collective security

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The centralized system of international rules, now embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, that governs the collective resort to force under the authority of the United Nations for the purpose of maintaining or restoring international peace and security. An example is the action by the international community during the Gulf War of 1991. It should be noted that the precise legal justification of this conflict is uncertain, the UN Security Council Resolution 678 stating only that its legal basis was under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Justification for the military action against Iraq undertaken by the USA and its allies in 2003 was claimed under the UN Security Council resolutions made at the time of the previous Gulf conflict, notably Resolutions 660 and 678. The legality of such a use remains highly doubtful. See also enforcement action.

Subjects: Law — Social Sciences.

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