All Available Resources

The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries issued a statement today related to Mission Concerns for Refugees and Human Rights in Iraq. The statement contained this paragraph:

On August 8, United Methodist Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of North Carolina, president of the General Board of Global Ministries, and Thomas Kemper, chief executive of the agency, issued a joint statement appealing for prayer and international diplomatic measures on behalf of those being oppressed in Iraq.

Today’s statement does not accurately reflect the language of the statement signed by Bishop Ward and Secretary Kemper, or the statement of the World Council of Churches which it echoed. Both statements call for the marshaling of “all available resources to protect the people of Iraq.”

We join our voices to those of leaders of the World Council of Churches in asking U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to “marshal all available resources to protect the people of Iraq in this hour.” We agree with the WCC assertions that when nations are unable to protect their citizens that “responsibility is taken up by international bodies and their member states.” [Emphasis added]

The resources available to the United Nations are not limited to “diplomatic measures.” Under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, the Security Council

may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. (Article 42)

U.N. resolutions authorizing military force under Chapter VII often call upon member states to take “all necessary measures” to enforce international will. For example, Security Council Resolution 1546 (passed in 2004) authorized the¬†multinational force then in Iraq to take “all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability.”

All necessary measures. All available resources. To-may-to. To-mah-to.