Letter: Underused UN

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The Independent Online
ROBIN COOK's efforts to give legitimacy to Nato's actions by suggesting that the United Nations Charter prevented humanitarian intervention, military or non-military, are outrageous. The only provision in the Charter which protects states from outside intervention lies in article 2.7 which says that there can be no intervention "in matters which are essentially within the domestic juristiction of any state...."

If torture, ethnic cleansing, murder, rape or other gross violations of human rights were simply matters of domestic jurisdiction, then the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights would have no point whatever.

So there was a case for intervention in Kosovo - but only by the UN and only after all diplomatic options had been explored. That was nowhere near being the case on 24 March when the Nato bombers went in.

BRUCE KENT

Forum for UN Renewal

London SW1

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