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What to do with the UN.

Gandhi>Bush

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I personally think the UN is a great idea, but today it has turned corrupt, stagnant and useless. Any ideas about how reform? Do you think it should just be thrown out? Have at it.
 

ludahai

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Gandhi>Bush said:
I personally think the UN is a great idea, but today it has turned corrupt, stagnant and useless. Any ideas about how reform? Do you think it should just be thrown out? Have at it.
The problem is that most of its members are nondemocratic states. This is how countries like Sudan can get on the Human Rights commission, a Chinese can head the ICJ, and the democratic nation of Taiwan gets shut out of the United Nations and all of its affiliated organizations, including the World HEALTH Organization.

The problem is that so long as you give the non-democratic nations the same voice as democratic nations, it will remain a body inherently opposed to the protection of democracy and human rights.

It is time for the democratic nations of the world (yes, including France) to form its own organization, and only admit the China's and Burma's of the world once they truly become democratic.
 

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The problem is that so long as you give the non-democratic nations the same voice as democratic nations, it will remain a body inherently opposed to the protection of democracy and human rights.

It is time for the democratic nations of the world (yes, including France) to form its own organization, and only admit the China's and Burma's of the world once they truly become democratic.
That is actually a good idea, ludahai. I would revise it a bit and say keep a reformed UN, let non-democratic countries have a seat, limited voice, limited aid, and no vote. That might give them more incentive to move toward democracy.
 

Arch Enemy

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If we destroy the UN and make a Democracy only club, then the other non-democratic countries will form their own and basically cause more and more problems.

I believe Sq's idea even worse. If we just basically limit the non-democratic powers then they'll be angered. The best way to spread democracy is to show how good it really is, not to force it upon them.

Then again you'll only make a non-democratic transfer to democratic in a series of Revolutions, this could cause innocent lives..

I personally we just need to make more restrictions and penalties for those who lie about their actions. We need to demolish the whole idea that one vote from a Council Country and the action will be halted. It should be like a real vote.. Majority rules.. you're never going to have an action that EVERYONE will enjoy.. just impossible.
 

ludahai

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Arch Enemy said:
I personally we just need to make more restrictions and penalties for those who lie about their actions. We need to demolish the whole idea that one vote from a Council Country and the action will be halted. It should be like a real vote.. Majority rules.. you're never going to have an action that EVERYONE will enjoy.. just impossible.
If it is one-country, one-vote and everything is done by a simple majority of countries, then the non-democratic countries of the world will have most of the power in the United Nations as most nations of the world are not democracies.

This is unacceptable!
 

Gandhi>Bush

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I think you have a fairly sound idea, ludahai, but I don't think these totalitarian states will simply change over to democracy because the democratic states form a new club. I do, however, think that all of the democratic countries are also the most powerful ones (yeah yeah China is a fluke). I think if all of the democratic states came together I think we could do many great things, but isn't denying voice to non-democratic states anti-democratic in itself?
 

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It doesn’t look like the UN will reform itself any time soon. Is there a point to this that I am missing?

Apr 27, 7:24 PM (ET)

By LEYLA LINTON
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Zimbabwe was re-elected Wednesday to the Human Rights Commission, drawing scathing protests from the United States and other countries charging that the African nation is one of the world's worst rights violators.
William J. Brencick, the U.S. mission representative, said Zimbabwe had "blatantly disregarded the rights of its own people" and its re-election to the U.N. human rights watchdog was inappropriate.
"We remain deeply concerned that the government of Zimbabwe maintains repressive controls on political assembly and the media, harasses civil society groups, and continues to encourage a climate where the opposition fears for its safety," he said.
Source
 

ShamMol

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ludahai said:
If it is one-country, one-vote and everything is done by a simple majority of countries, then the non-democratic countries of the world will have most of the power in the United Nations as most nations of the world are not democracies.

This is unacceptable!
How is that unacceptable? That is actually what democracy is.
 

ludahai

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ShamMol said:
How is that unacceptable? That is actually what democracy is.
:rofl

Allowing a government that does NOT represent its people the same vote as one that DOES represent its people is a democracy? That is warped logic if I have ever seen it.
 
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I am definitely uncomfortable with the notion of withholding U.N. voting rights from non-democracies.

It actually flies in the face of their national sovereignty -- the right of a nation to choose its own government and system. Democracy is not always the best government for all people at all times. Oftentimes, people want to have a strong autocratic ruler, expecially when such rule accompanies promises of combatting corruption.

For example, isn't it possible that the people of China are relatively content with their government?

What's important is that the choice of government is made with the nation itself, and not by a foreign occupier. It is in this protection of national sovereignty that the U.N. should involve itself.

The U.N. should have no business being a champion of democracy.
 

ShamMol

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ludahai said:
:rofl

Allowing a government that does NOT represent its people the same vote as one that DOES represent its people is a democracy? That is warped logic if I have ever seen it.
Nope, not really. Democracy...one vote per person...kinda the way that the UN works, or one vote per country. We even have a semi-House of Reps with the permenant power given to some nations who are considered more important (instead of in the Rep bigger).
 

ludahai

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Deus Ex Machina said:
For example, isn't it possible that the people of China are relatively content with their government?
Interesting you bring up China because I have lived there before and I can speak (and read) Chinese. No, most people there are NOT relatively content with their government, it is just that they are not given the avenue to criticize it. They know what happened in Tian'anmen Square in June of 1989. There are police all over the place to ensure that the people stay in line. Each neighborhood has a committee at the beck and call of the Communist Party and they monitor the neighborhoods all over the country. Each university has Party Secretaries in academic departments that make sure what is taught is ideologically acceptible. I was nearly expelled from the country in the fall of 1997 while teaching at Shandong Teachers' University after giving a lecture on the history of Sino-American relations. My offense? Mentioning that the United States was the only country who used its Boxer Indemnity money to sponsor scholarships for Chinese students to study in the United States.


The U.N. should have no business being a champion of democracy.
Then the United States and other democracies should form their own organization and let the United Nations be damned. Countries like Syria, Sudan, and Zimbabwe having a presence on the Human Rights Commission is downright laughable, but is inevitable when you give authoritiarian states the same moral legitimacy and vote as democratic ones.
 

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Is there any other choice?

From what I have read, many people here are quite against the U.N.
Then let me ask this question...If no U.N. what do we have? Anarchy or Unilateral use a power for me is not an option. The U.N. is far from perfect and even far from what it was originally designed for; However, I prefer a partially impotent U.N. than anything else.

What are our other logical options?

By: Atlas.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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I would like to see a UN that gets things done. I would like to see a UN that gives a damn about the genocide in Sudan. I would like to see a UN that isn't as corrupt as the Oil for Food scandal showed it is. We need a body like the UN, but it needs reform.
 

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Gandhi>Bush said:
I would like to see a UN that gets things done. I would like to see a UN that gives a damn about the genocide in Sudan. I would like to see a UN that isn't as corrupt as the Oil for Food scandal showed it is. We need a body like the UN, but it needs reform.
All you said is quite true. Nevertheless, the U.N. is not to blame. This institution has 3 major structural weaknesses (which are not its fault but that of its founding and presently enforcing members):


1- The U.N. at its creation and in its original structural blue print was supposed to have a standing military force that would have had the capability to act in order to maintain peace. However, when it came to decide on the size of the army, the super powers of the time did not like the fact that the U.N. army would have been quite large and even large than the army of most powers of the time. Thus, they did not endorse the idea and it was never revived. Even today the Security council ( I am talking about the 5 permanent members) have no intention in creating a "Standing military force".


2- The second weakness is the Security Council itself.

For those who do not know, the General Assembly of the United Nations works on the basis of 1 vote one country. However, the Security council does not. The permanent members of the council have veto power (each one). These 5 permanent members ( Russia, China, France, UK, and US) have the final word when it comes to authorizing the use of sanctions and most importantly the use of force (military intervention). These countries will act only when their interest are not harmed.
Lets say for example that something is going on in Romania and the security council wants to intervene; however, France refuses because it has companies exploiting the oil fields, an intervention in Romania might stop them from continuing the exploitation of the fields ( THIS IS A SIMPLE INVENTED SCENARIO, not fact only an example).

** Contrary to the first structural weakness this one can be fixed. If by some miracle (i.e: massive protest from the Global community and the citizens in every Democratic Nation) the security council gets dissolved and the entire power regarding security goes to the General Assembly. Or, the other possibility would be to just remove the veto and keep the Security Council; however the use of force would only be authorized if X % (51% or 70% etc) of the Security Council votes in favour.

3- Respect for Non-Intervention:

This structural problem is slowing getting fixed. The weakening of the principle of non-intervention has begone since the first gulf war. Normally, the U.N. had no right to intervene in the internal affairs of a Sovereign State. It could not impose any authority on the domestic behaviour or action within a country. When the first gulf war took place there was the implementation of the famous " NO-FLY ZONES" (North and South of Iraq) which were a clear violation of the principle of non-intervention. Other examples can be found in Rwanda and Bosnia regarding the " War Crime Tribunals" and the arrest of Augusto Pinochet.

Now for the Intervention in Sudan. The problem is that in order to act, they would have to totally go beyond the Non-intervention (in the internal affairs of a Independent state) principle. Even though the U.N. is not present the African league is. They have sent a miserable 500 ( more or less) troops; however, the president of Sudan does not accept more. Thus, the Security Council needs to find out if they really want to act. Considering the present situation in Iraq, I doubt there will be an intervention any time soon.

For the corruption part. Well I am quite sad to admit that yes the U.N. is corrupt. It would need reformation ( regarding the 3 structural weaknesses and the corruption) but reformation needs will power and a budget. The U.N. is terribly under funded. People ask of the U.N. and the U.N. itself has the pretension of working for world peace. But the budget it has is simply a drop in the bucket.
Last time I visited the U.N. web site and the U.N. itself I have been informed that the U.N. needs 250 billions in order to fix most of the world problems (i.e. hunger, basic vaccination for all, Child soldiers, tribal conflict, education, partial disarmament, water problems, and so on; this statistic can be found on the U.N. web site and if you do not find it tell me I surely still have it on my PC).
Now does 250 billions sound like a large sum? It is a joke. The world expenditure for weapons is at 950 billions (for 2004). The US, spends more or less 500 billions when it comes to the military and the arms trade.

If the rich/ powerful countries would have the will there would find a way. The U.N. if reformed would be able to achieve something very close to world peace. But only IF.

By: Atlas
 

Gandhi>Bush

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Atlas said:
Last time I visited the U.N. web site and the U.N. itself I have been informed that the U.N. needs 250 billions in order to fix most of the world problems (i.e. hunger, basic vaccination for all, Child soldiers, tribal conflict, education, partial disarmament, water problems, and so on; this statistic can be found on the U.N. web site and if you do not find it tell me I surely still have it on my PC).
Now does 250 billions sound like a large sum? It is a joke. The world expenditure for weapons is at 950 billions (for 2004). The US, spends more or less 500 billions when it comes to the military and the arms trade.

By: Atlas
I find this to be the most distressing part. 250 billion dollars? That's chump change when it comes to global standards.
 

RightinNYC

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Gandhi>Bush said:
I find this to be the most distressing part. 250 billion dollars? That's chump change when it comes to global standards.
That number is a complete fallacy.

250 billion to cure "hunger, basic vaccination for all, Child soldiers, tribal conflict, education, partial disarmament, water problems, and so on"

That's completely absurd to imagine that's true. The US spends 250 billion on education EACH YEAR ALONE, so how on earth is 250 billion going to solve all educations problems world wide?

Those numbers have obviously been tampered with.

And secondly, where would that money come from? Try collecting 250 BILLION from nations without any actual enforcement ability to do so.
 

RightinNYC

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Deus Ex Machina said:
I am definitely uncomfortable with the notion of withholding U.N. voting rights from non-democracies.

It actually flies in the face of their national sovereignty -- the right of a nation to choose its own government and system. Democracy is not always the best government for all people at all times. Oftentimes, people want to have a strong autocratic ruler, expecially when such rule accompanies promises of combatting corruption.

For example, isn't it possible that the people of China are relatively content with their government?

What's important is that the choice of government is made with the nation itself, and not by a foreign occupier. It is in this protection of national sovereignty that the U.N. should involve itself.

The U.N. should have no business being a champion of democracy.
That's the whole point of the plan to create a separate UN, for democracies only. There would be no soverignty issues because it wouldn't have members that were dictatorships, and thus would have no sway in those countries.

And I draw issue with your claim that the UN should have no business being a champion of democracy.

Is not the purpose of the UN to promote world peace? What is the best way to ensure that there is peace? Get rid of dictatorships and spread democracy. It's a proven fact.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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RightatNYU said:
That number is a complete fallacy.

250 billion to cure "hunger, basic vaccination for all, Child soldiers, tribal conflict, education, partial disarmament, water problems, and so on"

That's completely absurd to imagine that's true. The US spends 250 billion on education EACH YEAR ALONE, so how on earth is 250 billion going to solve all educations problems world wide?

Those numbers have obviously been tampered with.

And secondly, where would that money come from? Try collecting 250 BILLION from nations without any actual enforcement ability to do so.
Okay let's just toss this up for a second...

I did this research after seeing one of those commercials about giving a cup of coffee a day to put food and shelter over kids heads in africa. You know what I'm talking about? I'm sure you do. We've all seen 'em. I did this along time ago.

A cup of coffee being about a dollar we'll say everyday.

There are currently 90 million starving people in Africa.

$1= 1 day.

365 days in a year.

365 x 18? 16? we'll say 17.

365 x 17 = 6205

$250,000,000,000/6205 = Approximately 40,290,088.6 children will eat from the time they are born until they are 17.

250 billion dollars is quite off if we're talking about the 90 million starving people in africa, but if that bald guy on TV knows his stuff, it wouldn't take much more to help out some children.

The number of people could be increased as the age they can start working goes down. Remember I chose 17 to go with. How old could a child start working for wages in africa? I don't know.
 

RightinNYC

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Gandhi>Bush said:
Okay let's just toss this up for a second...

I did this research after seeing one of those commercials about giving a cup of coffee a day to put food and shelter over kids heads in africa. You know what I'm talking about? I'm sure you do. We've all seen 'em. I did this along time ago.

A cup of coffee being about a dollar we'll say everyday.

There are currently 90 million starving people in Africa.

$1= 1 day.

365 days in a year.

365 x 18? 16? we'll say 17.

365 x 17 = 6205

$250,000,000,000/6205 = Approximately 40,290,088.6 children will eat from the time they are born until they are 17.

250 billion dollars is quite off if we're talking about the 90 million starving people in africa, but if that bald guy on TV knows his stuff, it wouldn't take much more to help out some children.

The number of people could be increased as the age they can start working goes down. Remember I chose 17 to go with. How old could a child start working for wages in africa? I don't know.

Well, that's assuming that a child can be fed for an entire day on $1. There are hundreds of costs associated with this, such as finding the food, buying the food, shipping it to where it needs to go, preparing it, setting up the bureaucracy that would need to distribute the food, managing costs, etc etc. There is no way that a person could actually be fed for $1 a day in a program such as this. I agree that it would make a difference, but 250,000,000,000 is a lot of money. The problem isn't spending it, its getting it.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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Well, let's assume that you can feed someone on a dollar a day. We're looking at Africa's hunger problem going away for a little over $500,000,000,000. Do you really think the world would have a problem getting that kind of money?

That's about a war and half's worth.

But to get back on topic,

Do you have any other ideas for the UN, what they should be doing, how they could be better, etc.?
 

RightinNYC

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Gandhi>Bush said:
Well, let's assume that you can feed someone on a dollar a day. We're looking at Africa's hunger problem going away for a little over $500,000,000,000. Do you really think the world would have a problem getting that kind of money?

That's about a war and half's worth.

But to get back on topic,

Do you have any other ideas for the UN, what they should be doing, how they could be better, etc.?
It doesn't work like that though. That 500,000,000,000 comes FROM somewhere. It's money that countries would spend on jobs, social programs, or yes, wars (which provide millions and millions of jobs). If that money was given to feed the hungry in Africa, it'd create millions and millions of hungry people around the world who would lose their jobs and be unable to provide for their families.

And aside from all that, there is no way in the world you could convince ANY country to give anywhere near that money. Look at it like this. If the US was going to provide only 10% of that money (we would surely have to shoulder far more of the burden), that's 50 billion. $170 from every man, woman, and child. Try to convince every person to give up $170 to feed 10% of Africa. Never happen.

Anyways, I liked the idea of a League of Democratic Nations. Democracy is by far the best form of government, and leads directly to peace. Anything that spreads it is good.
 

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The U.N. is incompetant, impotent, inconsiderate, and intolerant of U.S. ideals. Alright, now that I got the "being cute" thing out of my system I believe that the U.N. is an arrogant entity that tries way to hard to mind U.S. business, therefore, we should just kick them out of New York by force and turn the building into a N.R.A. lobby headquarters.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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So Mr. Righter, you think the UN is a bad idea all together? Do you have any suggestions for what could make it less incompetant, impotent, inconsiderate, and intolerant of U.S. ideals? Should it be reformed? Or should we just say world peace is over rated and have no place to for everyone to communicate all together?
 

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QUOTE=Gandhi>Bush]So Mr. Righter, you think the UN is a bad idea all together? Do you have any suggestions for what could make it less incompetant, impotent, inconsiderate, and intolerant of U.S. ideals? Should it be reformed?
political obliteration is the only solution. [/QUOTE] Or should we just say world peace is over rated and have no place to for everyone to communicate all together?[/QUOTE]
We have found that world peace doesn't last, this is unfortunate, but the U.N. is no solution to world fighting, or human rights violations. How to fix the U.N.?, I don't know, don't really think it can be done, don't even believe it's worth doing.
 
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