October 17, 2013 - 12:00 am
When we think of the term ‘rogue state’, the most common assumption by many of us would be a reference today to a state such as Syria, North Korea or Iran; or in the past, to Liberia, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Myanmar/Burma, or apartheid South Africa. Rwanda today faces strong criticism by the United Nations Security Council (on which it currently also sits as a non-permanent member) due to allegations of its support for the M23 militia operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For many others, however, that term would be used to describe the United States of America under the George W. Bush Administration as it chose to invade Iraq under the widely-opposed premise of an imminent threat of WMDs, or even the USA today under President Obama, as the White House and CIA conduct an unprecedented number of more-or-less covert killings by UAVs (‘drones’) of its opponents (terrorists and their associates) in other countries; and the State of Israel as it defies numerous international criticisms of its policies in the West Bank and Gaza.
The point here is not to endorse any of these perspectives, but rather to indicate that even at a most basic level, reasonable people can and do have deeply divergent and strongly-held views on “who, what and why” a state and its policies should be labeled as “rogue” and subject to international condemnation and possibly, action. When we take this matter to the level of the UN, “reasonable people” are replaced by States with a wide range of often-conflicting self-interests, values, priorities and alliances.
The presentation will examine how the United Nations has – or has not – been able to frame, support or implement concerted international actions to address the security and other challenges posed by particular ‘rogue states’ as well as the general threat to global governance posed by ‘rogue behavior’.
Post Presentation Links:
UN peacekeeping web site explaining the kinds of reform thinking and activities that have been undertaken