- Aggression — Conduct of hostilities — UN Charter — Neutrality and non-alignment
This chapter assesses how the neutral rights and duties are modified when the UN Security Council takes action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The procedure of Chapter VII suggests that States are released from their obligations of neutrality upon the Security Council identifying the State responsible for a threat or breach of the peace, or an act of aggression, under Article 39 of the Charter, or proceeding further through the suite of options of Chapter VII. The imposition of sanctions under Article 41 during a situation in which neutrality is applicable, or becomes applicable, obligates States to adhere to the obligations of the Charter rather than the law of neutrality. With regard to the use of military force authorized by the Security Council, somewhat paradoxically, the increasing flexibility of the Security Council’s decision-making practices has led to a greater tolerance for positions of abstention from UN Security Council action. However, just because the Security Council cannot compel military participation in UN-authorized action does not mean that neutral duties are completely unaffected by Security Council military enforcement action.
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