In the year 1945, the United Nations, an organization comprised of over one hundred countries was established as a direct reaction to the Second World War. The United Nations was designed as a method to attempt to diminish world anarchy, war among nations, and establish a council of nations to collaboratively decide on the mechanisms of international relations.
As explained in the text-book, The Globalization of World Politics, the main objectives of the United Nations are: “to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of the nations” (Taylor and Curtis 314). Essentially, The UN aims to act as a world authority figure, a world bodyguard, a peacemaker, and a mediator between nations.
In certain instances, the role as a global moderator requires the United Nations to intervene onto the individual activities of nations. The ability of the United Nations to intrude on the actions of nations creates conflicts if the purpose of the organization is incompatible with the nation’s national interest. The tumultuous relationship the United States has upheld with the UN is a primary example of the conflict that arises, proving the ineffectiveness of a cooperative relationship with the UN if it goes against national policies.
The futility in the US and UN relationship is exemplified when you consider the divergent language encompassed in the United Nations Charter as compared to Constitution of the United States, the opposition felt from other constituents of the UN towards the United States, and the United States’ blatant defiance of the United Nations’ recommendation on the 2003 attack on Iraq. Examining the various instances when the United States pursued actions regardless of the UN’s approval and comparing their clashing interests in terms of policy will demonstrate the ineffectual influence the UN has on the United States.
Furthermore, the United Nations has reached a position where it is no longer an effective organization with regards to US national interest. One example of how the wording in the United Nations Charter is opposed to the declarations made in the United States Constitution is with regards to human rights. This opposition proves the inconsistency in US involvement with the UN because their ideals do not match.
The United Nations Charter recognizes human rights but confines them by stating in article twenty-nine of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “in the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law…” Through the Charter, the United Nations is mandating that human rights may be infringed upon with reasons justified by law. This statement is against the recognition the Constitution of the United States makes, specifically within the Bill of Rights, that men have undeniable rights that cannot be restricted by Congress.
The United States considers certain human rights to be protected from government interference, yet the United Nations upholds the law and government above human rights. Having initial contradicting views on policies will lead to disagreements on those policies and create tension within the US and UN relationship, which will be undeniable and difficult to surpass. In order to preserve the nation’s interest, the US will have to uphold its Constitution over the United Nations Charter because it defines many of the nation’s interest, and it is the sole document that regulates United States law and its governmental structure.
In doing so, the US undermines the United Nations authority making their collaboration difficult to maintain and honor. If the United Nations’ authority can be easily overlooked because it goes against national interest, the involvement with such organization is unfounded to the function of the nation and to the purposes of the UN. Another form of opposition towards the United States stems from other countries, which makes US participation in the United Nations irrational, and further demonstrates the irrelevance of such organization to the maintenance of US national interest.
One of the apparent national interests of the United States is to promote its ideals of democracy, free trade etc. , to other countries. As the president of the International Peace Academy, David M. Malone, observes, “the United States will use this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe…to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world”.
Because of the constituency structure of the United Nations, it has not been able to assist the United States with its national interest of spreading democracy to other countries for their development. The over whelming antagonism the United States receives from the other members of the United Nations hinders the United States’ possibility in sharing their ideals with other countries. There are many countries that participate in the UN and their practices go directly against the practices and beliefs of the United States. Certain countries exercise major amounts of uncontrolled power over their citizens and violate the very human rights that the US deems very important.
Therefore, the structure of the United Nations in terms of its members and what they represent pose a threat to many of the interest and passions the United States represent. This opposition makes it difficult for the United States to promote its beliefs within the realm of the United Nations because the tremendous level of anti-American notions. It becomes difficult on the side of the United States to prioritize the United Nations if the constituents of the organization are being unsupportive to US ideals, if not completely rejecting them.
With these circumstances present, the United Nations is not valuable to the United States in terms of promoting US national interest. In the form of policies and declarations within the United Nations Charter, as well as from the members who make up the UN, the United States has encountered oppositions against its national interest from engaging with the UN; so much so, that it intentionally defied the UN’s authority during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As author John Yoo explains, “when Iraq refused to fully comply with [UN] resolutions, the United States led an ad hoc…that invaded Iraq on March 19th, 2003”.
The purpose for creating the United Nations was for it to act as an authority figure with abilities to intervene and prevent war. However, when formerly proposed resolutions by the UN in dealing with Iraq failed to satisfy the US needs, the US deliberately disobeyed those attempts made by the UN and preceded to launch a war against Iraq in pursuit of its national interests. This non-cooperative action made by the United States, is the most evident proof of the ineffectiveness the influence the United Nations has on the United States.
The United Nations was not only unsuccessful in getting Iraq to subject to its authority, but it also failed in getting the United States to abide by its regulations as well. Therefore, the more rational approach for the United States would be to completely secede from the United Nations rather continually defy the UN and undermining its authority in the presence of the other country members. The creation of the United Nations brought hopes of finally achieving a stable global system of nations.
Hopes for the UN included maintaining and building relations between nations, supporting world peace, acting as a forum for nations to come together and discuss issues amongst each other, as well as act as the closest entity to resembling a global authority. The hopes for the UN have not come to surpass its performance. In terms of the national interests of the United States, the United Nations has proven to become more futile than useful. The United Nations Charter does not compliment American beliefs in terms of civil rights, creating a problem as to reaching general consensus on this topic.
A majority of the members of the United Nations not only represent everything that America is against, but they can also tend to be highly anti-American, which hurts the representation and positive influence the United States is trying to uphold. The influence the United Nations has on the United States failed in stopping the United States from purposely betraying the United Nations. The previously mentioned characteristics of the unstable relationship between the United Nations and the United States serves as evidence to the lack of influence the United Nation has on the United States.
The opposition the US has felt from its participation in the UN has included calling the relationship “an illegitimate tool of U. S. foreign policy”. Therefore, seceding from the UN has been a suggestion for the United States to follow. However, the problem with the withdrawal from the United Nations on the part of United States lies within the fact that the United States is one of the major supporters for the United Nations. The United States supplies many resources, including monetary and military, which are vital in preserving the functions of the United Nations.
In sum, the influence the United Nations has on the United States is so minimal and insignificant that it has started to become detrimental to United States’ national interests. However, seceding from the organization is difficult to do because the United Nations heavily relies on the United States’ support. Further exploration would include discovering ways in which the United States can withdraw from the United Nations without jeopardizing the efforts made by the United Nations thus far. Bibliography “60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
” Welcome to the United Nations: Its Your World. Web. 27 Jan. 2011. <http:www. un. org/events/events/humanrights/udhr60/>. Baylis, John, et al. The Globalization of World Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Malone, David M. The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Reinner Publishers, Inc, 2004. Yoo, John. “International Law and the War in Iraq. ” The American Journal of International Law 97. 3 (2003): 563-76. -------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. This is section three of article twenty-nine derived from www. un. org.
[ 2 ]. If the purpose of the United Nations is to preserve respect for human rights with methods justified by law, but a nation can choose to disregard UN authority because it opposes national interest, then it makes the UN’s role ineffective. [ 3 ]. D. Malone, The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century, Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 2004, p. 365 [ 4 ]. J. Yoo, “International Law and the War in Iraq. ” p. 563. [ 5 ]. D. Malone, The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century, Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 2004, p. 365.