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World Court Digest

I. Substantive International Law - First Part
7.9. Specific Treaties
7.9.2. Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance of 1947


[p. 359 D.O. Schwebel] In implementation of the Rio Treaty, as well as its inherent right recognized by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, El Salvador has resisted Nicaragua's armed attack by acting in self-defence, and, equally, the United States has determined "the immediate measures which it may individually take in fulfillment of the obligation" it has undertaken to treat an attack on any American State as an attack on all (including itself). By the terms and intent of the Rio Pact, the United States is entitled individually to determine such measures until the OAS and the United Nations Security Council have acted; it does not require the prior authorization either of the OAS or of the Security Council. In so doing, the United States fulfils an obligation which it has undertaken to act in collective self-defence.