Comment : obligations of States contributing to UN peacekeeping missions under Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions
Inducing compliance with international humanitarian law : lessons from the African Great Lakes Region
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015
Common Article 1 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions imposes, it has been claimed, a legal obligation on third States to intervene when parties to armed conflicts commit, or fail to prevent, atrocities. This chapter considers the extent to which Common Article 1 applies to the activities of United Nations peacekeepers. It is argued that Common Article 1 does impose duties upon troop-contributing States but that they are qualified by the control that the UN exercises over national contingents during peacekeeping operations. In particular, whatever the general scope of the provision, it does not impose any positive obligation on troop-contributing States to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by parties to conflicts which peacekeeping missions seek to police. Such a duty (if it exists) lies solely with the UN.
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