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How effective is the UN in maintaining international peace and security? Free essay! Download now

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How effective is the UN in maintaining international peace and security?

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1400 | Submitted: 14-Jun-2008
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How effective is the UN in maintaining international peace and security?


In order to design a more effective institution and to get all the great powers on board, the designers of UN created the Security Council, this allowed the great five powers (Soviet Union, UK, China, France and USA) to have veto power. If any one of those states commonly referred to as the P5 cotes against a resolution, then it will not be passed and will not become a law or part of the blueprint for world order. “The UN Security Council was given the main responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.” Its decisions are binding on all UN member states. The Security Council has tremendous 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.

The fact that members of the UN invade other countries simply shows that their peacekeeping is hugely ineffective. Certain countries within the UN have a hug amount of power, influence, and economic might. This extensive power gives these countries far more influence within the UN than other countries. Theoretically, the UN is designed to be an equal organisation, in which states have the same amount of influence. In actuality this is not the case at all, the USA has a vast amount of power and influence within the UN. An example of emphasising this valid and much debated point is the USA invading Iraq. In 2002 the USA went to the Security Council seeking Chapter VII enforcement against Iraq. The Security Council was very much divided, with much of the UN against an invasion of Iraq. When no conclusion was identified, the US led coalition in the 2003, and the Iraq war was not authorized by the United Nations, leading many to ponder whether the United Nations is still a relevant player in world politics.

The fact of the matter is that the US is a member of the UN and is able to invade another state without authorisation of other members of the UN. This completely undermines the purpose and goals of the UN. Not only this but the US invading Iraq is not peaceful at all and if anything has increased the hostility of terrorist movements to states within the UN. The Iraq case, affirms the realist proposition that strong and powerful states can chart their own course of action without being constrained by the international community. There is a constant theory circulating that the US has invaded Iraq for its oil, and with no weapons of mass destruction in sight, this theory is becoming more feasible. The fact that the UN’s major force (the US) is invading a country with peripheral motives shows that the UN is not peaceful in itself, let alone successful at maintaining and enforcing peace in other countries. The US benefit from too much power within the UN, and the fact they can do what they want, when they want, and how they want, shows that UN has lost its purpose and formality. Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali says the “United Nations has little moral authority to preach democracy to the outside world when it is not fully practising it in its own backyard.” With somebody who was once so close to the internal affairs of the UN making such a clear statement, we can see the true distortion within the UN.

In October 1990 the Rwandan Civil War began when the Rwandan Patriotic Front rebel group invaded across Uganda's southern border into northern Rwanda. On April 6, 1994 The Rwandan President Habyarimana and the Burundian President were killed when Habyarimana's plane was shot down by Hutu extremists, this caused Rwandan Genocide.

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