The United Nations Security Council and Humanitarian Interventions: The Case of Syria

The UN was founded in 1945 with a mission that includes protecting fundamental human rights, securing international peace, respecting state sovereignty and preventing genocide. With the forces of globalization (increased movement of goods, capital, ideas and people around the world), has come a recognition by some that international relations have gone beyond state boundaries in a variety of ways that demand a more cosmopolitan or worldly approach to international politics than the established Westphalian state based model. The humanitarian disasters since the 1990s in Somalia (1993), Rwanda (1994), Kosovo (1999) and Libya (2011) was brought to public consciousness and into the United Nations to deliberate the need to protect the human rights of populations where the killing is within states not necessarily between them. This paper uses the debate of humanitarian intervention in the United Nations Security Council as it applies to Syria in 2018 to illustrate the struggles of an international institution committed to protecting fundamental human rights as well as state sovereignty.