In an age of terrorism and nuclear proliferation, there has been discussion at the United Nations and elsewhere about the difference between imminent and latent threats, and the circumstances in which it is legitimate to use force to deal with such threats. While the U.N. General Assembly has accepted the new doctrine of the responsibility to protect, which implies that the maintenance of international peace and security extends beyond the need to prevent inter-state war, situations such as the genocide in Darfur illustrate the difficulty of implementing this doctrine in practice.
On October 12, Mark Malloch Brown, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, deliverined a keynote address at the conclusion of the Brookings Project on Force and Legitimacy – a global dialogue exploring when and how the use of force might be legitimized in dealing with weapons proliferation, terrorism, and grave humanitarian crises, conducted under the leadership of Ivo Daalder, Brookings senior fellow and James Steinberg, nonresident senior fellow and dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas at Austin. Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies, made introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
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