The United Nations and the necessity of global governance

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The United Nations and the necessity of reformation

Introduction and why united acting is needed

In a time of globalization states are more and more connected, national governments have fewer and fewer influence on overcoming serious crisis. When looking at the main problems of the 21st century one notices that there are more and more crisis that have an impact on many states simultaneously and not just on one single country. The most recent example is the credit and financial crises which is damaging American car companies as well as Icelandic banking houses. And of course the severest consequences will affect the less developed countries, because their weak economics will suffer the most from worldwide inflation and decession, nevertheless their responsibility for the formation of the crisis is no doubt minor. Probably the results of global warming will become even more serious. No single country can do much to stop the climate change, but every country will be affected by it. And I forecast that in general again the less developed countries will have to face the hardest consequences like crop failures and water shortages. That is why without shifting much more power to global organizations mankind will not be able to resolve the economical, social and environmental challenges we are already facing today.

The UN today and where the insufficiencies are

The only organization that already has some legitimation and political power is the United Nations. Founded in 1945 to secure the peace and the the Human Rights in the world and generally to promote international cooperation, nearly every state on earth is a member today. The main administrative bodies are the General Assembly, where although or actually because every nation is member with the same equal rights, it has no real power to decide something that is binding and the Security Council, which is able to decide about resolutions, which have some impact, if they were accepted by all permanent members. Besides the ten elected members the five permanent members have secial conditions concerning the power of veto. From todays point of view the composition of the members is criticized a lot, because there is no objective reason anymore why France with a population of about 60 million has a veto right, but entirely africa with over 900 inhabitants million does not even have a permanent member in the council. That is why the composition of the members cannot be called representative for the world.

Balance of power and how the UN is utilized

The Situation of the United Nations at the moment is obviously different from the time of its foundation in 1945, when it was necessary to rebuilt the world and to start corporate acting after the war. In times of the Cold War the UN-Security Council was not able to decide about a resolution which contacted the interests of the USSR or the USA in some way without being blocked by the power of veto. Today the balace of power has shifted and the United States are the only remained superpower in the world. Looking back at the time since the collapse of the USSR it is noticeable, that the cooperation of the USA with the UN has dramatically decreased. In fact most of the recent administrations had build their foreign policy more on bilateralism than on multilateralism. Concerning the security in the world the leaving administration has cared a lot more about the NATO and the coalition of the willing than about the UN. The global war on terror is neigher reprehended nor legitimated by the UN and its Security Council. But not just the United States are undermining the authority of the UN. The civil war in Dafur it is the Chinese veto that is blocking most of the resolutions that are meant to help easing or ending the conflict, because of economic interests. If this trend goes on, the United Nations may meet the same fate like the League of Nations more than 60 years ago: The UN will become obsolete and will finally be suspended.

Nationalism and what the risks are

Perhaps distinktive chauvinism was needed to assure the survival of the family or tribe in the past, but nowadays it is not helpful anymore in my mind, because natinalism has lead to so many misguided developments like uncountable destructive wars. In my opinion this nationalism or excessive patriotism is also main responsible for the refusal of superior organizations. Even in europe, where the roots of enlightenment and humanism lie, there are huge problems to find a common constitution. On the other hand there is the not unjustified fear of giving to much power without adequate control and supervision to a single institution. As we all know there were and are seeveral examples of very powerful and uncontrolled governments in the world which have done or still do severe harm to the people they were or are supposed to act for. In order to prevent the UN from doing things, that are not legitimated, it is necessary to have an exact and explicit constitution with powerful control mechanisms.

Reformation and how realistic change is

To gain more power the UN definitely needs a major institutional reform and I do not mean that Germany needs a permant seat in the Security Council as it is demanded by some politicans. In my opinion the Council in today’s structure has to disappear. What is needed is a much more representative arrangement of participation based on the number of people not on military or economic power. The only way to reorganize the structure is in my mind is to do it very democratically related to a constitution, which includes just respect for Human Rights and nature, like all religions on earth can be summarized to. After this the main question is how to achieve such a change to more concerted action in the world and how realistic is it right now. From today’s pointof view it is more than unlikely that the states with the power of veto are willing to abandon their right. Nor is it right now conceivable that all the countries in the world will give up some of their power to a superior organization. So what is needed is a change in thinking about worldwide issues to a more respectful and responsible way in order to overcome political, religious and racial differences. But how can this happen in a world of cultural differences, political conflicts and social unequality? Looking at the development of the Universal Declaraation of Human Rights it needed the shocking experiences of the second world war to achieve this general commitment. I doubt that there would have been no dissenting votes without the the experiences of the genocide in the Third Reich. So maybe major changes have to follow major catastrophes. Also developments that lead to a more united acting in the world can be seen in a similar connections. So League of Nations that was founded in 1919 as a consequence of the 1st World War to secure the global peace. The idea of the UN as a indirect replacement of the League of Nations came during the 2nd World War again. So would such major steps to a more united world have happend without the recent experiences of these annihilating world wars? We will never know I guess, but if so, I do not want to know what has to happen untill there is a global government on earth.