Re-assessing the (Continued) Need for UN Security Council Authorisation of Regional Enforcement Action: The African Union Twenty Years On
Keywords:regional enforcement action, UN Security Council authorisation, use of force, collective security, African Union, UN Charter, international peace and security
This article examines the broad and varying spectrum of literature covering questions concerning the necessity of the United Nations Security Council’s authorisation of regional enforcement action. It has been well documented by now that the UNSC may, in fact, authorise the use of force (regional enforcement action) by regional organisations under Article 53 of the UN Charter. At the same time, some regional organisations, most notably the African Union, have developed their own legal regimes governing the use of force. The African Union’s constitutive instruments provide for the unilateral use of force without the need for UNSC authorisation. Even so, after twenty years it has yet to rely on its security framework for any unilateral use of force. This article examines these developments within the AU context and questions whether, scholarship and practice in mind, UNSC authorisation of regional enforcement action remains a requirement.
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