In its effort to justify its planned invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration has emphasized the importance of enforcing United Nations Security Council resolution. However, in addition to the dozen or so resolutions currently being violated by Iraq, a conservative estimate reveals that there are an additional 91 Security Council resolutions by countries other than Iraq that are also currently being violated. This raises serious questions regarding the Bush Administration’s insistence that it is motivated by a duty to preserve the credibility of the United Nations, particularly since the vast majority of the governments violating UN Security Council resolutions are close allies of the United States.
This list deals exclusively with resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, a fifteen-member body consisting of five permanent members (the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom) and ten non-permanent members elected for rotating two-year terms representing various regions of the world. The Security Council’s primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, is for the maintenance of international peace and security. For a resolution to pass, it must be approved by a majority of the total membership with no dissenting vote from any of the five permanent members. Since the early 1970s, the United States has used its veto power nearly fifty times, more than all other permanent members during that same period combined. In the vast majority of these cases, the U.S. was the only dissenting vote. The list below, therefore, includes only resolutions where the United States voted in the affirmative or abstained.
The Security Council is very different than the General Assembly where all 192 members of the United Nations have one vote. There have been periods, particularly during the 1970s, when the General Assembly – with a majority of Communist and Third World dictatorships – passed a series of resolutions widely seen in the West as radical, irresponsible, hypocritical and/or mean-spirited, many of which were targeted against important U.S. allies like Israel. (The most infamous of these was the 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, which was rescinded by an overwhelming vote in 1994.) Unlike Security Council resolutions, these resolutions are not binding and are not included in the list below.
This list does not include resolutions that merely condemn a particular action, only those that specifically proscribe a particular ongoing activity or future activity and/or call upon a particular government to implement a particular action. Nor does this list does include resolutions where the language is ambiguous enough to make assertions of non-compliance debatable, such as UNSC resolutions 242 and 338 on the Arab-Israeli conflict that put forward the formula of "land for peace," to cite the most famous. Similarly, it does not include broad resolutions that call for universal compliance not in reference to a particular conflict, particularly if there is not a clear definition. For example, in resolution that proscribe the harboring of terrorists, there is no clear definition for what constitutes a terrorist. This list does not include non-state actors, such as secessionist governments, rebel groups or terrorists, only recognized nation-states.
Furthermore, this list does not include resolutions that were also violated for a number of years that are now moot (such as those dealing with Indonesia's occupation of East Timor, South Africa's occupation of Namibia, and Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.) If these were also included, the number of violations would double. In most of these cases, the United States played a key role in blocking enforcement of these resolutions as well.
Finally, it should be noted that this is only a partial list, since some of the resolutions involved technical questions with which I was unable to judge, particularly when they involved parts of the world with which I was less familiar. I tended to err on the conservative side. With further research, this list will almost certainly top 100 cases.
The cases are listed in order of resolution number, followed by the year in which it was passed, the country or countries in violation, and a brief description of the resolution.
United Nations Security Council Resolutions Currently Being Violated by Countries Other than Iraq
A partial list compiled by Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco
252 (1968) Israel "Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind" measures which "change the legal status of Jerusalem, " including the "expropriation of land and properties thereon"
262 (1968) Israel Calls upon Israel to pay compensation to Lebanon for destruction of airliners at Beirut International Airport
267 (1969) Israel Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem
271 (1969) Israel Reiterates calls to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem and calls on Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying powers
298 (1971) Israel Reiterates demand that Israel to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem
353 (1974) Turkey Calls on nations to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus and for the withdrawal without delay of foreign troops for Cyprus
354 (1974) Turkey Reiterates provisions of UNSC resolution 353
360 (1974) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus "without delay"
364 (1974) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
367 (1975) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
370 (1975) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
377 (1979) Morocco Calls on countries to respect the right of self-determination for Western Sahara
379 (1979) Morocco Calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Western Sahara
380 (1979) Morocco Reiterates need for compliance with previous resolutions
391 (1976) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
401 (1976) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
414 (1977) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
422 (1977) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
440 (1978) Turkey Reaffirms need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus
446 (1979) Israel Calls upon Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying power, that it rescind previous measures that violate these relevant provisions and that, "in particular, not to transport parts of its civilian population into the occupied Arab territories."
452 (1979) Israel Calls on the government of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem
465 (1980) Israel Reiterates previous resolutions on settlements policy
471 (1980) Israel Demands prosecution of those in assassination attempts of West Bank leaders and compensation for damages, reiterates demands to abide by Fourth Geneva Convention
484 (1980) Israel Reiterates that Israel abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention
487 (1981) Israel Calls upon Israel to place its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency
497 (1981) Israel Demands that Israel rescind its decision to impose its domestic laws in the occupied Syrian Golan region
541 (1983) Turkey Reiterates need for compliance with prior resolutions and demands that the declaration of an independent Turkish Cypriot state be withdrawn
550 (1984) Turkey Reiterates UNSC resolution 541 and insists that member states may "not to facilitate or in any way assist" the secessionist entity
573 (1985) Israel Calls on Israel to pay compensation for human and material losses from its attack against Tunisia and to refrain from all such attacks or threats of attacks against other nations
592 (1986) Israel Insists Israel abide by the Fourth Geneva Conventions in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories
607 (1986) Israel Reiterates calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its practice of deportations from occupied Arab territories
608 (1988) Israel Reiterates call for Israel to cease its deportations
636 (1989) Israel Reiterates call that Israel to cease its deportations
641 (1989) Israel Reiterates previous resolutions calling on Israel to desist its deportations
658 (1990) Morocco Calls upon Morocco to "cooperate fully" with the Secretary General of the Unid Nations chairman of the Organization of African Unity for "in their efforts aimed at an early settlement of the question of Western Sahara."
672 (1990) Israel Reiterates calls for Israel to abide by provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Arab territories
673 (1990) Israel Insists that Israel come into compliance with resolution 672
681 (1990) Israel Reiterates call on Israel to abide by Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Arab territories
690 (1991) Morocco Calls upon both parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary General in implementing a referendum on the fate of the territory
694 (1991) Morocco Reiterates that Israel "must refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories and ensure the safe and immediate return of all those deported."
716 (1991) Morocco Reaffirms previous resolutions on Cyprus
725 (1991) Morocco "Calls upon the two parties to cooperate fully in the settlement plan"
726 (1992) Israel Reiterates calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its practice of deportations from occupied Arab territories
799 (1992) Israel "Reaffirms applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention…to all Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and affirms that deportation of civilians constitutes a contravention of its obligations under the Convention."
807 (1993) Croatia Demands return of heavy weapons seized from UN storage areas
809 (1992) Morocco Reiterates call to cooperate with the peace settlement plan, particularly regarding voter eligibility for referendum
815 (1993) Croatia Reaffirms UNSC resolution 807
822 (1993) Armenia Calls for Armenia for "immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbadjar district and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan"
853 (1993) Armenia Demands "complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from Azerbaijani territory
874 (1993) Armenia Reiterates calls for withdrawal of occupation forces
884 (1993) Armenia Calls on Armenia to use its influence to force compliance by Armenian militias to previous resolutions and to withdraw its remaining occupation forces
896 (1994) Russia "Calls upon all concerned to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia"
973 (1995) Morocco Reiterates the need for cooperation with United Nations and expediting referendum on the fate of Western Sahara
995 (1995) Morocco Calls for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts to move forward with a referendum
1002 (1995) Morocco Reiteration of call for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts
1009 (1995) Croatia Demands that Croatia "respect fully the rights of the local Serb population to remain, leave or return in safety"
1017 (1995) Morocco Reiterates the call for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts and to cease "procrastinating actions which could further delay the referendum."
1033 (1995) Morocco reiterates call for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts
1044 (1996) Sudan Calls upon Sudan to extradite to Ethiopia for prosecution three suspects in an assassination attempt of visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and to cease its support for sanctuary and offering of sanctuary to terrorists
1054 (1996) Sudan Demands that Sudan come into compliance with UNSC resolution 1044
1056 (1996) Morocco Calls for the release of political prisoners from occupied Western Sahara
1070 (1996) Sudan Reiterates demands to comply with 1044 and 1054
1073 (1996) Israel "Calls on the safety and security of Palestinian civilians to be ensured."
1079 (1996) Croatia Reaffirms right of return for Serbian refugees to Croatia
1092 (1996) Turkey/Cyprus Calls for a reduction of foreign troops in Cyprus as the first step towards a total withdrawal troops as well as a reduction in military spending
1117 (1997) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates call for a reduction of foreign troops in Cyprus as the first step towards a total withdrawal troops and reduction in military spending
1120 (1997) Croatia Reaffirms right of return for Serbian refugees to Croatia and calls of Croatia to change certain policies that obstruct it and to treat its citizens equally regardless of ethnic origin
1145 (1997) Croatia Reiterates Croatian responsibility in supporting the political and economic rights of its people regardless of ethnic origin
1172 (1998) India, Pakistan Calls upon India and Pakistan to cease their development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles
1178 (1998) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates call for a substantial reduction of foreign troops and reduction in military spending
1185 (1998) Morocco Calls for the lifting of restrictions of movement by aircraft of UN peacekeeping force
1215 (1998) Morocco Urges Morocco to promptly sign a "status of forces agreement"
1217 (1998) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates call for a substantial reduction of foreign troops and reduction in military spending
1251 (1999) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates call for a substantial reduction of foreign troops and reduction in military spending
1264 (1999) Indonesia Calls on Indonesia to provide safe return for refugees and punish those for acts of violence during and after the referendum campaign
1272 (1999) Indonesia Stresses the need for Indonesia to provide for the safe return for refugees and maintain the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps
1283 (1999) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates UNSC resolution 1251
1303 (2000) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates UNSC resolutions 1283 and 1251
1319 (2000) Indonesia Insists that Indonesia "take immediate additional steps, in fulfillment of its responsibilities, to disarm and disband the militia immediately, restore law and order in the affected areas of West Timor, ensure safety and security in the refugee camps and for humanitarian workers, and prevent incursions into East Timor," stresses that those guilty of attacks on international personnel be brought to justice and reiterates the need to provide safe return for refugees who wish to repatriate and provide resettlement for those wishing to stay in Indonesia
1322 (2000) Israel Calls upon Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying power
1331 (2000) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates UNSC resolution 1251 and subsequent resolutions
1338 (2001) Indonesia Calls for Indonesian cooperation with the UN and other international agencies in the fulfillment of UNSC resolution 1319
1359 (2001) Morocco Calls on the parties to "abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict"
1384 (2001) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates 1251 and all relevant resolutions on Cyprus
1402 (2002) Israel Calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian cities
1403 (2002) Israel Demands that Israel go through with "the implementation of its resolution 1402, without delay"
1405 (2002) Israel Calls for UN inspectors to investigate civilian deaths during an Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp
1416 (2002) Turkey/Cyprus Reiterates UNSC resolution 1251 and all relevant resolutions on Cyprus
1435 (2002) Israel Calls on Israel to withdraw to positions of September 2000 and end its military activities in and around Ramallah, including the destruction of security and civilian infrastructure