The United Nations and Kant

The United Nations failure to prevent war is based on its flawed structure. This structure includes two different levels of power. The first part of that is the General Assembly. This allows each of the 139 nations the power to equally each have one vote. Because everyone has equal power, if used correctly, this should be every effective at preventing war. However, this is not possible because of the second part of United Nation, the Security Council. The Security Council is composed of two groups of nations who have the power to veto laws bought up in the General Assembly.

These groups include permanent and non-permanent members. The permanent members of this are always China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. The non-permanent members currently include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, India, South Africa, Colombia, Lebanon, Gabon and Nigeria but these members change every 2 - 4 years. The way this is setup is a problem because every member of the Security Council has the power to veto laws with bias to benefit their own interests.

For example, America will veto a law that has many benefits in total but may hurt their trade or economy because of their self-regard; every nation in the Security Council is like this. In addition, the fact that there are permanent members and non-permanent members can create tension within this organization. The use of permanent members on the Security Council labels certain nations more powerful or important than the other nations. The permanent members have never changed, and new permanent members have never been added which is appalling.

These actions state that permanent members were the most powerful nations when the United Nations was created more than 60 years ago, and still are, making other nations insignificant in comparison. In addition, the use of permanent members from many years ago does not take into account the changes in the power status of nations from that time. This also allows the members of the General Assembly, who are not in the Security Council to have a disadvantage of not being able to have a powerful vote when compared to other nations in both the General Assembly and the Security Council.

This is because at any time another nation in the Security Council can veto a law that may have been important or wanted by the majority of the General Assembly for personal reasons. For example, America would never allow a law to be passed that might hurt or stop its current actions, for example the war in Iraq. A major problem in the United Nations that Kant warns about is the interference of one county and their military in another country because of the belief that others human rights are being violated. Kant states that interference should only happen if a nation is in a state of anarchy, and there is no longer a government.

However, the United Nations does not interfere for those reasons; they interfere when they believe human rights have been violated, which is thought of often. This is a problem Kant discussed and is very bad because the help the United Nations provides does not help but makes things worse. He states that the countries should be able to figure things out on their own, and maybe they don’t want help. The United Nations causes a problem that mutes the voice of the citizens because they are trying to fix things within a country that they should not worry about.

A country is like a family, and in real life if a family is having problems, the family works it out; this is much like what Kant is saying, let them work it out for themselves and if they should happen to have a state of anarchy where there is no government and they need help, lend help but don’t come and try to fix a problem that they can potentially fix. The United Nations does not listen to this and instead, interferes all the time when they believe it morally right to. An example of this was them approving military actions against Libya.

Libya did not need their need because according to Kant, they were not yet in a state of anarchy. The things Kant said in the Perpetual Peace that need to happen in order for world peace is not happening, and so there is no world peace. While the structure and actions of the United Nation does not help with world peace, world peace is not currently achieved because of most of the factors Kant states needs to happen. Perpetual Peace in the preliminary articles, Kant states many things that need to happen for there to be world peace. The use of “standing armies” for the reason of self-defense is a major problem.

It needs to be eliminated because it creates an idea that the army is there for protection for future wars, so other nations begin to build military powers for this reason. With everyone creating military weapons, for just in case hypothetical wars of course there is no world peace. If you are preparing for a war, of course when a war is presented, you are not thinking about world peace. Because we have not abolished the use of armies and military weapons being build, this is a problem Kant talked about, and has not yet been fixed. These numerous problems can easily be fixed if the terms of the Security Council changed.

The use of the permanent members in the Security Council is abolishment. With the end of permanent members, everyone will truly be equal. There will be no deemed powerful nations having advantages over other nations, such as the veto that can affect any nation so greatly. To create justice and equality, instead of allowing members to veto on all purposed laws from the General Assembly, they should only be able to use their power only to end a gridlock vote by considering both sides argument on whether to vote for or against the law, and then select which side should win.

This would mean that if a law was purposed to the General Assembly and there were close results on whether to support or oppose the purposed law, the rotating different nations in the Security Council with equal power could decide on the result with the possibility of actions based on self-interest eliminated. This would solve the structure problem because everything would be a group vote. In addition, members in the Security Council would hold position for a year or less, instead of the current time frame non-permanent members hold.

Although the structure of the United Nations is very weak, and they do not do their job of establishing world peace well, not everything can be blamed on the structure of the United Nations. This is because there are many other factors that affect the lack of world peace. The governments that do horrendous acts such as the genocide of citizens or ban of human rights from their governments, whether because of tyrant rulers or secondary factors, are not because of the actions of the United Nation.

It is their passive and physical aggressive actions that cause the current state of worldwide conflict to continually happen with numerous battles and problems arising constantly. The use of treaties after wars only hurt future generations because the losing nation is made to suffer with conditions that leave them powerless. This then creates feelings of resentment in the losing nation which causes wars in the future. Instead of creating treaties that agree that everyone will stop fighting, treaties make provisions for future wars.

These treaties fuel wars for the future. Kant states that world peace is something every generation needs to contribute to, because he understands that no one nation or generation can make it happen overnight, but the United Nations was founded to make this happen. After more than 50 years in existence, it is clear that the United Nations is not the only problem. The lack of world peace and numerous wars is because of the factors Kants originally talked about in Perpetual Peace. From the time that it was written, nothing has changed.

Some of the problems he predicted would happen, are happening, it is only a matter of time before human annihilation he said would occur in worst-case scenario. In the primary article, Kant states that each generation needs to make an effort to contribute to world peace. This is currently not happening. The United Nations was originally created to end current wars, and prevent new wars. During that period, people understood that swift action needed to be taken to prevent world obliteration, but the steps that need to be done have not yet been started.

Current and past generations have built war arms to protect themselves in hypothetical wars, taken over other states and created treaties that do not agree to end future wars, but agree to certain situations and retributions that make losing nations suffer. The structure of the United Nations is very weak, however, it is not only the United Nations’ job to fix this important problem, it is the job of every generation. If every generation did a small part to contribute to world peace, then by the year 3000, there would be world peace or at least a step closer to it.

Until this happens, the idea of pending doom from the violent actions of the current and past generations is leading us to an explosive end. Works Citied “General Assembly of the United Nation. ” No author given. The United Nation. Dec 3 2011. http://www. un. org/en/ga/ “Membership in 2011. ” No Author Given. UN Security Council. Dec 3 2011. http://www. un. org/sc/members. asp “United Nations Security Council. ” No Author given. Wikipedia. Dec 3 2011. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council.