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Do you think the United Nations is relevant in helping to solve global conflicts?

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Sometimes... I think it could be a lot more than it is if the nations involved were, well... you know... united in their efforts.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Decolonization in the latter half of the 20th century brought about a huge increase in new countries joining the UN. Unfortunately, the UN grew to the point where it's largely ineffective and irrelevant. We now have a UN where Saudi Arabia is on the Human Rights Council and we've lost count of how many anti-blasphemy resolutions have been passed. The classical liberal values of the west used to dominate the UN but now it's a place where gangster states like Russia and China can excercise their vetos to turn back the clock on human progress.

I believe we should create a more exclusive 'League of Democracies' to complement the UN (and perhaps replace it in time). This was an idea that Joe Biden supported when he was running for president in 2008. It's too bad the idea never went anywhere under Obama.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

More crucial than ever to save us all from the Trumpster.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

No. I was part of UNISOM in the early 90's, and it was a failure, as are most such missions. UN military intervention is just another outlet for the military/industrial complex, which cares nothing at all about peace. The longer and more bloody a conflict, the more money they can make, and few organizations are as corrupt as the UN. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are good examples (not UN operations, but following the UN MO). If they had been fought with the goal of actually winning, victory would have come quickly, and peace returned. But instead of winning outright, these wars become "peacekeeping" missions, which prolong conflicts for years, or even decades, with constant, low-level fighting, injury, and death.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I voted sometimes. It is a sad fact of the world today that there needs to be an international regulatory body to assess and manage man's inhumanity to man (and woman). The UN is not perfect and at times, it can be a bit of a 'dog and pony show', but the UN has highlighted and addressed many cases of oppression, human rights issues and supplied aid to countries suffering famine. The UN does more good than harm, so it must be supported.

@sangetsu03 - The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are good examples (not UN operations, but following the UN MO). If they had been fought with the goal of actually winning, victory would have come quickly, and peace returned. But instead of winning outright, these wars become "peacekeeping" missions, which prolong conflicts for years, or even decades, with constant, low-level fighting, injury, and death.

So, please tell us what you imagined would have happened in these countries without UN intervention. Is genocide an acceptable alternative to you?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@sangetsu03 ... Agree with you that many peacekeeping operations are flawed and some are a failure. UNISOM I, UNITAF, and UNISOM II all failed. AMISOM is not much better. I think there are two major reasons: (1) the leadership is inadequate at the UN/AU level, with an ineffective chain of command and conflicting mission mandates, and (2) many - though not all - of the troops are poorly trained, poorly equipped, or poorly led.

I also share your frustration. But unfortunately I do not see at this moment any viable alternative to the UN and its peacekeeping operations. I really wish there was one. AMISOM had some early successes but in the past couple of years has suffered a string of defeats from Al Shabaab. 2015 was a particularly bad year, with some bases overrun, troops and supplies captured, and some bases abandoned to the terrorists.

But there are some limited successes. UNMISS, despite many serious shortcomings, has saved lives since the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan in December 2013. JGSDF personnel - mainly a 350-person engineering unit - were in South Sudan for only a few years, and did not really engage in peacekeeping but rather infrastructure work. I think in the end this did not contributed to helping to stabilize the country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are good examples (not UN operations, but following the UN MO). If they had been fought with the goal of actually winning, victory would have come quickly, and peace returned.

Just to be clear - if the UN "MO" (as in rules and procedures set out in the UN Charter) had been followed, those wars never would have happened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The UN would have more teeth and a better ability to force and keep the peace if it's biggest member would cooperate as a fully fledged blue helmet military unit, but as we all know American soldiers only answer to their CIC and will never take orders from UN commanders.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Help solve, no, Top Five Major areas the UN have fail to solve but have help save lives, Korea, Vietnam, Farc ( 1964 to present), Middle east ( 1946 to present ), Balkans and Africa. I think the only positive Nato in East Europe

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

UN seems more determined to under mind the US . Than solve world conflicts . It's time for US to kick UN out . US should withdraw it's membership to UN. UN has lost its way. It's just a debate club for world dictators ...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

the UN General Assembly has largely been taken over by some of the worst dictatorial scum of the 3rd world.

Its all but useless.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just to be clear - if the UN "MO" (as in rules and procedures set out in the UN Charter) had been followed, those wars never would have happened.

The UN was more than partly responsible for the Iraq war. The UN administered the "oil for food" program imposed on Iraq, the one which was supposed to prevent Saddam from getting cash for his oil, only food, which was to feed Iraqis. As we all know, the Iraqis got no food, and Saddam acquired further billions in cash.

Kofi Annan's son was one of the profiteers of this program, as were many others. Because of this, the UN did nothing when Saddam denied access to weapons inspectors, or threw them out of the country. And because Saddam was paying millions to these crooks within the UN bureaucracy, he thought that he would be protected by them, and therefore could act with impunity.

The UN rather encouraged this, because if the inspectors were unfettered, and Saddam had behaved, sanctions would have been lifted. If sanctions had been lifted, those within the UN who who were profiting from them wold have been cut off.

America asked the UN to act, and to support a resolution calling for action in Iraq. The UN of course refused, knowing that such action woulda lost cut off the money. And so long as the UN continued to refuse, Saddam continued to misbehave. Had the UN agreed to the resolution, it is more than likely Saddam would have come into line. But they didn't, so he didn't, and the rest is history.

Much of the administration of the UN is made up appointees and politicians from developing countries, to whom graft and corruption are the rule. And because of this, the UN has become incredibly corrupt.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The UN was more than partly responsible for the Iraq war.

The US invaded unilaterally, without UN approval, bypassing the actions of the UN which were geared towards not having war, by forcing Iraq to allow the weapons inspectors unfettered access. The Iraq war is the responsibility of the US and anyone that supported them. Not the UN.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If they were relevant to anything they would have stepped in when Fukushima happened...forcefully instead of letting Japan say it is a Japanese problem when it is a mankind problem.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The UN was more than partly responsible for the Iraq war.

The institution that was specifically circumvented because it opposed the war is responsible for the war? Is the US never responsible for anything it does in your world?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The US invaded unilaterally, without UN approval, bypassing the actions of the UN which were geared towards not having war,

Why did the US bypass the UN? Do you remember the reasons? Do you remember that the UN repeatedly failed to take Saddam to task for denying access to weapons inspectors to numerous sites? Do you remember the times the inspectors were expelled?

Do you remember Bill Clinton's speech in December of 1998, which he gave after air attacks on Iraq after Saddam failed to allow weapons inspectors access to research sites? Here are some parts from it:

So we will pursue a long-term strategy to contain Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and work toward the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people.

First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens.

The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.

Not long after Clinton's bombing of Iraq (anyone here remember it), and the election of Bush, Saddam went right back to playing the same game. He was warned more than one time by America what would happen if he did not comply.

Since the UN failed in all cases to do anything about these violations that Saddam agreed to, America invaded unilaterally. Arguably, the US would not have have invaded Iraq if the UN had done it's part to enforce the agreements Saddam had made after the first gulf war.

But Saddam was paying off numerous people in the UN to prevent any action from being taken. That is not to say that the US did the right thing in invading Iraq, but it shows how corruption and incompetence can lead to catastrophe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was all about the supposed WMD's and oil. Perhaps that was why the UN didn't want the invasion... maybe they knew about the lack of WMDs?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But Saddam was paying off numerous people in the UN to prevent any action from being taken. That is not to say that the US did the right thing in invading Iraq, but it shows how corruption and incompetence can lead to catastrophe.

Saddam probably didn't want the fact that he did not have WMD known to his neighboring countries from security reason. You can't blame UN for US invading Iraq.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One word - Palestine.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

When you have 5 countries, each with the power of veto, and often with conflicting agendas and visions, its very hard to make the UN effective.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

From what I can see as an outsider, it certainly does not look very effective in helping solve global conflicts. One of the (many) problems is that some coountries consistently work for the interest of their own military industry rather than for world peace.

@sangetsu: Why did the US bypass the UN? Do you remember the reasons? Do you remember that the UN repeatedly failed to take Saddam to task for denying access to weapons inspectors to numerous sites? Do you remember the times the inspectors were expelled?

I was still at an age when I was not interested in politics but as far as I remember those weapons were never found. As for Saddam declining the request to let inspectors look at the supposed weapon sites, I wonder how the US would respond if somebody from “outside” (or “the other side”) insisted on seeing any military equipment they have stacked in the USA (and other parts of the world).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was still at an age when I was not interested in politics but as far as I remember those weapons were never found. As for Saddam declining the request to let inspectors look at the supposed weapon sites, I wonder how the US would respond if somebody from “outside” (or “the other side”) insisted on seeing any military equipment they have stacked in the USA (and other parts of the world).

Of course they were never found, because they were never there.

As for the US, they had not surrendered from a war under the strict conditions that weapons inspectors have free access to all sites with no warning at any time, as Iraq did.

The entire Iraq war was a facade and a disaster, the result of greed, stupidity, and corruption. And the war had it's roots in the Clinton years, a fact which most people overlook. Bush, stupid as he was, got all the blame, while no one recalls that his CIA director and intelligence apparatus was put in place by Bill Clinton, and that Bush was doing exactly what Clinton threatened to do when he was still in office. No seems to remember Hillary speaking on the senate floor, encouraging the senate to vote for war. She had been in the white house for 8 years, and a senator, with access to intelligence, for more than two years, right? She knew much more about Iraq than Bush did, and still voted to attack.

And the UN was instrumental in the leadup to war because it refused to act against Iraq when inspectors were hindered, and, by it's opposition to the use of force, encouraged Iraq to continue denying inpections while inadvertently encouraging America to act unilaterally on the same token. The UN refused to act, because it handled the oil contracts for the sale of Iraqi oil. Enough said.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The US was going to start a war in Iraq regardless of what Hans Blix or anyone else in the UN inspection team said. It's that single point which removes the responsibility from the UN.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The UN only exists to legitimize the Security Council. And it's only supported by the P5 because of that legitimacy, which is why the UN really only works in areas outside the P5's spheres of influence.

Let the UN do the good work it can for now, but if there comes a time where the P5 no longer have use for it, it will disappear like the League of Nations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

just like this thread there will be notions one way or another, but this thread represents the whole and that means sometimes. Having a place where dialogue can at least occur is the best we can do

1 ( +1 / -0 )

US does whatever it wants, the UN is becoming like the League of Nations, totally useless, and as history taught us, something bad is coming ... I have no hope for the future

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I find it thoroughly detestable and entirely flaccid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find it thoroughly detestable and entirely flaccid.

Especially the last 10 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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