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'the Un Has Failed In Its Central Role, The Maintenance Of International Peace And Security." Discuss.

2045 words - 8 pages

The United Nations was established in 1945 after the end of the Second World War. It was established in order to 'ensure world peace and to establish the economic, social and political foundations through which this can be realised' It aimed to achieve three main goals: "to maintain international peace, to develop friendly relations among states, and to cooperate internationally in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."The roots of the UN lay in its predecessor, the League of Nations. The League had failed to provide a solution to settle international disputes emerged and in particular, ineffective in preventing the outbreak of the Second World War. As a result, the UN was established with the aim of giving stronger executive powers to the Security Council in order to improve in maintaining peace and security. However, this expectation was largely challenged and it is widely acknowledged that the UN has failed in this particular aspect.The determining factors for success or failures lies in whether the UN is believed to have fulfilled its original aims. It is difficult to judge the UN's success on quantitative data such as the number of crises and conflicts. By merely looking at the facts and figures, we are excluding the politics and circumstances of each era. "The organisation's performance has been shaped by the world political context." In examining the extent of its success, we must examine the political context of the world.Upon establishment, the development of the Cold War posed a serious challenge for the UN. The UN was regarded as weak in dealing with the tensions and conflicts of this period. "During the Cold war, it was paralysed from playing a major role in maintaining international peace and security because of the constant use of the veto by the great powers."It is widely recognized that the UN has enjoyed the least success in its military role. In the Korean War in 1950-1953, the UN gave legitimacy to US troops for going into S. Korea. At first, this was done for the defense of S. Korea, but as the war progressed, the US troops continued advancing and attacked N. Korea. This example shows that the UN has been inefficient in dealing with military issues and it has not stopped the US from using the UN for its own advantages. It is without doubt that the UN has been the weakest in its ability to deal with peace keeping in comparison to other roles it has played. This is supported by the following assertion: "the UN system has proved more effective in dealing with low profile functional issues than with the larger question of the preservation of peace which was its original rationale."The UN's dependence on coalition forces to settle conflicts was also one of its reasons for its perceived failure. The 'success' of the UN in the Gulf War is questionable. This success was largely dependent on external factors. "Collective action was...

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