The United Nations is not the first international organisation to be established to help settle conflict peacefully and to prevent future conflicts from arising. 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 organisations 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.
[...] 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 organisation as there is clear misrepresentation of regions. In addition, Japan, who 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. [...]
[...] 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 organisation? There is something about the United Nations that is attractive to sovereign states which is why they are so keen to become part of this international organisation, it is more than likely the way in which the United Nations deals with global issues. [...]
[...] Therefore how effective is this international organisation if it can only function if there is peace, you can only keep peace once there is peace, but if there is still fighting there is nothing much the United Nations can do. To be effective the United Nations has got to intervene in all situations or none at all, it cannot pick and choose which countries need to be stopped and when this is necessary as this undermines people's confidence in the organisation eventually. [...]
[...] 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 organisation 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. [...]
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