Ever since the 2nd WW, the main concern of the International community has been
to maintain effective peace and cooperation to effectively regulate disputes
After the 2nd WW, the first step taken by the International community was to
punish the German and the Japanese war criminals, who were accused of
perpetrating the worst form of atrocities, including genocide and war crimes.
In this regard, two tribunals were set up, A: Nuremberg war crimes tribunal; B:
Tokyo war crimes tribunal.
Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal
The Nuremberg war crimes tribunal was set up at the end of the 2nd WW to
specifically try German Officers of the following departments who had committed
genocide against the Jews in the 2nd WW.
Name of the Departments:
- German workers party (Nazi Party)
- German U-Boat Division
- The German Wehrmacht.
The Nuremberg crime was held in 2 phases, and in the first phase, around 24
German Officers and politicians were sought to be prosecuted for the most
serious violations of the laws of war, including genocide, war crimes, and
crimes against humanity.
However, in this trial, Adolf Hitler could not be punished or prosecuted, as he
had already committed suicide in his bunker.
The German war criminals have committed atrocities and had set up concentration
camps to specifically target the Jews, but major concentration camps were
situated in the following places, namely:
The Nuremberg war crimes tribunal had been set up by the victorious allied
powers to punish the German war Criminals and other German Officers.
In the 2nd phase of the Nuremberg trial, around 960 German officers, lawyers,
engineers, doctors, and others were tried for war crimes.
The Nuremberg war crime tribunals successfully prosecuted many German war
criminals, but yet it is criticized on the following grounds:
- Many International Law Jurists have pointed out the facts that the
tribunal does not have the rights of locus standi to prosecute military
officers, as it was a civilian tribunal court.
- Many International Law experts are also of the opinion that the
Victorious Allied Powers had set up the tribunal.
Tokyo War Crime Tribunal
The international military tribunal for the far east, also known as the Tokyo
war crime tribunal, was set up in Tokyo with branches in the Philippines,
Singapore, and Shanghai to try and prosecute Japanese Military Officials.
Politicians and high-ranked officials were accused of committing war crimes in
the far east, Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, and other places of war.
However, the Tribunal was also continued as a host of grounds, and Justice
Radha Binod Pal, an Indian Judge and a part of the Tokyo Tribunal, also
criticized the actions of the Tribunal on the following grounds:
The Issue of Comfort Woman & Japan
- He thought that even the allied soldiers had committed similar atrocities
during the second WW but were never prosecuted or punished.
- Also, The Tokyo Tribunal sought to punish the Japanese Officers for
certain crimes that were not an offense when they were committed.
- He also questioned the Tribunal because how could the allied powers who
were themselves interested parties could try the very enemies whom they had
defeated in the second WW.
One of the most conditional issues of the second WW was the issue of Comfort
women or Sex Slaves.
During the Second WW, the Japanese Armed Forces had created specific units
called the Comfort Woman Unit, in which women and Girls were specifically
recruited by the Japanese from all parts of SouthEast Asia.
Further, these women were subjected to systematic sexual abuse, rape, sexual
slavery and had to undergo forced abortions over some time.
From 1939-to 1945, the German and the Japanese were accused of raping women, but
the Japanese had officially created units for the same.
After the second WW, many such women and even countries of SouthEast Asia kept
on requesting the Japanese to pay compensation to the comfort women or at least
punish the concerned officials.
However, the Japanese Government has never apologized for the same or paid
compensation to the affected woman.
The UN and its formation
After the second WW came to an end in August 1945, a new International
Organisation called the United Nations was formed on October 24th, 1945, to
maintain international peace and security.
Many experts have also pointed out the fact that it is the successor of the
League of Nations.
As of now, the UN has 193 member countries and 2 observer states, namely The
Vatican City and the State of Palestine.
The UN works and coordinates through a series of agencies and 6 main organs
which are as follows:
- Security Council
- General Assembly
- The ICJ
- The Trusteeship Council
- The UN Secretariat
- The Economic and Social Council
The UN is headed by a Secretary-General and presently the UN Secretary-General
is a Portuguese diplomat called Antonia Guterres.
Department of Peacekeeping Operations
UNAMIR [United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda]
- One of the most important aims of the UN is to maintain International
Peace and Security
- This task is majorly done by the UN Security Council, according to powers vested
upon it under Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
- In this regard, there is a specialized division of the UN, known as the
Department of the Peace Keeping Operations which ensures the maintenance of
International Peace and security.
- Whenever there is a threat to International Peace and Security, the Security
Council passes a resolution for the deployment of UN Peacekeeping forces, under
Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to maintain International Peace and
- The UN Peacekeeping forces are drawn from contributions from member states, and
even arms and ammunition are provided by the member states.
- As of September 2021, most of the troops are contributed by Pakistan, India,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Uruguay, and Fiji.
- However it is very important to note the fact that every peacekeeping mission
has a very strict mandate, which the UN forces cannot violate, otherwise, the
results will be disastrous.
Independence of Rwanda
- The African country of Rwanda till the 1960's was ruled by the Belgians
- Rwanda has been divided based on different tribes, and the majority of tribes
were known as the Hutus.
- The minority tribes were known as the Tutsis.
- The Belgians completely supported the Tutsis and committed a lot of atrocities
against the Hutus.
- In fact, the Belgians also issued Tutsis with separate identity cards, and
ruling Belgians and the minority Tutsis ruled over Rwanda till 1960.
Formation of UNAMIR
- After Rwanda became independent the Hutus systematically started taking
dominance in Rwandan politics
- By the 1990s, the Rwandan army, politics, and the Rwandese Gendarmerie (police)
were full of Hutus.
- They openly hated the Tutsis and wanted to destroy them at all costs.
- Rwandan Government, and the Rwandan military, also started employing and arming
pro Hutu militias, including the Interahamwe and the Impubamugamzi to
unofficially target the Tutsis and also kill them.
Beginning of the Genocide
- By 1990, the conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis had spread throughout
- It also became an International conflict, when the neighboring country of Zaire,
under the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko started favoring the Hutus.
- By 1992 a civil war broke out between the Hutus and the Tutsis.
- The then UN secretary-general, Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali, authorized the
deployment of UN peacekeeping forces, known as the UNAMIR (United Nations
Assistance Mission in Rwanda
- The UN forces were led by Canadian Officer General Romeo Dallaire.
- The civilian commander was a Cameroonian diplomat, Jean Jacques Roger Booh-Booh
- The majority of the country battalions had been drawn from Bangladesh, Mali,
Uruguay, and Senegal.
- The UN mission had a clear mandate, of maintaining law and order and protecting
the lives of Tutsis at any cost.
- The UN Mission was also important because of the fact that there was credible
information that the Rwandan army under General Augustin Bizimungu, Colonel
Theoneste Bagosora, and Innocent Sagahutu would be targeting the Tutsis at any
Rape and sexual slavery during the Rwandan Genocide.
- In April 1994, the plane carrying the then president of Rwanda, Juvenal
Habyarimana, and the premier of Burundi, Cyprian Ntayramira was shot down by an
unknown missile, killing both of them.
- Immediately the national television of Rwanda the RTMLC* and a leading newspaper
called Kangura started propaganda that the Tutsis were behind the attack.
*[Radio TV des Milles Collines]
- The Rwandan army and the Hutu militia immediately started systematically
targeting and killing the Tutsis.
- From April 1 to April 30, 1994 millions of Tutsis were systematically
slaughtered, raped, killed by the Hutu militia.
- The civil war finally came to an end in May 1994 when the Hutus were defeated by
Tutsi rebel forces known as the RFP under Paul Kagame.
- During the Rwandan Genocide, it was largely reported that 100s of Tutsi women
were systematically raped, tortured, and driven into sexual slavery.
- Most of these crimes were committed by the Hutu militia, Hutu politicians, and
members of the Rwandan army.
- After the civil war, the UN had to form an ad-hoc war crimes tribunal, the ICTR
(International Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda), to try and prosecute Hutu war
criminals, who were accused of the following crimes:
- War crimes
- Crimes against Humanity
- Violation of customary norms of International Law
In a very famous case decided by the ICTR, namely The Prosecutor v Jean-Paul
Akayesu, Judge Navnethan Pillay, a South African judge of Indian origin
categorically held the fact that even a single act of rape and sexual violence
against women in conflict zones would be treated as an act of Genocide.
Failure of UN Peacekeeping Mission
- The UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda was doomed and bound to fail.
- The commanding officer of UNAMIR, General Romeo A. Dallaire, wrote a book as
"Shake hands with a devil".
- General Dallaire had categorically stated that the reasons for the failure of
the Mission were as follows:
- The UN Mission was grossly understaffed and under-armed and was lacking
- General Dallaire had categorically reassured that he had sent several requests
to the UN Secretariat for arms, ammunition, and weapons.
- It was further alleged that the highest deployment was by the
Bangladeshi peace-keeping troops who spoke neither English nor French and
the majority of them spoke only Bengali.
- It was also alleged that the Bangladeshi peacekeepers did not take any
order from the UN chain of command and took instructions from the
Bangladeshi army from Dhaka.
- Further Belgian peacekeepers were killed by the Hutu Militia, the entire
Belgian contingent withdrew.
- General Romeo Dallaire is also of the opinion that the UN Secretariat and the
5 permanent members of the UN security council did not do anything to send
reinforcement or help Rwanda in any way.
- A lot of the Legal Jurist also pointed out the fact that the UN forces
were absolutely not in a position to act or save lives because of
administrative failures and apathy by the UN.
(UN Mission In Yugoslavia)
Genocide in Yugoslavia: Introduction
Deployment of the UNPROFOR ( The United Nations Protection Force)
- In 1991, the Republic of Yugoslavia, which was a communist country, broke up
into 2 independent republics.
- This was the same period when the Soviet Union had also disintegrated and broken
up into 15 independent republics.
- The Break up of Yugoslavia, was also complex because Muslims and Christians had
been traditional enemies of each other for 100 years and hated each other.
- In 1992, the Republic of Serbia, which was a Christian majority hated the Muslim
majority people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The Serbian Government officially began a systematic program of killing and
targeting Bosnia's Muslims.
- The Serbian Government under its elite military unit known as "The Serbian
Scorpion Spraska (SSS), started to target and kill Bosnia's Muslims.
- The Serbian politician and Government also gave direct orders for the
assassination and Genocide of Bosnia's Muslims.
- From 1992 to 1995 the Bosnian Politicians, members of the Government, and even
elite units of the Serbian Armed forces took part in the Genocide against
members of the Bosnian Muslim Community.
- The recordings of the Genocide, were available, very sporadically and therefore
it was very difficult for the International Community to know the exact scale of
Siege of Srebrenica
- By 1992, the Serbian forces were openly attacking Bosnian Muslims.
- Elite Units of the Serbian Scorpion Spraska started shelling and attacking the
town of Belgrade and started killing hundreds of Bosnian Muslims.
- The Serbian forces also attacked the city of Sarajevo, which also had a
substantial Muslim population.
- At this phase the then UN Secretary-General, Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali authorized
the deployment of UN Peacekeeping forces. by the name of UNPROFOR, to bring
peace and stability in the area, and specifically, protect the Bosnian Muslims
at all costs.
Formation of the ICTY (International Crimes Tribunal for former Yugoslavia
- Srebrenica was a UN safe compound, which was guarded by the UN Forces.
- Srebrenica was also supposed to be a designated safe zone for Bosnian Muslims.
- Under International Law, rebel forces could not enter the town of Srebrenica.
- However, elite Serbian Paramilitary units under General Ratko Mladic, Goran
Hadzic, Dusko Tadic, Anton Krstic, Radoslav Brdanin, enter into Srebrenica.
- The Serbian Officers, under the direct supervision of General Radislav Krstic
and Zdvarko Tomlimir, defeated and disarmed the UN Dutch battalions from the
Netherlands, known as the DUTCHBAT.
- The Dutch battalions surrendered without a fight and did not do anything to stop
the Serbian Forces.
- The Serbian Military officers separated the Bosnian Muslims and allegedly
massacred around 8000 Bosnian Muslims.
- Various International Law experts have bitterly criticized the Dutch Battalions
for Surrendering without a fight and allowing the Serbian Christians to
massacred Bosnian Muslims openly.
- The incidents in Srebrenica were one of the largest acts of ethnic cleansing and
genocide and the Western Media had accurately described it as a catastrophic act
Genocide Case (Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina versus The Republic of Serbia
and Montenegro, 2007 ICJ 2)
Facts of the Case
- In 1995 the Security Council was made aware of the acts of Genocide and war
crimes against the Bosnian Muslims.
- There were also reports that the Serbian Army, along with the active
support of the Serbian Government had committed war crimes and atrocities of
the highest order.
- The security council then passed a resolution to set up an ad-hoc war crimes
tribunal to try senior members of the Serbian Government, who were accused of
the following 3 kinds of crimes:
- War Crimes
- Crimes Against Humanity
- Additionally, the ICTY also had the mandate to try people for general violations
of Public International Law and International Humanitarian Law.
- The ICTY was headquartered in Hague Netherlands, had its own statute, and was
supposed to punish only individuals.
- Dusko Tadic was the first person to be convicted by the ICTY.
The Decision of the Court
- During the initial days of the conflict, The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
had filed a case against the Serbian government, on the grounds that Serbia was
supposed to prevent the Genocide of the Bosnian Muslims, because of the
provisions of the Genocide conventions.
- The Bosnian Government also argued, that the Serbian Government had failed in
its duty to prevent acts of Genocide from taking place in its territory and that
it was under a legal obligation to prevent International Crimes from occurring
within its territory.
- After hearing both sides the ICJ categorically stated that the acts perpetrated
in Srebrenica were an act of Genocide.
- It also held that even though the Serbian Government was not responsible
completely for the acts of Genocide, yet they could have done more to prevent
the Genocide of Bosnian Muslims.
International Criminal Court And Law & Justice
After the events of Rwanda and Yugoslavia, a permanent court called the
International Criminal Court (ICC). It was the need of the hour to set up a
permanent body to try individuals accused of the foremost heinous kinds of
- War Crimes
- Crimes Against Humanity
- Crimes of Aggression
The ICC was governed by its own statute called the Rome Statute [Rome Statute of
the International Criminal Court]
The ICC was headquartered in Hague, the Netherlands.
Referral of Cases to ICCThe ICC prima facie could take up cases through the following ways:
The Case Study of Congo
- Referral of a matter by the UN Security Council
- Referral of a matter by a country or a state party
Investigations of the ICC
After primary investigations arrest warrants against 6 individuals:
- In 1997, Mobutu Sese Seko Okio Gidono's rule was overthrown in a military coup
d'etat and Congo plunged into civil war.
- In 1998, the forces of General Laurent Desiree Kabila came to power with the
support of his son, Major Joseph Kabila.
- However, in 1999, General Kabila was assassinated and Major Kabila came to
- In 1999, the rebel forces under Jean Pierre Bemba-Bemba Ogombo started a civil
war against the forces of Major Kabila.
- By 2002, the rebel forces were specifically targetting Hema and Lendu tribes, in
the Ituri and Bunia provinces of Congo.
- The rebel forces were also attacking women and children and specialized UN
forces, the MONUSCO* was deployed in Congo to prevent atrocities and rape of
women, children ad ethnic people from the Hema and Lendu groups.
*[The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo]
- However, the rebel forces did not stop the attacks, and child soldiers were
forcibly recruited by the rebels to fight against the government soldiers and UN
- In 2004, the Congolese government decided to refer the matter to the ICC, as its
domestic infrastructure was inadequate to handle these tribes.
- Thomas Lubanga Dyilo-Dyilo
- Germain Katanga
- Silvestre Muducumura
- Mathieu Ngo'dlogu Chui
- Callixte Mbarushimana
- Bosco Ntaganda
- The first arrest warrants were issued against Lubanga and Katanga.
- During this time, Lubanga was also guilty of the killing of 9 Bangladeshi
peacekeepers in Ituri province in 2005.
- After this, both Lubanga and Katanga were held by the Congolese authorities and
transferred to the ICC to stand trial.
- In 2012, Lubanga became the first person to be prosecuted by the ICC. Germain
Katanga then became the second person to be prosecuted by the ICC.
Current Incidents Of Genocide & The ICC
Since 2021, genocides, which are being committed and there has been a growing
demand by the international community the punish the perpetrators of these
crimes and for the ICC and the UN Security Council to take appropriate actions,
but somehow this has not been possible.
The key instances of such acts of genocide are as follows:
Genocide Against Rohingya Muslims Facts:
- Since 2012, the Myanmar Army has been specifically targetting the Rohingya group
of people who are basically Muslim and Hindu minorities in the Rakhine state of
- Since 1948, the Myanmar government has not been giving citizenship to Rohingya
- In 2012, the then Myanmar military government launched an official program of
state-sponsored genocide against the Rohingyas and have subjected them to
systematic torture, killing, raping mass murder, and extermination.
- It has also been alleged that the Myanmar government is being covertly supplied
with arms, ammunition, and weapons by the Chinese government.
- Because of the mass killing, millions of Rohingyas have fled away to the
neighboring countries of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
- Any attempts made by the international community in the UN Security Council to
punish and prosecute Myanmar's dictatorship have not been successful because of
Genocide Case Against Myanmar
- The Genocide case against Myanmar was a case initiated by an African country
called the Gambia, for failing in their obligations under the genocide
convention to protect the Rohingya Muslims in 2019.
- In its preliminary hearings, the ICJ was of the view that the Myanmar government
has to take more proactive steps to prevent the genocide against Rohingya
- The final judgment of the case is yet to be delivered.
Genocide Against Uygur Muslims
- The Uygur Muslims are a particular set of Muslims who are found in the Xingjiang,
Tartarstan, provinces of China and are predominantly Sunni Muslims. They had
been in China for hundreds of years now and have a distinct identity and
- However, the Chinese Communist Party has been openly prosecuting and killing
them on the grounds that they are a threat to the security and sovereignty of
- For the last 20 years, hundreds of Uygur Muslims have been killed by the Chinese
government detained in concentration camps, and have been denied the most basic
rights available to Chinese citizens on top of it the Chinese government has
openly denied the Uygur genocide has been critical of countries who have raised
the issue of Uygur Muslims in China.
- Any attempt by any country to raise the matter in the UN Security Council has
been vetoed by China.
The Bretton Woods Institutions
The Bretton Woods Institutions were formed at the end of World War II, to manage
the monetary system, specifically in order to help countries during the
Two important institutions which were set up at the end of World War II were:
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
These two institutions were set up for specific purposes and their tasks were as
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- This institution has been specifically formed in order to foster global monetary
cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote
high employment and sustainable economic growth. It was basically the idea of
Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes.
- The main role of the IMF is to give short-term loans to countries that are
facing a balance of payment crisis.
- However, whatever loans are given by the IMF are known as conditional lending.
It is because of this fact that the IMF has been facing a lot of criticisms
which are as follows.
The Case Of Argentina
- In the 1990s the government of Argentina tried to spend a lot on social security
programs while laying emphasis on the point that increased expenditure would
mean, the welfare of the people.
- However, because of the Global Market recession, Argentinian exports started
falling and Argentina's imports kept on increasing.
- The Argentinean Government did not decrease its expenditure on social security
- On top of that, the Argentinean Government was guilty of widespread corruption
and money laundering.
- In 1999 the Argentinean Government started borrowing from the IMF and other
- However, the Argentinean Government kept on defaulting on the payments, and the
IMF and the other International Agencies started pursuing the Argentinean
Government to repay back their loans.
- In 2001 the Argentinean Government appealed to the IMF for a fresh set of laws.
However, the IMF agreed to give any new loan to Argentina based on certain terms
- These loans are known as conditional loans.
- However, the conditional loans which are given by the IMF are very strict and
may infringe upon the territorial sovereignty and integrity of a nation.
- In the case of Argentina, many of the IMF conditions have been so strict and
drastic that countries have complained about them. The same thing happened with
- Even the Argentinean people were very critical of the conditional loans of the
- The same problem of conditional loans was also felt in other countries including
Thailand, Greece, and Pakistan when they took loans from the IMF.
- However in many such cases, including in Pakistan which took substantial loans
from the IMF, the conditional loans were successful in reviving the economy of
- However, in the case of Pakistan, any such economic revival
is not possible, because around 87% of the Pakistani economy is indebted to
International banks and agencies.
The World Bank Group is an international partnership comprising 189 countries
and five constituent institutions that works towards eradicating poverty and
The five development institutions under the World Bank Group are:
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
- International Development Association (IDA)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
- International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
History Of The World Bank
- The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, also known as the Bretton
Woods Conference held in 1944 led to the formation of the International Monetary
Fund (IMF in 1945) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD in 1944).
- The original focus of the IBRD was the reconstruction of countries ravaged by
the Second World War through loans.
- Gradually, there was a shift from reconstruction to development with a
particular emphasis on infrastructure, power grids, roads and transportation,
- The other institutions such as the IDA, IFC, etc. were formed over the years and
all five institutions (IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA, and ICSID) came to be called the
World Bank Group.
- Currently, the group engages in multifarious activities through its institutions
- There is a special focus on developing and underdeveloped countries.
- The infographic above shows the brief functions and the year of formation of the
- The WBG is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for
developing nations. Its five institutions share a commitment to decreasing
poverty, enhancing shared prosperity, and boosting sustainable development.
- The WBG is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The World Bank Group is a
specialized agency of the United Nations.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
- The WTO started functioning on 1 January 1995, because of the Marrakesh
agreement but its trading system is half a century older. Since 1948, the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) has given the rules for the
system. (The second WTO ministerial meeting, held in Geneva in May 1998,
included a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the system.)
- It did not take long for the General Agreement to give birth to an unofficial,
extant international organization, also known informally as GATT.
- Over the years, GATT evolved through several rounds of negotiations.
- The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had its last round in 1986 and
it lasted till 1994.
- This was known as the Uruguay Round and it led to the formulation of the World
Trade Organization (WTO).
- While GATT mostly dealt with trade in goods, the WTO and its agreements could
not only cover goods but also trade in services and other intellectual
properties like trade creations, designs, and inventions.
- The WTO has 164 members and 23 observer governments. Afghanistan became the
164th member in July 2016. In addition to states, the European Union, and each
EU country in its own right is a member.
Functions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)The WTO's overriding objective is to help trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly,
and predictably. It does this by:
- Administering WTO trade agreements
- Conducting forum for trade negotiations
- Handling trade disputes
- Monitoring national trade policies
- Providing technical assistance and training for developing countries
- Cooperation with other international organizations
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