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. In reference to my earlier post then you're talking about the UN as peacekeepers.

    There are two issues there. One is 'do we send a mission? The second is 'What do they do when they get there? (i.e. the ROE).

    The ROE for Myanmar would require (under the UN Charter) approval for a Chapter 6 mission as this wouldn't be agreed by Myanmar itself. That in turn means an opposed amphibious landing or coming over from the border, presumably from Bangladesh...again, more agreement required. All of this has to be voted for in the General Assembly.

    That takes us back to the first part. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has a military and civilian staff and in my time the head soldier was a German 3*. They can put together any mission you like, but they need authority (voted on by member states) and they then need troops (volunteered by member states) and then they need an operating budget (you've guessed it...).

    Now when they get all the above they're not very good at the management side for all the reasons I've discussed, and there is considerable room for improvement, but much of the underlying problem is about how the member states vote.

    Taking the Bosnian example: it could be argued that the problems of working with the crap RoE we had were such that we shouldn't have gone at all: but the people at DPKO went off at half-cock because they were under pressure to 'do something' (sound familiar?). It took 3 years of not achieving very much at considerable cost before NATO turned up. In many cases the same contingent just changed head dress. It was the RoE that changed.

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  2. Worked for them for a few years as a contractor. The organisation is top heavy with arse covering and kissing clowns who would be out of their depth on damp blotting paper. The contractors on the ground are expected to make them look good while constantly fending off their wuckfittery and trying not to let them get you killed.

    Wouldn't trust them to sit the right way round on the bog.
  3. Here is a challenge, why do the UN not tell NK unless they let them in to look at suspected 'concentration camps' whenever they demand (i.e. 24 hours) then they will be even more angry and do nothing except be angry?

    Why is it all about the US and WMD?

    From a UN perspective, the UN are allowing NK to deal out what appears to be against everything the UN and decent people stand for.
  4. Because the UN's founder states were very careful to hamstring the UN's ability to intervene in the internal affairs of members. That was the last thing they wanted it able to do, in case it got in the way of their overseas interests.
  5. As was the League Of Nations before it
  6. So why not say that you are not United, foxtrot oscar. Were the UN not also against our Iraq folly? Seems that could have been a good idea! But they were shown their irrelevant mantra again.
  7. Because it also serves to regularise certain ways of acting and makes the international sphere rather more predictable.

    It can also, if played properly, emit the sort of noises the can help realise a UNSC member state's preferred outcomes.

    In the words of Redbeard Rum, "Opinion is divided on the matter." Apparently, the relevant UN Resolutions authorised bombing the **** out of Iraq and overthrowing their government even though the words 'bomb', '****', and 'overthrow' never appeared.

    Certain countries know best what the will of the 'international community' is, regardless of what mere other countries say on the matter. The UN is a convenient way of advertising this.
  8. Ironic that the original UN building was built on the site of a former slaughterhouse.
  9. W P

    W P War Hero

    The UN was intended to be not-very-effective. This isn't a bad thing. UN components keep being criticised for not exercising power, that they don't have, to over-ride national power, which they shouldn't do. A lot of people (often of a Daily Mail persuasion) talk about the UN as if it's entirely separate from the nations that comprise it &, weirdly, alternate between complaining that UN agencies are too powerful & too weak. (Every so often there's a fuss about a paper published by the UN High Commissioner for Something Or Other despite its being just that - a piece of paper, not an edict from the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.)

    The UN is merely 193 perenially-squabbling nations that are all batting for their own interests that jointly employ an organisation that isn't (in many ways) fit to fulfil expectations, many of which are excessive. A complaint against the UN for, say, not conducting a peace-keeping operation should really be directed at the nations who refuse put one together & agree on its purpose, RoE, funding, etc.

    The biggest problems are its bureaucratic inefficiency (hence all those silly pieces of paper about trivialities) & enormous ethical deficiencies, both of which could be greatly reduced (though not eliminated) by 1 simple change: allow the govt of each member state to distribute its membership fee between UN agencies/offices/programmes/whatever according to its own discretion. That way, underperforming elements (like that pungent joke of a human rights committee) get defunded whilst the few that actually do a bit of good (like fighting infectious diseases) would get more funding.

    Then there's the thorny question of the permanent membership of the Security Council & the veto power it carries. Should India get a permanent seat? Brazil? Germany? What should be the rationale?

    There's no intergovernmental agreement on any major reform, so nothing happens.

    I've given UN reform/replacement a fair bit of thought over the years & I've come to the opinion is that the UN is obsolete, too badly-organised, too weighted in favour of undemocratic nations, too easily exploited by some of its worst members (e.g., KSA) & too discredited an organisation to be worth keeping. It's no longer necessary to get hundreds of diplomats in the same room when govts want to communicate with each other en masse, not that there's much reason to do that. Smaller groups of interested nations assembled for more specific purposes (e.g., G7, G20, Pacific Forum, NATO, OAS, etc.) are more effective for intergovernmental discussion & co-operation anyway.

    The various bits that are useful - IMO, WHO, IAO - etc. should be split off & become independent. Everything else should be consigned to oblivion.

    The UN's usefulness has always primarily been to help provide just a little bit more stability than we would otherwise have by (1) establishing a baseline for what's acceptable conduct by nations & encouraging nations to behave according to the same set of conventions & (2), by way of seeming to have the support of the 'international community,' give a veneer of legitimacy to decisions agreed to by not-very-large groups of countries (such as the permanent members of the SC). There should be something(s) to do that. A world forum of democratic nations (along the lines of the G20 but larger membership & wider variety of issues) could be a good idea, though determining a clear, uniform & immutable delineation between 'democratic' & 'undemocratic' could be tricky, & excluding a large & powerful country like China would be problematic, but it would have the air of 'legitimacy' that the UN lacks. A world security forum could perform the job of the UNSC, & do it better if the membership criteria permanently exclude states that have no interest in keeping the peace (e.g., KSA; Iran) or no ability to contribute to doing so (e.g., Micronesia; Lesotho). It could include undemocratic nations (e.g., China; Russia) &, to avoid being cumbersomely large, each seat not held by a permanent member could rotate through a fixed list of nations every several years.
    All pie in the sky of course, unfortunately.
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  10. The UN is a corrupt organisation. The shenanigans with the oil-for-food programme allowed officials at the very top of the UN hierachy to purlion millions of dollars. It's like FIFA but the bungs are much, much bigger.