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International Organization, Law, and Human Rights

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1 International Organization, Law, and Human Rights
CHAPTER SEVEN Dr. Clayton Thyne PS : World Politics Spring 2009 Goldstein & Pevehouse, International Relations, 8/e Student notes version

2 Evolution of World Order
The most powerful states, especially hegemons, have great influence on the rules and values that have become embedded over time in a body of international law. New international norms

3 Roles of International Organizations
Most international conflicts are not settled by military force. States generally refrain from... States work together by following rules they develop to govern their interactions. Institutions grow up around rules and states tend to work through these institutions.

4 Roles of International Organizations
International norms _________________and respect for _____________ However, adherence to norms may vary; different expectations for “normal” In times of change, when these norms and habits may not suffice to solve international dilemmas and resolve conflict, ____________ play a key role.

5 Roles of International Organizations
International organizations (IOs) Include intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the UN, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the International Committee of the Red Cross Growth of IOs Global nature of some IOs Regional IOs Global IGOs NGOs – more specialized in function than IGOs

6 Figure 7.1

7 The United Nations State sovereignty creates a real need for such organizations on a practical level – why? State sovereignty also severely limits the power of… States often reserve power to themselves

8 The UN System Founded after _____________ Purpose:
Closest entity to a __________________ Members are...

9 Purposes of the UN UN Charter
Based on the principles that… States have _______________ over their own affairs. States should have ______________ and territorial integrity. States should carry out their international obligations (pacta sunt servanda). Also lays out the structure of the UN and how it operates Costs of membership are __________, benefits _____________


11 Structure of the UN UN General Assembly UN Security Council
UN Secretariat


13 Structure of the UN World Court / ICJ
National delegations to the UN, headed by ambassadors from member states, work and meet together at the UN headquarters in NYC. Universality of membership Five great powers each have a veto over substantive decisions of the Security Council. Mechanism for collective security

14 Table 7.2

15 History of the UN Founded in… Successor to the _________________
Tension with the U.S. Increases in membership in the 1950s and 1960s Due to… Impact on voting patterns Role during the Cold War Role after the Cold War Currently follows the principle of “three pillars”

16 Bush and the UN JOHN BOLTON (2/3/1994): The United States makes the UN work when it wants it to work, and that is exactly the way it should be, because the only question, the only question for the United States is what is in our national interest. And if you don't like that, I’m sorry, but that is the fact.

17 The Security Council Responsible for…
Decisions binding on all UN member states Has tremendous power to define the existence and nature of a security threat, structure the response to that threat, and enforce its decisions through mandatory directives to UN members.

18 The Security Council Five permanent members
U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China Substantive Security Council resolutions require ______ votes from among the _____ members, but a “no” vote from any permanent member defeats the resolution.

19 The Security Council Council’s 10 nonpermanent members rotate onto the Council for 2-year terms. Elected (5 each year) by the General Assembly from a list prepared by informal regional caucuses Chairperson rotates among the Council members monthly Meets irregularly Power limited in two major ways

20 The Security Council Military Staff Committee
Proposed changes to the Security Council Japan and Germany Little momentum for change (SQ bias)

21 Figure 7.3

22 Peacekeeping Forces Not mentioned in the UN Charter
Charter requires member states to place military forces at the disposal of the UN; anticipated to be used in response to aggression (under collective security) Troops borrowed from states, fight under the UN flag (called “blue helmets”) Neutral forces

23 Peacekeeping Forces Peacekeeping missions
Authority for these granted by the Security Council for a limited but renewable period of time Funds must be voted on by the General Assembly Serve at the invitation of a host government Observers: unarmed military officers sent to watch and report back to the UN Peacekeepers: armed soldiers who… Peacemaking UN often focuses on state building, leaving others to make peace Who contributes?


25 The Secretariat The secretary-general of the UN is the closest thing to a “president of the world” that exists. Secretariat is the executive branch of the UN Secretary-general Works to bring together the great-power consensus Currently Ban ki-moon Former secretary generals:

26 The General Assembly _________ voting members meet every year, from late September to early January in plenary session. Convenes special sessions every few years on topics such as economic cooperation Has the power to… Main power lies in… Economic and Social Council Has 54 member states elected by the General Assembly for 3-year terms

27 UN Programs Uses more than a dozen major programs to advance economic development and social stability in poor states of the global South. Each program has a staff, headquarters, and various operations in the field where it works with host governments in member states. UNEP (UN Environment Program) UNICEF (UN Children’s fund) UNHCR (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees) UNDP (UN Development Program) UN Conference on Trade and Development

28 Autonomous Agencies UN General Assembly maintains formal ties with about 20 autonomous international agencies not under its control.

29 International Law Derives not from the actions of a legislative branch or other central authority, but from… Differs from domestic law… Difficulty of enforcement, which depends on…

30 Sources of International Law
Declarations of the UN General Assembly are not laws, and most do not bind members. Treaties and other written conventions signed by states are the most important source. ____________ is the second major source of international law. ____________ of law also serve as another source. ____________ is a fourth source.

31 Enforcement of International Law
International law is much more difficult to enforce. Depends heavily on... States also follow international law because of… If a state breaks an international law, it may face… One great weakness:

32 The World Court (aka ICJ)
Rudiments of a general world legal framework found here Only ____________ can sue or be sued in the World Court. Is a panel of 15 judges elected to 9-year terms by a majority of both the Security Council and the General Assembly. Meets in…

33 The World Court Great weakness Main use of the World Court now is to…
Used infrequently (less than 100 judgements)

34 Figure 7.4

35 International Cases in National Courts
A party with a dispute that crosses national borders gains several advantages by pursuing the matter through the national courts of one of the relevant states. Benefits: U.S. is a favorite jurisdiction within which to bring cases for two reasons: Problems: Immigration law

36 Law and Sovereignty: Laws of Diplomacy
Bedrock of international law is… Diplomatic recognition Diplomats have the right to… Diplomatic immunity

37 Law and Sovereignty: Laws of Diplomacy
Diplomatic pouches Interests section Formal complaints Terrorism

38 Just–War Doctrine International law distinguishes just wars (wars that are legal) from wars of aggression (which are illegal). Today, legality of war is defined by the UN Charter, which outlaws aggression but allows “international police actions.” Most important principles for a “just” war: Just-war approach explicitly rules out war as an instrument to…

39 Human Rights: Individuals vs. Sovereignty
The idea of human rights flies in the face of... Consensus on the most important human rights also lacking. Rights are universal versus relativism Amnesty International: Publicity and pressure most often used

40 Human Rights: Individuals vs. Sovereignty
Concept of human rights comes from at least three sources

41 Human Rights: Individuals vs. Sovereignty
No globally agreed-upon definitions of the essential human rights exist. Often divided into two broad categories: civil-political “negative rights” – economic-social “positive rights” –

42 Human-Rights Institutions
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Does not have the force of… Does set forth… Since its adoption, the UN has opened 7 treaties for state signature to further define protections of human rights. Two important treaties: Convention Against Torture (CAT), 1987

43 Human-Rights Institutions
Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC),1990 Role of IOs in protecting human rights Today, NGOs play a key role in efforts to win basic political rights in authoritarian countries

44 War Crimes Large-scale abuses of human rights often occur during war.
International law is especially difficult to enforce during war.

45 War Crimes Crimes against humanity Lack of declaration of wars
War powers act (1973)

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