LEGAL AND POLICY ASPECTS OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S UNITING FOR PEACE RESOLUTION

The UN General Assembly's Uniting for Peace (U4P) resolution was a bold attempt to break the deadlock of the Security Council. It was drafted in 1950 in the context of the Korean War, at a time when the West was frustrated with the Soviet Union, which as the Council's ideological outcast (China was still represented by its exiled government in Taiwan) systematically vetoed the body's resolutions. The General Assembly found a way to make recommendations  up to and including the use of force  to undertake collective action in the name of the UN. In finding that solution, the General Assembly may have overstated its own authority relative to the Security Council, which under the UN Charter retains primary responsibility for international peace and security. However, interpreted in a manner that respects the Council's primacy and indeed the legitimate role of the veto when exercised in good faith, the U4P resolution may well hold the key to breaking the Council's modern deadlock. The following articles discuss these dynamics in more detail: