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Thread: Has the UN Jumped The Shark?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Has the UN Jumped The Shark?

    Recently the UN has not done much. They state that they are in 18 locations on peace keeping missions, yet in other places they have been notably absent. Additionally, Iran and many other non UN countries do not take them seriously.

    Do you think that it is time to dissolve the UN and start fresh with a new organization, modify this one, or leave things how they are?
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Countries have been requesting a big modification of the UN for quite some time now... and it'd be about time....it's been practically as it is since 1945.... so 60 years don't pass without notice... and it's in need of a big overhaul...

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I assume you are talking specifically about the peacekeeping missions of the UN. Its important to realize that the United Nations has scores of programs (or "programmes" if you will), related to refugees, housing, public health, economic and social justice, world heritagge, international law, etc. I lived and worked in Uganda for a year and a half and have been involved in a number of development projects since then. The UN agency work there had a significant impact on improvements in housing, infrastructure, health delivery and education (and probably many others that I am not aware of).

    I suppose one question, then, is whether the UN should get out of the peace keeping business or not. I think one of the challenges they have had in this regard is how hampered they are by their own mission to simultaneously respect the sovereignty of nations and uphold human rights. This often translates on the ground to blue hats and guns that are not allowed to engage the "bad guys." For an agency that represents so many of the world's interests, this makes some sense - its not the same as a specific country fighting with another for which the spoils of war hang in the balance. They are fighting to establish and maintain stability in a context where multiple interests are at conflict, not to crush an enemy.

    So, another question I might ask is, if not the UN, who? And how might their process be different? Is it that the UN is broken when it comes to peace keeping, or that the activity itself is increasingly complex and challenging?
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    With the possible exception of the security council, the UN has been a very successful organization, acting as a forum for improving diplomatic contact between nations, providing emergency relief, cultural exchange, medical aid, and development assistance.

    If you look back on how the Security Council was originally designed, it was clearly intended to have real power. It was only after Stalin balked that all the funky member composition rules and vetoes came into being.

    Edit: sorry if I repeated much of what wahday said
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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    What wahday and Maister said.

    The biggies get all the air play.....lack of action, wrestling matches for control of the Security Council, sexual assualts in some programs. All of the successful programs just don't get the air play.

    The UN has not jumped said shark.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    What wahday and Maister said.

    The biggies get all the air play.....lack of action, wrestling matches for control of the Security Council, sexual assualts in some programs. All of the successful programs just don't get the air play.

    The UN has not jumped said shark.

    Bear
    What Bear, wahday and Miaster said. The U.N. is a great organization. Does a lot of great, unsung work all over the world.

    The big boys just need to act like grownups, sometimes.
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    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    I think the majority of UN programmes are top-notch (food aid, social programs, awareness programs, education programs, refugee programs, and so on). But it could definitely be said that at times the UN seems paralyzed. I think it needs a charter modification, but at its core the UN is still an effective organization with value for the world.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I like the UN in that it is a simple forum for discussion. People should think and talk before they act. Although there have been instances of corruption (oil-for-food program), I'm sure the UN does more good than bad.

    I am interested in how the whoe Security Council idea came to fruition and why. And whether or not it has lived up to its ideal 60 years later. It seems to me the Security Council goes against the entire concept of every nation having a voice.
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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Recently the UN has not done much. They state that they are in 18 locations on peace keeping missions, yet in other places they have been notably absent.
    Ironically, the very same thing could be said about the US military, except the "18," and the "peacekeeping" part is a bit of a stretch.
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