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POLS 2940 Lecture Notes - Diego Arria, Peacekeeping, Arria

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
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
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

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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
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
US is still cautious
Always concerned about money being to inefficiently spent, salaries being too
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

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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 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
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
So the UN is caught in this crisis
It’s a crisis because members are pitted against one another
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