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United Nations

Hornburger

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I'm doing a scholarship and the question asks: What reforms should be made to the UN?

All opinions would be encouraged; I appreciate everyone's help!
 

Engimo

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Hornburger said:
I'm doing a scholarship and the question asks: What reforms should be made to the UN?

All opinions would be encouraged; I appreciate everyone's help!
It seems that the status of the post-WWII allies as permanent members of the Security Council (with veto power) should be reconsidered. Can we really have equal representation and an inclusive organization if we have several countries with such large concentrations of power?
 
T

The Real McCoy

Many member nations should be completely removed from the UN.
 

Kandahar

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I think, first and foremost, the UN needs to establish a clear mission to justify its existence. It was formed with the goal of preventing wars, but it now dabbles in everything from AIDS to pollution. None of these goals seem very likely, as long as member states hold such differing views.

A more realistic goal is for the UN to simply be a forum for the nations of the world to voice their concerns and opinions with one another, and nothing more. Perhaps it can even lay some ground rules to allow member states to set up treaties with each other or develop some generally agreed-upon international laws, as long as the treaties aren't done with the backing of the UN itself.

I disagree with the person who said that some countries should be expelled; we may not like their governments, but I think it's a bit childish to pretend that they aren't in charge. And if it wasn't for an independent mediator like the UN, there would be no room for negotiation between countries who had severed diplomatic ties with each other.

However, I do think that some kind of fluid "Organization of Democracies" should exist. The UN simply does not have the moral authority to speak on human rights while the Sudan sits on the Human Rights Commission. The UN cannot effectively condemn terrorism when the Arab League threatens a boycott unless inflammatory anti-Israeli rhetoric is included in the resolution. And the UN certainly can't claim to be the sole arbiter of war, when any resolution that goes before the Security Council is subject to the veto of two dictatorships and the whim of ten random nations. A better solution would be for the UN to simply get out of the business entirely. If all the democracies of the world organized, and established their own definitions of human rights and terrorism, I'd be much more impressed than I ever will be with the UN.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Well UN have atleast been abit succefull lately like for example the Iraq war. Yes of course UN couldn't stop it, but the USA couldn't force UN and the mayority of the security counsel to obey there will. Also USA lost alot of international support by going against UN.
 

Kelzie

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Here is my thinkings on how the structure of the UN should be reformed:

First, remove veto powers from the permanent members. For the General Assembly, each state would have a proportional number of representatives based on their population. Here's the kicker. The number of their representitives would be multiplied by the percentage that their government represents the population. In less democratic countries, ie China, even though they should have a large number of representatives, since they are not very democratic, they would have less of the influence that they should have. This would offer incentive to other countries to represent their people's interests better.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Bergslagstroll said:
Well UN have atleast been abit succefull lately like for example the Iraq war. Yes of course UN couldn't stop it, but the USA couldn't force UN and the mayority of the security counsel to obey there will. Also USA lost alot of international support by going against UN.
Yes, we should be trying to win the support of 3rd world dictatorships and ungrateful countries like France.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Kelzie said:
Here is my thinkings on how the structure of the UN should be reformed:

First, remove veto powers from the permanent members. For the General Assembly, each state would have a proportional number of representatives based on their population. Here's the kicker. The number of their representitives would be multiplied by the percentage that their government represents the population. In less democratic countries, ie China, even though they should have a large number of representatives, since they are not very democratic, they would have less of the influence that they should have. This would offer incentive to other countries to represent their people's interests better.
I like that idea. And countries like Sudan should have almost zero representation, ESPECIALLY when it comes to human rights.
 

Calm2Chaos

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I think there are only two possible uses or practices that the UN is usefull for. It should

A.) Be turned into a multi-national humanitarian organization, and strictly humanitarian (Food, water, clothes). Security issues and the like should no longer be passed before and organization as inept at performing those functions as the UN is. Without the real ability, heartor stones to enforce it's own resolutions. And it's inability to act as a cohesive unit, humanitarian aid is a much less intricate part of world affairs. (No OIL----By the way.. It will come up missing....)

B.) Disbanned
 

Calm2Chaos

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Bergslagstroll said:
Well UN have atleast been abit succefull lately like for example the Iraq war. Yes of course UN couldn't stop it, but the USA couldn't force UN and the mayority of the security counsel to obey there will. Also USA lost alot of international support by going against UN.
The UN is an old dog with no teeth..... I think it's time for the needle...!!!
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by Calm2Chaos:
The UN is an old dog with no teeth..... I think it's time for the needle...!!!
The UN would definately have more teeth if it wasn't for rogue nations that didn't care about international opinion.
 

Kelzie

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The Real McCoy said:
I like that idea. And countries like Sudan should have almost zero representation, ESPECIALLY when it comes to human rights.
The problem is that you'd still want those countries at least participating. After all, that was one of the reasons that the UN was formed: to offer a forum for countries to discuss their grievances. To their credit, there has been no world wide war since they started.
 

Engimo

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Kelzie said:
The problem is that you'd still want those countries at least participating. After all, that was one of the reasons that the UN was formed: to offer a forum for countries to discuss their grievances. To their credit, there has been no world wide war since they started.
Indeed. A successful League of Nations would have at least helped delay WWII, if not preventing it entirely. The Allies' poor treatment of post-WWI Germany perhaps could have been avoided, and Hitler's rise to power most likely would not have occured.

It is precisely for this reason that we need things like the United Nations - throwing it away is a terrible, terrible idea.
 

Kandahar

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Kelzie said:
Here is my thinkings on how the structure of the UN should be reformed:

First, remove veto powers from the permanent members. For the General Assembly, each state would have a proportional number of representatives based on their population. Here's the kicker. The number of their representitives would be multiplied by the percentage that their government represents the population. In less democratic countries, ie China, even though they should have a large number of representatives, since they are not very democratic, they would have less of the influence that they should have. This would offer incentive to other countries to represent their people's interests better.
That seems like an interesting idea, but I wonder if it would work in implementation. How much a country represents its people is not something that's easily quantifiable, and any formula to figure it out would have implicit assumptions built into it.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Calm2Chaos said:
The UN is an old dog with no teeth..... I think it's time for the needle...!!!
Well if UN was a old dog without teeth it would have rolled over and obeyed the most powerful country in the world. Instead it followed the will of the worldopinion. Just look at Spain and the UK that joined the USA, even in who's countries a mayority was against the war. So in that case UN worked. Remember also Afganisthan there you could get the "cowardly French" and the third world countries to accept a UN mission. A mission that had much higher acceptance worldwide.

Also remember that there are UN peacekeeping mission in many places of the world from east timor to liberia. But of course who's conflict is not as sexy or intersting as the conflicts that are of more strategic interest of the USA and the west. Therefore this conflicts get almost no mediacover and the countries that support this mission with troops is mostly not from the USA and the Western part of the world.
 

Kelzie

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Kandahar said:
That seems like an interesting idea, but I wonder if it would work in implementation. How much a country represents its people is not something that's easily quantifiable, and any formula to figure it out would have implicit assumptions built into it.
It's actually not that hard. There's a number if independent organizations that already rate all the countries in the world on their level of democracy (I'll find them if you want, can't remember them off the top of my head). They do a pretty decent job, and I'd imagine it wouldn't be that hard to implement it into a percentage.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Kelzie said:
It's actually not that hard. There's a number if independent organizations that already rate all the countries in the world on their level of democracy (I'll find them if you want, can't remember them off the top of my head). They do a pretty decent job, and I'd imagine it wouldn't be that hard to implement it into a percentage.
The problem is how to make the sytem fair. For example shouldn't you only acount for political factors. Like for example you can have a country that lives up to the formal political criterias for democracy but there 60 percent is dirt poor and have no real change of influences. So yes reform is needed, but juding level of democracy on a scale is probably to hard. And would from the start be accused of for example being westernimperalistic, neoliberal and/or communist. But of course increased efforts should be on making the memberstate reach UN:s declaration of human rights.
 

Kandahar

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Kelzie said:
It's actually not that hard. There's a number if independent organizations that already rate all the countries in the world on their level of democracy (I'll find them if you want, can't remember them off the top of my head). They do a pretty decent job, and I'd imagine it wouldn't be that hard to implement it into a percentage.
But the credibility of those organizations comes from the fact that they're independent. If you use their rankings to determine representation, suddenly they're a political committee and subject to political pressure.
 

Kelzie

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Kandahar said:
But the credibility of those organizations comes from the fact that they're independent. If you use their rankings to determine representation, suddenly they're a political committee and subject to political pressure.
Can't change that. Happens everywhere. One would assume watch dog groups would pop up to keep tabs on them.
 

Axismaster

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My opinion on the UN is that it has effectively junked itself. Now, I think its teeth got too sharp. Rather than an organization with power is that it should be a forum for international discussion. All international law should be created in special conventions just like the Geneva Codes were.
 

M14 Shooter

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Billo_Really said:
The UN would definately have more teeth if it wasn't for rogue nations that didn't care about international opinion.
The UN has one set of teeth - the same set its had since its inception:
The United States.
This was never more apparent than 2003, when the US (and our cousins in the UK) decided to act on the threats laid down by the UN -- and the UN refused to back us up.

In 2003, when the UN refused to back up its words with action, it lost all credibility as a 'problem solving' body. There isnt any reason why a country like Iran oir North Korea should take anythng the UN says sertious -- unless its clear that the US is willing to back up those resolutiuons with direct force.
 

Axismaster

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M14 Shooter said:
The UN has one set of teeth - the same set its had since its inception:
The United States.
This was never more apparent than 2003, when the US (and our cousins in the UK) decided to act on the threats laid down by the UN -- and the UN refused to back us up.

In 2003, when the UN refused to back up its words with action, it lost all credibility as a 'problem solving' body. There isnt any reason why a country like Iran oir North Korea should take anythng the UN says sertious -- unless its clear that the US is willing to back up those resolutiuons with direct force.
As much as I oppose this war, you are right, the US army has always been like the UN's adopted force.
 

Bergslagstroll

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M14 Shooter said:
The UN has one set of teeth - the same set its had since its inception:
The United States.
This was never more apparent than 2003, when the US (and our cousins in the UK) decided to act on the threats laid down by the UN -- and the UN refused to back us up.

In 2003, when the UN refused to back up its words with action, it lost all credibility as a 'problem solving' body. There isnt any reason why a country like Iran oir North Korea should take anythng the UN says sertious -- unless its clear that the US is willing to back up those resolutiuons with direct force.
I'm repeting my self now... But that you say is true with big "sexy" operation there USA feel there own interest is threathen. But if you look to all the conflict UN is involed in you can see the most of the peacekeeping troops is from countries outside USA and the west. Also millions of people around the world gets helped by this operation. But because those conflict is not in the media spotlight americans but also other western can ignore that work.

Right now are there sixteen/eighteen missions...
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/bnote.htm
 

Axismaster

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Bergslagstroll said:
I'm repeting my self now... But that you say is true with big "sexy" operation there USA feel there own interest is threathen. But if you look to all the conflict UN is involed in you can see the most of the peacekeeping troops is from countries outside USA and the west. Also millions of people around the world gets helped by this operation. But because those conflict is not in the media spotlight americans but also other western can ignore that work.

Right now are there sixteen/eighteen missions...
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/bnote.htm
Help or not, they are still as corrupt as hell.
 
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