The argument over what action to take against Saddam Hussein is driven by the rhetoric of war. But can peaceful, legal action against Iraq's ruthless dictator be effective? The long campaign to bring Augusto Pinochet of Chile to justice offers an encouraging precedent.
Despite the track record of systemic and systematic violations of the range of human rights, the efforts to establish legally binding obligations and an instrument of enforcement within the UN system have been defeated by determined corporate opposition. The current Guiding Principles developed by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, John Ruggie, do not create "any new international legal obligations" and are therefore non-binding.
Instead of focusing on the motives of the US and NATO, the opposition to the Libyan bombings needs to focus on the likely outcomes. Afghanistan and Iraq taught us there is still no way to bomb a country into democracy.
A treaty on transnational corporations (TNCs) and human rights moved a step closer during the latest meeting of the UN working group on human rights and transnational corporations, despite challenges from the EU and the US.
The resignation of the UN commander in chief in Congo this year is indicative of the rising number of problematic UN peacekeeping missions. For peacemaking in complex environments to have a chance of succeeding, members of the UN Security Council will need to transcend their own national security and economic interests.
The debate about the role of NATO in Ukraine is starting too late: Western leaders already made a fatal decision to back the new Kiev government no matter what it is doing and no matter what the real situation is on the ground.
Renewed U.S. efforts to bring sanctions against Iran are more backlash for being snubbed in favour of a tripartite deal with Turkey and Brazil than they are about nuclear proliferation. A UN Security Council coalition may be able to block U.S. pressure for sanctions that would only punish Iranian civilians.