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Future of the Un System

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Essay title: Future of the Un System

Chapter 19

“Thinking about the future of the UN system”

Name: Dimitris Karagousgounis

What happens in the International Relations arena in order to take a glimpse of what is happening in International Politics and generally to study and examine international systems we usually hung up on what’s wrong with the picture: riots and their suppression, military takeovers, drug traffic, corporate raids, financial psychoses, arm races, wars and rumors of wars.

Harlan Cleveland states that if we stand back and look at the whole scene, we will see all kinds of international systems and arrangements that are working fairly well. Among others he mentions systems like UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNIFEM, WMO (Weather forecasting: World Weather Watch), WHO (eradication of infectious diseases), ICAO (international civil aviation) and many more.

Global organizations are a phenomenon that until 20th century didn’t even exist. In search of finding a formula that will stabilize their function they have changer forms and functions more than once during time. Based on insights gained from that historic overview the potential of successful global organization could be more fully employed by;

1. drawing the UN system closer to “We the peoples of the United Nations”

2. diminishing the international inequities in the UN system

3. involving more of the UN system in long-term violence prevention

Historical Context

The stage on which the drafters of the UN Charter performed was built during a long historical process-at least five hundred years-through which human inquisitiveness, restlessness, and acquisitiveness produced ever increasing contacts among human settlements, across over longer distances.

If we look back in time we will realize that the UN system was based on the existence of another system created before the UN one but with not the success that was desired but it was clear that it had a lot potentials if it would have been established under a right formula, and this system was the League of Nations.

The heritage that was left from the first era of global organizations was that:

1. They have achieved universality

2. They have created a network of global organizations responsive to a growing agenda of global problems

3. They have established a continuous, worldwide presence of this system of organizations, in at least 134 cities in all continents

4. They have made multilateral decision-making commonplace and have developed new procedures for achieving consensus

5. They have greatly increased the number of tools available for peace building

6. They have identified and made substantial progress in multilateral definition of a set of fundamental global values, such as peace, human rights, development, and ecological balance

7. They have made progress in breaking down barriers between the people of the world and global governmental organizations

Creation of New Tools for Peace Building

During the last 75 years, the League of Nations and the UN have demonstrated remarkable creativity in expanding the array of available tools for peace building and in experimenting with these tools.

The League of Nations Covenant was essentially an effort to strengthen diplomacy by adding peaceful settlement of disputes (through mediation, conciliation, and the world court); to replace balance of power with collective security; and to create procedures for disarmament and arms control. These approaches emphasize the use of, and control of, violence in the pursuit of peace, sometimes abbreviated as negative peace.

While the UN charter of 1945 was an attempt to strengthen collective security especially through functional cooperation on economic and social issues, self-determination and human rights. These approaches emphasize the creation of peaceful economic, social, and political relationships, sometimes abbreviated as positive peace.

We the Peoples of the UN

The historical analysis suggests that a fundamental problem confronted by the UN system is the gap between the wisdom occasionally manifested by representatives of states assembled in UN bodies and the

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