATIONS (1998).
28
Supra note 26, at 12.

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5. ADVANTAGES OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

There are a number of regional and sub-regional organizations active around the world making
important contributions to the stability and prosperity of their members as well as the broader
international system. In playing a much greater role than used to be the case, in recent years
regional organizations have developed closer connections with UN peace operations.29

The role of regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security is increasing.
Some of the most important advantages of regional organizations are:

 In some instances, regional organizations are best suited to solve regional conflicts due to
their proximity and ability to provide faster information than the United Nations.30
 Regional organizations and arrangements can play an important role in providing personnel
and materials.
 Confidence of the parties can be enhanced by allowing the role of well-known regional
organizations to play a part in conflict resolutions.31
 The use of regional organizations is important not only to the peace-keeping operations,
but also for preventive diplomacy, establishment of military and civil personnel and fact
finders when carried out in coordination with the United Nations.
 Throughout a peace mission, the situations in the conflict region are constantly in a state
of flux. At some critical points, if regional organizations are authorized and encouraged by
the UN to react swiftly and flexibly instead of consulting UN headquarters, which may not
be within easy reach, then possible delay or interruption of the peace efforts will be
avoided.

29
Professor Du Nongyi, A Perspective Of Coordination Between The Un And Regional Organizations In Peace
Operations (2003).
30
Ambassador H.E. Nabil Elaraby, Revisiting Chapter VIII: The Role Of Regional Organizations In Dispute
Settlement, 2 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 645 (1995-1996).
31
Supra note 27, at 4.

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 Regional players bring to the operation more intimate knowledge of the political
complexities of a conflict, and their staff may be less likely to encounter language and
cultural barriers in their work.32
 The closeness to the region of such organizations and players may prevent true impartiality
in resolving a dispute, and national interests may cloud objectivity in analyzing the path to
peace and tranquility.33

Among others, the following organizations are currently in cooperation with the United Nations
to further peace and security. These include the Organization of the American States (OAS);
Organization of African Unity (OAU); Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE); European Union (EU); North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Organization of the
Islamic Conference (OIC); and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

32
Virginia P. Fortna, Regional Organizations and Peacekeeping: Experiences in Latin America and Africa (1993).
33
Ibid.

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6. PARTICIPATION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN PEACE- KEEPING


OPERATIONS34

ORGANIZATION REGION AREA OF RECENT ACTIVITIES


ACTIVITIES
Organization of Africa Preventive Diplomatic initiatives for political
African Union (OAU) Diplomacy; settlement of conflicts in Angola,
Peace-Making; Burundi, the Comoros, Ethiopia-
Peacekeeping Eritrea and Sierra Leone.
Deployment of Neutral Military
Observer Group in Rwanda.
OAU Military Observer Mission in
South Africa in response to
Security Council Resolution 772
(1992).
Economic Community Africa Peace-Making; Deployment of peacekeeping
of West African States Peacekeeping. forces to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
South African Africa Peace-Making; Diplomatic initiative for the
Development Peacekeeping. peaceful settlement of the Congo
Community conflict.
Association of South- Asia and Preventive Diplomatic initiative for the
East Asian Nations Pacific Diplomacy; peaceful settlement of the
(ASEAN) Peace-Making; Cambodian conflict.
Peacekeeping

34
Cooperation Between the United Nations and Regional Organizations/Arrangements in a Peacekeeping
Environment: Suggested Principles and Mechanisms 19 (DPKO Lessons Learned Unit, March 1999).

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Deployment of peacekeeping
troops in conjunction with
Australia and
New Zealand in East Timor
Organization for Europe Peace-Making; Observer Missions in Former
Peace and Security in Humanitarian Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Europe Assistance; Estonia, Latvia and Bosnia and
Electoral Herzegovina.
Monitoring Electoral supervision and human
rights monitoring in Bosnia and
Herzegovina.
Commonwealth of Europe Peace-Making; Deployment of Peacekeeping
Independent States Peacekeeping. Force in Abkhazia (Georgia) and
Collective Peacekeeping Forces in
Tajikistan.
North Atlantic Treaty Euro-Atlantic Peacekeeping Air protection for UNPROFOR.
Organization and Peace Implementing the Military Annex
Support of the Dayton Peace Agreement
Operations. for Bosnia and Herzegovina
through IFOR/SFOR.
Deployment of KFOR in Kosovo.

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7. INSTANCES OF INTERACTION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND UN

 The OAS adopted sanctions against Haiti upon the overthrow of the elected President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide in 1991.35Although the General Assembly welcomed the actions,36 the Security
Council did not react. Eventually in June 1993, the Council, acting under Chapter VII, imposed an
arms and oil embargo on Haiti. Resolution 841 (1993) specifically referred to a series of OAS
resolutions, 37 commended the work of the OAS Secretary-General and stressed the need ‘for
effective co-operation between regional organizations and the United Nations’.38In resolution 875
(1993), the Council, acting under Chapters VII and VIII, called upon member states ‘acting
nationally or through regional agencies or arrangements’ in co-operation with the legitimate
Government of Haiti to act to ensure the implementation of the arms and oil embargo.39

 Liberia constitutes another instructive example.40 A complicated civil war broke out during 1989–
90 and, in the absence of any moves by the UN or the OAS, the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) decided to act. This organisation, which consists of sixteen members
including Liberia, is aimed at improving living standards in the region. 41 A Protocol on Non-
Aggression was signed in 1978 and came into force three years later. 42 This prohibits aggression
among member states and does not specifically mention peacekeeping nor provide for the right of
unilateral intervention. In May 1990, ECOWAS established a Standing Mediation Committee and
this called for an immediate ceasefire in Liberia and for its implementation to be monitored by an
ECOWAS monitoring group (ECOMOG). This group, led by Nigeria, landed in Liberia in August
1990 and became involved in actual fighting. It is somewhat unclear whether ECOWAS provides
a sufficient legal basis of itself to justify the actions taken, and UN involvement did not occur until

35
OAS resolutions MRE/RES.1/91, MRE/RES.2/91 and MRE/RES.3/92.
36
General Assembly resolution 46/7, 1991.
37
Including in addition to those already mentioned, resolutions MRE/RES.4/92, MRE/RES.5/93 and CP/RES.594
(923/92), and declarations CP/Dec. 8 (927/93), CP/Dec. 9 (931/93) and CP/Dec. 10 (934/93).
38
Security Council resolutions 917 (1994) and 933 (1994).
39
J.N.Moore, Lawand the Grenada Mission, 45-50 (1984); W. C. Gilmore, The Grenada Intervention (1984).
40
G. Nolte, ‘Restoring Peace by Regional Action: International Legal Aspects of the Liberian Conflict’, 53 ZaoRV,
603 (1993).
41
F. Olonisakin, Reinventing Peacekeeping in Africa: Conceptual and Legal Issues in ECOMOG Operations (2000).
42
Protocol Relating to Mutual Assistance on Defence, 1981.

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January 1991, when the President of the Security Council issued a statement commending the
efforts of ECOWAS to promote peace in Liberia and calling upon the parties to the conflict to co-
operate fully with ECOWAS.43 In April 1992, ECOMOG proceeded to secure a buffer zone on the
Liberia–Sierra Leone border envisaged by an October 1991 accord (the Yamoussoukro IV Accord)
between the Liberian parties, to secure all entry and exit points in the country and to enforce the
disarmament of combatants.44 The situation, however, continued to deteriorate and the Security
Council adopted resolution 788 (1992) in November of that year. This determined that the
deterioration of the situation constituted a threat to international peace and security ‘particularly
in West Africa as a whole’ and recalled Chapter VIII of the Charter. The resolution commended
ECOWAS for its ‘efforts to restore peace, security and stability in Liberia’ and, acting under
Chapter VII, imposed an arms embargo upon that country. This support was reaffirmed in
resolution 813 (1993), which also noted the endorsement of ECOWAS’ efforts by the OAU.45

43
S/22110/Add.3, 1991. unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal
44
S/23863, 1992. This was also supported by a statement from the President of the Security Council, S/23886, 1992.
45
S/25402, 1993. unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal

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CONCLUSION

The regional organizations play an important role in the implementation of International law. This
concept of formation of regional organization is not an initial step of International Law, it evolved
later as an arrangement between the states. As regional organizations develop interest and greater
ability to lead peace operations this could give rise to competition over supplies of available forces,
logistics, funding and leadership.

UN realized that for the maintenance of peace and security the involvement of regional
organizations is must. This was seen in references regarding cooperation with regional
organizations in a number of reports published at that time including the ground breaking report
by the secretary general An Agenda for Peace. Organizations like OSCE, NATO, AU and many
more had assumed a main and active role in the prevention of conflicts and the made conflict
prevention part of their core mandates.The UN has since begun to work with regional
organizations. NATO and the UN have been involved jointly in conflicts in the Balkans, Kosovo,
Afghanistan and Iraq. ECOWAS and the UN have played a significant role in Liberia and Cote
d’Ivoire and more recently, the AU has been involved with the UN in Burundi and Darfur.

Regional organizations offer a number of advantages in carrying out regional conflict management
tasks as they have strong background knowledge and already existing personal relations that may
be used to exert more pressure than that available to the UN. The regional organizations are also
the first to be affected by the conflict in question which generates the political will necessary to
take immediate measures to deal with the conflict.
The regional organizations have worked over the concerns of UN and since they are the
organizations of like members with common consent and limited membership, the effective
implementation of the International Policies and discursions in the limited membership group is
feasible.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

CONVENTIONS, DECLARATIONS AND REPORTS:

1. Charter for European Security, 2000


2. Charter of the Organization of American States, 1948
3. Declaration of Four Nations on General Security, U.S.-U.S.S.R.-U.K.- R.O.C, 1943.
4. General Assembly resolution 47/10
5. Helsinki Summit Declaration, 1992
6. Protocol Relating to Mutual Assistance on Defence, 1981.
7. The Commonwealth of Independent States, 1966
8. Treaty for an Alliance in the War Against Hitlerite Germany and Her Associates In
Europe, 1942.
9. U.N Charter, 1945.

BOOKS:

1. FRANCIS O. WILCOX, REGIONALISM AND THE UNITED NATIONS, IN THE UNITED NATIONS
IN THE BALANCE: ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND PROSPECTS 425, 427 (NORMAN J. PADELFORD
& LELAND M. GOODRICH eds., 1965).
2. HANS KELSEN, THE LAW OF THE UNITED NATIONS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ITS
FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS 792-96 (1950).
3. MALCOLM N. SHAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW 1273 (6th ed., 2011).
4. WILLIAM H. LEWIS AND EDWARD MARKS, SEARCHING FOR PARTNERS: REGIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS AND PEACE OPERATIONS (1998).

JOURNALS AND ARTICLES

1. Alan K. Henrikson, The United Nations And Regional Organizations: "King-Links" Of A


"Global Chain
2. Ambassador H.E. Nabil Elaraby, Revisiting Chapter VIII: The Role Of Regional
Organizations In Dispute Settlement, 2 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 645 (1995-1996).

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3. Anthony Clark Arend, The United Nations, Regional Organizations, and Military
Operations: The Past and Present, 7 DUKE J. COMP. & INT'L L. 7-15 (1996).
4. Birender S. Dhanoa, The Increased Role of Regional Organizations in Peacekeeping and
Effects on the United Nations Preeminence in Future Peace Operations (2003).
5. C. Borgen, The Theory and Practice of Regional Organization Intervention in Civil Wars,
26 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, 797 (1994);
6. F. Olonisakin, Reinventing Peacekeeping in Africa: Conceptual and Legal Issues in
ECOMOG Operations (2000).
7. G. Nolte, ‘Restoring Peace by Regional Action: International Legal Aspects of the
Liberian Conflict’, 53 ZaoRV, 603 (1993).
8. Gerhard Bebr, Regional Organizations: A United Nations Problem, 49 Am. J. Int'l L. 166
(1955).
9. Hans Corell, Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Institutions, 2 ILSA
J. Int'l & Comp. L. 643 (1995-1996).
10. I. Pogany, The Arab League and Regional Peacekeeping, 34 NILR 54 (1987).
11. J.N.Moore, Lawand the Grenada Mission, 45-50 (1984); W. C. Gilmore, The Grenada
Intervention (1984).
12. Lessons Learned Unit, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Cooperation Between the
United Nations and Regional Organizations/Arrangements in a Peacekeeping
Environment: Suggested Principles and Mechanisms, 8 (1999).
13. M. Akehurst, Enforcement Action by Regional Agencies, 42 BYIL 175 (1967);
14. Professor Du Nongyi, A Perspective Of Coordination Between The Un And Regional
Organizations In Peace Operations (2003).
15. Virginia P. Fortna, Regional Organizations and Peacekeeping: Experiences in Latin
America and Africa (1993).

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