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Until 1945, there was no customary international prohibition on the unilateral resort to force. If the circumstances warranted it, and, for signatories to particular instruments, if certain preliminary procedures had been exhausted, states reserved the right to resort to force. The United Nations Charter introduced to international politics a radically new notion: a general prohibition of the unilateral resort to force by states. The principle was enshrined, in its most authoritative form, in Article 2(4) of the Charter.
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