Friday, 29 May 2009

The United Nations: Is it relevant?

Link: Praise for Sri Lanka raises questions of how effective UN really is[]

The UN Human Rights Council has praised the Sri Lankan Government over its war against the Tamil Tigers. This is incredible even if you only consider that the Sri Lankan government heavily shelled civilian areas. Naturally, this has caused many people to raise questions about how effective the UN is. The article above raises some very interesting points regarding the members of the UN Human Rights Council and how they seem to allow just about any recognised state to join.

"The Human Rights Council is the replacement for the discredited Human Rights Commission, which once had Libya as a chairman. Yet the new council is little better and has human rights violators such as Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Kyrgyzstan as members. They are naturally reluctant to accuse other nations of abusing citizens" -

This is a really valid point. I have pretty much stayed out of the arguments about the UN excepting for my article Gallop Poll Shows Record Disapproval of UN but the question needs to be raised: if there are various legitimate and questionable reasons for the UN simply not being able to fulfil its peacekeeping function, then surely that arm should be dissolved?

The author of the article would disagree, citing the RAND Corporation's findings that two out of three peacekeeping missions were a success. His article concludes that Bush was premature in his opposition to the UN and realised too late that he needed them. In further mitigation, many of the UN's cited failures relate to the Srebrenica and Rwanda situations which occurred in the 90's. Perhaps the most valid way to proceed then would be to judge the UN in terms of their current performance not their past failures. Whatever the case, it seems increasingly obvious that an overhaul of the organisation is needed.



  1. UN is relevant or not, but every nation has a right to defend itself. SriLanka defended itself from efforts to fragment it by LTTE. There is nothing wrong in it.

  2. Hi Ram, thank you for your comment. I am hoping to wrote my next post on the definition of 'genocide' and various other terms such as 'ethnic cleansing' and 'war crimes'. The fact still remains that the Sri Lankan government shelled areas that were occupied by civilians - the exact same thing the Israeli army did a couple of months ago. If they cannot prove that they took every precaution to avoid hitting civilain targets then they might find themselves facing a war crimes charge.

  3. Relevant or not we still need The UN until to day

  4. @ insurance: I actually agree with you but why do you say that?


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