The United Nations is not the first international organization to be established to help in settling conflicts peacefully and preventing future conflicts. In 1899, the Hague Convention for the Settlement of International Disputes was established. The conference was convened at the initiative of Czar Nicolas II of Russia "with the object of seeking the most objective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments."1. The Hague Convention set up the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which was the first global mechanism for the settlement of inter-state disputes1. There was also the League of Nations established in 1919 by Woodrow Wilson. However, these organizations proved to be ineffective due to a lack of credibility and legitimacy. Therefore, I shall look at the United Nations' effectiveness as a system by looking at what is has done so far, and by examining just how legitimate and credible it really is.
The United Nations was established in the aftermath of World War II to help in stabilizing international relations and give peace a secure foundation.2. In 1945, when the United Nations was first set-up, it had 51 member states, now, 58 years on, it has nearly quadrupled in terms of member states with presently 191 countries. The United Nations has been engaged in a total of 53 peace keeping missions since its formation although obviously not all of them have been successful
[...] Or, will the United Nations not take such a risk and be pressured into backing a war, to save face from America and the United Kingdom going to war with Iraq and the possibility of the United Nations as an international organization becoming irrelevant and defunct? However, the United Nations didn't exist we would have to invent it”6. Although it is flawed, it is better than nothing. Reform of the Security Council to make it in some way more democratic, for example have six seats, one for each continent, and make none of them permanent so all the members are rotated for terms of a fixed period on the Security Council. [...]
[...] The figures show that 64% of people would support an United Nations approved attack on Iraq whereas only 31% would support a United States/United Kingdom attack on Iraq without United Nations approval. This clearly demonstrates that the United Nations provides some false sense of security and legitimacy for people as, in truth, the United Nations is run by the United States, and this is all due to the funding aspect. The United States provides 22% of all United Nations funding and it holds a permanent seat on the Security Council. [...]
[...] Another way of looking at the effectiveness of the United Nations is by observing the sheer amount of nations it now has as member states compared to when it first started. This must be symbolic of something, why would nations of the world want to join an ineffective organization? There is something about the United Nations that is attractive to sovereign states which is why they are soo keen to a become part of this international organization, it is more than likely the way in which the United Nations deals with global issues. [...]
[...] Out of 54 African states, not one has a permanent seat, which does not help in trying to make the United Nations appear to be a just organization as there is clear misrepresentation of regions. In addition, Japan, which contributes substantially to the United Nations' funding does not have a permanent seat on the Security Council either. Due to the veto vote that China has, it is probable that Japan in this case will be waiting a very long time indeed before it is given a permanent seat. [...]
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