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After all, they should in theory be aiming for clarity, particularly when preparing a legal instrument. However, clarity is not always an option, and the alternative to ambiguity may be failure to reach agreement. In some cases, negotiators may consider no agreement preferable to the risks inherent in perpetuating opposing interpretations.

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In an ideal world, each [S. Each resolution would be concise, and avoid superfluous or repetitive material. Consistency and conciseness are elements of clarity, but the latter also requires, more generally, the precise and unambiguous use of language. It is, of course, only possible to use clear language when the policy is clear. Because U. In part, the process of drafting a document with fifteen co-authors is tremendously unwieldy as just one member of the Security Council could have dozens of comments, and more than fifty edits from a single nation would not be unusual.

Statements made by Security Council members during debatesindicate varied, and at times, conflicting, understandings of the authority being provided. Based on the entirety of the resolution, it is apparent that flag state consent must be sought prior to a boarding, but it is most reasonable to conclude that approval is not a prerequisite to a boarding.

But see U. In view of the nature of the powers under Article 25, the question whether they have been in fact exercised is to be determined in each case, having regard to the terms of the resolution to be interpreted, the discussions leading to it, the Charter provisions invoked and, in general, all circumstances that might assist in determining the legal consequences of the resolution of the Security Council.

Regardless of interpretive challenges, resolutions are the primary decision-making lever of the Security Council and the principal focus of this Article. When designing the permanent United Nations headquarters in the early s, architect Wallace K. Harrison and his team sought clarification on the roles and primacy of the Security Council and General Assembly.

It meets constantly, with two or three hundred in attendance and full press coverage. However, while the Assembly meets only twice a year it is symbolically the most important organ. Panels of Experts, when commissioned by the Security Council, have effectively documented Member State implementation and assessed its impact. The three intersecting elements discussed supra —the ability to authorize sanctions, diplomatic action, or military operations; compulsory Member State support; and express recognition that obligations under the Charter, which include U.

Charter] Purposes and Principles. With regard to possible conflicts between secondary UN law and international agreements, not only shall every treaty be interpreted in harmony with secondary UN law under the presumption that a conflict was not intended, but the secondary UN law itself is also to be interpreted in this way. Such legal uncertainty could reduce the willingness of member States to provide means for implementing resolutions, in particular by contributing troops, for fear of violating conflicting obligations under other agreements.

Judging the Security Council

Thus, authorizations of the SC would be in danger of remaining unenforced. The initial employment of these authorities at Turtle Bay, discussed below, has resonance today as the foundation for multilaterally confronting contemporary maritime threats. The United Nations Charter, as well as the earliest Security Council decisions, recognized the role of the maritime environment in maintaining international peace and security.


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Charter art. In part, art. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by. A conflict over the right to transit through a strip of water strategically positioned between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea emerged in between the United Kingdom, which deployed warships to Greece to support its fight against communism, and Albania.

Documents 5 at 65 regarding the U. The British correctly asserted the channel met the elements of an international strait entitled to navigational freedoms. The deadly crisis had multilateral implications, but an initial inquiry arose for the Security Council, a newly formed institution, involving whether addressing the Corfu Channel dispute was within its mandate. Member States turned to the U.

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At the time, U. Though the Security Council did not specifically reference naval measures in its resolutions on Korea, warships were appropriately and significantly involved. Truman Administration File Korea. To implement this order [sic] you are authorized to use such means and forces as are available to you to deny unauthorized ingress and egress from the Korean coast.

The importance of the U. More than warships from ten countries deployed in support of the United Nations mission. It was never contested in Korea. Maritime engagements decisively advanced the broader Security Council goal of repressing North Korean aggression, underscoring the intersection of naval power and the maintenance of peace. Navy Vice Admiral C. In fact, there is nothing inevitable about our survival. History is littered with the graves of civilizations that assumed all is well. All is not well. We will survive and progress to the extent that we are aware of the enemy who threatens us, and to the extent that we stay strong enough to meet him in the arena of his choosing.

But if Korea has taught us that in unity lies the strength that will preserve our freedom, then Korea has not been in vain. Notably, U. Another early security challenge with a maritime nexus involved the partial closure of the Suez Canal by Egypt and its targeting of vessels flying Israeli flags or calling on Israeli ports. When Israel on January 28, , complained to the Security Council about illegitimate interference with shipping passing to and from Israel through the Gulf of Aqaba, it was not contested by Egypt that the resolution applied to that waterway as well.

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Egypt on that occasion rejected again the resolution as well as the proposed resolution on the Israeli complaint, which in any event failed of adoption as a permanent member of the Council, the Soviet Union, voted against it. Further, a U. The conflict would span several decades.


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Aside from intractable political issues, Egyptian action sparked a new crisis by nationalizing the Suez Canal Company in Our case must be presented on wider international grounds. Indeed, whatever illegalities the Egyptians may have committed in nationalizing the Suez Canal Company, these do not in any way. With the belief that United Kingdom property was seized and its economic and security interests challenged, U.

It is under Egyptian sovereignty. With military interventions by Israel, Britain, and France, a volatile situation was poised to explode.

The compromise at Turtle Bay avoided an escalation, though the situation remained uneasy for years. The significance of the Security Council in the maritime environment was again demonstrated in the Cuban missile crisis of Dozens of Soviet-flagged ships approached Cuba apparently carrying ballistic missiles for deployment there; American warships ringed the island, forming a blockade line.

Debate on this issue yielded some of the most spirited exchanges in the history of the Security Council, but members did not adopt a resolution. Prolonged discussion lessened the chance that one side would lash out in a spasm and do something foolish.

The [U. Resolution represented the first Security Council enforcement measure to reference expressly the maritime environment. Though S. The master diverted from the Port of Beira only after the United Kingdom boarding team was augmented by twelve armed seamen, who remained on the vessel until the next day to ensure compliance. A use-of-force policy was also developed nationally for the Royal Navy mission. Resolution also highlighted that U.

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Security Council Resolution affirmed the necessity of protecting freedom of navigation through such international waterways as the Suez Canal, the Strait of Tiran, and the Gulf of Aqaba. The maintenance of the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the Territorial Sea dealing with international navigation between the high seas and territorial waters is of the gravest concern to my Government, as it must be to all engaged in international trade.

GAOR, 5th Sess. Navigational freedoms represent a predominant focus area of Resolution , which sought to resolve a conflict between Israel and neighboring Arab States.

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On May 23, , U. President Lyndon B. The United States considers the Gulf to be an international waterway and feels that a blockade of Israeli shipping is illegal and potentially disastrous to the cause of peace. The right of free, innocent passage of the international waterway is a vital interest of the entire international community. It was well suited for beginning a negotiation in which reconnecting the different interpretations of the parties would be one of the objectives. Resolutions and provided a platform for extensive law-of-the-sea discussions in Turtle Bay and closely followed the entry into force of the Geneva maritime conventions.

Diplomatic sentiments regarding the importance of freedom of navigation would remain a key theme in Security Council discussions over the next fifty years. The hijacking of the Italian-flagged Achille Lauro and the murder of an American Leon Klinghofer by members of a terrorist organization posing as passengers on the cruise ship exposed gaps in international law, piracy, and maritime law enforcement. Presidential Statement deplored the attack and endorsed the U. Over the course of approximately three years, Member States at the International Maritime Organization IMO —the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for the safety and security of shipping—drafted and completed an anti-terrorism criminal law treaty that addressed several legal gaps in maritime response authorities.

Military in the Persian Gulf, — xiii referencing Operation Praying Mantis, a naval battle that occurred in April Approximately ships were hit, and of those ships, , or fifty-eight percent, were tankers. See generally Wise, supra note , at xiii concerning the conflict included protecting tankers operating in the Persian Gulf. The conflict resonated globally, as the disruption of fuel from this key venue affected virtually every State and its respective economies.