The United Nations Mr. Judd
Aims of the Lecture • Understand the basic history of the United Nations (U.N) • Know how it operates and functions • Understand the recent criticisms of the U.N • Discuss the Millennium Development Goals of the U.N • Examine the relationship between the U.S.A and U.N
Created in 1920 following WWI Goal was to provide a meeting place where nations could communicate to avoid another such war No armed forces and no power of enforcement U.S. refused to join Ignored by Italy and Japan League of Nations
What is the United Nations? • International institution created in 1945 to prevent war and promote social and economic development • Only organization with universal membership • Composed of 192 countries by 2007 • Mandate covers security and development
Organization of the United Nations General Assembly International Court of Justice Security Council Secretariat Trusteeship Council Economic and Social Council Specialized Agencies UNICEF WHO UNESCO IFC UNIDO IMO IMF UPU IDA IFAD ITU FAO
General Assembly • ‘Parliament of Nations’ that discusses, debates and recommends • solutions to problems • One vote per member nation • Issues require a 2/3 vote to pass • Meets in the NY Headquarters from Sep.-Dec. each year • Conducts business in six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English • French, Russian, and Spanish
The Security Council • Main executive body of the UN responsible for maintaining • international peace and security • Consists of 15 states (five permanent- USA, Russia, GB, • France, China). The other ten are chosen to 2 yr. terms • by the General Assembly.
The Secretary General • Chief administrative officer who implements decisions of member states • Allowed scope to bring members’ attention to issues that threaten international security and economic and social development- AIDS, terrorism, education, environment, education, human rights, etc. Ban Ki-Moon
Security Council dependent on five members (with veto power) Bureaucratic inefficiency Alleged anti-Israel discrimination Inaction on genocide and human rights violations Scandals- ‘oil for food’, sex abuse in Africa Criticism of the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals • The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000, commits the states to: • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; • Achieve universal primary education ; • Promote gender equality and empower women; • Reduce child mortality; • Improve maternal health; • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; • Ensure environmental sustainability; • Develop a global partnership for development.
The U.S. and the United Nations Can the U.N. replace the United States as the “global policeman”? • U.N. is impotent without U.S. military power (Korea, • Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo) • U.S. provides most of U.N.’s logistical backup • Over 22% of U.N. budget paid for by America • Pays for 51% of World Food Programme’s budget
During 1990’s, 90% of conflicts within rather than between countries Belief that internal injustice risked international instability Deployments in El Salvador; Guatemala; Cambodia; Somalia; Mozambique; Rwanda; Former Yugoslavia; Congo; Central African Republic; East Timor; Kosovo; Sierra Leone; Sudan Recent History of the UN (1990-)
Peacekeeping • Massive growth in peacekeeping since 1988 • Peacekeepers either observe ceasefires, monitor • combatants, protect civilians or provide buffer zones • Legal validity open to debate (not mentioned in • UN Charter) • Can suffer from ‘mission creep’ and operational • confusion