Four Girls and a Guy

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

UN involvement

I think the question of UN involvement is very hard to answer. There are some instances in which there needs to be UN involvement, such as Darfur. However, there are also some instances where the UN doesn't need to be involved. There is always the problem of over-involvement. Right now though, we have a case of under-involvement and lack of power. I think the UN needs to get involved when there is clear evidence of genocide or some other tragedy, such as Darfur, even if the country doesn't welcome the involvement. There are just some crimes which need to be ended.
There is also the problem of sovereignty and what rights sovereign states have in the UN and the world. Right now, the UN has no force to back up its rulings. Any state can ignore the rulings and the UN can't do anything, except maybe impose sanctions, which doesn't really hurt the state that much. I think that if an institution like the UN is going to exist, there needs to be more co-operation from the individual sovereign states.
There are some instances in which the UN doesn't need to be involved, such as the day-to-day workings of the individual state governments. A global governemnt is very important especially in this age of globalization but I don't think it will be achieved without more co-operation from the major states, such as the US and the members of the EU.


Blogger Adam said...

One of the major problems is that the UN runs into the force of nationalism. Whenever it tries to exert its power, people perceive it as a threat to their national identity.

China, a fiercely nationalistic country, blocks anything we try to push that would theoretically impugn national sovereignty---like human rights legislation and interventions in places like Darfur. They remember how the European imperial powers and Japan used another massacre, the Boxer Revolt, as an excuse to divide Shanghai and house foreign troops on Chinese soil.

Also, here in the US, many people from the conservtive tradition hate the UN with a passion, believing the UN wants to replace American laws and take away their guns. On the loonier side, right-wing elements spread conspiracy theories about UN "black helicopters" invading the US. McVeigh and all of the other wacko militamen believed in those theories.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Beka said...

That's exactly what I am saying in my post. We need to have more of a global co-operation if the UN is going to work the way it was set up to work.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Elliott Lacki said...

What do you think about the Rwandan genocide crisis or the increasing tensions in Iran regarding its nuclear program? Should the UN (have) intervene(d) in these situations?

10:45 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

That's exactly what I am saying in my post. We need to have more of a global co-operation if the UN is going to work the way it was set up to work.

I agree with you, but my point is that the root of the sovereignty problem is nationalism----people are very worried that they are going to be dictated to by an unnacountable group of foreign technocrats. Here in the United sTates, this problem is acute because people do not share the values of the UN---which are overwhelmingly center-left. And especially in countries where the memory of foreign exploitation and colonialism runs deep, people are reluctant to be ruled by yet another group of foreigners.

The force of nationalism is powerful, and as Foer shows, globalization in many ways only fuels it. I don't know how myself, but in order to build a more perfect form of global cooperation those fears and passions have to be addressed.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Beka said...

The UN should most definately have intervened in Rwanda, not with just peace-keeping troops but with military support from all the major countries in the world. As to the Iran missle crisis, that is a harder question to answer. I think this situations hasn't reached the point at which it is endangering the welfare of its population or any country but I think it's a serious situation that needs to be delt with maybe with more talks for right now.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Elliott Lacki said...

I agree with you, Beka, 100% about both situations. There was no question as to whether or not the UN should have intervened in Rwanda. Unfortunately, the lack of involvement by the UN probably lead to the mass destruction of the people.

The other issue, however, is not so concrete. I do agree with you that we need to give the Iranian crisis a little bit more time to develop. If we can work out some type of diplomacy between Iran, I think things would be okay.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Elliot, check out my latest entry.

I deal the question more fully. I'm curious to see your response.

7:38 PM  

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