Chapter 6: International Organization, Law, and Human Rights.pdf

7 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
POLI 260
Robert Farkasch

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 Chapter 6: International Organization, Law, and Human Rights ▯ • International organizations (IOs) — include intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the UN, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the International Committee of the Red Cross. International organizations do not include MNCs because MNCs do not have an international, universal goal, they are businesses whose goal is to make profit. Weaving together of people across national boundaries reflects world interdependence. • Overall the regional international organizations have more success than global ones and those with specific functional or technical purposes have worked better than those with broad purposes. • Global IGOs usually have functional purposes involving coordinating actions of some sets of states around the world. • NGOs tend to be more specialized in function than IGOs. Religious groups are among the largest NGOs — their memberships often span many countries. Both in today’s world an historically world religions have organized themselves across state borders, often in the face of hostility from one or more national governments. • There exist a web of international organizations of various sizes and types. The rapid growth of this network, and the increasingly intense communications and interactions that occur within it, indicate the rising international interdependence. • The United Nations • State sovereign in an anarchical system creates the need for international organizations, i.e. the UN, on a practical level because no central world government performs the functions of coordinating the actions of states for mutual benefit. However, state sovereignty also limits the power of the UN and other IOs. • Although the UN strengthens world order, its design acknowledges the realities of international anarchy and the unwillingness of states to surrender their sovereignty. The basic purpose of the UN is to provide a global institutional structure through which states can sometimes settle their conflicts with less reliance on the use of force. • The UN Charter is based on the principles that states are equal under international law; that states have full sovereignty over their own affairs; that states should have full independence and territorial integrity; and that states should carry out they international obligations. • The UN is a symbol of international order and also a forum where states promote their views and bring their disputes. It is a mechanism for conflict resolution in international security affairs. • The UN also promotes and coordinates development assistance of economic and social development in the global south. This reflects the belief that economic and social problems — above all, poverty — are an important source of international conflict and war. The UN is a coordinating system for information and planning, and for the publication of international data. • Every year the world spend about $1.2 trillion on the military, and less than $2 billion on the UN regular budget. • Structure of the UN • UN General Assembly — representatives of all states listen to speeches and pass resolutions. Parallel to the General assembly is the UN Security Council —five great powers and ten rotating member states make decisions about international peace and security. The SC has responsibility for the dispatch of peacekeeping forces to trouble spots. ▯1 Wednesday, February 26, 2014 • The administrations of theUN happens through the UN Secretariat (executive branch), led by the secretary-general of the UN. • The World Court (International Court of Justice) is a judicial art of the UN. A major strength of the Un structure is the universality of membership. Virtually every territory • in the world is either a UN member or normally a province or colony of one. Agreement on the Charter commits all states to basic rules governing their relations. Recognizing the role of power in world order, the UN Charter gave five great power each a veto over substantive decisions of the SC — China, US, Britain, France, Russia. Chapter 7 of the Charter authorizes the Security Council to use military force against aggression if the nonviolent means in Chapter 6 have failed. • History of the UN • The UN was founded in 1945 in San Francisco by 51 states. It was the successor to the League of Nations, which failed to effectively counter aggression in the 1930s. The UN was founded to increase international order and the rule of law to prevent another world war. • In the 1950s and 1960d the UN’s membership more than doubled as colonies in Asia and Africa won independence. • China: China’s seat in the UN had been assigned to the government on Taiwan who was in power of mainland China until 1949. In 1971 the Chinese seat was taken from the nationalists and given to the communist government • Throughout the Cold War, the UN had few successes in international security because the US-Soviet conflict prevented consensus. States in the global South also used the UN as a forum to criticize rich countries in general • and the US in particular. • Between 1987 and 1993, SC resolutions increased from 15 to 78, peacekeeping missions from 5 to 17, peacekeepers from 12,000 to 78,000, and countries sending troops from 26 to 76. However, inadequate funding and management problems undermined peacekeeping efforts in Angola, Somalia, and Cambodia. The UN scaled back peacekeeping operations in 1995-1997 (from 78,000 to 19,000 troops) and carried to reductions and reforms in the UN Secretariat and UN programs. • The 2003 Iraq War triggered serious divisions among the great powers that sidelined the UN. The SC was split on whether to authorize force against Iraq — Britain and US in favour; France, Russia, and China against. The UN withdrew its staff from Iraq in 2003, and found itself largely sidelined in the world’s most prominent international conflict. Currently the UN follows a principle of “three pillars” — security, economic • development, and human rights — which are considered mutually necessary for any of them to succeed. • The Security Council • The SC’s decisions are binding on all members of the UN. It had great power to define the existence and nature of a security threat, to structure the response to such a threat, and to enforce its decisions through mandatory directives to UN members. • Substantive SC resolutions require 9 votes from among the 15 members. But a “no” vote by an permanent member defeats the resolution. • The Council’s ten nonpermanent members rotate onto the Council for two-year terms. Nonpermanent members are elected (five each year) for two year terms by the General Assembly from a list prepared by informal regional caucuses. ▯2 Wednesday, February 26, 2014 • SC is limited in power in two major ways, both of which reflect the strength of state sovereignty in the international system. 
 1. The Council’s decisions depend entirely on the interests of its member states. The ambassadors who represent those states cannot change a Council resolution without authorization from their governments. 
 2. Although the SC resolutions in theory bind all UN members, member states in practice often try to evade or soften their effect. • Japan and Germany are great powers that contribute substantial UN dues and make large contributions to UN programs and peacekeeping operations. Yet they have the same formal representation in the UN as tiny states: one vote in the General Assembly and the chance to rotate onto the SC. Also, if Japan and Germany get a seat, then what about India, with about 20% of the world’s population. Possible new permanent members could include Germany, Japan, India, Brazil, Egypt, and either Nigeria or South Africa. • Peacekeeping forces are not mentioned in the UN Charter. In practice, when the UN has authorized force to reverse aggression the forces involved have been national forces not under UN command. The UN’s own forces have been peacekeeping forces to calm regional conflicts, playing a neutral role between warring forces. • The secretary-general assembles a peacekeeping force for each missions, usually from a few states totally uninvolved in the conflict, and puts it under a single commander. Peacekeeping forces serve at the invitation of a host government and must leave if that government order them out. Lack of fund is today the single greatest constraint on the use of peacekeeping forces. • The two largest peacekeeping missions in 2012 were the Democratic Congo and the Darfur region of Sudan. UN forces occasionally were attacked by rebels and even by local civilians angry at the UN’s failure to protect them. A collective good problem occurs where potential suppliers of peacekeepers face neither rewards for doing so (reciprocity) nor punishment for failing to do so (dominance). Because of problems with sex-related crimes in UN peacekeeping operations, and the • importance of women in postwar societies, the SC passed Resolution 1325 in 2000 to focus attention on genera issues in UN peacekeeping and reconstruction. • Expanding operations after conflicts are called peace building. In an effort to provide longer-term support after wars. • “Peacekeepers” performs two different functions: 1. Observing, 2. Peacekeeping. Observers are unarmed military officers sent to a conflict area in small numbers simply to watch what happens and report back to the UN. • The function of peacekeeping is carrie rout by lightly armed soldiers (in armoured vehicles) with automatic rifles but without artillery, tanks, and other heavy weaponry. They can interpose themselves physically between warring parties to keep them apart. UN peacekeepers often try to negotiate with military officers on both sides. Peacekeeping is much more difficult if one side sees the UN forces as being biased • • In 2010, the five leading contributors with troops numbers were: Pakistan and Bangladesh 11,000; Pakistan 9,000; India 8,000; Nigeria 6,000; Nepal 4,000. • In the late 1990s, seven countries — Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Austria, and Canada — formed a 4,000 troop UN Standby High Readiness Brigade. Headquartered in Denmark and available to deploy to conflict areas in two to four weeks rather than in months. ▯3 Wednesday, February 26, 2014 • The Secretariat • The secretary-general is nominated by the SC - required the consent of al five permanent members — and must be approved by the GA. Term of office is five years and may be renewed. • Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea, began his term in 2007 focused on UN reform, economic development, human rights, terrorism, proliferation, environmental problems, and HIV/AIDS. His predecessor, Kofi Annan, was from Ghana. • The secretariat of the UN is its executive branch, headed by the secretary-general. It is a bureaucracy for administering UN policy and programs. The staff numbers about 15,000 people, and the total number of employees in the UN system (including the World Bank and IMF) is about 80,000. • The UN Charter sets the secretary-general and staff apart from the authority of national governments and calls on member states to respect the staff’s “exclusively international character” The secretary general has the power under the Charter to bring to the SC any matter that • might threaten international peace and security, and so to play a major role in setting the UN’s agenda in international security affairs. • The General Assembly • The GA is made up of all 193 member states of the UN, each with one vote. Usually meets every year, in plenary session. State leaders or foreign ministers generally come through one- by-one to address the assemblage.
More Less

Related notes for POLI 260

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.