Rethinking the Enemy State Clause


After the end of the Second World War and the surrender of the former axis powers in 1945, the United Nations became the successor of the dissolved League of Nations. To ensure that these statesincluding Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Italy and Romania would never be able to start a war again, the Enemy State Clause was added to the UN Charter to maintain international peace and security. 


Key Terms: 

The Enemy State Clause is a passage of chapter 53 and 107 of the UN Charter, which says that enforcement actions can be taken without the permission of the Security Council against all as Enemy States defined nations. Enemy States are declared as nations which have been an enemy of any signatory of the present Charter during the Second World War 

Furthermore these states can face consequences trough aggressive behaviour by UN members. 


Previous Attempts to solve the problem: 

Even if several agreements have been signed, which prohibit aggressive actions against the Federal Republic of Germany and commit to abide to the principles contained in article 2 of the UN Charter, such as the London Final Act and the Moscow Treaty, the Enemy State Clause is still aofficial part of the UN Charter.  

Japan requested the abolition of the article from the Charter in 1992 and a representative from Italy said: „Deleting the enemy state clause will end a painful chapter in contemporary history.“,which lead to an election in 1995, the 50th anniversary of the UN. The adoption was nearly unanimous with 155 affirmative votesnone against and three abstentions (Cuba, North Korea and Libya). The enemy state clauseshoweverremained unchanged today because the revision of the UN Charter, which is an international treaty, requires cumbersome procedures and not only must be adopted with a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly, but also ratified by two thirds of the UN membersincluding all of the five permanent members of the Security Council.  

In additionsome member states fear that the removal of the enemy state clause might prompt a host of demands for more controversial revisions of the charter, including an expansion in the number of permanent members on the Security Council. Others think that the removal of the enemy state clause can wait until agreement on more substantive issues, such as reform of the Security Council, is reached.  



The committees task will be to discuss the necessity and timeliness of the Enemy State Clause throughout an ad-hoc debatetherefore preparing resolutions for topic A won’t be needed 

During this years conference, the Legal committee will work together with the Security Council, which means, that any from the legal committee decided changes of the UN charter will be immediately broadcasted to the Security Council and used there. 


Conditions for the debate: 

As there has already been an debate about this topic, the problem will be rethought and you should argue on historical based motivations.  

For example: 

Former Allies may argue, that there were serious reasons for including the said clause and that any changes of the present Charter may lead to several complications. 

Members of the EU and former Axis powers could claim, that the enemy state Clause is no longer up to date and that abolition would correspond to the real conditionsAlso, the title of an ‚Enemy‘ is degrading and Germany and Japan are paying 16,1 % of the UN household and are thus two of the biggest donors of the UN.  

Erstwhile colonies of the Allies, for example the United Kingdom, should support this