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Kelly-Kate S. Pease, International Organizations. Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century, fourth edition (Boston, New York: Pearson, Longman,

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Presentation on theme: "Kelly-Kate S. Pease, International Organizations. Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century, fourth edition (Boston, New York: Pearson, Longman,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Kelly-Kate S. Pease, International Organizations. Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century, fourth edition (Boston, New York: Pearson, Longman, 2010), Chp.5

2  With respect to the central issue of international security, it is legitimate to ask how and why international organizations respond to war and threats of war. Can international organizations prevent war? If so, how?  How do international organizations identify international aggression, diplomatically referred to as “breaches of the peace” or “threats to international peace and security”?

3  In the past, international security generally meant the security of the states, however, in many international organizations have sought to reconceptualize security in terms of “human security”.  Human security is people centered approach that focuses on physical threats to individuals. Such threats include not only war and other violent conflict but also hunger, disease, environmental disaster or extreme poverty.

4  In this chapter, the role of the United Nations Security Council and other UN bodies carrying out the important assignment of identifying, defining and responding to threats to international peace and security will be examined.

5  First the author will outline the legal framework and the historical evolution of UN responses to the problem of war, and she will detail the origins of collective security and human security as well as peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  Then she applies realism, liberalism, Marxism, feminism and constructivism to the case study of Iraq in order to interpret the dynamics of collective security. In the second part, she examines alliances as an alternative to collective security (in specific NATO).

6  Article 2 (4) of the Charter explicitly forbids member states from threatening or using force in their international relations. The exception to this found in Article 51. Member states are permitted to use force only in cases of self-defense or for collective self-defense.

7  Article 2(1) of the UN Charter recognizes the principle of state sovereignity and the territorially based state. Only states may be full members of the UN, and all states are equally sovereign in that their representatives the governments) have the final say within their own territories.

8  Article 2(7) reinforces the principle of state sovereignity by limiting the jurisdiction of the UN.  The architects of the UN sought to strike a balance between the status quo of territorially based, sovereign nation-states and the need for international governance and stability. Governments retained sovereignity domestically and agreed to the peaceful settlement of their disputes internationally.

9  This balance is a precarious one. International peace is not necessarily an interest of all states at all times. Throughout history, violence has proven to be an effective form of leverage and the threat of violence a useful tool for obtaining foreign policy goals.  The UN Charter is revolutionary: It challenges the long-established international practice by outlawing both the threat and the use of force by creating a higher authority to maintain international peace as security. The UN Security Council is that higher authority.

10  Chapter V, Article 24 of the UN Charter gives the Security Council the responsibility for preventing and responding to war.  Chapter V also mandates that the General Assembly elect the ten nonpermanent members of the Security Council. The architects of the UN wanted the Security Council to represent the entire international community, not just the victors of World War II. By granting the General Assembly the power to elect the remaining members, they provided for a diverse membership in the Security Council, thereby ensuring that alternative viewpoints should be represented.

11  The task of the UN architects was to construct the Security Council as an organizational mechanism that would permit member states to act collectively to deter international agression and provide a framework for a collective military response should deterrence happen to fail.

12  The UN Charter contains several provisions for maintaining international peace and security. First, Chapter VII requires member states to abide by Security Council decisions and to contribute to UN enforcement in general.  Second, Article 43 of Chapter VII requires member states to make armed forces available to the Security Council. Article 47 establishes a Military Staff Committee to advise and assist the Security Council in matters relating to military enforcement of Security Council decisions.

13  Through these notions, “collective security” was institutionalized. Collective security is based on the notion that an attack on one member is an attack on all. All states, especially members of the Security Council, must be willing to refrain from using force and to intervene in situations where they have no compelling strategic, military, or economic interests.

14  Yet the Cold War, rendered UN collective security arrangements ineffective. The Military Staff Committee and the security force envisioned in Chapter VII died shortly after their inception. Other security initiatives designed to stabilize the immediate postwar environment also met an early demise.

15  Why did the UN collective security falter so dramatically after its inception? According to Riggs and Plano, three factors- consensus, commitment and organization are necessary for collective security to work.  The UN Charter provided member states with the organization, but consensus and commitment among the Security Council’s permanent members were clearly absent.

16  The lack of consensus was based not merely on practical questions- who contributes what and how much but on fundamental differences as to how the world ought to be ordered. The United States and the USSR and their respective allies had essentially different worldviews, making any consensus fleeting at best. And, without a consensus, commitment is hard to establish.

17 The lack of consensus and commitment to collective security is less a problem in principle than the question of what constitutes aggression. Is a state that funds and arms a national liberation movement in another state engaging in agression? What if states finance suicide bombers and their families? A general agreement on this point is important because it is, presumably, an aggressive act that should trigger a collective responsive.

18  Land grab (like WWII) would involve the use of clearly identifiable, regular military forces. Yet after WWII, states did not try to conquer new territories. They used force to change governments or to help national liberation movements. Violent international conflict took several new forms, including insurgencies, covert military operations, anticolonial rebellion and terrorism.

19  According to the UN Charter, the only permissible use of force is self-defense. Does this mean force cannot be used against colonial or racist regimes or governments committing genocide against their own people? Does this mean a state must wait to be attacked before it can act to prevent imminent hostilities?  International efforts to define aggresion have met with little success. And if defining aggression is difficult, then so is determining an appropriate collective response.

20  The UN Security Council did authorize a military response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950, however, that response was possible only because the USSR was boycotting the Council to protest the denial of a seat to the newly formed communist Chinese government. When the USSR returned, it used its veto to block any more Security Council decisions.

21  The Cold War record of the UN Security Council in providing for collective security is quite poor. The UN could not be succesful in implementing collective security yet the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General tried to compensate for this via preventive diplomacy (diplomatic negotiations, mediation, arbitration, confidence building etc).

22  The General Assembly’s influence in the realm of international security issues stems from two Charter provisions- the authority to make recommendations regarding international security issues and control of the UN budget.  (resolutions condemning illegal uses of force fell short of the expectations generated by the ideals of collective security and peace enforcement because the General Assembly had neither the authority nor the resources to do anything about breaches of the peace.

23  The General Assembly’s first foray into international security came on November 3, 1950 with the “Uniting for Peace Resolution”. In cases of Security Council’s inability to act (due to lack of unanimity of the permanent members), the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with the view of making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures.

24  This was a US sponsored resolution and expanded the mandate of the UN General Assembly by giving it a more active role in international security matters when the Security Council was to paralyzed to act.  It even allowed for the UN General Assembly to be called into emergency session at the request of seven Security Council members.This resolution has been used by the General Assembly, nine times (several of which were in response to agression by France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union). No armed response has ever been recommended.

25  The Secretary-General is selected for a five year, renewable term through an elaborate process whereby the Security Council makes a recommendation to the General Assembly, which must then approve the nominee with a two-thirds majority.

26  Once in office, the Secretary-General must perform a balancing act, representing the UN on the one hand and responding to member states on the other. The Secretary-General’s role as head of the Secretariat means that he is the chief bureucrat.

27  The Secretary General, together with the appropriate Secretariat agencies, is responsible for evolving and developing what has emerged as the alternative to collective security- peacekeeping, peacebuilding and the reconceptualization of international security as human security.

28  The architects of the UN Charter did not envision peacekeeping. As collective security arrangements proved unworkable, the UN’s role in nonviolent conflict resolution gained in prominence.  Two conditions necessary for peacekeeping:  The consent of the principal parties involved and a temporary cease-fire. (First example occured during Suez crisis of in response to Egypt’s nationalizing the Suez canal, Israel, Great Britain and France invaded Egypt. The UN Emergency Force (UNEF) established a buffer zone between the Egyptian and Israeli troops. The UNEF was finally withdrawn in (dozens of peacekeeping missions in countries like Tajikistan, India, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Mozambique etc)

29  Peacekeeping during the 1990s also included new activities such as monitoring and running elections, protecting safe heavens, and engaging in post- conflict resolution of societies. The UN has taken over many governmental functions inside what have been termed “failed states” (e.g conducting elections in Haiti in 2006, the administration of healthcare and education in Cambodia ( ). These kinds of peacekeeping missions have been termed “peacebuilding” in that they help war-torn societies transition into a stable, self-governing states.

30  The idea of collective security experienced a rebirth during the Iraq-Kuwait crisis of In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The Iraq invasion was a textbook land grab, a kind of agression not witnessed since World War II.  The Iraqı use of force clearly violated Article 2(4), the key UN provision designed to thwart efforts to change territorial borders by force.  Second, the USSR had become less obstructionist under Gorbachev.

31  The UN Security Council condemned the Iraqi invasion. The US moved rapid deployment combat forces into the region to help defend Saudi Arabia and its strategic oil fields.  The US informed the UN that it was deploying its military in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter, which stipulates that: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”.

32  On August 6, 1990, the Security Council passed Resolution 661 calling for mandatory economic sanctions against Iraq.  While the UN was applying diplomatic pressure on Iraq, the United States was putting together a “multinational” force dubbed Desert Shield. Although composed largely of US army, air and naval forces, Desert Shield also included military units from the Arab League, Great Britain and France. On November , the Security Council passed Resolution 678, authorizing “all means necessary” to extract Iraq from Kuwait and setting a deadline of January 16, 1991.

33  On January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Storm, a US led, UN sanctioned military response was launched to force Iraqi troops from Kuwait. The Iraqi invasion was effectively reversed on March 16, 1991, when Iraq, having been driven from Kuwaiti territory, agreed to a cease-fire.  Was the UN role constructive, scripting a leading role for the UN on the stage of world politics? Was the Gulf Crisis an important precedent for collective security? The answers to these questions depend on one’s theoretical worldview.

34  Realists tend to see international organizations like the UN as tools or extensions of great powers. They are usually created by a hegemon or formed through the cooperation of great powers. The Persian Gulf crisis exemplifies why power politics will always take precedence over, and shape the actions of international organizations.

35  The UN’s role and behaviour can be explained by the interests of the status quo great powers. The Security Council did not ignore the Iraqi invasion, it reacted because it directly threatened the interests of many of the permanent members. If Iraq’s agression were not reversed, there would be a permanent shift in the balance of power in the Middle East, and perhaps the world.

36  Mere dependence on oil is not sufficient reason for the great powers to intervene militarily. Iraq was challenging the status quo order. It challenged US leadership, US hegemony has depended, to a large extent, on its ability to provide the world with access to oil at relatively low prices. Iraq threatened that ability.

37  The UN was largely a US creation, and the US used it masterfully to meet its national security interests. The fact that these interests did not significantly conflict with those of other permanent members of the Security Council yielded a unique convergence- the first since (The USSR was seeking a rapproachment at the time, China was seeking to repair its international reputation after the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989).

38  The Security Council could only authorize the use of force, it had no military forces it could deploy itself. As long as the UN has to rely on the armed forces of member states, then only member states that have a compelling interest are likely to volunteer to participate in enforcement action. In crisis situations, the UN response will always reflect the interests of leading member states.

39  For liberal institutionalists, the UN played an instrumental role in the Gulf Crisis for several reasons:  It provided states and their leadership with a framework for action. The Security Council participated in and oversaw the creation and the implementation of Desert Shield and later Desert Storm.

40  Second the UN served the pragmatic interests of governments. Had UN not been involved and Iraq continued to receive military supplies and been able to sell its oil, the fight could have been longer and nastier.  Third, the Security Council helped shield the leadership of the permanent members from internal dissent. The leaders of the member states were able to appeal to their international obligations and the international legitimacy of the UN to support their actions.

41  The Security Council demonstrates how international cooperation can continue “after hegemony”. While the United States had the military capability, it could not finance the Gulf War on its own, as it had done 40 years earlier in the Korean War. The financial contributions of Germany and Japan were instrumental in making the collective effort possible. In more theoretical terms, other states became more willing to bear the costs of maintaining international organizations and their operations, when the hegemon is in decline.

42  The Gulf Crisis from a Marxist perspective highlights the legacy of imperialism and the influence of world capitalism. The crisis must be understood in the historical context of colonialism and the policies of the core, capitalist states toward the entire region in the postcolonial era. The role of international organizations have been to foster, promote and legitimize the agressive policies of the leading capitalist states.

43  International organizations under capitalism reflect the underlying economic order. Facilitating the expansion of the market and the reduction of state intervention and regulation furthers the interests of the dominant classes, the national and international bourgeoisie.

44  The UN role in the Persian Gulf crisis is a rare example of political intervention on the part of the Security Council- an intervention that benefited the US military-industrial complex, multinational oil companies, and the tiny capitalist creation “Kuwait”.  The formal creation of Kuwait and its artificial boundaries exemplifies how the traditional colonial powers can continue to control strategic areas without a direct imposition of colonial rule.The colonial powers ensured that no rival power could rise out of the Middle East by drawing unnatural borders and fostering economic division between oil-rich and oil-poor Arabs.

45  Just as the League of Nations served the interests of the colonial powers by establishing mandates, so too did the UN serve the interests of the newly dominant capitalist state, the US.

46  Complete absence of female decision makers. The only exception-the British PM Margaret Thatcher.  Neofeminists who argue that biological differences between men and women account for differences in behaviour, point out that male dominance conditions the policies of states and hierarchically structured IGOs, and women and children suffer as a result.

47  Policies adopted by the UN toward Iraq had a greater impact on women and children than they did on the Iraqi leadership and Iraqi soldiers. The UN economic embargo is a case in point. Economic sanctions imposed on Iraq hurts women and children more, women sacrifice their rations of food for other members of the family. The effect of economic sanctions, dramatically raised the child mortality rate.

48  The constructivist approach emphasizes the role of shared values and norms as well as the perceptions of decision makers. The staff and rules and procedures of UN agencies were effective in helping states define their common interests during the Gulf Crisis. Participation in international organizations encourages decision makers to consider the interests of others when determining their own national interests.

49  International cooperation during the Gulf Crisis was possible because of the commonly held belief in the rule of law. Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait violated not only international law but also long standing social laws and norms. Iraq’s behaviour was so inappropriate that others in the international community wanted to cooperate with each other through the UN, even though the material interests of many were not threatened.

50  Was created on April 4, 1949 and its stated purpose was to safeguard the security and freedom of its members. USSR became the target of that alliance. NATO was designed to provide immediate security to Western Europe in the face of the territorial and ideological threate coming from the Soviet Union.

51  Cold War members of the NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, the US, Greece, Turkey, West Germany (admitted in 1955) and Spain.  The formation of NATO and then inclusion of West Germany in 1955 confirmed well established Soviet fears of Western intervention in its affairs. The USSR and the Eastern Bloc states formed their own alliance, the Warsaw Pact shortly after the announcement of W. Germany’s membership in NATO.

52  NATO is a complex security alliance that enables sovereign states to retain control over their armed forces while providing for a coordinated integrated defense strategy. Historically NATO has been anchored by US military power.  The principal challenge that NATO faced in the post-Cold war era was to redefine its purpose absent a Soviet threat. NATO’s member states maintained that alliance is still needed because threats to European security remain.

53  Current NATO Secretary General: Anders Fogh Rasmussen (senior diplomat representing the NATO organization). Facilitates external and internal relations among member states and with other international organizations, including both IGOs and NGOs.  NATO members today: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovekia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, U.K, US. 


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