…it already is.[ul] Did Iraq change their ways because the UN says to do so? Does Israel obey the UN’s (misguided IMHO) resolutions against them? Does Arafat stop stealing money from UN contributions to the Palestinians? Does anyone expect the UN to solve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear threats? Did France seek UN approval to send military to the Ivory Coast? Did the UN solve the problems in the former Yoguslavia?Have the UN-supported world-wide treaties made a noticeable difference? Does the Libya-led Human Rights Commission have moral authority?[/ul]This organization is dead on its feet. Maybe it can be brought back to life. Otherwise, let’s shoot it and put it out of its misery.
Quite so! We need to do away with these pussillanimous pussyfooters, these nattering nabobs of negativism. What is called for is a single Leader, a nation of indisputable virtue and moral rigor, with the military clout to enforce its benign mandates. Someone capable of saying “I’ve got the Big Stick and you will speak softly”
Nominations are now open. The One with All the Bombs nominates The One with All the Bombs. Nominations are now closed. The unanimous vote will now commence, to be followed by a spirited debate: “inaugaration” or “coronation”.
The question is not whether the UN “is” irrelevant, but whether it ought to be irrelevant.
That is: the UN is irrelevant only if people allow it to become so. The question ignores the fact that certain parties – e.g., the United States – have a strong interest in making it irrelevant, at least sometimes.
The OP suggests that the fact that Israel routinely violates UN resolutions – far more than Iraq – means that the UN is “irrelevant.”
But it’s also true that the US is single-handedly responsible for that irrelevance, having vetoed most of the resolutions against Israel for those violations. And that veto power, of course, only exists by virtue of UN procedure.
Nonetheless, even this circumstance does not demonstrate irrelevance, because Israel’s record of violations, along with the US’s vetos, creates a record that is highly relevant when examining, for instance, the hypocricy of power.
The relevance or irrelevance of the UN is not a quasi-natural fact, as implied in the OP, but rather a result to be achieved by interested parties.
Originally posted by december *
**…it already is.[ul][li] Did Iraq change their ways because the UN says to do so? Does Israel obey the UN’s (misguided IMHO) resolutions against them? Does Arafat stop stealing money from UN contributions to the Palestinians? Does anyone expect the UN to solve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear threats? Did France seek UN approval to send military to the Ivory Coast? Did the UN solve the problems in the former Yoguslavia?Have the UN-supported world-wide treaties made a noticeable difference? Does the Libya-led Human Rights Commission have moral authority?[/ul]This organization is dead on its feet. Maybe it can be brought back to life. Otherwise, let’s shoot it and put it out of its misery. **[/li][/QUOTE]
…maybe you are unaware of many of the things the United Nations does. Perhaps you would like to take a look at their website. It could open your eyes. Feel free to report back to us when you’ve finished.
Well said, lout. But a splendid opportunity lies before us!
GeeDubya demands war, the UN says “No dice.” and GeeDubya meekly defers to UN authority. Boy, that would lend just oodles and oodles of relevence and, like, credibility.
What a great idea, december! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
(Boy, the guy can really surprise you sometimes!)
The OP misconceives the role of the UN. It doesn’t have any enforcement mechanisms and was not meant to. Rather it is a source of international legitimacy and a forum for world public opinion. It plays that role quite adequately. Thus the UN cannot force Israel to stop building settlements but it has ensured that those settlements are widely considered illegitimate including in the US.
In addition there is its enormous role in humanitarian activities around the world which probably saves millions of lives every year. The eradication of smallpox alone is one of the great achievments in the history of mankind. In many ways the humanitarian and scientific work is more important than the UN’s work in high-profile international disputes.
I think everyone missed this part.
With Sudan sometimes presiding over human rights, and Iraq over disarmament, it is hard not to get a little cynical when it comes to the UN.
Problem is, how do you realistically create a better organization which includes all the nations on Earth? It’s not like we can pick different countries for the new one.
What is the point of purporting to draw a conclusion from a premise that is obviously false?
lout, is there something you want to say?
Note, opinionated websites - but citing other sources.
From the link you provided:
Now tell me how Iraq chairing a Conference on Disarmament by random selection amounts to, in your words, Iraq “presiding over disarmament” at the UN.
I thought you meant more than chairing a conference. I thought you meant what you said, i.e., “presiding over disarmament.”
Sorry, my mistake.
Put together several hundred “dignitaries” with good salaries, a staff of underlings, diplomatic immunity and no authority to do anything and what do you expect other than a gigantic debating society? The UN is pretty much irrelivant by design, but maybe that’s a good thing.
“Presiding” from Dictionary.com:
OK, we clear now about what the point was?
The UN makes some people a little cynical by allowing Sudan or Iraq to preside over disarmament or human rights meetings. That is absurd.
Faux apology accepted.
Aren’t you suggesting throwing out the baby with the bath water?
There are things the UN does well, and things they do not. However simply because you are unhappy with the UN security council does not mean that the entire organization should be scrapped.
Clearly we need an international organization to take leadership roles in the control of world health/pandemics (HIV/AIDS), world banking/trade, war crimes/human rights, and other international issues. If not the UN, then who?
The Charter of the United Nations begins
This is the main role of the organization.
That’s an excellent question. The world is far more unified than it was in 1945. I think the nations of the world would find a way to do this things jointly if there were no UN.
The World Health Organization, which IMHO does an excellent job, could exist as an independent organization. I don’t believe the UN has much influence on world banking/trade issues. In principle, I suppose they ought to deal with war crimes/human rights, but they have a dreadful record in that arena. Since the UN Human Rights Commission is chaired by Libya, and includes among its members Zimbabwe, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Sudan this is a case of the fox guarding the hen house.
“This is the main role of the organization.”
IMO it’s just a bit of rhetoric. The UN has never been given the tools which would enable it stop war even if it could be done. The useful role of the UN lies elsewhere.
Ironic intentions aside, I actually agree with your statements when it comes to international aggression. For the most part I think the US plays a pretty damn good benevolent king.
WOW- are you sure that this is what you want? It sounds awfully extreme to me. Do you think thier is one leader cabable of representing everyone? Do you really want this leader carrying its “big stick” around and telling you what to do? Im likely taking this too far, but are you implying that the US should do this? IMO- The more direct representation, the better.
Maybe I’m older than you. What I learned in school is that the UN was founded at the close of an awful war with the intent of preventing future wars.
It may be that the UN lacked the tools to do so. Or, perhaps, their structure was imperfect. Nevertheless, the organization was primarily promoted as a way to try to prevent war. There were other goals, but they were secondary.
Tell me december, do you think the UN did a better job when the world had balancing superpowers. Also, what kind of organisation would you like to see trying to contain a singular superpower; one bent on imposing an amoral, self-serving capitalist foreign policy agenda across the world in that wonderful guise of, God help us …. ‘world policeman’ (sic) … yeah, the world’s convinced of that one!
Its also interesting that you seem to dismiss the legitimacy of the UN in the face of the overwhelming public prerequisite for a second Resolution in relation to Iraq – clearly you remain very out of step with the general populations perspectives of the UN as the legal framework for international action, as well as the premier moral / legitimising influence – and I’m relating popular opinion, not a personal opinion.
Must be dreadful for a right-wing nutball pro-Israeli to see the legitimacy of the UN so widely enhanced through this crisis.