Whats the point of the UN....useless again!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by ThunderBox, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. Exactly what the UNSC permanent members want it to - lets them play out their rivalries in a (usually) non-destructive forum while occasionally providing figleaves for naked self-interest.

    If it wasn't there, they'd probably just think up something similar.
  2. UN is not a toothless tiger it is wounded prey waiting to be devoured
  3. In fairness some parts of the UN, such as the World Health Organisation and World Food Programme do an excellent job.

    However, the ability of the UN to respond to international aggression is marked by dithering and half hearted efforts - see Bosnia in the 90s as and example.
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  4. I think it's a reasonable assumption. They set the UN up with entrenched veto, after all. I doubt they're chafing to be rid of them.

    Can you imagine a circumstance where any of them bow to a majority vote of weaker powers when those are so likely to be counter to their national interests?
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  5. I stand corrected. I shall be much more careful with my terminology in future. To impune the personalities that you mention by putting her in their class is very wrong.
  6. Surely national interests are not at issue here, its the ability of its members to find, and implement a solution to a problem of one of its members, weather it be religious, secular, or military, personal interests of member states that are not directly involved in the problem are of no immediate importance, it is the job of the many to help the few that need it, nothing more.
  7. The only part of the UN that I have any sympathy or regard for are the peace keepers. The idea of being a witness to the wholesale slaughter of people while being told you cannot intervene has always sickened me.
  8. Isn't that the whole argument of the instigator of this Thread, ineffectual intervention, swamped by hard and fast rules, that help nobody, traumatised soldiers, that have to stand by, and do nothing, meanwhile back in the debating chamber.......
  9. Seems like a short, but accurate assessment of the UN rather than a rant.
    Have a like.
  10. Having had a few missions working for the UN as an investigator digging up bodies etc, chasing down the offenders and working with armed forces, my experience is that the UN is great after the 'event'.
    However they are useless at preventing or minimising the 'event' in the first place.

    Jaw jaw at the UN prevents war war apparently. I dont think so!
    Anyway carry on chaps, you are all doing a grand job of picking up the pieces of UN decision making.
  11. And your input is...

    ...wishful thinking.:rolleyes:
  12. Now that I've finally finished laughing and wondering where you've been your entire life... Of course they are at issue, because national policy always triumphs international policy.

    Imagine a veto-less UN in which e.g. Bangladesh, Tuvalu, etc. sponsor a motion making combating global warming compulsory. How much economic damage do you expect the major CO2 emitters to sustain to implement it?
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  13. I've worked for the UN. Several different agencies and in several different countries. And yes they are sh1t.

    They are excessively bureaucratic and remote from any sense of outcome. In some programmes they are irrelevant, in others an actual drag anchor against progress.

    So emotionally I agree with the criticism 100%. However:

    1. There are at least 3 different 'UN' and it's important not to conflate them. There's (a) the UN as a talking shop, (b) what's called the 'Black' UN (the peacekeeping missions, so called because they write 'UN' in black letters on their wagons) and (c) the 'blue' UN, the various UN agencies.

    2. The UN agencies are a varied bunch. Some are very results focused (WFP) and some are a disaster (UNESCO, on the whole) but in every case it depends on the upper management of the day - often retired politicians - and their individual programme managers. But they have very little to do with the other facets of the UN, apart from their mandate. The World Bank and the IMF are also UN agencies. I've worked for at least 4 UN agencies one way or the other and some of them could do with a rocket up their collective arrse. Sometimes they don't know if they are a donor, a coordinator, an implementer or a regulator. But there's nothing particularly unique about any of them that couldn't be done as a non-UN agency (like the ICRC).

    3. Then there's the UN as a talking shop. And here is where, if they didn't exist we'd have to invent them. Imagine Cuba in 1963 WITHOUT Adlai Stevenson being able to make his case...Curtis Le May would probably have got his way and bombed us all back to the Stone Age.

    3. And then there's the peacekeeping. I was in Bosnia and also involved at the edge of the war crimes issue, and there were many problems. The ROE were sh1t but that was because it was a 'Chapter 5' mission (which meant we were there at the voluntary acceptance of the combatants) and NOT a chapter 6 (peace enforcement) mission which comes with more robust ROE (just like the ones that NATO then had).

    4. The other problem is the bureaucracy. As a metaphor familiar to Arrse members, the UN is like an AFV with no firepower, no mobility but LOTS of protection. We wanted a tank but ended up with a bunker. By protection I mean the layers and layers and layers of bureaucracy. Nobody in a UN agency will lose their name if an operation is delayed, but they are in sm3g if they lose $100.

    But why is this? Often because of silly bureaucrats. Too often. But many of these protective rules were put in place after a lot of national governments complained that the UN wasn't doing enough to protect 'their' money. The US used this as an excuse in the 90's not to pay. We were constantly being audited in the Balkans.

    In the end you get the bureaucracy you deserve and lots of the more able and/or idealistic leave.

    It DOES need fixing but the answer is NOT a snappy attempt to grab a headline in the Fail as TM appears to have tried recently

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  14. I don't know. The word seems to be a better place after the formation of the UN than it was before. Genocide is generally kept in far off places away from civilised nations, major wars are few and far between and the Big Powers are left get on with nation building and picking their despot du jour to run the world's wild places for them. Currently the world is a tad upset because Burma is sending a million Bangladeshis home. Be thankful the resettlement programme is being overseen by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. A cast iron cúnt like Adolf would have had them in the ovens long ago.
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  15. I am probably not intelligent enough or experienced in such matters to design a United Nations, however doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is not too clever.

    As for the inconvenience to the U.K. I am more concerned as per my OP of the poor buggers being slaughtered in foreign lands where they cannot protect themselves but we could step in and help as the UN.

    It's a shambles of an organization.