Un Failure as International Law Body
Statesy United Nations Failure as International Law Body International Law Assignments Alissa Amira 1106023814 FHUI KKI 2011 Introduction Over the last 60 years, the UN has changed and developed, along the way it has permanently changed the environment of the international community, through its work in peacekeeping, creating and developing international law, the establishment of human rights, and many list goes on - Un Failure as International Law Body introduction. Much of the political process of the UN is devoted to establishing or extending international laws, rules and standard covering the full range of human activities.
These include norms governing human rights, refugees and stateless persons, traffic in persons, narcotic drugs, international trade and development, transportation and communications, the status of woman, the freedom of information, the law of the sea, use of outer space, telecommunications, disarmament, international terrorism and the protection of the environment. On whether or not the United Nations succeeded its principles, this is a matter of scholastic debate.
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In his Europe Since Napoleon, David Thompson sees the body as an effort that had changed the wartime alliance to an era of peace through which international cooperation is generally achieved. But what we could find today, many legal scholars or journalist found problems in UN structure to apply their basic principle. UN participation in settling international dispute considered weak and failed. Because there are some intervention of Veto Power Countries in Security Council Members in United Nations in settling international issues between states.
There are also some broken structures regarding basic principles or charter that they have made. Nonetheless, this paper will focus on the failures of the United Nations. A. Sovereignty and Independence of States At the present time there is hardly a state which in the interest of the international community, has not accepted restrictions on its liberty of action, thus most states are members of the United Nations and The ILO, in relation to which they have undertaken obligation limiting their unfettered discretion in matters of international policy.
Therefore, it is probably more accurate today to say that sovereignty of a state means the residuum of power, which it possesses within the confines, laid down by international law. It has to be noted the doctrine who treated the state as subordinate to the law of nations, then identified as part of the wider “law of nature”. Some states enjoy more power and independence than other states. This leads to the familiar distinction between independent or sovereign state, and non-independent state or non-sovereign states or entities.
It is difficult to draw the line for although a state may have accepted important restriction on its liberty of action, in other respects it may enjoy the widest possible freedom. Sovereignty is therefore a term of art rather than a legal expression capable of precise definition. The principle of respect for a state’s territorial sovereignty is illustrated by the decision of the ICJ in the Corfu Channel Case (Merits) 1949. Examples of the correlative duties or obligations binding state are: i. the duty not to perform acts of sovereignty on the territory of another state ii. he duty to abstain and prevent agents and subjects from committing acts constituting a violation of another state’s independence or territorial supremacy iii. the duty not to intervene in the affairs of another state The duty not to intervene in the affairs of another state (iii) requires some comment. International law generally forbids such intervention, which in this particular connection means something less than aggression, but more than mere interference and much stronger than mediation or diplomatic suggestion.
According to the international court of justice, an intervention is prohibited by international law if a) it impinges on matters as to which each state is permitted to make decision by itself freely. b) It involves interference in regard to this freedom by methods of coercion, especially force. Anything which force short of this is strictly speaking not intervention within the meaning of the prohibition under international law. Cooperation in peace-enforcement, peace keeping, and humanitarian relief is not always either prompt or adequate.
The present structure of the United Nations require reform if the new possibilities of collective action are to be realized. An exception to the rule of non-intervention must therefore remain cloudy legality. In some cases or international affairs occurred between states, it might be better if United Nations as International law body make a very strict and clear also transparent limitation regulation. Not only the core or the principles but also for the system implementation of those principles.
The intervention should be as fair as possible without having political interest behind all those. Either behind the member states or the states which has Veto Power especially United States. United States already acts as a world police making a lot of intervention to any international dispute and sided to a country which United States has political interest with. United Nations suppose to limit all United States movement in making a decision in international affairs. Make them all as a membership of United Nations as equal as they could be. The Equality of States
The principle of sovereign equality of States, in the declaration on principle of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operations Among States in Accordance with The United nations Charter, adopted by the General Assembly in 1970. The Declaration proclaimed he following principle: “All States enjoy sovereign equality. They have equal righs and duties and are equal members of the international community, notwithstanding differences of an economic, social, political or other nature. ” In the Charter of the UN, drawn up at San Francisco in 1945, there is express recognition of the doctrine.
Article 1 speaks of respect for the principle of equal rights, and article 2 says that the Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all it members. The sovereign equality of states was also reaffirmed in the General Assembly Declaration of 1974 on the Establishment of a New Economic Order. The doctrines imports not merely equality at law, but also the capacity for equal legal rights and equal duties. The result of the doctrine are seen particularly in the law and practice as to multilateral treaties where generally the rule used to prevail that unanimity was necessary for the adoption of these instruments y states in Conference. This necessity for unanimity rather hampered the process of international legislation. Frequently small states were able to hold up important advances in international affairs by selfish obstruction under the shelter of the unanimity rule. But the recent trend is towards decisions and voting by a majority, instead of unanimously. This is particularly reflected in voting procedures in United Nations, The International Labor Organization, and other bodies. Side by side with the principle of equality, there are however de facto inequalities that are perforce recognized.
For example, the five great powers, The United States of America, Soviet Union, The United Kingdom, France, and China are the sole permanent members of The United nations Security Council and may “Veto” decisions of the Council on non-procedural questions (article 27 of The UN Charter). Moreover, there is the distinction between developed and less-developed countries, expressly recognized in the new Part IV of The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 30 October 1947 (GATT), added by the protocol of 8 February 1965 (articles 37-38).
Micro-states with their limited resources and small population have had to be treated as incapable of coping with the full burdens of United Nations membership. An entity which cannot be received as a plenary member State of The UN is not in a practical sense one which has equal rights with a state actually admitted as a member. The line between, on the one hand, equality of states, and the other hand their independence, tends to become blurred.
Thus it is maintained that a right of a state freely to choose and develop its political, social, economic, and cultural systems appertains to equality, but stricto sensu this right is merely an expression of a state’s independence. B. Main purpose of UN, which is to prevent war, has clearly not been achieved The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions, an issue that stems from the UN’s intergovernmental nature seen by some as simply an association of 193 member states who must reach consensus, not an independent organization.
Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent: * The 1971 Bangladesh atrocities, * The 1994 Rwandan Genocide, * Failed to provide humanitarian aid and intervene in the Second Congo War * Failed to intervene in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and protect a refugee haven by authorizing peacekeepers to use force, * Failure to deliver food to starving people in Somalia, * Failure to implement provisions of Security Council resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, * And continuing failure to prevent genocide or provide assistance in Darfur.
UN peacekeepers have also been accused of child rape, sexual abuse or soliciting prostitutes during various peacekeeping missions, starting in 2003, in the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan, Burundi and Cote d’Ivoire. In 2004, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold criticized what it called the organization’s moral relativism in the face of (and occasional support of) genocide and terrorism that occurred between the moral clarity of its founding period and the present day.
Gold specifically mentions Yasser Arafat’s 1988 invitation to address the General Assembly as a low point in the UN’s history. The UN was set up with the express purpose of preventing global wars, yet it has done absolutely nothing to prevent them. Indeed, the UN has often served merely as a forum for countries to abuse and criticize each other, rather than resolve disputes peacefully. In some cases, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, UN resolutions have arguably been used as a justification for wars, rather than to prevent them.
Research shows that the number of armed conflicts in the world rose steadily in the years after 1945 and has only begun to plateau or fall since the end of the Cold War. The result of Cold War, an ideological warfare between United States and Russia, which threatened the world. Now that the cold war is over, weapon of mass distinction are being produced and processed by some civilized nations such as US, Russia, UK, France, Germany and Israel while states like Libya, North Korea and Iran are considered too rough to have such weapons.
For further, one of these failures is its inability to stop conflicts in the world as enshrined in Article 7 which provides for maintenance of peac and security. This is because we as civilization witnessed so many inter and intra state conflicts in all the continents of the world. These wars include: * Korean war of 1950-1953, * Vietnamese War of 1950s and 1960s, * Nigeria Civil War of 1967-1970 * Cambodia * Sri Lanka * Congo * Bosnia-Herzegovinian * Rwanda * Burundian and Angolan * Dafur and Middle Eastern Crisis, especially Syria
These crisis are fueled, supported and funded by the irresponsible European nations who gratify their socio-economic and political avarice while the thoughtless, dominated and instigated weapon-carriers are left in hardship, economically undeveloped, hungry, haggard, dejected and dying. C. UN ignores or enables human rights abuses? Despite the development of the concept of human rights in the post-war world, the UN has totally failed to protect the rights of citizens, ethnic minorities, women and children.
It has stood by during episodes of genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Congo and Yugoslavia among many others, tolerates some of the world’s worst dictatorships as members, and does nothing to improve the situation of women in developing nations. Indeed, where UN peacekeepers have been sent into war-torn countries, they have sometimes been guilty of the most horrendous human rights abuses themselves. As of 2011, the UN’s Human Rights Council itself is comprised of members such as Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China. D. UN decision-making procedures are inefficient The UN displays all the worst traits of bureaucracies the world over.
The General Assembly is little more than a forum for world leaders and ambassadors to lambast each other. The Security Council is systemically unable to take decisive action in many of the world’s trouble-spots due to its outdated permanent membership structure, which gives five nations a totally disproportionate power to prevent the world body from acting against their interests. In the UN’s 65 years, the veto has been used nearly 300 times. The United Nations has five nations that can veto any resolution that the majority of the U. N. members agreed upon.
The countries with this veto power are China, France, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These countries have this power because they were the founding countries of the United Nations that wrote the rules for the U. N. after World War 2. Unfortunately, this non-democracy fails for several reasons. First, only a true democracy among nations is unbiased and fair. Thus, the complete structure of the U. N. needs a major overhaul. This too is not likely to happen, since the countries with vetoing power are unlikely to unanimously agree to give up this right for fairness sake. In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations”, article 24 states, the entire members of the body should refer all matters of international peace and security to the Security Council, which acts on their behalf. This effect gives a few members the power to recommend on major issues, including admission, suspension, and punishing of any member state. This violates the principle of equality and sovereignty of many other member states. It is considered unfair to note that no other member state or the UN itself can condemn whether veto power a permanent member exercises.
The UN would take no action except the Security Council favors it dominantly. The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be overly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a ‘ceiling’ rate, which is setting the maximum amount any member is assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments to reflect current global circumstances. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%. For the least developed countries (LDCs), a ceiling rate of 0. 1% is applied. In addition to the ceiling rates, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation (or ‘floor’ rate) is set at 0. 001% of the UN budget. Refer to the table for major contributors. A large share of UN expenditures addresses the core UN mission of peace and security. The peacekeeping budget for the 2005–2006 fiscal year was approximately US$5 billion, €2. 5 billion (compared to approximately US$1. 5 billion, €995 million for the UN core budget over the same period), with some 70,000 troops deployed in 17 missions around the world.
UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale, but including a weighted surcharge for the five permanent Security Council members, who must approve all peacekeeping operations. This surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less developed countries. As of 1 January 2011, the top 10 providers of assessed financial contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations were: the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, China, Canada, Spain and the Republic of Korea. Member state| Contribution(% of UN budget)| USA| 22. 00%| Japan| 12. 530%| Germany| 8. 018%| United Kingdom| 6. 604%| France| 6. 123%| Italy| 4. 999%| Canada| 3. 207%| China| 3. 189%| Spain| 3. 177%| Mexico| 2. 356%| South Korea| 2. 260%| Australia| 1. 933%| Netherlands| 1. 855%| Brazil| 1. 611%| Russia| 1. 602%| Other member states| 18. 536%| Top 15 contributors to the UN budget, 2012 E. Many UN Bodies corrupt and compromise As mentioned above, the Human Rights Council consists of some the worst human rights abusers in the world. The NGO UN Watch has accused the HRC focusing almost exclusively on alleged human rights abuses by Israel to the exclusion of almost every other country.
There have been widespread allegations of corruption in UN bodies. It is for these reasons that the US long refused to pay its full dues to the United Nations and threatens to do so again in future, as well as withholding funding from UNESCO in 2011 after it voted to recognize Palestine as an independent state. Bibliography “UN admits Rwanda genocide failure”. BBC website, 15th April 2000. http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/africa/714025. stm. “US cuts UNESCO funds over vote for Palestinian seat“. BBC website. 31st October 2011. http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/world-middle-east-15527534 Bolopion, Philippe. After Libya, the question: To Protect or Depose? ”. Los Angeles Times. 25th August 2011. http://articles. latimes. com/2011/aug/25/opinion/la-oe-bolopion-libya-responsibility-t20110825 “Corruption at the Heart of the United Nations”, The Economist, 9th August 2005. http://www. economist. com/node/4267109 “General Analysis on the Security Council Veto”, Global Policy Forum website. http://www. globalpolicy. org/security-council/security-council-as-an-institution/the-power-of-the-veto-0-40/general-analysis-on-the-security-council-veto. html Hammarskjold, Dag. “Do We Need The United Nations? . Address to the Students’ Association, Copenhagen, 2nd May 1959. www. un. org/depts/dhl/dag/docs/needun. pdf (PDF) Harrison, Mark & Wolf, Nikolaus. “The Frequency of Wars”. University of Warwick, 10th March 2011. http://www2. warwick. ac. uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/harrison/public/ehr2011postprint. pdf London, Jacqueline. “Reform of the United Nations Security Council”. International Affairs and Foreign Policy Institute. 29th June 2007. http://www. incipe. org/UNSCreform. html “Membership of the Human Rights Council”. United Nations website, 2011. http://www2. hchr. org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/membership. htm MacFarquhar, Neil. “Peacekeepers’ Sex Scandals Linger, On-Screen and Off”. New York Times, 7th September 2011. http://www. nytimes. com/2011/09/08/world/08nations. html? pagewanted=all. “What is Peacekeeping? ”. United Nations, 2011. http://www. un. org/en/peacekeeping/operations/peacekeeping. shtml “United Nations: Structure and Organisation”. United Nations, 2011. http://www. un. org/en/aboutun/structure/ “Anti-Israel Resolutions at the HRC”, UN Watch 2011. http://www. unwatch. org/site/c. bdKKISNqEmG/b. 3820041/