Essay on International Peace and Security

4 pages
885 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Public International Law establishes the appropriate mechanisms that must be used to resolve an international conflict. In this way, the international doctrine studies two types of means of a solution of conflicts like the peaceful means (diplomatic and legal) and the violent means. The international community is aware that in the presence of an international conflict the peaceful means of conflict resolution and the avoidance of violent means must be exhausted. As can be seen, the parties are in complete freedom to select the medium of their choice; it is what is known in doctrine as the free choice of means since no State can be compelled to submit its disputes with other States to a means of a peaceful solution which it did not consent to. However, these peaceful means to solve international conflicts will be briefly explained to clarify the conceptualization of conflicts. They are classified as follows:

Diplomatic or Political Means

Many international disputes are subject to the diplomatic action of States, through the management of heads of states, foreign ministers, and diplomatic agents. This is so especially in the current times that the science of diplomacy has evolved and has been influenced by the ideas of democracy prevailing in the systems of government of almost all States, which allows the intervention of other States through their representative bodies to solve many situations that in the past became true causes of wars.


Differences between states can be resolved through diplomatic channels, through direct negotiations between parties to the conflict without interference by third powers. The negotiation is known as the direct agreement, since it is a diplomatic contact between parties between the parties involved in the conflict, either through the Heads of State, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, full powers to carry out the development of a negotiation.


The mediation is characterized by the intervention of a third party in the conflict known as mediator,' supposes to take a step in the functions assigned to that third party. In mediation, the mediator has a much more active participation since he feels authorized to propose the bases of the negotiation and intervene in it as a way of communication, suggestion, and accommodation of positions, without trying to impose the solution, but intervenes throughout negotiation to its conclusion.


This means of the settlement involved a commission of inquiry, inquiry or fact-finding and was conceived by the Hague Convention in 1899 recommended for disputes that did not compromise honor or essential interests; in which there is a divergence in the facts, so that the Commission establishes the facts through an impartial and careful examination. This Commission does not pronounce on the problem in question but provides the parties with all data considered relevant to the resolution of the dispute, historical aspect, maps, and, finally, all that is relevant to make known the cause or the state of the facts. However, it does not provide solutions, without establishing legal, economic, political or other responsibilities that could be established. Its essential contribution is to clarify the scenario to the parties on the circumstances, and facts that surround the problem can subsequently be useful in appealing to a legal environment such as arbitration or judicial settlement, in which may be submitted the reports issued by the commission of inquiry.


Conciliation is a non-jurisdictional method consisting of impartial instruction by a collegiate body or conciliation commission of all aspects of the dispute to formulate a proposal for its solution. The Conciliation differs from the Investigation in that it presents a report to the parties which contains suggestions, substantial recommendations to settle the conflict, whereas in that the report only addresses the questions of fact that surround the problem without ruling on the right debated nor the solution of the controversy.

Legal Services

Based on this question, it is believed that any international conflict regardless of its typology can be perfectly submitted to an international court in search of its solution. The essential requirement is the consent of the parties involved since they are the only ones that can decide to submit the dispute to arbitration or judicial settlement.


For the parties to submit their dispute to international arbitration, it is necessary that their will manifested and concretized in the compromise. In the compromise stage, the parties agree on what the arbitration will be, point out the arbitrators' competences, and delimit the dispute to be solved. Consent is essential, which must be free of vices: fraud, error, violence, corruption. If the commitment is canceled, the entire arbitration procedure will be null.

Judicial Settlement

The judicial settlement is a procedure whereby the parties submit the settlement of their dispute to a permanent international court composed of independent judges elected before the litigation by statutory rules, acting by a pre-established procedure and issuing mandatory judgments on the basis of respect for international law. At present, the main universal and general jurisdictional body which can settle all disputes, regardless of the subject matter they are presented to them by the States of the international community, is the International Court of Justice (principal organ of the United Nations).

All in all, the means of peaceful settlement of international conflicts have been briefly and concretely explained to provide readers with an overview of these routes used daily in the various frictions that are present in this globalized world.

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