Organized crime as a collective security problem: prospects and problems of UN enforcement

Borlini, Leonardo; Silingardi, Stefano

The prevailing view is that progress in integrating counter-crime initiatives into peace operations has been limited, and the UN system has taken a cautious
approach. However, if one considers the SC’s complex action against organized crime this assessment should be questioned. By analyzing the Council resolutions in the 22 years from 2000 to 2021 it is found that out of 1333 SC resolutions passed, 538 resolutions (40.4%) addressed or discussed organized crime in relation to a situational crisis or a generalized threat. And, in a significant number of cases, measures were taken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. After discussing the role of the UN Collective security mechanism within the broader context of enforcement in international law, this article shows that the SC has been highly creative in addressing the growing convergence of criminal activity, illicit markets, and modern conflicts. Specifically, by analyzing the SC resolutions adopted under Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter, it argues that the Council has encouraged new approaches to the changing face of modern conflicts, and drawn sustained attention to the need to integrate crime-prevention and control initiatives into peace processes and UN operations.