POL340-Lecture 2

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Political Science
Ross Michael Pink

LECTURE TWO: THE UNITED NATIONS WHY THE LEAGUE FAILED? - Started by the West and Woodrow Wilson - Forerunner for the United Nations - Weak enforcement capacity - IL w/o enforcement capacity extremely weak, almost irrelevant - Enforcement critical gap in international law - Major powers have to support it, economic sanctions - Consent – this is absolutely essential because with IL you are not forced to sign anything, you sign it because of internal decision making, all a function of consent, in IL consent is essential - In UN – each state is recognized as sovereign and each can gov itself LEAGUE: WEAK ENFORCEMENT CAPACITY - Article 11 – any act of war is of concern for the entire league - If law is not activates/ enforced – has very little meaning - The league did nothing when Poland invaded Russia, Japan invaded Manchuria – terrible atrocities occurred, the French occupation of the German Ruhr, Italy’s attack on Ethiopia – no response, Germany, etc - Germany’s economy was crippled by reparation - JFK: the lesson of 1930s is that aggressive conduct left unchecked leads to war - Truman: the only think new in the world is the history you don’t know - A lot of situations of chaos create the seeds that create despotic leaders AFTER WORLD WAR TWO - The UN came, the world community was determined to get it right - Renewed league, had power and enforcement capacity - Not to do so, could risk the world going into WWIII - THE UN’S CENTRAL POWER ORGAN IS THE SECCON - SecCon – 5 permanent members, have veto power, there are 10 non- permanent mems elected to 2 year terms, no veto - Pressure to include more in the permanent membership - Possible candidates: India, Brazil, Japan, German PROBLEMS WITH THE SECCON - Opposing values (democracy v communism) - The cold war made international politics difficult to operate - From 1946 to 1989: 215 resolutions were vetoed in SecCon - End of CW: 1989 to 2009: 1 veto per year - Shift in effectiveness of the SecCon - Intentions of the UN is being carried out with more power - SecCon resolutions are major resolution - With law, case law and precedents are essential - When they are present, easier to follow them - When IL is working and is being applied, easier to keep the system operation and the system world smoothly THE CHARTER IS THE CONSTITUTION - Functions, goals, etc of United Nations - THE UN IS BASED ON SOVEREIGNTY, BUT SOVEREIGNTY IS A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD, BECAUSE IF THERE ATROCITIES DOMESTICALLY ITS HARD TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT THERE ARE SIX MAJOR ORGANS 1. SecGen – seat of power 2. GenAss – all resolutions are not binding 3. Economic and Social Council (UNHCR is under its authority) 4. Trusteeship council – trusteeship over territories, more common in the 50s/60s 5. SecGen 6. International Court of Justice ALLOCATION OF SECCON SEATS - Five from Africa and Asian states - One to Eastern Europe - Two to Latin America - Two to Western Europe - Try to keep geographical balance to have more representation THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - Membership as provided by article 4
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