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Lecture

Democratic Peace notes


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL208Y1
Professor
John Haines

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Lecture 4 2/1/11
History of the UN
UN today is radically different from UN 1945
Used to be 51 members
There are over 30,000 international organizations governments, NGOs, etc.
Regional in interests (African Union, European Union)
Other organizations deal with specific problems (Interpol) or represents interests of
small group of nations
Some non-governmental organizations (NGO) work very close with governments
(Red Cross in Haiti)
Plethora of international organizations and NGOs, but UN is most important
The term united nations was coined in 1942
Contradiction between armament and the objective of punishing countries who were
threatening world peace
Unanimity was a condition and anything could be blocked by one state
Roosevelt 4 powers that could police the international system US, UK, China,
Russia
P5 (Permanent 5) have veto power, no other countries have special prerogative
given to them because they have more responsibilities
When it started, Soviet Union didnt like that it had equal power with France and
UK thought since it was bigger it should have more power, and Belarus and
Ukraine should have more power
UN develop peace and security, peaceful relationships among states, solve
international problems and promote human rights, and to be a center of
harmonization among nations very liberal agenda with more pragmatic approach
than League of Nations
To learn from the failures of Leage and Nations, and to make it more practical and
powerful
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50 members P5 plus 10 new every 3 years
During the Cold War the UN became irrelevant anything that would happen,
either US or Soviet Union would veto
US invade Guatemala never reached a stage as an act of aggression because US
would veto. Same with Soviet Union in Eastern Europe
UN needs to qualify what an act of aggression is
US could act Soviet Union messed up and boycotted UN and missed its veto UN
could act
Soviet Union learned to never boycott UN again
Veto power today is stay a problem many argue that is a relic from 1945 and should
be changed
P5 reflects victors of 1945 Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, etc. (all huge populations) are
not permanent members of UN gives impression that the West is in control of the
rest question of legitimacy and representation problem
Each attempt to fix that has failed how to enlarge P5 circle without upsetting
status quo
India should be an argue with special status and prerogatives but if that happens,
then Pakistan will insist on a seat too
Same with Brazil immediately Argentina demands one too
Again, the same with Japan and Germany same kind of status
No consensus whatsoever on enlarging permanent status
Accept these large countries as members, but not permanent members India,
South Africa, Japan often at the table but dont have veto power
At some point this needs to be addressed
Especially since 2003, the UN is in crisis disagreement about Iraq War was very
public
France said to Bush we will agree to disagree with Iraq War no veto, but no second
UN resolution rejected by Bush
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