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The UNSC and the elusive search for global peace and security : a case study of Libya, Iraq and Somalia.

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Anarchy and conflict globally have triggered the need for establishing an international governance mechanism to settle conflicts. The international organization that was established at the end of WWI was the League of Nations, which failed to perform its duties. In 1945, the United Nations was established to replace the League. Paradoxically, 70 years later, the world remains palpably dangerous and unstable. Several conflicts are active in most parts of the world, witnessing collapsed and war ridden states. The UNSC has, in many instances, failed to perform its tasks and fulfill its primary objective. Using the content analysis as the methodology and the realist approach as the theoretical framework, this study sought to examine the pitfalls, challenges and opportunities of the UNSC in international peace and security building. The study utilized case studies of Libya, Somalia and Iraq to undertake a critical appraisal of the nexus between the international power games, interventions and the UNSC’s role as a global governance mechanism to ensure international peace and security. This study further unravels the underlying motive for the use of R2P and the idea of potential threats in the cases of Libya and Somalia, and the taunting dangers of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, which was coordinated with the highest level of global politics to justify foreign intervention and eventually to secure regime change, followed by failed attempts in state building and stability in each of these cases. This study reveals the failure of the UNSC to maintain global peace and security. It reveals that most of the resolutions were fronted to engage in the unnecessary foreign intervention by the North Atlantic Organization (NATO) or other military and political allies/collision, whose outcome has been lawlessness, more war and failed states. As this study points out, on one hand, the UNSC has become an instrument to those who use it to serve their interests; and, on the other hand, multiple and conflicting interests in the international power game and geopolitics have complicated resolutions, outcomes and missions. This study emphasizes the pitfalls of our global governance mechanism and security architecture experimented through the UNSC and its resolutions in its 70 years of existence. These reveal the major failures of the international organization tasked to maintain international peace and security. Lastly, the study reveals the failure of multilateralism or collective security and thus calls for new mechanisms to be put in place to achieve this goal. The study recommends a strong consideration of the UNSC reform, to increase the representation of non-European states.


Master of Science in International Relations. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2016.


National Security - Iraq., Peace - Building - Somalia., Security, International., Theses - International and Public Affairs.