15 – 17 July 2016, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany
„Protection of individuals as system-wide challenge of the United Nations“
Workshop paper (projected): Chinese UN initiatives on the protection of individuals in armed conflict
Abstract: In recent years, new and multifaceted challenges threatening regional and global security and thus severely affecting the lives of individuals have emerged. The system of collective security with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at its core remains a permanent subject of criticism. In addition, on-going violent breaches of regional peace by non-state actors such as the so-called Islamic State (IS) or Boko Haram not only means an immanent threat for the lives of individuals but also fuels the need for clarification by international law mechanisms.
In this context, China’s UN efforts and its interactions with the UN system with regard to the protection of individuals in armed conflict represent the main focus of this conference paper. This shall include Chinese positions in the application of international humanitarian law in armed conflict, China’s role regarding coordination efforts of respective UN agencies in protecting and accommodating refugees (such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR) and overall Chinese initiatives on the protection of individuals in armed conflict within the UN framework.
Being a Permanent Member of the UNSC and one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping missions, China represents a major player in global security. Yet, while its economic outreach is high, China is reluctant in allowing the use of force in armed conflict and rather refers to the pivotal pre-eminence of the principle of state sovereignty. Hence, as China’s rise also influences its UN policies, an in-depth understanding of Chinese positions on the protection of individuals in armed conflict within the UN framework is vital. Facing an increasingly complex international security situation, this conference paper intends to close an academic void by contributing an analysis of Chinese UN initiatives on the protection of individuals in armed conflict and its interactions with the UN system on this matter.