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January 16 - Lecture Notes - International Organizations, International Law & Human Rights

14 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2940
Sandra Withworth

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January 16, 2013 International Organizations Cont’d  Last week we went through history of emergence of UN, talked about its structure, was going through a number of issues that usually arise in any discussion of the UN o How is the UN faired? It’s been rather mixed because we see principles of realism and the primacy of sovereignty coming into conflict with principles of liberal pluralism with regards to states putting off individual issues for larger aims o Talked about funding, veto, permanent 5  More issues will be discussed now  Issue: transparency o Relatively closed institution especially in the security council (it’s the body with most significant level of decision making authority because security council’s resolutions are binding on all members of UN, most of their discussions are done behind closed doors, cannot bring anything to security council unless you’re a member of security council)  That’s why states are so interested in becoming a temporary member of the security council, even though it wouldn’t give them a veto, they’d be able to bring issues to the security council  Otherwise you’d have to convince a member of the security council to raise your concerns o One elaboration development within the UN system that started in 1992 is called the Area Formula Meetings  It was an early attempt to try to open up the security council a little bit to actors and individuals, organizations that don’t fall within that special privileged group that doesn’t have access to the security council  Area Formula Meetings were created in 1992 when a Bosnian priest from the former Yugoslavia arrives in New York and tries to bring to the attention of the security council some of the things that are going on in Yugoslavia with the break-up of Yugoslavia  He can get meetings with some individual ambassadors but he has no access to the security council itself  One of the ambassadors he speaks with is from Venezuela, Diego Arria  Arria is so concerned about the issues the priest is raising about the violence that is going on in the former Yugoslavia that he wants the UN Security Council to hear about this – but there is no way to bring this priest into the security council  So Arria came up with the idea that if they can’t bring individuals inside the Security Council, maybe they could have meetings outside the Security council chamber and bring individuals there  That’s what they do – (mentioned last week: one of perks of being on security council is that they have a very nice lounge) they go to their lounge for meetings, they bring in this priest who tries to draw their attention to the issues that are going on in Yugoslavia  Additionally, the idea of Arria Formula Meetings are born  Now this is a common formula of what the UN Security Council does, happens on a regular basis, meetings occur monthly  There’s an agenda that goes out, whatever group or individual has gained access to the Arria Formula Format, the Security Council members knows in advance  It’s a small way that people are states or organizations that are outside the security council can attempt to speak to and reach members of the security council  It’s required attendance, if you’re one of the states at the security council you can’t just skip out – considered an important part of UN  Organizational structure that lends itself to the lack of transparency o Transparency remains an issue  In terms of budgeting has been raised repeatedly within UN o Inefficiency is an issue, especially in terms of money o One of biggest critics of UN is US in terms of inefficiency, not so much under the Obama Administration  US is still cautious  Always concerned about money being to inefficiently spent, salaries being too high  Likely didn’t appreciate that they were giving so much money to the UN and only had that one vote in the general assembly  Some of this was justified- there was a lot of duplication of offices, offices that deal with the same issues  Current secretary general has been focused a lot on consolidating offices where they can to create better coordination to avoid for example, 4 different offices doing the same thing  Prof’s worked for UN a few years ago: was hired to do a report on something, at the same time, individuals were hired to do the same things  Wasn’t an accident  Efficiencies and transparencies are two central issues o Another issue or thing UN is involved in: peacekeeping  One of the areas that makes it probably most visible to people in the world  It’s considered by people to be the thing that makes the UN most unique  It’s important feature of what UN does but there’s a variety of issues associated with it  Peacekeeping actually begins for UN in 1956  But during that Cold War because of that veto, very few peacekeeping mission get launched (was about 13 during cold war)  Particularly, U.S. or Soviet Union use veto because of their concerns that given peacekeeping missions may affect their interests  By contrast, there were 29 missions in the first 10 years after the cold war, and 50 at this point  During cold war was about 13, 50 post-cold war  Freeing up problem of cold war tensions and the use of the veto allowed the UN to do this thing called peacekeeping on an unprecedented scale  Right now there are 14 missions and 1 political observer mission = total of 15 missions  First formal UN peacekeeping mission was done in 1956, called United Nations Emergency Force 1 (UNEF 1)  Had been 2 observer missions 10 years before that, but this is the first time peacekeeping as we know it, came to evolve and was created  It’s an idea hatched, not exclusively by but largely by Lester Pearson  He wasn’t Canada’s prime minister then, but was our representative at UN  UN faced a crisis: the gov’t in Egypt had decided to privatize the Suez Canal – to take control of it  Israel, Britain and France invade Egypt and crisis consumes  It’s a crisis because negotiations were going on in the UN trying to resolve the issue  Britain and France are involved because they own parts of the Suez Canal – when it’s nationalized, when Egypt takes the Canal, Britain and Israel are going to lose their interests in it and are concerned about having access to it  It’s an important waterway in terms of shipping  Trying to resolve this crisis and suddenly Israel and then 2 days later Britain and France attack Egypt  It took the world and the UN by surprise  There’s concern that the UN is supposed to be this place where states come together, and this is sort of an early test – looks like it’s going to fail that test  Both the UN and the Soviet Union are enraged at this and agree on this issue  They’re both trying to find ways to sanction Britain and France but they’re security members, so if anything is brought before the Security Council Britain and France can veto it  The U.S. threatened to bring resolution to the general assembly where nobody has a veto  So it’s pitting members of the security council against one another  It is, it turns out, a completely orchestrated attack  Britain and France encouraged Israel to invade so that they have the pretext to go in themselves intensively to hold back the two (Israel and Egypt)  So the UN is caught in this crisis  It’s a crisis because members are pitted against one another  Pearson was trying to find a way to get these two members out of Egypt in a way that doesn’t completely humiliate them but that brings the tensions down on this, that doesn’t see the US and the Soviet Union sanctioning two members of the security council  Because they’re thinking that tensions were so high, UN only 11 yrs. old, new organization is going to fall apart because of all this tension  So they came up with the idea of peacekeeping rd  They bring in neutral 3 party armed forces from countries that have no stake in the conflict  They will replace the British and French forces, allowing them to leave without losing any faces  Key role played by peacekeeping troops there is to keep belligerents apart (Israel and Egypt) and to save the UN  UNEF 1 is both about the first peacekeeping mission but it’s also part of this important moment in terms of figuring out a way to keep this organization moving  Interestingly peacekeeping doesn’t appear anywhere in the UN charter, the term is not there  This was literally an invention of the UN’s in response to this crisis  Chapter 6 of the UN charter outlines what the UN is allowed to do in terms of Pacific peaceful settlements of disputes  Chapter 7 outlines what the UN can do in response to acts of aggression  Peacekeeping is said to be chapter 6 ½ by UN General Secretary Dag Hammarskjold  Chapter 6.5 is a common reference to this  Peace keepers will always be neutral, will be unarmed or lightly armed (no tanks, etc.), will only come in if they have the consent of the parties involved, will only use their weapons in self-defense (are not permitted to use their weapons in a standard military sense)  That’s the characteristics of what were called 1 generation peace keeping  All of those first 13 peacekeeping missions during the Cold War looked like that – many of them still do  Then the Cold War ended, that vetoing back and forth between US and Soviet Union stopped, there was also opportunities to address tensions and conflicts that had been unresolvable during the Cold War in the post-cold war period  Couple of things changed in new peacekeeping missions (2 generation)  They are much larger involving usually 10s of thousands of military and 10s of thousands of civilian volunteers  They’re way more complex  The UN finds itself doing in the post-cold war peacekeeping missions is state building  It moves from being just interposition forces, standing trying to hold off belligerence to a fully engaged state-building process o Peacekeeping mission in Cambodia in early 1990s is an example of this o UN transitional authority in Cambodia o It’s a mission that involved 20,000 military, 10s of thousands of civilian volunteers, o had great successes o trying to deal with Cambodia post-comer rouge and post- occupation by Vietnam o it’s an opportunity to address this o in Cambodia, mid 1970s, comer rouge launched a revolution, had assassinated many city dwellers – anyone they found associating with education, advancement, killed many thousands of people (called and auto genocide – genocide from within) o eventually after several years, Vietnam invades and occupies it - did this until end of Cold War o there’s an attempt to bring to resolution this problem o Vietnam goes in because the comer rouge are also involved in border services in Vietnam o By going in and invading, they stopped the genocide o So they accomplished some good but on the other hand they’ve invaded and that’s a problem in the international community  So they implemented a massive peacekeeping mission  They repatriated almost 400,000 refugees that had been living over the Thai border, get different factions to disarm, conducted an election (UN actually ran an election), created state structures that hadn’t existed, massive problems with HIV-AIDS when they bring all these people in – huge economic dislocation  All of these people (both troops and volunteers) get paid – bringing mass amount of money to an economy that had been relatively isolated, inflation is ramped – it’s enormously socially dislocated and also very successful in many ways  This is a very different kind of mission than the cold-war missions – complex  They’re doing it in numerous countries around the globe in that immediate post-cold war period  They’re critiqued in that earlier period, Lewis Mackenzie, who led the peacekeeping mission in former Yugoslavia said not to try to call the UN overnight or on weekends because no one would answer the phone  The UN was completely overwhelmed with these missions that they were taking on  It has to some extent scaled those back, you’ll still see UN missions that are involved in this kind of social and political realigning of country  UN peacekeeping is one of the defining pictures of the UN in our minds, makes it unique  Interestingly, particularly in last decade, there’s been a real move away from TCC (Troop Contributing Countries) – the UN relies on them to send troops on peacekeeping missions  Member states of UN, those neutral parties, have to agree to send troops  Many of the traditional contributing countries are really moving away from peacekeeping – Canada being the best example of that  Canada used to be called the Peace Keeping Country Par Excellance  Not only because Pearson (a Canadian) was associated with the creation of peacekeeping but because Canada was regularly sending its troops out on peacekeeping missions  Last 10 years, dramatic shift away from that, only a handful of troops out on peacekeeping missions now from Canada  These complex missions while they may in many respects bring peace and a certain amount of order to countries in situations of conflicts, these are also enormously invasive types of missions  They’re’ open to charge from critical theorists of a contemporary form of imperialism  People go into other countries and try to make them look like western countries – state structures, electoral systems like western countries  Often been criticized for that – the really invasive side of what they do  Whether or not this addresses that issue, but the UN has started to draw troops from more locally regional countries  if continent happening in Africa, likely troops would be African Union troops that are sent in as peace keeps  partly hoping that that softens the charge of imperialism but whether it does is open to question  this means though that many of the traditional TCCs are less active o last issue: enforcement  security council resolutions and all peacekeeping missions, are created by security council resolution  anything UN tends to enforce on members states is done via UN security solution  UN does have problem of enforcement  Readings from last week talked about US invasion of Iraq in 2003  US goes to UN security council and attempted to get UN support for that invasion  Colon Powel shaking his vile of what was supposed to be anthrax, trying to convince council that Iraq had violated all its agreements of weapons of mass destruction and US wanted to go in  UN was not convinced, US does what it wants to do anyway  It collected its coalition of the willing (number of states that agreed to support US) and invaded/occupied Iraq  If you’re a critic of the UN, you look at this as further evidence that UN is a completely ineffectual body  Classic realist analysis of what happened in that moment: a powerful state did what it wanted to do anyway, didn’t get support of UN, but it got its invasion, it might have liked support of UN, but lack of that support didn’t stop them o UN cannot enforce what it wants to accomplish o That signals it’s a largely ineffective body  Supporters of UN would say: if it were really an ineffectual body, it would have just rubber-stamped what the US wanted to do, if UN was unable to chart a different course from the most powerful state in the world, I would have gone along with what is in its best interest to do (US = biggest single contributor to UN), and yet security council was not swayed and said no  Lack of UN’s own army = not able to enforce its resolutions against powerful states, but the fact that it charted a separate course, liberals and proponents of the UN would said is actually a mark of the important place of the UN within the international system  It couldn’t enforce what it wanted but it could say that something else should have happened, it was a space in which the dominant power didn’t get to side what it wanted  Enforcement nonetheless is difficult – is the UN ineffectual because it can’t enforce what it wants or is it constrained but not entirely ineffectual because it can’t enforce what it wants  Ina way, you have to decided that based on what the UN has accomplished historically  UN does get those TCC countries to send volunteers/troops, engages in
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