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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

United Nations and International Humanitarian Law

Marten Zwanenburg

Subject(s):
Geneva Conventions 1949 — Armed conflict — Combatants, unlawful — Belligerence — Occupation — Peace keeping — Armed forces — Self-defence — Weapons, nuclear

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The United Nations (UN) initially did not concern itself with international humanitarian law ( Humanitarian Law, International ). Given that the United Nations Charter (‘UN Charter’) outlawed war, it was considered unnecessary or at least defeatist to consider the law regulating war. It soon became clear, however, that this position was untenable. The relationship between the UN and international humanitarian law came under scrutiny during the Korean War (1950–53) and the United Nations Operation in the Congo (1960–64), when the question was raised whether...
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