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Constantine Antonopoulos


The power of the Security Council to adopt military measures for the maintenance of international peace and security has never been implemented as originally envisaged by the text of the UN Charter. The Council never acquired armed forces permanently at its disposal and under its command and control and it adopted the practice of authorisation of force leaving coalitions of willing States or regional organisations to implement it by conducting an operation under their command and resources with minimum control by the Council. The mandate of the operation in an enabling resolution is in principle a safeguard against abuse but its interpretation lies primarily (but not exclusively) with the participating States. The SC action in Libya intended to protect civilians (humanitarian intervention). Moreover, it revealed the real dimensions of humanitarian intervention and the vagaries of responsibility to protect: a suspension of the substance of Article 2(4).