15 November 2012
ACIL Luncheon: ‘The Elusive Allocation of Responsibility to Informal Organizations: The Case of the Middle East Quartet’
At this ACIL Luncheon Meeting, Dr Annemarieke Vermeer-Künzli will present a paper she co-authored with Prof John Dugard entitled ‘The Elusive Allocation of Responsibility to Informal Organizations: The Case of the Middle East’.
In 2001, the United States, Russia, the UN and the EU created the Quartet for the Middle East. This entity, which was subsequently endorsed by the UN Security Council, issued the Road Map in 2003, setting out a plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. At its core, the Road Map prescribes a number of obligations: the cessation of violence, the withdrawal of the settlements, and the cessation of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and – significantly – the ‘two state solution’, which means the creation of an independent Palestinian state existing peacefully alongside Israel. In the paper, the authors argue that the Quartet can be reproached for serious omissions regarding the implementation of the Road Map. But the issue of responsibility for this conduct is far from clear. The paper argues that the Quartet is not an international organization, but that due to the current law of responsibility, it is almost impossible to allocate the responsibility of the Quartet as an entity to its individual members, amongst others due to their diverging obligations. This leads to the unsatisfactory situation in which four powerful entities and states have created an entity for which they cannot be held responsible. The authors offer some solutions but observe that these solutions are rather unlikely to be acceptable to the relevant actors.
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