In search of symbiosis: the Security Council in the humanitarian domain

31-03-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 865, by Aurélio Viotti

The author draws the attention to the political nature of the Security Council, as well as the omissions and inconsistencies in its decisions on the provision of impartial assistance to victims of armed conflicts. This should not be forgotten, when assuming the task ofprotecting individuals.


Aurélio Viotti
is a diplomat at the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations and Ph.D. candidate in international law at the University of Buenos Aires. 

While the Security Council’s incursion into the protection of individuals or groups could appear necessary – or even praiseworthy – it should be viewed with caution. The author argue that the search for perfect complementarity between the powers of the Security Council and humanitarian action should not overlook the political nature of the Council, the omissions and inconsistencies in its decisions regarding grave offences against human dignity and the effects of coercive action – including armed force – on the provision of neutral and impartial assistance to the victims of an armed conflict.  

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