International Organizations and Conflict Resolution:
some comparative notes on the role of the League of Nations and the UN system of collective security
Luís de Sousa email@example.com AFP International Scholar (OSI) Political Science Dept., University of Sofia 27-29 Maio 2008
The origins and relevance of the study of IGOs
• Philosophical reflections about a world system without conflict: – Ancient Greek philosophers discussed the idea of a supranational government) -> Plato “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world”; – Dante (XIV century) wrote about the “Universalization of Men” and the creation of a World Government; – XVIII and XIX thinkers continue this humanist tradition: Henri Saint-Simon wrote about the creation of an “European Parliament”; Jeremy Bentham suggested the creation of an international court an resolution and interstate deliberation respectively Since beginning of XX century, the topic of IGOs becomes a central subject area in IR:
– almost every IR degree includes courses on the study of IGOs; – An international journal was also devoted to the study of IGOs (International Organizations); – There is also a section of the International Studies Association dedicated exclusively to the study of IGOs
During post-WW II, functionalist started to access the diversity, evolution and performance of IGOs as autonomous IR actors in their own right (Inis Claude, David Mitrany, Ernst Haas, Philippe Schmitter, Keohane & Nye)
What is the relevance of the study of International Organization to IR?
• The study of IGOs raises important questions about the nature of the international actors, the structure of international relations and the functioning of the international political system; • Centrality in IR -> interdependence theory (IGOs emerge to manage problems that States have in common and for which the costs of acting on the basis of conventional diplomatic relations is high. IGOs reduce the costs of communication and have certain durability associated to its performance); • Number: IGOs are one of the most important features in IR. Not all qualify as meaningful actors in terms of high politics, but can be very influential in sectoral domains (with the collapse of the Cold War numbers have risen to more than 1000) • Functionality: Some of these bodies are so important in the resolution of transnational problems that it would be difficult to imagine what would be the world of today without their existence, e.g. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), promoting understanding and security through cooperative aviation regulation, or the Universal Postal Union (UPU), coordinating a universal postal system. • Growing political relevance of IGOs, INGOs and global movements -> although States treasure their independence and sovereignty, they have gradually came to accept IGOs has mechanisms that enable them (in a non secure multipolar system) to feel less threatened and loose less than they would without the existence of these bodies • N.B.: Of course as Raymond Aron put it, a transnational society can only flourish where there is a climate of cohabitation and cooperation amongst States: the Cold War did not allow such environment (only with détente things improved)
Historical development of IGOs
• Evolution of IGOs -> influenced by two contrasting visions of world order: – an idealist vision (world government) – and a pragmatic vision (incremental resolution of specific common problems that affect inter-state relations) • Although we can refer to certain remote examples (ancient Greece), IGOs only came into being during the 19th century with illuminism and the belief in modernity and human progress; • The first IGOs are created as institutional responses to specific transnational problems common amongst States and with a vocation for international exchange and the facilitation of dialogue between States in their attempt at solving those problems: – The Congress of Vienna set up the first supranational agencies to supervise the free navigation on rivers (Central Commission for the Navigation on the Rhine, 1815); – The International Telecommunication Union (born as the International telegraph Union in 1865) is the first IGO that does not result from a peace settlement, but from a voluntary decision of States to standardize and regulate radio and telecommunications; • Cooperation, functionalism, and exchange are the core elements of these new IR actors; • The first IGOs are created in areas of low visibility in inter-state relations (low politics), but intimately linked to major transformations in European societies of the 19th century, such as, the increment of international trade, the growing mobility of capital, goods, services and people (migrations) - the second wave of globalization - and progress in telecommunications
Although 19th century institutional liberalism believed that a growing network of IGOs and the expansion of international public law contributed to the creation of World government, a Kantian peace or the creation of a Grotian society of states under the rule of law and conventions, the fact is that the globalization promoted by European colonialism and imperialistic ambitions/expansion increased tensions amongst States and led to two World Wars in European soil. In the aftermath of WW I, States decide to create the first IGO with a global vocation devoted to questions of international collective security. The League of Nations is created in 1919/1920. The League of Nations contrasts, in terms of its mission and organisation, to the IGOs born since the Congress of Vienna, which had a more sectoral regulatory function in areas of low political visibility. With the creation of an IGO of collective security, the idea of a “world government” starts to gain strength in the minds of a few progressive leaders. In this period, the number of IGOs continued to grow and diversified into new areas of concern, previously dealt by traditional diplomatic relations, but now subject to a more or less permanent network of organizations and international regimes with their own conflict resolution processes and whose decisions States agreed to abide and to enforce, even if these were not not always favourable to their national interests.
Evolution in numbers & change of paradigm
• Since the creation of the first IGOs in the mid 19th century, the number of these bodies has grown regularly, but with some turbulence and setbacks:
– On the one hand, out of the 1,063 IGOs which existed in 1981 only 728 (68%) survived until 1992 (325 “died”, i.e. were extinguished or incorporated into other IGOs); – On the other hand, nearly 391 IGOs were created during the same period;
What level of interdependence? Currently, nearly 1500 IGOs and over 5000 INGOs are estimated to operate daily at the international level (to which we should had MNCs, domestic NGOs and agencies operating in networks) The highest volume of IGOs registered was during the 1970s and the highest volume of INGOs registered was with the end of the Cold War A change of paradigm in world politics: In the aftermath of the Cold War (1992), IGOs were estimated to run around US$7.6 billion of foreign aid to developing countries (an amount which is superior to the GDP of various regions in the planet). Currently, nearly 20% of all foreign aid is implemented via NGOs. Global meets local: insufficiency of states to deal with transnational problems and impact of globalization leads them to seek and agree on international organizations and regimes; these regimes and programmes to be implemented need the cooperation of domestic actors (e.g. multilateral donor agencies seek local partners to implement their aid programmes).
Some research questions on the diversity of IGOs
• Mission & Scope: What are they meant to do and what means have they at their disposal to carry out their tasks? Are they regional, international or supranational? Are they created by international treaty (amongst States or between States and other collective bodies) or by emanation (IGOs that are born out of other existing IGOs)? Social composition: How are IGOs organised? What recruitment policies/strategies? What leadership (profile, composition and evolution)? What rules of tenure? What role experts play in the decision-making process? Are there epistemic communities (of what sort)? Are experts instructed by governments or act independently? Functioning: What decision-making processes and rules of accountability? Voting systems & veto powers? Mechanisms of representation (what interests are represented and what influence they have)? Informal mechanisms, conventions, procedures inside IGOs’ organization? How is it funded (state contributions, own sources/taxation, voluntary contributions, capital subscription) and how it funds its activities? What role for NGOs? How does the organization monitors compliance to its decisions (consultation, reporting, investigation of complaints, sanctions)? Impact: Do IGOs perform the tasks for which they where created (minimalist and maximalist interpretation of mission/competences)? To what extent IGOs are able to modify the sovereign will of States? Why States opt to act through IGOs at the international level? When do they do it and why? Institutional failure: the death of IGOs: How many IGOs disappear and how many news ones are created? How many resist to change in the international realm? How many IGOs try to overcome institutional failure by upgrading their mission (or specializing) and how many become hollow institutions?
International Organizations as problem solvers (Ernst B. Haas 1990)
Coalition(s) of States and/or other collective entities (IGOs are coalitions of coalitions)
Organizational agenda formation and programming
Issues combined into agendas
Feedback from monitoring
Feedback loop leading to new demands
Evaluation: 1. expected outcomes: objectives fulfilled or not fulfilled 2. unexpected outomes: positive or negative to IGO’s mission
Organizational output - Aid programs - Peacekeeping Operations -Democracy audit - Human rights watch - etc.
Why states decide to act through IGOs?
• States resort to IGOs when they cannot solve the problems they face domestically, in other words, to overcome the insufficiency of national sovereignty in dealing with a variety of transnational issues, such as, telecommunications, energy, security, environmental disasters, terrorism, corruption, etc; • Because the costs of acting alone via traditional mechanisms of dispute resolution (war, diplomacy) are higher than the benefits; • To gain power and political leverage at the international level (this is specially the case with new born states or small ones); • Because IGOs are problem solvers: they produce, share and transfer knowledgeable solutions which States can import and implement; • To legitimise certain types of decisions/actions at the national level (reflexive leverage); symbolic gains and prestige for national leaderships; • To exercise (collective) pressure over certain countries, which otherwise they could not do due to the lack of means and political influence; • Normalization of standards: reduces inter-state cleavages resulting from diverse responses to common problems; • Reduces costs of communication for diplomatic settlement of disputes by socializing elites into collective deliberation; • Etc…
The coming into being of the League of Nations
• The increased network of sectoral IGOs operating in areas of low visibility • and the intensification of diplomatic exchanges • reduced areas of tension in inter-state relations and lowered the costs of communication of traditional diplomatic relations • but did not reduced levels of inter-state conflict and imperialist ambitions • Idea of a “world government” gains strength -> but “scramble for Africa” and struggle for Euroasia -> tensions continued to mount -> rupture of diplomacy, rise of nationalism and republicanism (disaggregation of European empires) -> WW I begins • In the aftermath of WW I, the first collective security IGO was created to reduce the conditions/factors of armed conflict between states: the League of Nations; • Its institutionalization took place in different phases; • Although there were certain episodes of success, overall the League of Nations was a failure in preventing war amongst States and enforcing resolution to its members; • The League of Nations remained hostage to the humiliating peace settlement achieved with the Treaty of Paris • Nevertheless, its failed experience served as a lesson on how to structure the future UN and what are the limits of collective security
The Treaty of Paris parties
• WW I ended the same way it begun: with a conflict between two opposing bocks led by predominantly European nations: – Triple Entente - UK, France, (Tsarist) Russia and US (emerging nonEuropean power; entered the war at a later stage); – Triple Alliance - Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire; Other participant states with minor/irrelevant role: Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria; January 1919 Paris Conference, consortium of 3 nations from the Triple Entente (France, UK, US) decided the peace treaty conditions; (Bolshevik) Russia remained outside the negotiations (March 1918 signed the Brest-Litovsk treaty of mutual non-aggression with Germany); The Treaty of Paris was led by three leaders, each of them defending specific national interests: – US President Wilson (mixture of idealism and defence of national interest -> putting the US in the world map), – French President Georges Clemenceau (imposing heavy penalties on defeated Germany); – UK PM David Lloyd George (control of German colonies)
• • • •
Interests of the various Entente forces vis-à-vis defeated Germany
United States 1. Increase its supremacy in Europe by reducing the naval power of the United Kingdom (1922 Washington Naval Treaty) 2. Secure economic benefits over European colonial territories 3. Prevent the Japanese expansion over China United Kingdom 1. Withdraw Germany from the competition for maritime trade with the territorial colonies 2. Re-establish a more stable balance of power in the European inter-state system under its hegemony (regain “benevolent” hegemon status) 3. Increase its supremacy over the colonial territories conquered from Germany (e.g. Namibia, Tanganika in Africa, middle East territories and PNG in the Pacific) France 1. Secure its safety against German by reducing its economic and military power 2. Re-establish French supremacy in continental Europe 3. Recover control over extractive areas of coal and steel (Ruhr, Saar and AlsaceLorraine) Italy 1. Recover neighbouring/bor der territories inhabited by Italian communities 2. Secure Italian security vis-à-vis Serbia 3. Expand its colonial territories (Italy only joined the Entente later)
Declining European powers: what did they fear?
• Loss of power and reputation vis-à-vis emerging non-European powers: USA and Soviet Union (Tsarist Russia was part of the European system of states);
Reluctance concerning the Wilsonian imperative of “self-determination” of colonial territories
Wilson’s “self-determination” principle was a mixture of idealism, i.e. America was born out of a self-determination revolution against an European colonial ruler (Britain) and a subversive foreign policy instrument, a mobilizing ideology which gained the sympathy and support of liberation movements in colonies and territories under European control, thus increasing US influence in word politics; Fear of communism: the October Revolution created a domino effect which extended over other European nations (e.g. Germany and Hungary trade union uprises). Economic elites feel unsure about the future. Middle class weakened (unemployment soars and inflation gets out of control). Reconstruction efforts place a heavy burden on tax payers.
In January 1918, President Wilson (US) announces 14 points which he considered fundamental to build a secured and peaceful world. The first five aimed at peace-building, but would not have any acceptance or applicability.
Creation of open peace conventions
Freedom of maritime access and navigation during periods of war and peace Establishment of parsimonious trade relations between the peace treaty signatory parties Disarmament policies Self-determination (of European colonial territories)
It did not eliminate the system of secretive alliances
US and UK imposed a maritime blockade to Germany. UK considered that the principle had no applicability during war periods Rejected by the UK an France because that meant opening the door to US trade with the colonies Several disarmament conferences produced innocuous results Rejected by the declining European powers
Treaty of Versailles
• Signed between the Entente forces and defeated Germany on June 28 1919 (end of WW I) and came into force on January 10 1920; • The Treaty imposed an humiliating peace pact upon Germany: demilitarization, heavy sanctions and compensations , loss of 1/10 of its population (and large part of work force) and 1/8 of its territory; + clause of “culpability” for having started the war; • Extensive document (440 articles) + annexes, out of which the League of Nations Pact; and 7 priority areas of intervention; • Other 4 peace treaties were signed with the remaining elements of the Triple Alliance:
– – – – Treaty of St. Germain (10 September 1919) with Austria; Treaty of Neuilly (27 November 1919) with Bulgaria; Treaty of Trianon (4 June 1920) with Hungary; Treaty of Sévres (10 August 1920) with Turkey.
• Peace treaties are instruments of international politics that define a set of conditions for defeated countries and are product of heavy negotiation and compromises between the winning parties.
7 Areas of intervention set by the Treaty of Versailles
1. Territorial clauses: Germany loses 1/8 of its territory overall to France, but also to Belgium, Denmark, Czechoslovakia and Poland; its colonies are distributed between the allied forces; strategic geographical points (rivers and canals) pass on to the international domain; 2. Clauses limiting military power: disarmament and prohibition of rearmament; military industry dismantled; naval power reduced to the minimum, terrestrial forces reduced to 100,000 (national conscription abolished); cancelation of a series of bilateral agreements and treaties celebrated with Germany 3. “Culpability” clause (art. 231 of the Treaty); 4. Compensation clauses for damages and losses caused to other countries (nearly 5 billion dollars) paid to a special Commission created to that effect by the allied forces; 5. Economic clauses: Germany had to give preferential treatment to the imports from the allied countries during a period of 5 years; 6. League of Nations Pact which set up the first collective security IGO based upon a system of open diplomacy and collective resolution of conflicts; 7. Creation of the International Labour Organization, whose purpose was to create a new world economic model based on social justice.
The League of Nations: mission
• Formal established on January 10 1920 (after the discussion of different models at the Paris conference): 42 founding states + 21 which adhered later; • 3 phases of institutional development: 1ª institutionalization (1920-4); 2ª consolidation (1924-31); 3ª rupture/collapse (1931-39). • US Congress rejected American membership in the League; • The League’s composition was characterised by its European and colonialist nature • Mission: creation of a collective security system able to maintain peace and security in international relations based on the rule of Law. Objectives:
– Prevention of war through the peaceful resolution of conflicts; – Monitor the enforcement of peace treaties and other multilateral agreements, such as the protection of minorities or the management of the Mandate System; – Promotion of international cooperation in the fields directly or indirectly related with world peace such as economic stability, combating social problems, cultural and intellectual exchange, etc.)
Successes and failures of the League of Nations
Successes • 1924 Geneva Protocol prohibits resort to war, allowing only policing operations by the League of Nations (no troops of its own); • Between 1924 and 1931, during its consolidation phase the League was able to resolve peacefully some territorial disputes and small incidents/disputes:
– Mosul dispute between Turkey and Iraq (in favour of Turkey); – In 1925, Resolution of the border diplomatic incident which led the Greek army to invade the Bulgarian territory; – Territorial dispute over Vilna between Poland and Lithuania (there was no settlement of territorial claims, but the League of Nations intervention reduced mounting tension)
• • • •
Greater production of knowledge on international conflicts; Rehabilitation of Greek, Turk and Armenian refugees; Economic recovery of Hungary and Austria; Improvement of colonial administrations through the Mandate system (however, colonialism was legitimised); • 1932 creation of a permanent Commission against Slavery; • Free city of Dantzig and the Saar region were governed by the League until their restitution to German in 1935
Failures • 3rd phase: rupture and collapse 1931-1939 (dissolution 1946) • The League was unable to contain the succession of aggressions and imperialist ambitions of certain members of the Council: – Imperialist Japan invades Manchuria in September 1931 (after condemnation by the Council, Japan leaves the League and continues the invasion); – Fascist Italy invades Abyssinia in October 1935 (first, economic sanctions were applied, then the League accepts/legitimises the Italian invasion); – Soviet Union invades Finland in 1939 (the Council purges the Soviet Union; double standard: the decision was more severe in relation to the USSR than with regard to Italy, because communism was viewed by this western. Liberal, bourgeois organization as more threatening to the western powers than fascism); – Nazi German and Fascist Italy send military (airborne) support to help General Franco against the governmental republican troops (France and UK dismiss their responsibility: non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries); • The League has no control over the 1929 recession and subsequent social tensions and political turmoil: middle class loses purchasing power; lower classes hit poverty line; rupture of democratic regimes; rise of fascism; • The Council cannot avoid the rearmament of Germany and the introduction of national conscription: strong military build-up in the Rhine area in clear violation of the Treaties of Versailles and Locarno (France and UK insist, without success, in upholding the Council resolutions).
Factors explaining failure
• Humiliating peace settlement with Germany and weak enforcement of the treaty provisions; • US was not a member; • Council composition did not reflect the new constellation of power in world politics; • Council took decisions based on unanimity voting (veto prerogatives were not limited to powerful states, hence difficult enforcement) • “Lion without teeth”: extended collective security competences without own military enforcement capability; • Small bureaucracy for such a broad mission (Secretariat was made of 600 officials); • Unfavourable economic and social environment: no global economic governance (failure of unregulated capitalist world trade system); • Composition and nature of the IGO was anachronistic: it did not take into account structural changes in the international system (from multipolarity to bipolarity), paved by the collapse of the Europedominated international political system and the rise of two nonEuropean powers (US and USSR).
The New Collective Security IGO
What distinguishes the UN from the League?
The League of Nations experience was important in shaping the UN organization and its guiding principles (system of collective security based on the Rule of Law and the peaceful resolution of conflicts) However, the WW II victorious powers were aware of the factors that led to the League’s failure and conceived the UN with a more realistic approach:
– Greater flexibility and adaptability of the organization and of its guiding principles in relation to the word’s political reality (e.g. acceptance of non-democratic nature of regimes whilst incorporating the Universal Human Rights Declaration, etc.); – Broader geo-cultural representation: currently 192 member states (observatory status and/or ongoing diplomatic negotiations with territories which have not been fully recognised as sovereign) and 6 official languages (English, Chinese, Spanish, Arab, French and Russian); – More synthetic and versatile founding document (UN Charter has 111 articles versus 440 articles of the League of Nations Pact) enabling a continuous institutional development; – A more assertive executive due to a more realistic representation of the existing constellation of power in world politics: qualified majority voting (9 out of 10 + 5) with veto power attributed to the 5 permanent members of the Security Council (use of veto: China - 5; France - 18; UK - 32; US - 79; USSR/Russia - 122); the Security Council can authorize a military intervention in any country; – “Resolutions with teeth”: creation of its own operational forces through the contribution of its members (blue helmets); – More stable equilibrium between the voluntary contribution of States to the functioning of the collective security system and their sovereignty;
Capacity to impose resolutions on military matters upon its members is still limited, similarly to the League of Nations, but considerable progress
According to Art. 1º of Chapter 1 of the Charter, the purposes of the UN are: 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.
UN Guiding principles
According to art. 2 of the Charter, the UN guiding principles are: • Sovereign equality amongst all its members; • Good faith: members should always act in good faith in fulfilling their duty to resolve conflicts peacefully -> participation in the collective security system for the promotion of peace; • Collective security: members should act collective against a threat to international peace (it is the Security Council’s competence, and not that of States to find and assess if there is a potential threat to peace, act of aggression in violation of the Charter provisions) • Mutual benefits and obligations; • Extension of guiding principles to non-member states whenever international peace and security are at risk; • Problems and disputes pertaining to the internal order of States are excluded from UN intervention (except human rights violations)
Peace policies: preventive collective security
1. Disarmament and arms control - Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) (1968) – Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) (1996) – Nuclear Free Zone Treaties (various regions covered) – Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (OPCW) (1993).
2. Peace-making operations: use of discreet and secretive preventive diplomacy aimed at the signing of peace agreements
3. Peace-building operations: support and promotion of democratic transitions processes (demilitarization of rival factions, running of elections, functioning of the Judicial system, training police forces, etc.) in a postconflict context 4. Peace-keeping operations: military operations aimed at enforcing ceasefire provisions, defining buffer zones, crating a propitious climate for political negotiation between the belligerent parties and enabling humanitarian aid.
Overview: Present UN Peacekeeping Missions (2006)
Mission Acronym Europe UNOMIG UNMIK UNFICY P Sub-Saharan Africa UNMIS UNMEE UNIOSIL MONUC ONUB UNMIL UNOCI The Americas MINUSTAH As ia and Oceania UNMOGIP UNMIT Middle East and Maghreb UNIFIL MINURSO UNAMA UNTSO UNDOF Name of Mission Start Country UN Observ a tion Mission in Georgia United Nations Interim Administrati n Mission in Kosovo o United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus 1993 1999 1964 Georgia Serbia Cy prus
UN Mission in the Su dan UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea United Nations Integrated Of ice in Sierra Leone f UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of theCongo UN Mission for Burundi United Nations Mission in Liberia UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire
2005 2000 2006 1999 2003 2003 2004
Sudan Ethiopia and Eritrea Sierra Leone DR Congo Burundi Liberia Côte d’Ivoire
UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti
UN Observer Group in India and Pa kistan UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste
India and Pa kistan East Timor
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon United Nations Mission for the Ref rendum in Western Sahara e United Nations Assistance Mission in Af gha nista n United Nations Truce Sup is ion Organization erv United Nations Disengagement Observ er Force
1978 1991 2002 1948 1974
Lebanon Wester Sahara n Af gha nistan Israel Syria
Source: Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research Conflict Barometer 2006, (Available online: http://www.hiik.de /konf likt arometer/pdf/ConflictBarometer_2006.pd ) b f
The Resolution of International Disputes: some examples (based on Northedge & Donelan 1971)
Dormant disputes Unsolved disputes Coercively solved disputes Peacefully solved disputes
South Tirol (1945 to present) Cyprus (1954-59 and 1963 to present) Muscat and Omam, 1959-61 Sino-Indian border (1959-65) Laos (1957-65) Algeria-Morocco (1958-63) Yemen (1962-67)
Kashmir (1947 to present) China-Taiwan (1949 to present) Angola (1961 to present) Gibraltar (1963 to present) Arab-Israeli conflict (1967 to present) Western Sahara (1960s to present)
Indo-China (194554) Korea (1947-53) Goa (1950-61) Tibet (1950-59) Hungary (1956) Congo (1960-63) Kuwait-Iraq (196163) Gulf War (19901991) Yugoslav wars (1991-2001) Iraq War (2003 to present)
Indonesia and West Irian (1950-62) The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (195053) Anglo-Icelandic fisheries (1958-61) Lebanon-Jordan (1958) Somalia (1960-65) Mauritania-Morocco (1958-69) Indonesia-Malaysia (1963-66) Mozambican civil war (1975-1992)
Balance of UN “peace support measures”
• The term “peacekeeping” has a dubious legal framing under the UN Charter • UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, during the UN supervision of the withdrawal of troops from Suez in 1956, said that “peacekeeping operations” felt under article 6 ½ of the UN Charter, between the pacific resolution of conflicts (art. 6) and coercive measures to deal with acts of aggression (art. 7) • Despite being an innovation in respect to the UN Charter, peacekeeping operations became the most emblematic instruments of conflict resolution used by the UN. • Number of peacekeeping operations have increased considerably and changed in nature (less concerned with inter-state and more with intra-state conflict or civil war): 1945-89 the UN undertook 13 operations, after the end of the Cold War the number of peacekeeping operations have almost tripled; • However, wider and more robust peacekeeping may be counterproductive: the UN may become part of the problem rather than the solution (e.g. Bosnia and Somalia) • UN’s record in resolving international disputes by agreement and in helping them becoming dormant is not impressive… • Nevertheless, many of the disputes referred to the UN remain on its agenda: – either because under existing conditions there is no way they can be solved (the UN has become the world’s depositor of “lost causes”); – or because it provides an adequate diplomatic forum to discuss possible peaceful resolutions whilst bilateral and multilateral meeting take place in parallel (“letting off of steam” -> clarifies the essential facts of a disputes and eases tensions)
Future of Peacekeeping
• Two opposing doctrines for reviewing peacekeeping within the scope of the UN Charter: 1. Maximalist role: this current argues that peacekeepers should create the peace which they are required to keep (Boutros-Ghali favoured this elastic and proactive interpretation of peacekeeping by referring in his “Agenda for Peace” that in some conflicts, the UN peacekeepers should act to restore a cease-fire); 2. Minimalist role: peacekeeping should be status quo oriented, that is, restricted to a consensual, impartial and interpositionary role of monitoring a cease-fire or controlling a buffer zone.
UN Reform: 3 dimensions
• Structural/Constitutional: – Reduce democratic deficit (broader representation at the Security Council, deliberation broadened to other stakeholders beyond the states, such as NGOs which today run most of the UN aid programmes); greater transparency over its financial dealings; – Reinforce the authority of the Security Council (may be incompatible with a broader representation); – Greater rationalization of the functions performed by the various specialised agencies and bodies that constitute the UN system in order to avoid unnecessary institutional proliferation; • Financial: – To increase the sustainability of the UN; – Reducing the dependency of the UN budget from a small number of state contributions would increase its legitimacy and strengthen its image of impartiality. Currently, 3 member states cover over 50% of the budget: the US contributes 22%, Japan nearly 20% and Germany nearly 10% • Operational: – Redefine the UN role in inter-state conflicts and review the concept of peacekeeping within the legal framework of the UN Charter; – Increase the capacity of response in cases of natural disasters and complex emergencies; – Increase the UN role in defining/shaping the mode of world economic governance; – Clarify the UN role in issues concerning the violation of human rights.
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