The League of Nations was a world organization established in 1920 to promote international cooperation and peace. It was first proposed in 1918 by President Woodrow Wilson, although the United States never joined the League. The league was essentially powerless and it was officially dissolved in 1946. This former international organization was formed after World War I to promote international peace and security. The basis of the League, the Covenant, was written into the Treaty of Versailles and other peace treaties and provided for an assembly, a council, and a secretariat.
A system of colonial mandates was also set up. The U.S., which failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, never became a member. Based in Geneva, the League proved useful in settling minor international disputes, but was unable to stop aggression by major powers. For example Japan’s occupation of Manchuria (1931), Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia (1935-36), and Germany’s seizure of Austria (1938). It collapsed early in World War II and dissolved itself in 1946.
The League established the first pattern of permanent international organization and served as a model for its successor, the United Nations. The UN an international organization composed of most of the countries of the world was founded in 1945 to promote peace, security, and economic development. This international organization was established immediately after World War II to maintain international peace and security and to achieve cooperation in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems. It replaced the League of Nations. The name was coined by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941 to describe the countries fighting against the Axis powers in World War II. It was first used officially on January 1, 1942 when 26 states joined in the Declaration by the United Nations, pledging to continue their joint war effort and to make peace. The UN Charter, the organization’s governing treaty, was drawn up in 1945 at a conference held in San Francisco. The principal organs, as specified in the Charter, are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat. The Secretariat, with the secretary general at its head, handles all administrative functions. Trygve Lie, the UN’s first secretary general, was succeeded by Dag Hammarskjld, U Thant, Kurt Waldheim, Javier Prez de Cullar, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. In 1945 there were 51 members; there are now 185.
The UN has been very effective in keeping peace. Some early UN peacekeeping efforts included the establishment of armed forces to repel (1950) the North Korean attack on South Korea, the mobilization of troops and peacekeeping forces for the Congo, Cyprus, and the Middle East. The UN has prospered as a forum for debate intended to defuse international conflict, and it has worked to aid economic and technological development in developing nations. With the end of the cold war, the UN has become increasingly important to preserving and restoring international peace, most notably in Kuwait, with the authorization of the use of force against Iraq after its invasion, and Mozambique but less successfully in Cambodia, Bosnia, and Somalia. As the demand for peacekeeping forces has increased, however, the funds to pay for them have become harder to raise, and nations have not always been willing to contribute troops, particularly if the risks are high.
The UN has been generally effective in keeping peace worldwide but it could be more effective. The UN would need to make changes in its constitution and in structure. A former problem with the UN was the abuse of the veto power by the former Soviet Republic. Another problem with the UN is countries look to better themselves rather than the worldwide community, and this causes countries to vote in blocks. There are three main blocks. The first is the communist block, the second is the western block, and the third is the third World or the Afro-Asian block. A third problem is member nations boycotting the UN. This is where a member nation pulls it ambassador from the general assembly in protest to a resolution.
The problem of veto abuse is no longer a major issue for the UN because the have a veto over-ride when a proposal that was vetoed goes back into the General Assembly. If it passes with a two-thirds resolution then the motion is carried. The problem of voting blocks can be avoided by making resolutions that would penalize countries for not advancing world peace. The penalties would not come until an investigation committee carried out an in depth investigation. A penalty would be economic sanctions. The problem of boycotting could be solved if a committee was formed to see if the boycott is deemed reasonable. If it is not the UN could suspend member ship or fine the member nation.
If the UN takes some small steps then they will be able to make the organization stronger. One small step would be to stop countries from voting to better themselves. The UN should also make sure countries do not boycott the UN for unjust reasons. They should instead make it mandatory for the countries to better the world community and for them to not better them selves.
BibliographyAction Professionals’ Association for the People (APAP). The Bells of Freedom. New York: Dell Associates, 1996.
Steiner, Henry. International Human Rights Law in Context: Law, Politics, and Morals. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. Women, Law and Development International. Women’s Human Rights. New York: Boyd Publishing, 1997.
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Structure Of The Un. (2019, Jan 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/structure-of-the-un/