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Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defense - United Nations Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting
25 Feb 2021 -  Article 51 of the Charter reads as follows: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
In recent years, however, there have been some cases where the right to self-defence enshrined in Article 51 of the Charter has been invoked to justify the use of force in the territory of another State, allegedly in response to – or in the most extreme cases, to prevent – armed attacks by non-State actors, in particular terrorist groups.
The objective is to analyse the legal scope of Art. 51, in particular, the obligations derived from it, and to discuss the interpretation that has been given to this provision of the Charter against non-state actors, in particular in the context of counter-terrorism, and regarding the precedents that the aforementioned actions could set for other cases in the future.