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The re-activation of the Security Council at the beginning of the last decade has resulted, since the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August l990, in increasing use of its powers under Chapter VII of the Charter and the adoption of measures against a number of state and non-state entities. The notion of a threat to the peace has now come to encompass violations of fundamental norms of international such as human rights and humanitarian law, and the wide-ranging measures adopted have included such innovations as the establishment of the UN Compensation Commission or that of the two international criminal tribunals for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. These measures have not only infringed on the legal rights of the targeted state (sometimes with irreversible effects where they have remained in force over a long period of time) and its population, but also on those of implementing states and of private rights within these states. The debate over economic sanctions on states and their populations makes it imperative to re-evaluate this instrument and the broader peace maintenance function of the Security Council in the light of current community concerns.