Article 99 of UN Charter
- December 8, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Article 99 of UN Charter
Subject : IR
Section: Int Org
Context: Article 99 of the UN Charter, invoked for the first time in decades as Israel attacks Gaza
More about the news:
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip amid ongoing Israeli military attacks, especially in the southern region.
- Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter and addressed a letter to the President of the UN Security Council, expressing concerns about the imminent collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza.
- He urged the Council to take action to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and requested the declaration of a ceasefire.
- The UN Security Council, consisting of permanent and non-permanent members, plays a crucial role in addressing global security issues.
- As of December 2023, Ecuador holds the presidency of the Security Council.
What is Article 99 of the UN Charter:
- The UN Charter serves as the foundational document of the United Nations, granting the organization the authority to address various global issues.
- Although member states are legally bound by the Charter, practical enforcement mechanisms are limited.
- Article 99 of the Charter provides the Secretary-General with discretionary power to bring to the Security Council’s attention any matter deemed a threat to international peace and security.
- This provision emphasizes the need for the Secretary-General to exercise political judgment, tact, and integrity.
- According to the UN, if the Secretary-General invokes Article 99, the President of the Security Council is obligated to convene a Council meeting to address the matter.
When has Article 99 been invoked in the past:
- Article 99 of the UN Charter, which grants the Secretary-General the authority to bring matters threatening international peace and security to the attention of the Security Council, has been seldom utilized.
- Historical instances include its invocation during the upheaval in the Republic of the Congo in 1960 following the end of Belgium’s colonial rule, as well as a complaint by Tunisia in 1961 against France’s military actions.
- The current Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is expected to address the Security Council on the situation in Gaza and advocate for a humanitarian ceasefire this week.
- UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric described the use of Article 99 as a “very dramatic constitutional move” by the Secretary-General.
How has Guterres invoked Article 99:
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter in a letter to the UNSC President, expressing concern about the escalating threats to international peace and security in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
- Guterres highlighted the severe human suffering and trauma in the region, condemned recent attacks, and called for a humanitarian ceasefire.
- The UAE presented a draft resolution to the UNSC based on Guterres’ letter, demanding an immediate ceasefire, but achieving unanimous support, especially from permanent members like the US and Britain who back Israel’s actions, remains uncertain.
- The resolution requires at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes from the five permanent members.
- The vote is expected after Guterres briefs the council on Gaza.