Andrew Hong and Evan Baron New Zealand Model United Nations: Rutgers Conference November 20-23, 2008 Failed States: Striving for Stability The loss of seventy million people in World War II, who died protecting their own country, catalyzed the explosive commencement of the suffering of millions of lives who have endured and still endure pain, hunger, oppression, and death brought along by the chaotic formation of failed states. These failed states are incapable of carrying necessary functions of a provisional government. In what ways are these failed sates so problematic? One can begin to answer this basic question by pointing out that even if a state is classified to be “failed,” it continues to subsist, thus causing instability among the surrounding nations and leading to the support of terrorist actions. As seen in Africa during the Cold War Era, failed states often result from decolonization, which involves the abrupt absence of a more advanced nation. One can similarly relate this concept to the sudden release of a house-held pet into the wild. A pet that is raised in a sheltered environment does not possess basic survival instincts to help them thrive in the wild. The absence of these instincts in the animals and in the previously nurtured states of Africa, which was caused by excessive sheltering, led to a great amount of disorder and chaos that characterizes a failed state. In contrast to the global view of a failed state, New Zealand envisions a failed state as one that is experiencing or will soon experience intervention by a powerful nation. Once intervention is considered, it is clear that the state is in a poor enough condition to be thought of as failed. Obviously, New Zealand is extremely reluctant to declare a state as failed, and even Hong & Baron 2 more unwilling to intervene in such states. Part of the reason that New Zealand is so hesitant in taking action regarding failed states is that it believes that these states have brought about their own failure through their political defiance. According to New Zealand, citizens of these failed states are foolish for adhering to their own ideas rather than affiliating themselves with greater world powers. These failed states have a chance for a better life if they rely on the democratic and capitalistic ideas of greater nations. Not only does New Zealand define a failed state differently, but it also holds dissimilar beliefs regarding the link between state failure and “transnational criminal activity like terrorism and money laundering” (Nguyen 10). Even if there is terrorism in a failed state, it does not mean that state failure is the sole cause of this activity. Criminal activities result primarily from factors such as government corruption, which is present in strong and weak states alike. Despite New Zealand’s obvious hesitations regarding failed states, it has shown that it will intervene militarily in extreme situations. For example, New Zealand intervened militarily in the Solomon Islands in 1998 because these islands were experiencing mass pandemonium, which was triggered by public turmoil on Guadalcanal (Kabutaulaka 1-2). New Zealand sought to establish order on these islands in 2003, thus displaying its ability to play a major role in regards to national affairs of smaller island countries. Therefore, it is evident that New Zealand is very cautious when declaring a state to be failed and when dealing with these failed states, but it has recently displayed its capability to participate in domestic affairs. In order to come to a global decision, New Zealand proposes a resolution to negotiate with other members of the United Nations. Although failed states are potentially problematic, it is necessary to take extreme caution when dealing with these states because military intervention can lead to domination over the state by other nations, which creates dependency upon the Hong & Baron 3 democracy and capitalism of the greater nations. However, it is not an option to merely leave these states alone because they continue to exist and they spread their instability to bordering countries. Therefore, New Zealand proposes that surrounding countries work to aid these failing states with the goal of improving our failing neighborhood rather than improving our failing neighbor (Nguyen 11). Regional nations should create financial and social organizations that provide a stable structure and restore the order of the state rather than rely on military actions. These bordering nations have no choice but to offer their aid because they are economically dependent on these failed states. If regional bodies are unable to singularly aid the failed states, then the United Nations should also provide financial, political, and social aid. The United Nations should identify a state as a “failed” if the state’s government cannot carry its basic functions and if the prior efforts of regional nations were unsuccessful in stabilizing the state. It is imperative for nations to unite and to come to an agreement regarding failed states so that the people of Earth can help to stabilize the failed states, thus eliminating the mass suffering of the people of these states. Hong & Baron 4 Works Cited Kabutaulaka, Tarcisius Tara. "'Failed State' and the War on Terror: Intervention in Solomon Islands." Asia Pacific 72 (2004): 1-3. 4 Nov. 2008 <http://www.eastwestcenter.org/ fileadmin/stored/pdfs/api072.pdf>. Lee, John. Failed States. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Rutgers Model United Nations. Institute for Domestic & International Affairs, Inc. 2 Nov. 2008 <http://www.idia.net/Files/ConferenceCommitteeTopicFiles/233/PDFFile/ U08-UNESCO-FailedStates.pdf>. Nguyen, Minh. The Question of 'Failed States'. View on Asia. Uniya. Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre. 4 Nov. 2008<http://www.uniya.org/research/state _failure.pdf>.
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