IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

The U.N. redux

I received a comment on my previous post about the U.N. which made me think that a little more background (spread out over several posts) on what the world organization is, and is not, might be useful.  First of all, the Charter is something of a contradiction.  If you read the Preamble, you find the following:

“WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

AND FOR THESE ENDS

to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and

to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and

to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,”

Then in Chapter One, Article One we find the purposes of the organization:

” 1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends. ”

All this, taken at face value, is an agenda for a world government, since it would require very developed institutions and significant power and authority to realize these goals. However, in Chapter One, Article Two we learn that: ” The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” In other words, one could say that the founders of the U.N. did not really (for various reasons) endow the organization with the means to achieve its ends.

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October 26, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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