StudyBoss » The United Nations

The United Nations

The United Nations is a great organization, which enforces peace and security around the world. Canadas Involvement with the UN is a good thing because it gives Canada many allies and the allies consist of some of the greatest powers in the world. What the UN does for peace: Preserving world peace is a central purpose of the United Nations. Under the Charter, Member States agree to settle disputes by peaceful means and refrain from threatening or using force against other States. Over Over the years, the UN has played a major role in helping defuse international crises and in resolving protracted conflicts.

It has undertaken complex operations involving peacemaking, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. It has worked to prevent conflicts from breaking out. And after a conflict, it has increasingly undertaken action to address the root causes of war and lay the foundation for durable peace. UN efforts have produced dramatic results. The UN helped defuse the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and the Middle East crisis in 1973. In 1988, a UN-sponsored peace settlement ended the Iran-Iraq war, and the following year UN-sponsored negotiations led to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

In the 1990s, the UN was instrumental in restoring sovereignty to Kuwait and played a major role in ending civil wars in Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mozambique, restoring the democratically elected government in Haiti, and resolving or containing conflict in various other countries. When, in September 1999, a campaign of violence forced some 200,000 East Timorese to flee their homes following a vote on self-determination, the UN authorized the dispatch of an international security force, which helped restore order.

In October, the Council established a UN Transitional Administration, which, with the protection of the multinational force, began overseeing the territorys transition to independence. when terrorists attacked the United States on 11 September 2001, the Security Council acted quickly adopting a wide ranging resolution, which obligates States to ensure that any person who participates in financing, planning, preparing, perpetrating or supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice, as well as to establish such acts as serious criminal offences under domestic law.

The Security Council sets up UN peacekeeping operations and defines their scope and mandate in its efforts to maintain peace and international security. Most operations involve military duties, such as observing a cease-fire or establishing a buffer zone while negotiators seek a long-term solution. Others may require civilian police or other civilian personnel to help organize elections or monitor human rights. Operations have also been deployed to monitor peace agreements in cooperation with the peacekeeping forces of regional organizations.

UN peace effort have taken many forms over the years, including the long campaign against apartheid in South Africa, active support for Namibian independence, a number of electoral support missions and some 20 peacekeeping operations. The most recent operations in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia and Eritrea were established in 1999 and 2000. The UN has helped repatriate refugees to Mozambique, provided humanitarian assistance in Somalia and Sudan, and undertaken diplomatic efforts to restore peace in the Great Lakes region.

It has helped prevent new unrest in the Central African Republic, and it is helping to prepare for a referendum on the future of Western Sahara. How the UN works: The UN was established on 24 October 1945. By 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 191 countries. After, the States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations.

According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations. The United Nations is not a world government and it does not make laws. It does, however, provide the means to help resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters affecting all of us.

At the UN, all the Member States large and small, rich and poor, with differing political views and social systems have a voice and a vote in this process. The General Assembly All UN Member States are represented in the General Assembly a “parliament of nations” which meets to consider the world’s most pressing problems. Each Member State has one vote. Decisions on such key issues as international peace and security, admitting new members and the UN budget are decided by two thirds majority, Other matters are decided by simple majority.

In recent years, a special effort has been made to reach decisions through consensus, rather than by taking a formal vote. At its 2001/2002 session, the Assembly is considering more than 180 different topics, including globalization, AIDS, conflict in Africa, protection of the environment and consolidation of new democracies. The Assembly cannot force action by any State, but its recommendations are an important indication of world opinion and represent the moral authority of the community of nations. The Assembly holds its annual regular session from September to December.

When necessary, it may resume its session or hold a special or emergency session on subjects of particular concern. When the Assembly is not meeting, its six main committees, other subsidiary bodies and the UN Secretariat carry out its work. The Security Council The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Council’s decisions. There are 15 Council members.

Five of these China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Member States are discussing making changes in Council membership and working to reflect today’s political and economic realities. Decisions of the Council require nine yes votes. Except in votes on procedural questions, a decision cannot be taken if there is a no vote, or veto, by a permanent member. When the Council considers a threat to international peace, it first explores ways to settle the dispute peacefully.

It may suggest principles for a settlement or undertake mediation. In the event of fighting, the Council tries to secure a cease-fire. It may send a peacekeeping mission to help the parties maintain the truce and to keep opposing forces apart. The Council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use “all necessary means,” including collective military action, to see that its decisions are carried out.

The Council also makes recommendations to the General Assembly on the appointment of a new Secretary-General and on the admission of new Members to the UN. The Economic and Social Council The Economic and Social Council, under the overall authority of the General Assembly, coordinates the economic and social work of the United Nations and the UN family of organizations. As the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and for formulating policy recommendations, the Council plays a key role in fostering international cooperation for development.

It also consults with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), thereby maintaining a vital link between the United Nations and civil society. The Council has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms. It meets throughout the year and holds a major session in July, during which a special meeting of Ministers discusses major economic, social and humanitarian issues. The Council’s subsidiary bodies meet regularly and report back to it. The Commission on Human Rights, for example, monitors the observance of human rights throughout the world.

Other bodies focus on such issues as social development, the status of women, crime prevention, narcotic drugs and environmental protection. Five regional commissions promote economic development and cooperation in their respective regions. The Trustee Council The Trusteeship Council was established to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories administered by seven Member States and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government or independence.

By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence, either as separate States or by joining neighboring independent countries. The last to do so was the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Palau, which was administered by the United States and became the 185th Member State. Its work completed, the Trusteeship Council now consists of the five permanent members of the Security Council. It has amended its rules of procedure to allow it to meet as and when the occasion may require.

The International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the main judicial organ of the UN. Consisting of 15 judges elected jointly by the General Assembly and the Security Council, the Court decides disputes between countries. Participation by States in a proceeding is voluntary, but if a State agrees to participate, it is obligated to comply with the Court’s decision. The Court also provides advisory opinions to the General Assembly and the Security Council upon request.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment