Posts Tagged UN

Rise of Russia on the corpse of United Nations?

A league of nations was created after First World War to prevent violent power struggles between imperial Western powers that controlled large part of the world as colonies. The objectives of the organization included prevention of war and improving quality of life. Within fifteen years of its creation the league failed miserably to prevent Second World War in the face of a Nazi regime that considered its national interest to acquire more landmass more important than the eminent loss of human lives. When the war ended in 1945, at the US President Franklin D Roosevelt initiated efforts to convert the league of nation into a more global United Nations organization with membership offered to most countries of the world. Regardless of the sincerity of intent of the founding members the organization was raised on a faulty foundation when it created dual set of membership for its Security Council by awarding permanent status to five countries. Ironically three of the five permanent members were colonial powers namely France, Britain, Russia, China and USA. These permanent members have veto powers to reject any proposal brought to the council for consideration regardless even if it has majority vote from the twelve council members.

Since its inception in 1945 UN has proved to be totally ineffective in preventing major world conflicts including Israel/Arab war, India/Pakistan Kashmir dispute, US involvement in Vietnam war, Russian invasion of Afghanistan, US invasion of Iraq, Russian engagement in Georgia and deteriorating situation in Afghanistan after the deployment of NATO forces in response to 911. Permanent members have voted on UN resolutions whenever it suited their national interest and rejected UN altogether when it was not possible to get a resolution in their favor. US brought its case against Iraq before UN to seek cooperation and authorize war to replace the autocratic ruler Saddam. To make its case for the war US demonstrated the proofs of existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). US made it clear to UN that they will engage in a war with or without the approval of the world body which was mandated to prevent such wars. The members of the general assembly and Security Council expressed serious concerns about existence of WMD and refrained from extending any cooperation. Former General Secretary Kofi Annan tried to prevent Iraq war by emphasizing importance of diplomatic isolation for Saddam and by supporting forces of opposition in Iraq, but he was ridiculed and embroiled in corruption charges which later proved baseless. He has been redeemed when US accepted their failure to locate any WMD in Iraq and accepting failure of the military operations in the aftermath of fall of Baghdad. After 4 years of war it is now clear that if US had listened to the world we might still have to deal with an Iraqi dictator but the destruction of one of the oldest civilization might have been prevented with tremendous loss of human lives as collateral damage.

US invasion of Iraq have provided diplomatic precedence for other nations to ignore UN in persuasion of their national interest without brining them to the floor of Security Council. Recent Russian actions in Georgia are a clear indication that in the new world order UN is totally ineffective. We have two options available to reinstate the lost credibility of this organization. The first option is to change the structure of the Security Council to remove the special powers of permanent members. The second option is more radical which is to disband the organization into smaller regional entities with cooperation agreements in place between them.

The changing dynamics of the world has made it clear that we are moving clearly towards a multi-polar world in which US, Russia, China, Brazil, India and Iran will play a significant role. These competing world powers will need a client organization to exercise their powers on the satellites. US already have NATO in place to use their influence on Western European countries. In the light of Georgian situation and US security agreement with Poland, Russia can reinstate its long forgotten WARSAW pact with a new name allowing membership to former USSR states. China will use ASEAN and other regional arrangements to create its sphere of influence while India will rely on SAARC as their client. Middle Eastern and Muslim countries can restructure the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to create a platform for negotiating their concerns. Brazil can change the scope of trade agreement Mercosur among South American nations to include foreign policy with strong backing from Argentina. African Union with strong leadership from South Africa and support from Ethopia can form their own block.

Emergence of these regional organizations can make it possible for the world to negotiate peace. Globalization of politics has proved to be wrong as regional interests based on culture, language, religion and borders are stronger. It is not possible for a North American leader to fully understand and appreciate the concerns of South Americans as Brazil can do. Each organization with a strong economic and military sponsor can make it possible to negotiate fair agreements backed by a genuine interest to implement it. It is always better to have a cold war with fine balance rather than an actual war with tremendous loss of innocent lives as collateral damage. The events of 911 have disturbed the world balance of power and it is very important to achieve a new balance which might be possible when the whole world is engaged through organizations promoting their regional interests.

United Nations is costing global humanity close to US$5billion every year without much progress to show. UN has not bee able to prevent famine in Ethiopia or genocide in Rawanda & Darfur by acting too slowly because of the competing interest of permanent members. We need to all come together and form a new world order that gives much weight to regional interest rather than making the world hostage to the veto powers of five countries.


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