The U. N. Charter’s high goals are a reaction to the terrors that had just preceded it. World War II far surpassed the First World War in bloodshed and sheer scale of destruction. Never before had so many millions were slain, many civilians who played no part in the fighting. Never again has atomic weapons been deployed in anger. World War Two was a nightmare that all civilized states desired never to happen again . To spearhead the effort the UN charter gave birth the to the United Nations.
The United Nations was formed by the Charter as the heir to the League of Nations. This previous alliance had been seen as ineffective in as an international governing body. It had failed to prevent World War two. The U. N. would be different in that it would be allowed to request military forces of member states as peace keepers. According to Article 43, All member nations must provide armed forces, assistance and facilities for the maintenance of international security as per the Security Council’s determination .
However, some criticize the “peace keeping” function of the UN as a euphemism for war and domination of weak and poor countries by the wealthy and powerful nations of the world In General, the U. N. empowered by a universally ratified Charter has worked tirelessly for the betterment of mankind. It has intervened in Korean War to repel unjust aggression by Kim Il-Sung’s Communist forces. It also assembled a broad coalition of states to oppose Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in the early 1990s CRITICISMS AND CONTROVERSIES Like all powerful supra-national organizations, the U. N.
has been the target of considerable criticism ever since its inception. For example in the United States, John Birch opposed the U. N. as an anti-communist organization. He even began a campaign to “Get U. S. out of the U. N. ” based on the charge that the U. N. was planning to form a “One World Government”. As a simply agitator, Birch’s criticism did not get much wind beneath its sails. However, later critics like Richard Nixon gained broad based appeal. In his campaign for president in 1967, Nixon claimed that the U. N. was “obsolete and inadequate” for dealing with the major crisis caused by the Cold war .
Jeanne Kirkpatrick, United States President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, went on record in a 1983 opinion piece of The New York Times that the process of discussions at the Security Council “closely resembles a mugging” of the United States “than a political debate or an effort at problem solving ”. Current U. S. President George Bush has even said that “free nations will not allow the United Nations to fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society ” Even more recently Bush’s acting Ambassador to the U.
N. has been lauding the U. N. with criticism.. For example he once said that “There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States. ” In addition to the United Nations as a whole another major organ created by the U. N. Charter, the Security Council has also be the subject to heavy criticism. The Security Council is said to be incapable of acting in a decisive and clear manner when it is confronted by a crisis.
The five permanent members of the Security council are allegedly the cause of the problem because of their almost arbitrary use of their veto powers. When Security Council resolutions fail because of this veto power but the matter is still pressing, the United Nations has adopted the “Uniting for Peace ” resolution to combat this. If there is a lack of unanimity among the permanent members or fails to act in the face of a grave threat to international peace or act of agression. The composition of the Security Council, is a relic of World War II.
The division of powers is no longer representative of the balance of the World. Critics question the effectiveness and relevance of the Security Council because it enforcement of decisions depends upon the obedience of member states and often there are no consequences for opposing a Security Council resolution. For example, when the U. S. invaded Iraq in 2003 there was near unanimous opposition from the U. N. Security Council. However, because of the U. S. ’s veto power all the critics efforts came to naught.