USA: Alert as USA hints at attacks on other countries

After three days of the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan, the United States has informed the Security Council that attacks against other organisations and other countries may be necessary, a move that would be a drastic stretch of the international law concept of self-defence and would serve to further intensify and escalate the ongoing violence.
The Women's Caucus for Gender Justice suggests actions and gives contact information for your governments in the capitals and at the permanent missions to the United Nations in New York.
The statement was made in a letter from the United States' UN ambassador, John Negroponte, to the Security Council. According to different news reports, the letter from Negroponte stated: "Our inquiry is in the early stages. We may find that our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other countries."

When asked about the statement Tuesday morning, Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated:

"One sentence which has caused some anxiety amongst the membership which I've also asked about was the question that they may find it necessary to go after other organizations and other States. The US has indicated that this is not a predictor of any intention that it intends to take but basically it is a statement that they are at the early stages and keeping their options open."

The UN Charter allows for the exercise of the right of self-defense until the Security Council takes action to restore international peace and security. Self-defense can be exercised when the need is immediate and overwhelming and when there are no other options available. In the absence of Security Council action, countries which have been threatened or attacked can make the claim of self-defense in determining the nature and scope of their military response, which must still be within the parameters of humanitarian law.

Since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 on September 28th, the Security Council has appeared content to let the U.S. and any other countries willing to opt into its multilateral campaign against terrorism determine the means necessary to respond to the September 11th attacks.

However, a response that is United Nations-led and adheres to international law is even more urgent given the rapid escalation of the cycle of violence and retaliation and the possible spread of this violence into other countries and regions. Three days into the bombing campaign by British and U.S. forces, UN aid workers and civilians have fallen victim while the alleged perpetrators of the September 11th attack are still in hiding.

It is imperative at this moment that the Security Council assert its authority in this matter, as the U.S. has indicated the possibility of widening the scope of its military action to other organizations and other countries which could further threaten international peace and security.
Women's Caucus for Gender Justice
Posted by:
Created by: 
Women's Caucus for Gender Justice