Professorn i folkrätt Inger Österdahl skriver i Upsala Nya Tidning (19/7) att det faktum att Säkerhetsrådet inte kunde enas om att fördöma Srebrenica som ett folkmord var en moralisk kollaps:
”Inte nog med att FN som hade soldater på plats misslyckades med att förhindra folkmordet i Srebrenica. Nu misslyckas FN också på grund av Rysslands veto med att återupprätta förtroendet för sig självt som pålitlig partner i den världsomspännande kampen mot det grövsta av alla människorättsbrott.”
Händelserna i Srebrenica var fruktansvärda, men det ligger något i argumenten från Kina och Ryssland att ett fördömande i rådet knappast skulle bidra till att hela såren efter det blodiga inbördeskriget utan ge motsatt effekt i det redan sönderslitna Bosnien-Hercegovina. Men vad man än anser om det uteblivna rådsbeslutet så kan det inte tas till intäkt för att svepande påstå att FN har misslyckats som ”pålitlig partner i den världsomspännande kampen mot det grövsta av alla människorättsbrott”.
Även om det kan tyckas småaktigt med tanke på massakern i Srebrenica är det, då man talar om FN-systemet och dess trovärdighet, viktig att värdera var sak för sig.
I Nürnberg 1946 slog tribunalen fast att aggressionskrig är det värsta av alla brott och rymmer i sig alla andra brott – brott mot mänskliga rättigheter med flera – som nazisterna gjorde sig skyldiga till. FN:s generalförsamling har senare i en resolution år 1960 slagit fast att angreppskrig ”är det allvarligaste av alla brott mot fred och säkerhet i hela världen” och 1974 upprepat att ”aggressionskrig är ett brott mot internationell fred”.
När det gäller dessa brott är FN-systemet inte så uselt som Österdahl påstår. Hans Blix har i en intervju i MSNBC (20/7) anfört exempel på hur FN-systemet framgångsrikt avvärjt hotande internationella konflikter som varit nära att inbegripa aggressionsbrott. Nedan återges en del av intervjun där denna värdering av FN görs.
Hans Blix: Well, there’s one aspect of this that I find potentially very hopeful, and that is that the P5 [de fem ständiga medlemmana i Säkerhetsrådet], despite enormous tensions between themselves, have succeeded in isolating this case from the other tensions and reaching an agreement. Because this is the way that the U.N. Security Council was meant to act.
In 1945, the P5 were the victors of the Second World War, and they decided that they would prohibit states from using the threat of force against the territorial integrity and politically independence of other states – this is Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. charter. But they were not content with that, so they also set up a mechanism that would oppose this rule, provided that the P5 would agree to veto power.
Now, they were not agreeing during the Cold War, hardly ever. It was only in 1990, 1991, when Saddam attacked Kuwait that they came together. At that time, Bush the elder said that this was the new international order – meaning that the U.N. charter functioned. Well, that was the unipolar world in which it functioned for a while. And I think that many in the U.S. felt they liked that arrangement. But the world changed, and this is going away. With China rising, Asia rising, we are not staying in that unipolar world.
“The alternative mind you, as Obama says, the alternative really is toward war. … the U.S. Congress may not care about it, but the reaction in the U.N. would be overwhelming.”
The Syrian chemical weapons affair, I think, was the first encouraging example that the P5 would be able to work together in a multipolar world. There the U.S. was prepared to, and Obama was nearly pushed to act as the self-appointed world police and bomb Assad’s chemical installations, maybe a few other things, to punish him, which was just saying to Assad, “now you go back to your fighting, but keep it clean boys, don’t use chemical weapons.” It was a rather absurd line. But it also meant acting as a self-appointed world policeman.
And then some people came upon the idea that although the U.S. and Russia weren’t part of the chemical weapons convention, there could be an arrangement under which there would be no chemical weapons. And they succeeded in negotiating a solution under which Assad and Syria adhered to the convention and set up marvelously a U.N. mechanism to eliminate the weapons. This was an agreement with the P5. So after Bush the elder in 1991, you now had a second occasion – in a much more difficult time – in which the P5 acted together. And here, with the Iranian agreement we have a third.
This has given some hope, limited cases to be sure, in which the P5 have an interest in common that others should not have weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, it is quite an achievement and cause for optimism in other cases. Take North Korea – that would probably be more difficult, but [the P5] have a common interest there, and so this is a feature of the Iran agreement that I find very hopeful.
The alternative mind you, as Obama says, the alternative really is toward war. That is to say, the U.S. or the Israelis or both bomb what they can bomb in terms of nuclear installations – certainly a violation of the U.N. charter. It would be a breach of the obligations of Article 2 paragraph 4 – they would not have an authorization from the Security Council, and the Russians and Chinese would not go along with it. So again, it would be acting as a self-appointed world policeman. And I think the reaction in the U.N. – the U.S. Congress may not care about it – but the reaction in the U.N. would be overwhelming.
I don’t even think they would have a majority on the Security Counsel for it and I think in the General Assembly, there would be a very strong majority against such a unilateral act. So I think Obama has very good reasons for shying away from war. It may be that he is more influenced by the fact that the U.S. public does not like to send boots on the ground, fine. That may be it. But from an international standpoint, I think that this reticence and unwillingness shown by Obama both in the case of Syria and in this case is desirable and welcome.
Hela intervjun finns att läsa.