Abstract: None of the organizations can be comparable to the United Nations. Largest and most important, most representative and authoritative inter-governmental international organizations, the social status of the United Nations in the international community are essential.
Key words: the United Nations, conflict prevention, disarmament
Conflict prevention in international politics stays as one of the primary goals of the United Nations, even as both the origin and the public’s comprehension of conflict haven changed since the objective of protecting long term generations from the impacts of war was integrated in the U.N. charter since its inception. In the current setting, preventive initiatives go more than conventional peace talks to include a wide variety of U.N. departments dealing into a huge scope of fields like elimination of poverty, human rights, voting process and the establishment of liberal entities and the management of weaponries.
The UN has dedicated itself to shifting from a policy of response to stopping the root cause of conflicts in international politics, to deal effectively with the public as well as the member countries, and to implement detailed plans that meet the essential causes of conflict in international politics (Bercovitch, 2008). The UN has a significant responsibility in this initiative, helping in the stoppage of conflicts in international politics by tracking world political events and mitigation of potential issues before they get worse. The UN led by its Secretary-General and his colleague go about their activities concerned with diplomacy all over the world.
All throughout the years UN has highlighted the significance of stopping conflicts in international politics in order that people can have an environment that is without any worries or doubts on safety. There are various kinds of conflicts in international politics, with different origins and various impacts. Conflicts in international politics can happen among countries or within the similar country. Conflicts among countries frequently emerge from claims for resources and territories. Meanwhile, conflicts within a nation usually emerge from other kinds of misunderstanding. The conflict can be caused by race, religion or lack of knowledge or the imbalanced distribution of resources. Poverty, the scarcity of the natural resources of countries, the brittleness of political entities, and other abusive actions are some of the usual reasons why conflicts in international politics emerge.
Chapter One: Recent trends in international political conflict
There has been a huge decrease in the quantity of conflicts in international politics since the last period of the 20th century- by 90 per cent in the situation of conflicts in international politics with one thousand or more casualties annually. Even though some 100 conflicts in international politics in different levels of severity (majority of them are manageable) are still being fought all over the globe, conflict between countries has nearly totally been addressed – at present lower than ten per cent of all conflicts in international politics and the whole setting is a truly significant improvement.
Aside from the reduction of the quantity of conflicts in international politics, the number of conflict casualties has also significantly declined, both in true figures, and with regard to the ferocity of every single conflict. In the 20th century the estimated number of casualties for every conflict annually was 40,000-50,000. By the initial part of the 21st century this figure has declined to approximately 500, mirroring the transition from top level to minimal level intensity conflicts (Wallensteen, 2007). Conflict casualties are only minor pieces of the entire tale of the pain of conflicts in international politics: as high as 80% of conflict based casualties are because of illness and starvation instead of violence. But the trend downfall in conflict casualties is an important and truly inspiring accomplishment for UN.
There has been a significant surge in the quantity of conflicts remedied by effective diplomacy, including peaceful dialogues and global mediation: experts mention that an estimated half of the whole peace deals attained from 1950 to 2007 have been agreed since the conclusion of the last world war. The lone worrying piece of information is the significant surge in deadly terrorist assaults after the September 11 bombing, but even in this case the yearly number of casualties from global terrorist attacks stays only a tiny part of the yearly number of conflict casualties.
There are various reasons leading to these developments in connection to the stoppage and resolving of conflicts in international politics. They involve the conclusion of the period of colonization, which produced three-fourths or more of all conflicts from the 20th century; and also the conclusion of the Cold War and the downfall of a variety of dictatorships and abusive governments, producing inner opposition and regret that each party had been involved with.
Chapter Two: The UN and Conflict Resolution
2.1 Role of the United Nations in resolving conflict
The UN is doing all things possible to eradicate the source of conflicts in international politics. The stoppage of conflicts in international politics and the advocacy of peace thus truly take different structures (Boulden, 2003). This UN initiative has turned even more important especially because after the last global war, weaponries have turned into more lethal killing agents. And while there is a vast amount of resources in the globe, their allocation is imbalanced. This difference between the wealthy and the impoverished is very evident in all nations, and is getting worse, especially the Eastern and Western countries.
Eventually, UN realized that conflicts in international politics develop effectively in places where poverty is so severe. Because of this, the UN has since made it a goal to help in the eradication of poverty, the encouragement of the participation of females, safeguarding the environment and the support of liberal entities. The management of the voting process provides a better idea on this. The UN is not the only organization involved in trying to attain this objective, as plenty of institutions are also doing efforts in their own individual ways.
The UN also believes that the lack of education and access to it also leads to the emergence of new conflicts in international politics. Countries whose people have a low literacy rate are less capable of comprehending for the person they are choosing to lead their country or the choices done by its leaders (Ramsbotham, 2005). Truly, lack of education frequently establishes a conflict between those in a community who are literate and those over whom, as a result, the literate get the authority. It can also establish a huge gap between the country and its people if the latter can be readily manipulated since they neglect the happenings of the society. UN has already developed policies to advocate and provide access to education. The United Nations is also present to guarantee that justice, the rights of people and basic liberties are acknowledged, regardless of ethnicity, gender or religious perspective.
The emergence of present conflicts in international politics can also be connected to the management of available resources. According to the UN, more effective handling of these resources could aid prevent the emergence of long term conflicts in international politics. For instance, the impacts of environmental degradation can quickly worsen and demand better global camaraderie. Environmental degradation does not really consider the territories planned by people. Over the history of the Earth, there have already been lots of terrible environmental issues caused by its mismanagement. These environmental issues are frequently because of the failure of nations to implement basic regulations for the protection of the environment. This failure inspires specific nations to implement less strict policies in order to motivate organization to operate part or the entire business from these nations. Nevertheless, the most common and major environmental issues happen in straits between various nations.
This is the idea where the United Nations is basing its initiatives all over the globe to alter perspectives regarding the environment. It starts and handles multilateral meetings on ecology awareness and therefore attempts to advance the world legal structure for environmental security. Bigger global cooperation will eventually imply lesser environmental issues and, as a result, lesser conflicts in international politics based on this matter.
Acknowledging the rights of people is a situation important for the creation of peace on this world. In 1948, the countries comprising the United Nations established and declared the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Fisher, 1997). This announcement creates fundamental rights for all mankind. Though the rights of people are not really honored in periods of conflict, acknowledgement for the rights of people can prevent difficult situations from escalating into a more serious conflict. The responsibility of the UN is therefore to advocate respect for the rights of people. This institution has to portray, through effective initiatives, the global community’s desire and passion to guarantee that the rights of every person are recognized. Also, it attempts to have global provisions for human rights approved and implemented. The United Nations does not only educate people regarding the need to recognize the rights of people. It also makes initiatives in the field to offer technical support or assistance in the proper education of law enforcement units. The United Nations is not the sole institution to strive for the advocacy of the rights of people.
It is evident that the equivalent of all conflicts in international politics is the presence of various types of weaponries. Since the launching of the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, nuclear bombs have unfortunately experienced tremendous development, as has the production of weapons in essence. As a result, the UN has encouraged countries to strive towards the eradication of all nuclear weapons. Most countries consume so much resources on weapons, and for some countries, weapons signify the primary component of their available funds, while other important sectors of the society are afforded lesser funds. The United Nations actively advocates disarmament, which is necessary for attaining peace. The United Nations closely monitors the status of weapons manufacturing all over the globe and creates disarmament guidelines and objectives in coordination with other UN departments. The UN is also doing investigations into the opportunity to have a more secured future and the chance of establishing meetings and conventions whose objective is to attain disarmament deals.
2.2 UN and Stopping Conflicts in International Politics
The UN believes that the initial policy for stopping conflicts in international politics is not to begin it. There are situations wherein there will just be no other choice but to initiate military activities, to react to true and worrisome threats, and in the situation of man-made inner problems, to do so in the basis of the idea of the role to protect (Pugh, 2003). However, the UN believes that military initiatives must only ever be done in the most hopeless situations, as a final option, and in situations where it will result to greater benefits than disadvantages. Sadly, one of the numerous matters the UN has been unable to do effectively is to amend the provisions for Security Council roles in this regard that had been suggested by majority of its Member states.
Another UN policy in the stoppage of conflicts in international politics is to comprehend the causes: the connected elements in every specific risk scenario. The fundamental idea regarding conflict is that it has a particular perspective all the time. Major concepts, whether putting the blame on conflicts of interests, excessive desire for power and money, or any other factor may be an effective topic of inspirational messages. They may also be tremendously beneficial in determining specific explanatory attributes that should truly be considered in attempting to know the dynamics of specific scenarios. However they never function effectively in differentiating between those scenarios which are relevant and those which are not. For that UN will require comprehensive investigation, not creating hypotheses on the grounds of expertise elsewhere.
Completely knowing and ready to implement effectively as situations evolve is one crucial aspect in UN’s efforts to stop conflicts in international politics. This involves the scope of probable methods, both future and immediate functional methods that can be implemented to handle tough circumstances (Hampson, 2002). There are political and peaceful methods tools that can be used such as resource allocation agreements as well lawful tools like safeguarding the right of people. Economic and military measures can also be used and fortunately the UN already has more understanding regarding the proper ways to utilize them at present as compared to the last ten years.
Being ready to use the essential government assets, the time and the aspect where they are necessary, and specifically at the initial stoppage phase, where any current initiative is bound to be completely more affordable than making efforts later for military support and after war recovery, remains an aspect that the UN is still more effective in discussing rather than implementing. Immediate warning and reaction capacity is an important requirement for excellent initial stoppage, and one of the current issues in the United Nations system has been regarding providing the Secretariat with improved authority in this regard, concerning the opposition of those who believe this might determine them later as excellent situations for treatment. It can be perceived that this fight is currently being triumphed. One of the least identified accomplishments of the United Nations was the integration of improvements in the role to safeguard in the perspective of stopping criminal acts against people. The amendment requires the global community to aid the United Nations to create an initial warning capacity system.
The United Nations has also established policies that encourage governments to make use of their assets by utilizing all the essential strengths that is currently present from institutions and civil society usually in the methods that have already been discussed.
Chapter Three: The limitations of the UN and Reforms
The United Nations was originally conceived as safeguarding world peace which implemented the democratic principles of “power in line”. However, its drawbacks are obvious as well. The abusiveness of the veto power is probably one of the severe disadvantages of the UN. The political conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War period was the most typical example. Because of the abruption of the world into hostile groups, the Cold War led to the consequence that the peacekeeping consensus was extraordinarily difficult.
The lack of strong security measures to safeguard world peace was another fatal vulnerability of the UN. It was the divergence in the Security Council about military action and intervention that led to the failure of the UN to prevent the 1994 Ruwandan Genocide. (Book Review)
To help create, confirm and enrich global norms is an effective measure strategy that the UN can promote prevention in international conflicts. (The UN and the Global Security)
Besides, the thriving community of unilateral often means the tremendous dangers which are very likely to create hegemony and the outbreak of large-scale wars. Therefore, great efforts should be made by the UN to promote the establishment of multilateral societies.
There is a reason why there has been a significant reduction in the number of conflicts in international politics over the last couple of years. The most convenient explanation is the one that is very obvious, even if others won’t accept it. This is the significant improvement in the extent of global preventive diplomacy, peace management and peace establishment activities initiated and enforced by the United Nations. Specifically there has been:
*An improvement in the UN peace talk activities; and
*A surge in the quantity of countries under UN jurisdictions which can aid convince conflicting sides into peace agreements.
The UN has not been the sole institution involved: regional institutions have had a more important responsibility, as have the global financial organizations and countries. And, in an event which has to get more focus than it has obtained, a significantly more concentrated and significant task has been performed over the past few years by local organizations and other civil society agents, coordinating with the UN system and various leaders, encouraging their participation, serving as agents of implementation, or having important support responsibilities like organizational capability improvement, community discussion and diplomatic activities through effective discussions. It is evident that UN currently has an undeniable significant role in minimizing conflicts in international politics with its investigation and promotion across some real or probable conflict cases globally.
However it is the renewed development of the UN system that has been at the center of almost the whole latest procedure, and the UN – the only global institution with a world safety responsibility – that has been the major difference. And that is truly some reason to be happy in a time where those people dedicated to the needed UN change – to transform the system into an effective one, completely addressing the type of functions for which the founding policies of the UN was based – have had a cause to feel more sober regarding the still growing number of unresolved conflicts in international politics all over the world.