Is the United Nations an Effective Institution?
|📌Published:||10 April 2021|
The United Nations is an international organization that was founded after the second world war in 1945. While most agree that the United Nations strives to promote international law it is ineffective in maintaining peace, security and cooperation between nations. The United Nations is ineffective as a result of the flaws within the United Nations Security Council and their failure to end some of the world’s greatest concerns.
The United Nations is ineffective in maintaining peace, security and cooperation between nations because the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is corrupted by inequality, exclusiveness and a confusing system for rotating seats. The unequal design of the security council directs most of the power to the permanent five members, in that being, Britain, France, United States, Russia and China. This allows them to act in self-interest and ignore the rest of the United Nations. “This means that even when there would be overwhelming support for the United Nations to act, a single member can make action impossible.” (Lattila, 2019, “The Four Major Flaws of Design” section, para. 2). This means that countries in need may not get the help they need or countries that are seen of more importance to the permanent five receive the support of the United Nations first, because of the inequality in the United Nations Security Council. Beyond the inequality, the UNSC is also very exclusive, the members of the United Nations Security Council make up only a small percentage of the total United Nations membership. As a result of this exclusiveness, the Security Council lacks legitimacy because it displays little awareness of the views of under-represented regions (Lattila, 2019). This causes the under-represented regions to not get the adequate support that they need from the United Nations when they are in need and their concerns are not heard the same as other, more represented regions. To further the inequality and exclusiveness of the UNSC, they also have a confusing system for rotating seats that results in unpredictability and randomness as the Security Council decision making and agenda-setting follows the interest of its members. Lattila’s (2019) article found the following:
“Before the Rwandan genocide, the government of Rwanda used its seat in the Council to gain information that the United States was unwilling to intervene and during the genocide Rwanda used its seat to spread misinformation. Rwanda was also supported by two other non-permanent members: Djibouti and Oman. Had these seats been held by other states, the result would have likely been different.” (“The Four Major Flaws of Design” section, para. 4)
The above instance is what occurred as a result of the UNSC rotating seat system. This shows the unpredictability and randomness of the system and how the inequality and exclusiveness combined with the rotating seat system can cause more problems and not end in a result that is conclusive with the majority parties, had there been more inclusion or different non-permanent members. On the contrary, the United Nations Security Council has still been effective even with the setbacks due to the design flaws regarding the UNSC. The United Nations Security Council has authorized over 70 peacekeeping missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world however, the problems that they choose to take action on and choose not to take action on could be have some bias that prevent other counrties from getting protection from the United Nations because of the inequality, exclusiveness and system for rotating seats.
The United Nations is also ineffective in maintaining peace, security and cooperation between the nations as they have failed to end some of the world’s greatest concerns. The Rwanda Genocide is a noticeable instance where the United Nations failed to protect and make peace among the people. The UN peacekeepers failed to protect hundreds of thousands of people after the Hutu-dominated regime killed 10 UN peacekeepers (TRTWORLD, 2018). The UN peacekeepers then either abandoned the victims or just stayed there as spectators as the vicious slaughter continued, their failure resulted in many lives being lost.. Another instance where the United Nations failed to gain control over the situation was the Kashmir dispute. The ongoing conflict in the disputed Kashmir region has become one of the greatest human rights crises in history, marked by deliberate killings, rape, incarceration of leaders and activists, torture and disappearances of Kashmiris, despite several unimplemented UN resolutions. (TRTWORLD, 2018). The Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest issues the UN is still dealing with today, the issue first started in 1948 and despite various attempts by the United Nations to resolve the dispute it still remains a problem today. This further shows how the UN has failed to end some of the world’s greatest problems and shows that they are not able to gain control and make peace between nations. The United Nations failure to gain control also shows how they are not being taken seriously. Other times, the UN has completely failed to take any involvement in helping countries in need, this is seen during the Yemen Civil War. In the TRT WORLD (2018) article it is found that:
“The Saudi-led coalition began its intervention in Yemen in 2015, escalating the war, which left the poorest country in the Arab world in a state of disaster. The UN has failed to send humanitarian aid, food and drugs to civilians amid a blockade imposed on the war-torn country. (“Yemen Civil War” section, para. 41-42)
The United Nations failed to provide adequate humanitarian aid, food and drugs to civilians in need and the Yemen Civil War still goes on today. While the United Nations has failed to provide adequate help during The Rwanda Genocide, Kashmir Dispute, Yemen Civil War and many other world problems, in cases excluding the Yemen Civil War they still tried to make peace between the people. However, In the case of the Rwanda Genocide they did not take adequate measures to properly diffuse the situation, with the Kashmir dispute they were not taken seriously and their resolutions were ignored and with the Yemen Civil War, the UN completely failed to provide humanitarian aid, food and drugs to civilians. The inadequate provision to these crises furthermore proves the point that the United Nations is ineffective in maintaining peace, security and cooperation between the nations.
Therefore, while most agree that the United Nations strives to promote international law it is ineffective in maintaining peace, security and cooperation between nations. The efforts of the United Nations have been ineffective as they have lacked in many areas when trying to step in with some of the world’s greatest concerns as can be seen with the Rwanda Genocide, Kashmir Dispute and the Yemen Civil War. As well as the critical flaws that are evident in the design of the United Nations Security Council which include inequality, exclusiveness and the confusing system for rotating seats. So, even though the United Nations has had many successes throughout the years, can we really leave the protection of international human rights in the hands of a system that has been ineffective in dealing with important global crises and is corrupted by inequality, exclusiveness and a confusing system for rotating seats.