International organization law and human rights
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International Organization, Law, and Human Rights. CHAPTER SEVEN. Dr. Clayton Thyne PS 235-001: World Politics Spring 2009 Goldstein & Pevehouse, International Relations , 8/e Student notes version. Evolution of World Order.

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International organization law and human rights

International Organization, Law, and Human Rights

CHAPTER SEVEN

Dr. Clayton Thyne

PS 235-001: World Politics

Spring 2009

Goldstein & Pevehouse, International Relations, 8/e

Student notes version


Evolution of world order

Evolution of World Order

  • The most powerful states, especially hegemons, have great influence on the rules and values that have become embedded over time in a body of international law.

  • New international norms


Roles of international organizations

Roles of International Organizations

  • Most international conflicts are not settled by military force.

    • States generally refrain from...

    • States work together by following rules they develop to govern their interactions.

    • Institutions grow up around rules and states tend to work through these institutions.


Roles of international organizations1

Roles of International Organizations

  • International norms

    • _________________and respect for _____________

    • However, adherence to norms may vary; different expectations for “normal”

    • In times of change, when these norms and habits may not suffice to solve international dilemmas and resolve conflict, ____________ play a key role.


Roles of international organizations2

Roles of International Organizations

  • International organizations (IOs)

    • Include intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the UN, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the International Committee of the Red Cross

    • Growth of IOs

    • Global nature of some IOs

    • Regional IOs

    • Global IGOs

    • NGOs – more specialized in function than IGOs


Figure 7 1

Figure 7.1


The united nations

The United Nations

  • State sovereignty creates a real need for such organizations on a practical level – why?

  • State sovereignty also severely limits the power of…

  • States often reserve power to themselves


The un system

The UN System

  • Founded after _____________

  • Purpose:

  • Closest entity to a __________________

  • Members are...


Purposes of the un

Purposes of the UN

  • UN Charter

    • Based on the principles that…

    • States have _______________ over their own affairs.

    • States should have ______________ and territorial integrity.

    • States should carry out their international obligations (pacta sunt servanda).

    • Also lays out the structure of the UN and how it operates

  • Costs of membership are __________, benefits _____________


Structure of the un

Structure of the UN

  • UN General Assembly

  • UN Security Council

  • UN Secretariat


Structure of the un1

Structure of the UN

  • World Court / ICJ

  • National delegations to the UN, headed by ambassadors from member states, work and meet together at the UN headquarters in NYC.

  • Universality of membership

  • Five great powers each have a veto over substantive decisions of the Security Council.

  • Mechanism for collective security


Table 7 2

Table 7.2


History of the un

History of the UN

  • Founded in…

  • Successor to the _________________

  • Tension with the U.S.

  • Increases in membership in the 1950s and 1960s

    • Due to…

    • Impact on voting patterns

  • Role during the Cold War

  • Role after the Cold War

  • Currently follows the principle of “three pillars”


Bush and the un

Bush and the UN

JOHN BOLTON (2/3/1994): The United States makes the UN work when it wants it to work, and that is exactly the way it should be, because the only question, the only question for the United States is what is in our national interest. And if you don't like that, I’m sorry, but that is the fact.


The security council

The Security Council

  • Responsible for…

  • Decisions binding on all UN member states

  • Has tremendous power to define the existence and nature of a security threat, structure the response to that threat, and enforce its decisions through mandatory directives to UN members.


The security council1

The Security Council

  • Five permanent members

    • U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China

  • Substantive Security Council resolutions require ______ votes from among the _____ members, but a “no” vote from any permanent member defeats the resolution.


The security council2

The Security Council

  • Council’s 10 nonpermanent members rotate onto the Council for 2-year terms.

    • Elected (5 each year) by the General Assembly from a list prepared by informal regional caucuses

    • Chairperson rotates among the Council members monthly

    • Meets irregularly

  • Power limited in two major ways


The security council3

The Security Council

  • Military Staff Committee

  • Proposed changes to the Security Council

    • Japan and Germany

    • Little momentum for change (SQ bias)


Figure 7 3

Figure 7.3


Peacekeeping forces

Peacekeeping Forces

  • Not mentioned in the UN Charter

    • Charter requires member states to place military forces at the disposal of the UN; anticipated to be used in response to aggression (under collective security)

    • Troops borrowed from states, fight under the UN flag (called “blue helmets”)

    • Neutral forces


Peacekeeping forces1

Peacekeeping Forces

  • Peacekeeping missions

    • Authority for these granted by the Security Council for a limited but renewable period of time

    • Funds must be voted on by the General Assembly

    • Serve at the invitation of a host government

  • Observers: unarmed military officers sent to watch and report back to the UN

  • Peacekeepers: armed soldiers who…

  • Peacemaking

    • UN often focuses on state building, leaving others to make peace

    • Who contributes? http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/contributors/2007/nov07_2.pdf


The secretariat

The Secretariat

  • The secretary-general of the UN is the closest thing to a “president of the world” that exists.

  • Secretariat is the executive branch of the UN

  • Secretary-general

    • Works to bring together the great-power consensus

    • Currently Ban ki-moon

    • Former secretary generals: http://www.un.org/sg/formersgs.shtml


The general assembly

The General Assembly

  • _________ voting members meet every year, from late September to early January in plenary session.

  • Convenes special sessions every few years on topics such as economic cooperation

  • Has the power to…

  • Main power lies in…

  • Economic and Social Council

    • Has 54 member states elected by the General Assembly for 3-year terms


Un programs

UN Programs

  • Uses more than a dozen major programs to advance economic development and social stability in poor states of the global South.

  • Each program has a staff, headquarters, and various operations in the field where it works with host governments in member states.

    • UNEP (UN Environment Program)

    • UNICEF (UN Children’s fund)

    • UNHCR (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees)

    • UNDP (UN Development Program)

    • UN Conference on Trade and Development


Autonomous agencies

Autonomous Agencies

  • UN General Assembly maintains formal ties with about 20 autonomous international agencies not under its control.


International law

International Law

  • Derives not from the actions of a legislative branch or other central authority, but from…

  • Differs from domestic law…

    • Difficulty of enforcement, which depends on…


Sources of international law

Sources of International Law

  • Declarations of the UN General Assembly are not laws, and most do not bind members.

  • Treaties and other written conventions signed by states are the most important source.

  • ____________ is the second major source of international law.

  • ____________ of law also serve as another source.

  • ____________ is a fourth source.


Enforcement of international law

Enforcement of International Law

  • International law is much more difficult to enforce.

    • Depends heavily on...

    • States also follow international law because of…

    • If a state breaks an international law, it may face…

    • One great weakness:


The world court aka icj

The World Court (aka ICJ)

  • Rudiments of a general world legal framework found here

  • Only ____________ can sue or be sued in the World Court.

  • Is a panel of 15 judges elected to 9-year terms by a majority of both the Security Council and the General Assembly.

  • Meets in…


The world court

The World Court

  • Great weakness

  • Main use of the World Court now is to…

  • Used infrequently (less than 100 judgements)


Figure 7 4

Figure 7.4


International cases in national courts

International Cases in National Courts

  • A party with a dispute that crosses national borders gains several advantages by pursuing the matter through the national courts of one of the relevant states.

  • Benefits:

  • U.S. is a favorite jurisdiction within which to bring cases for two reasons:

  • Problems:

  • Immigration law


Law and sovereignty laws of diplomacy

Law and Sovereignty: Laws of Diplomacy

  • Bedrock of international law is…

  • Diplomatic recognition

  • Diplomats have the right to…

  • Diplomatic immunity


Law and sovereignty laws of diplomacy1

Law and Sovereignty: Laws of Diplomacy

  • Diplomatic pouches

  • Interests section

  • Formal complaints

  • Terrorism


Just war doctrine

Just–War Doctrine

  • International law distinguishes just wars (wars that are legal) from wars of aggression (which are illegal).

  • Today, legality of war is defined by the UN Charter, which outlaws aggression but allows “international police actions.”

  • Most important principles for a “just” war:

  • Just-war approach explicitly rules out war as an instrument to…


Human rights individuals vs sovereignty

Human Rights: Individuals vs. Sovereignty

  • The idea of human rights flies in the face of...

  • Consensus on the most important human rights also lacking.

    • Rights are universal versus relativism

    • Amnesty International:

    • Publicity and pressure most often used


Human rights individuals vs sovereignty1

Human Rights: Individuals vs. Sovereignty

  • Concept of human rights comes from at least three sources


Human rights individuals vs sovereignty2

Human Rights: Individuals vs. Sovereignty

  • No globally agreed-upon definitions of the essential human rights exist.

  • Often divided into two broad categories:

    • civil-political “negative rights” –

    • economic-social “positive rights” –


Human rights institutions

Human-Rights Institutions

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    • Does not have the force of…

    • Does set forth…

    • Since its adoption, the UN has opened 7 treaties for state signature to further define protections of human rights.

      • Two important treaties:

  • Convention Against Torture (CAT), 1987


Human rights institutions1

Human-Rights Institutions

  • Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC),1990

  • Role of IOs in protecting human rights

  • Today, NGOs play a key role in efforts to win basic political rights in authoritarian countries


War crimes

War Crimes

  • Large-scale abuses of human rights often occur during war.

  • International law is especially difficult to enforce during war.


War crimes1

War Crimes

  • Crimes against humanity

  • Lack of declaration of wars

  • War powers act (1973)


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