Proposal for UN Standing Army Would See UN Head Trumping Security Council

Fri Jun 16, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By Peter J. Smith

UNITED NATIONS, New York - June 16, 2006 ( - A book launched at the United Nations headquarters today proposes a permanent standing UN army with “rapid reaction capability” under the sole direct command of the UN. The proposals stem from A United Nations Emergency Peace Service to Prevent Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, envisioning a standing UN army that would “take action to prevent war and dire threats to human security and human rights” within 48 hours of UN authorization.

According to the book, the need for a UN Emergency Peace service stems from “the international community’s failure to stop genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and to avert ‘ethnic cleansing’ occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan.” The book hinges the need for this independent UN army on the claim that the UN has “no capacity to avert such catastrophes”, even though UN forces on the ground in Rwanda were ordered not to interfere in the 1994 genocide, despite the pleadings of Gen. Romeo D’Allaire to intervene in the massacres.

Unlike previous proposals for a UN army, these latest proposals call for an army consisting of troops that would not be accountable to any nation or state, but completely remain under the auspices of the United Nations in order to increase response time to humanitarian crises such as “genocide” or “gross violations of human rights”. The UN force would consist of 12,000 to 15,000 “civilian, police, judicial, military, and relief professionals” composed of “individually recruited” volunteers from many countries, which means that this army “within a single command structure” would have direct loyalty to the UN, “avoiding divided loyalties.”

These forces would have to incorporate “gender sensitivities” and “gender training” in compliance with UN resolution 1325. This UN force would be in the payroll of the UN like UN civil servants, and estimates for the project’s startup are 2 billion dollars with an estimated annual cost of 900 million dollars. According to the report, “the UN Emergency Peace Service would, for the first time in history, offer a rapid, comprehensive, internationally legitimate response to crisis.”

The book emphasizes that the Security Council would be the most likely group to authorize this UN army, followed next by the UN General Assembly, or “a regional international organization.” In one proposal for a more rapid response, in order to bypass a veto, the Secretary General could authorize the intervention of the UN Emergency Peace Service in a region without the deliberation of the Security Council or the General Assembly. In this scenario, the Security Council could only revoke the deployment of the UN army by passing a resolution according to normal procedures, meaning a veto would continue the deployment of UN troops.

The creation of an independent UN force would give the UN an unprecedented amount of muscle to act in the international arena. According to the book, if the United Nations determined that a state had violated “accountability to its people”, the “UN charter”, or was not in “compliance with human rights agreements”, then the UN could intervene with this rapid response force on the principle of enforcing the “people’s sovereignty.” Among the six principles for intervention, one of the conditions advocates the pre-emptive use of the UN force when “there is an immediate and evident threat of gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

Pro-life observers are concerned that UN definitions of “human rights” are more and more including abortion as a human right. Recent proposals by Amnesty International in this direction provide evidence of the trend. Moreover, non-acceptance of homosexuality is also often a violation of human rights. Recently the European Union has condemned Poland for violating human rights for the country’s refusal to pass laws legitimizing such behaviour.

The book, A United Nations Emergency Peace Service to Prevent Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, has the endorsement of Global Action to Prevent War, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and had the collaboration of representatives from Human Rights Watch, the Simons Centre for Peace and Disarmament Studies, the International Coalition for the International Criminal Court, the Global Policy Forum, the World Federalist Movement, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Association of the United States of America and others.

Here is the link to the UNEPS report:
  Here is the link to Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict:

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