Written Answers. - United Nations Charter.

Eamon Gilmore


133 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Government's views on whether regime change is permissible within the United Nations Charter; the resolutions of the UN which suggest such; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9841/03]

The United Nations Charter provides that all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

The charter also provides that nothing contained in the charter shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state but that this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the charter.

Chapter VII confers on the Security Council authority to take action, including action by air, sea or land forces, with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression. These provisions were drawn up at the conclusion of the Second World War which had been caused precisely by acts of aggression on the part of a number of criminal regimes. In large measure, these provisions were enacted so as to equip the international community, acting collectively, to prevent a repetition of the actions that had resulted in world war. While regime change is not addressed in this connection, the power of the Security Council is unprecedentedly wide, in that it can "take such action . . . as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security", consistent with the charter.
The General Assembly of the United Nations sought, over a period of many years, to bring about the fall of the apartheid regime to in South Africa. However, the Security Council never called for regime change there. In fact, there are no resolutions of the Council which explicitly call for regime change in particular countries.
The charter also recognises the right to individual or collective self-defence, if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations.
Question No. 134 answered with Question No. 56.