Humanitarian Intervention

Nepalese peacekeepers in Juba for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UN Photo/Isaac Billy)

Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Haiti, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo – the United Nations and others have engaged in humanitarian intervention missions across the globe from South Sudan to Eastern Europe and into Central America for the past 20 years.

The missions assist millions of people who have lost their homes and families, displaced by political conflict, suffered severe human deprivations, and/or have been victims of violence. Each case requires various tools of intervention; while military tools are generally included, they must be adapted to the goals of those intervening and those they are trying to assist.

These operations are based on various factors, including national interests, regional impacts of events, and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). These factors are concern the safety of those involved, the degradation and stresses on the region surrounding the state and the principle of national sovereignty. Some see intervention as part of their own interests and duty as a UN member state while others argue that states must approve any international intervention operations within their territory.

While all agree that the humanitarian situations are dire when people lose their livelihood, friends, family, homes, and even their life; there is no agreement on how the UN can best create and maintain intervention operations and whether the UN should even intervene at all.

This conference seeks to confront the necessity of military intervention, billions in cost, human rights violations, health challenges, environmental issues and the protection of children caught in the middle.