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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Born and raised in Jinja Town, Uganda East Africa. Started writing at the age of 10. A time tested professional speaker, Blogger, social critic, counsellor, Journalist, Public relations practitioner with wide range scope of expertise in crisis management, media relations and social media. He’s worked with some of the most well-known and influential brands in East Africa, conducting marketing communication strategies. He graduated from Uganda Christian University with Bachelors in Mass communication with Public Relations Major and he has since then acquired other skills training in counselling, Research, media monitoring, crisis management He won the 2010 young communicator of the year Award by Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU).He has volunteered his life to addressing environmental concerns, HIV/Aids causes and politics.
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ROLE OF UNTIED NATIONS IN THE PROMOTION AND MAINTAINCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY.
INTRODUCTION The question requires one to show how the United Nations is promoting and maintaining international peace and security with a clear understanding of the history and objectives of United nations . United Nations is an international organisation established in 1945 after the second world war .Just as the 1st world war led to the formation of the league of Nations, the second world War led to the establishment of United Nations. In each case both statesmen and scholars tried to develop ways of maintaining world peace and stability after the wars. The United Nations established in 1945, is a balance of conservatism and change. Because the League of Nations had failed to prevent war, the United Nations charter sought to correct the League covenant’s deficiencies. The Architects of UN also attempted to divorce the new organisation from any lingering stigma of the League and to convince others that the UN was completely new creation, not just a revised league1. The Former secretary general of United Nations, Kofi A. Annan once said
‘So it is in international affairs. Why was the United Nations established, if not to act as benign policeman or doctor? Our job is to intervene: to prevent conflict where we can, to put a stop to it when it has broken out,..- when neither of those things is possible-at least to contain it and prevent it from spreading .That is what the world expects of us ,even though-atlas-the United nations by no means always lives up to such expectations’2
Today virtually every United nations organ, department ,specialised agency and programmes is involved to some degree in the promotion of peace and security. United Nations has played significant roles in the promotion and maintaince of internationational peace and security which include: Through Peacemaking and peacekeeping operations, the United Nations has helped maintain and restore international peace and security. The United Nation has been A.LeRoy Bennet, ‘International Organisations’ Principles and Issues,4th ed,united states of America, Prentice-Hall International,inc,1988
Kofi. A. Annan, 1999, the Question of Intervention. Statements by the secretary General, united Nations department of Public Information, New York pp.2-54
able to mobilise members states to contribute forces for UN peacekeeping missions which observe ceasefires, arms control withdrawal of forces, establishing buffer zones during war ,intervened in humanitarian assistance keeping operations in the world. During Iran –Iraq war in august 1988, UN supervised ceasefire that ended the eight year conflict by 1991.in some respects ,the UN Cambodia operation was a success as it helped put an end to a full scale civil war and brought peace to the country. Other world UN peace operations include UN Disengagement observer force(UNEF TWO) in Syrian Golan Heights from June 1973 to present ,UN interim Force in Lebanon in southern Lebanon from march 1978 to present, first UN emergency Force in Suez Sinai peninsula form November 1956-june 1967. UN also established the UN Assistance mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) in October 1993 that monitored peace agreement, relief supply, and humanitarian protection zone and ended in 1996.3 For many years, united nations has been credited conducting successful worldwide peacekeeping operations monitoring ceasefires, buffer zones, peace agreements that have helped bring peace Namibia, Mozambique and El Salvador , southern Sudan on small extent. Sometimes the UN has taken direct military action against aggression, end conflict and war.UN peacekeepers have sometimes used military force has a last resort and self defence to maintain peace and security in the world. In 1961 Congo now Democratic Republic Of Congo after independence, the security council authorised the UN operations to use force in stop foreign mercenaries ,violence and succession attempt.. United Nations has overseen the Establishment of war crime tribunals and committees. Which have been instrumental in reconciliation and trial of war crime offenders which act as a deterrent for the would be war mongers who start conflict s to disturb peace. The creation of ad hoc tribunals, such as those for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda based on the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, have made it possible to judge people who have committed crimes against humanity and promote world peace. Through Judicial settlement of dispute and conflicts that threaten wor5ld peace, the United Nations has managed old and new territory disputes through the International Court of justice, International criminal court , arbitration, negotiations and Mediation between warring states. The Security Council has at times intervened to prompt states to move more serious in utilising such methods to maintain and promote international peace and security since peace is vital to all countries. United Nations has advanced Collective security approach to promote and maintain international peace and security. The UN has united and mobilised states in
United Nations, The Blue Helmets: a review of the United Nations peacekeeping,3rd ed.New York, UN Department of public information,1996,pp689776.
collective action against aggressors with overwhelming united threat of counterforce. It is assumed that peace is indivisible and insecurity applies to all states not individually in the international system. When one’s peace is disturbed, then the entire world peace system is disturbed hence one for one and all for one. States do not act on the basis of their own individual national interests. Collective security has prevented use of force, based on the proposition that potential aggressors will refrain from attack when they know their actions will be met by actions of international community hence maintaining international peace and security. Collective security was applied in Korea in 1950 when UN forces countered the North Korea invasion of South Korea. However Collective security has not been a viable option for most conflicts and threats to peace since Second World War Instrumental in Ending colonialism and development of new states in the world which checked on peace and security. By 1960 a majority of UN members favoured decolonisation. General assembly resolution 1514 condemned the continuation of colonial rule and preconditions for granting independence and called for annual reports on the progress towards independence of all remaining colonial territories4. After the signing g of the UN charter, most of the former colonies had achieved independence with relatively little threat to international peace and security. Decolonisation of the world was significant peaceful transformation. UN provided important forum for change in international peace and security systems The United Nations has set aside Days to advance peace and security concerns in to world. For example the International Day of Peace. It is not only a day to celebrate peace but also reflect on peace situation in the world and come up with solutions. Thereby commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people. Among other days is International day of United Nations Peacekeepers to pay tribute to all men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations. These events have promoted and maintained the spirit of international peace drives. United Nations has undertaken Enforcement measures to promote and maintain peace and security. Chapter Vii of the UN charter outlines a variety of enforcement mechanisms including economic, military, diplomatic and financial sanctions to prevent or deter threats to international peace and security. The security council has frequently invoked its authority under chapter VII to intervene in situations deemed threatening to international peace and security. United Nations has resolved conflicts and disputes by Diplomacy. Early diplomatic intervention, at its best can avert bloodshed altogether. Iraq is one example of how when moment is ripe, diplomacy through United Nations can achieve in settling disputes. Its enforcement actions have included the 1990 economic sanctions against Iraq, the arms embargo against Yugoslavia in 1991, the air and arms embargo against Libya in 1992 and Enforce no fly zone or safe havens in areas of conflict.
Karen A.Mingst and Margaret P.Karns, 1998 The United Nations in the post-Cold war Era,2nd Ed p.4
United Nations through its own agency, The United Nations Population Fund helps to promote a culture of peace by developing information programs for women with regard to sex education. This allows them in turn to make fully informed decisions and thereby contribute to a better management of the planet's population. Then The World Food Programme promotes better nutrition by using food aid to support economic and social development, later sets up programmes to help foster greater agricultural productivity, thereby fighting hunger and poverty around the world. Hunger and poverty are two important factors in the outbreak of conflicts The United Nations has instituted early conflict warning mechanism that have maintained peace and sec unity in Africa an d the world over. UN has also go further to follow up early warning with early and effective action whether response required diplomatic efforts or humanitarian efforts. Early warning mechanisms are widely regarded as serving an important role in conflict prevention but without early action, early warning is of little use in promotion of peace and security. The United Nations early warning g capabilities have been significantly improved in the recent years. In the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, the United Nations succefully deployed peace keeping operations before the conflict occurred by reassuring presence and a certain amount of transparency, such deployment can prevent the type of miscalculations that can lead to violent conflict, allow time for grievances to be settled through political channels making it possible to strengthen peacebuilding institutions and be a critical confidence building measure for peace .
The United Nations has been at the fore front advocating for respect and observance of human rights and rule of law which are necessary components of any effort to make peace durable and security. The United Nations High Commissioner for human rights has assisted governments worldwide to draft national plans of action for human rights for example advancing the ratification of human rights treaties like Universal Declaration of Human Rights treaty, reviewing and amending legislation to ensure human rights observatiobn., establishing human rights commissions .if individuals or groups including agents of state can act with impunity and escape punishment, citizens will live in fear or arbitrary arrest and detention. If the law is applied selectively and is practically harsh on certain groups, it creates resentment and fosters the environment for a violent response. Respect of human rights and rule of law has been instrumental in maintaining of international peace and security because areas without rule of law or respect for human rights easily fuel conflict. The United Nations has established special committees and liaison offices world wide to coordinate and prepare peace and security initiatives. This has to some extent promoted peace and security. For example within the United Nations systems special bodies to advance for international peace and security include Security Council, General Assembly Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) Commission Function, membership, activities, documents. Disarmament Commission, Conference on Disarmament Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,and Executive committee on peace and security was the recently created, convened by the under-secretary-General for Political Affairs, is intended further to enhance cooperation, policy coherence and the sharing of information. Likewise the
established United Nations liaison office at the former OAU now AU Headquarters. This consolidates cooperation between the two organisations and facilitates the coordinated deployment of diplomatic and political efforts to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts in Africa. More to that, also the objective of annual meetings of officials from United Nations and African Union secretariats which is chaired by two secretary generals. United Nations has also co-operated with subregional organisations such as ASEAN, ECOWAS, southern Africa Development Community which are working closely to address issues of peace and security to resolve conflicts and promote peace. United Nations has Managed Arms control and disarmament which is crucial in international peace and security. UN committee on disarmament came into force in 1975, UN committee on Disarmament completed the comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which serve purposes of preventing declared nuclear weapons states and other parties s from developing new weapon designs and reconfirms international proliferation. UN became involved in negotiations for the treaty on nuclear nonproliferation that concluded in 1961 and started in 1970. I AEA Successfully carried out inspections for suspected storage and production facilities, destroying stocks of materials and checking documents. UN established UN special commission for disarmament of Iraq (UNSCOM) was created to oversee destruction of Iraq‘s chemical and biological weapons and their production and storage facilities and monitor long-time-term compliance. There have been efforts by the United Nations to help reduce need for large national military capacity threats and security fields including the signing of non-aggression pacts and security cooperation agreements, participation in joint military training exercises, patrols and policies against illicit arms trafficking. In 2007, eight African counties provided information to the United Nations Register of Convectional Arms to diminish the threat which proliferation of small arms poses for Africa peace and security5. United Nations has played a significant role in stopping the proliferation of arms especially nuclear arms which fuel international conflict and tension. The UN‘s treaty making powers have been utilised to demilitarise Antarctica and outer space and to control the spread of weapons of mass destruction by banning nuclear proliferation. UN tried to Control manufacturing and use of weapons of mass destruction through International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA),one of Un’s specialised agencies established in 1957 is responsible inspecting, destroying ,monitoring, removal and control of nuclear weapons in the world. Furthermore there has been chemical and biological weapon prohibitattion (CBW), United Nations has promoted international peace and security through organising dialogue meeting between conflicting parties on ground in a country and between other states. this was also the case in Mozambique which showed that UN in right circumstances can offer a flexible and uniquely adapted means to confront
The causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa ,report of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan ,April 1998
conflicts in the world. United Nation’s success in ending violence and institutionalising peace in Mozambique testifies contribution that UN can make as an impartial and legitimate actor for peace. On a number of occasions the United Nations has initiated peace talks between rebels and governments like in Uganda between Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony and Ugandan government. United Nations has carried out economically interventions in some world conflicts and disputes. United Nations has also at time intervened economically in form of advice and assistance to prevent it from reaching military stage. In most cases ethnic tensions are exacerbated by poverty and famine or uneven economic development. That is why the work of the United Nations Development Programme comes in. Most of the world’s 20 poorest countries have experienced significant violent conflict in the past decades. In Africa, out of the 45 countries where The United nations has development programmes, 18 are experiencing civil strife and 11 are varying stages of political progress6. Post conflict and peace building role in the world. From Namibia and El Salvador to Kosovo and East Timor, United nations working side by side along with local government officials, NGOs and citizen groups to provide emmergency,relief, demobilise combatants,clear mines,organise elections,encourage reconciliations,build impartial police forces and re-establish basic services7. In the end restoring and maintaining peace and security in the world. United Nations through the Security Council has passed resolutions on areas aand actions related with conflict to promote peace and security in such areas. resolutions on sanctions,embargos, the ceasing of air and sea contact, or diplomatic isolation. Empower member states to react to a crisis. These have limited military weapon supply, assistance offered to warring groups which has ended in peace to some areas. when Iraq invade Kuwait ,the Security council passed Resolutions(661,665,670) imposing mandatory economic and transport sanctions against Iraq and established implementation committee .in Sudan Darfur resolutions have limited arms supply which fuels conflicts for example UN security council resolution 1556(2004) calls on states to : ‘Take necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply to all non-governmental entities and individuals, including the Janjaweed, operating in the states of north Darfur, south Darfur ,and west Darfur, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and the spare parts for the aforementioned ,whether or not originating in their territories’ 8
Kofi A. Annan, The Question of Intervention, statements by the secretaryGeneral.,1999,United Nations Department of Public Information,pg.48
United Nations security council (UNSC). (2004).resolution 1556.s/RES/1556.8 October)
Despite the positive role played by United Nations, there have also been negative roles played by United Nations towards the promotion and maintaince of international peace and security. United Nations has jeopardises its neutrality and acts a more of tool of the great powers especially the United States as a puppet. It actions are sometimes dictated upon by super powers especially united states which is behind most of United Nations funding. United Nations is a barking dog without teeth thus do not operate independently to maintain international peace and security. On the number of occasions United States has invaded peaceful states like Iraq and Afghanistan without being stopped, condemned or punished by the United Nations. On a number of occasions the united Nations has been tolerant and reluctant to act to genocides and insecurities whenever it does nothing to end them. the a tenweek Rwandan genocide suffering of the Rwandan people sends a clear signal and unmistaken message that United Nations must Never again be tolerate such actions in the world over. The United Nations has demonstrated its inefficiency to respond swiftly and decisively to crises. Sometimes the UN has retreated or abandoned from peace and security promotion and maintainace exercises For example the United Nations operation in Somalia was the first United Nations Operations to be withdrawn by the Security Council before completing its mission in march 1995. May they are partly to blame for the continued insecurity in Somalia. Consequences of the united Nations retreat from Somalia or failure to respond to the Genocide in Rwanda in time and effectively where hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. failed to promote and maintain peace in some parts of the world, for example Somalia is still not peaceful up to present. The United Nations has played a passive and selfish role in promoting peace and security in the world especially in Africa. The credibility of United Nations to a great extent depends upon the international community’s or great powers’ willingness to act and to explore new means of advancing the objectives of peace and security. A country will fund or offer troops to UN operation with its own interest. For example crisis in Sudan especially Darfur external countries like china fuel the rebellion supplying weapons and assistance to Khartoum government which funds paramilitaries like Janjawed (terror group)and yet is decision maker in United nations peace and security missions. It is therefore every important that the United Nations experience in the world be re-examined and lessons extracted that can guide us for the future.
UN has on number of occasions lacked will, commitment, resources to promote peace and security. The United Nations will continue being challenged to respond to diverse threats to international peace and security. Facing these challenges needs a more commitment, resource and planning. It’s also important for member countries to reconcile the dilemma of peace missions in the past like Somalia and assess failures and successes. Missions to build and maintain peace require more than ending conflicts but developing infrastructural and institutional structures destroyed by war. Unless the respective governments and their citizens in the world are genuinely willing to confront the problems that distabilise international peace and security, there is not much that United Nations can do. United Nations lacks capacity in terms of expertise and resources to address all problems related to peace and security that may arise in the world Individual people also play an essential role in the culture of peace, even at the international level. Indeed, national organizations and institutions are composed of men and women who produce standards that can be changed to meet new needs. It is up to each citizen to establish a culture of peace, beginning at home and working up to international institutions. Peace in the world is possible and is progressing everywhere. However, we must all continue to strive to ensure that the progression of peace continues.Recommend democratising the world in case conflict was caused by different groups having unequal political power
References 1. A.LeRoy Bennet, ‘International Organisations’ Principles and Issues,4th ed, united states of America, Prentice-Hall International,inc,1988 2. Kofi. A. Annan, 1999, The Question of Intervention. Statements by the secretary General, united Nations department of Public Information, New York pp.2-54 3. Karen A.Mingst and Margaret P.Karns, 1998 The United Nations in the postCold war Era,2nd Ed pp.74-113 4. United Nations, The Blue Helmets: a review of the United nations peacekeeping,3rd ed. New York, UN Department of public information,1996,pp689-776 5. The causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa ,report of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan ,April 1998 6. United Nations (http:www.un.org)
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