After the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, most of the members were optimistic that the international body would bring about change in most of the problems that were ailing the world. As such, the various bodies of the United Nations were tasked with different roles. The major decision making organ of the UN, which is otherwise known as the UN Security Council, was tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security in the world. This council is composed of five permanent members and other members that are rotational. This research is concerned with the positive influences that the United Nations has had on the world since its inception. Specifically, the research question that is the subject of this study is - what influence has the UN had in the maintenance of world peace and order?
The reason for the choice of this topic is to establish the particular accomplishments that the UN has had in the area of peace and security. There are critics who argue that the UN has failed in some of its missions such as the genocide in Rwanda. However, there are other instances where it has been successful such as Sierra Leone. The maintenance of peace and security has always been a big headache for many countries around the world. This has been caused by the emerging wars between countries as well as in individual countries. These wars results from conflicts that are related either to political dictatorship or out of civil wars. However, since the formation of the UN Security Council, there has been significant calm in most countries. In this regard, nations have existence in peace and tranquility with each other while the number of civil wars has reduced drastically. The credit for this can only be attributed to the United Nations. Specifically, the UN has sent missions to countries that were ravaged with war to maintain calm. In this regard, most of the African countries such Congo, Sierra Leone and Somalia have had some relative peace because of the efforts of the United Nations. In those countries, the UN Security Council has employed their mission consisting of soldiers from members states of the UN.
Apart from sending missions in the maintenance of peace, the UN, through the Security Council has also employed other methods that have led to the reduction of conflicts in the world. Particularly, the establishment of the international criminal court was a step, which led to peace in the world. This court is responsible for prosecuting persons who are believed to be culpable for the perpetration of violence in their individual countries. To make this right, the security has referred several persons to the ICC for crimes against humanity, deportation, among other offences. This has scared away leaders who may wish to cause conflict in their countries. As if that was not enough, several high profile people have been prosecuted and jailed. Specifically, the prosecution and sentencing of Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes was one of the major achievements that the United Nations has done in the maintenance of peace and order. Further, other political leaders who are deemed culpable for war crimes have been arraigned in the ICC. Through this, the UN has shown its commitment to the maintenance of peace in the world.
There exists a variety of articles that gives an assessment of the role that the UN, specifically the Security Council, has had in the maintenance of international peace and security. Particularly, the UN Security Council authorized the use of force for the sake of the protection of civilians. According to Bellamy, the UN can now allow the invasion of a functioning state if it has proof that the rights of the civilian citizens are being violated. In the case of Libya, the UN allowed the use of force to protect Libyan citizens. This is now a new way of security, which is termed as the modern politics of protection. According to the authors, the protection of civilians is the main agenda of the UN. In this case, peace will be maintained if the rights of the civilians are respected and protected.
According to Bosco et al., the effectiveness of the Security Council, which is the major decision-making body of the UN, is based on its ability to maintain international peace and security. As such, the council is obliged to come with collective measures that are meant to curb any actual or perceived threat to international security. To accomplish its mandate, the UN has taken several measures that are necessary for maintaining peace in the world. Specifically, it has investigated several cases that it deemed dangerous to international peace and security. However, in the opinion of Bosco et al., the United Nations Security Council has had failures in this mandate. Specifically, the Rwanda genocide was the lowest point of the organization. As such, its influence on that front in terms of security was minimal. As a result, the UN has had various failures and successes in equal measure.
Du Plessis et al., argues that the UN through its criminal justice maintenance organ, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has had many successes and failures. In this regard, the authors opine that the court has been biased towards African countries. Specifically, the current cases that are under the investigation of the ICC originate from African countries and their leaders. This presents a good argument for the selective nature of the ICC. In its attempt to quell any conflicts, the UN Security Council, applying its referral powers, referred the case of Libya and the Sudanese region of Darfur to the ICC for investigation and possible prosecution of the most culpable people. However, the ICC has been criticized for not refereeing Israel and Syria to the same court for investigation. In this article, the selectivity of the UN in referring cases to the ICC has watered down the successes that the UN has made in its mandate to maintain international peace and security. Specifically, African cases in the ICC include the case involving the Ugandan leader of the resistance army, the Kenyan cases involving the current president and the deputy president, the Cote dIvoire cases of the overthrown president Gagbo, the Congolese case, among others. However, Oreille is of the opinion that, arguing that ICC is biased towards Africa is a distraction of UN from its major roles.
Although the UN has deployed forces of member countries in areas torn by war, the missions have failed to live up to the expected returns. Instead of maintaining peace, they have escalated the conflict. According to hultman, the UN peacekeeping missions do more injustice than good in the areas that they are deployed to maintain peace. In this case, the authors argue that sufficient evidence exists to show how inefficient the missions are when they are called upon to maintain peace. They attribute this to the failure by the member countries to give enough numbers of military for the maintenance of peace and security. The best example offered in this case, is the human rights abuses in Congo where the soldiers paid and even raped little girls and women. In this regard, they failed to honor, and respect the rights and freedoms of the people that they were send there to protect. As such, they received retaliation from the local communities because of their failure to respect their woman and girls. Another example presented is the AMISOM forces in Somalia. In this regard, the forces have engaged in the illegal business of sugar and charcoal instead of concentrating on the mission that send them there. As such, the UN has failed in its peace and security missions.
The responsibility of UN to protect has been examined by Bellamy. The UN has the role of ensuring that the citizens of war torn areas are protected from the excesses of the internal police. The response to genocide as well as other mass atrocities has been the subject of debates for many scholars. This article has focused on the way the notion of the right to protect will be in the next five years. Specifically, the article is focused on the function of the right to protect, the sort of norm it is, and the contribution it has made in the prevention of atrocities and human rights violations. The international responsibilities of the UN have ensured that no actions of human rights violations go without punishment. The indictment of several individuals who were involved in crimes against humanity is a perfect example of how the UN is determined to perform its responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security.
There is an element of ambiguity in the peacekeeping missions that the UN missions have been deployed. This ambiguity is related to the person who caters for the cost of the missions expenses since some of the member sates of the UN have failed to submit their dues. Additionally, those who make more contributions to the UN and who are the permanent members, have veto powers on where the mission will be sent. According to Lipson, the UN uses a lot funds in all the missions that it sends to different areas every time there is conflict. However, improving the support that is offered to those missions is important in the boost of their morale. This article is important in that, it addresses the methods that the UN can use to ensure efficiency in the peace operations. The quality of the operations is importance for the sake of peace. However, if the UN does not take care of its mission, they will not be able to execute their duties diligently and neither will peace prevail in those areas.
Bellamy, Alex J. "The responsibility to protectfive years on." Ethics & International Affairs 24, no. 2 (2010): 143-169.
Bellamy, Alex J., and Paul D. Williams. "The new politics of protection? Cote d'Ivoire, Libya and the responsibility to protect." International Affairs 87, no. 4 (2011): 825-850.
Bosco, David. "Assessing the UN Security Council: A Concert Perspective." Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations 20, no. 4 (2014): 545-561.
Du Plessis, Max, Tiyanjana Maluwa, and Annie OReilly. "Africa and the International Criminal Court." Criminal Justice 11, no. 3 (2013): 563-70.
Hultman, Lisa, Jacob Kathman, and Megan Shannon. "United Nations peacekeeping and civilian protection in civil war." American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 4 (2013): 875-891.
Lipson, Michael. "Performance under ambiguity: international organization performance in UN peacekeeping." The Review of International Organizations 5, no. 3 (2010): 249-284.
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