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So, where is the UN?

Reccesoldier

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UN General Assembly Resolutions

PDF GA-R 60/32/A+B, 7.12.2005  (PDF, 148K)

PDF GA-R 59/112/A+B, 8.12.2004  (PDF, 148K)

PDF GA-R 58/27/A+B, 5.12.2003  (PDF, 74K)

PDF GA-R 57/113/A+B, 6.12.2002  (PDF, 62K)

PDF GA-R 56/220/A+B, 21.12.2001  (PDF, 59K)



UN Security Council Resolutions

PDF SC-R 1623, 13.09.2005 (ISAF)  (PDF, 27K)

PDF SC-R 1589, 24.03.2005 (UNAMA)  (PDF, 31K)

PDF SC-R 1563, 17.09.2004 (ISAF)  (PDF, 27K)
 
PDF SC-R 1536, 26.03.2004 (UNAMA)  (PDF, 32K)
 
PDF SC-R 1510, 13.10.2003 (ISAF)  (PDF, 25K)

PDF SC-R 1471, 28.03.2003 (UNAMA)  (PDF, 24K)


pdf SC-R 1453, 24.12.2002 (Endorsement of Kabul Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations)  (PDF, 20K)

pdf SC-R 1444, 27.11.2002 (ISAF)  (PDF, 23K)

pdf SC-R 1386, 20.12.2001 (ISAF)  (PDF, 102K)
 
pdf SC-R 1383, 6.12.2001 (Endorsement of Bonn Agreement)  (PDF, 94K)


Talk is cheap but it is soooo much safer than actually doing anything.  Hell the UN as a whole should be fighting the propaganda war like mad in order to be able to claim at the end of the day that they had ensured the sucess of the reconstitution of the failed state of Afghanistan.  They should be fighting like they are possessed in order to be taking the lead on every reconstruction and relief effort in the country, but their lackluster efforts have demonstrated the same fatal flaw as every single solitary UN based/led/envisioned  crusade I have ever seen.

The UN is a Shakespearian organization...  Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

 


 

Roy Harding

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Reccesoldier said:
UN General Assembly Resolutions

PDF GA-R 60/32/A+B, 7.12.2005  (PDF, 148K)

PDF GA-R 59/112/A+B, 8.12.2004  (PDF, 148K)

PDF GA-R 58/27/A+B, 5.12.2003  (PDF, 74K)

PDF GA-R 57/113/A+B, 6.12.2002  (PDF, 62K)

PDF GA-R 56/220/A+B, 21.12.2001  (PDF, 59K)



UN Security Council Resolutions

PDF SC-R 1623, 13.09.2005 (ISAF)  (PDF, 27K)

PDF SC-R 1589, 24.03.2005 (UNAMA)  (PDF, 31K)

PDF SC-R 1563, 17.09.2004 (ISAF)  (PDF, 27K)
 
PDF SC-R 1536, 26.03.2004 (UNAMA)  (PDF, 32K)
 
PDF SC-R 1510, 13.10.2003 (ISAF)  (PDF, 25K)

PDF SC-R 1471, 28.03.2003 (UNAMA)  (PDF, 24K)


pdf SC-R 1453, 24.12.2002 (Endorsement of Kabul Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations)  (PDF, 20K)

pdf SC-R 1444, 27.11.2002 (ISAF)  (PDF, 23K)

pdf SC-R 1386, 20.12.2001 (ISAF)  (PDF, 102K)
 
pdf SC-R 1383, 6.12.2001 (Endorsement of Bonn Agreement)  (PDF, 94K)


...

If these were meant to be links, they aren't.
 

Reccesoldier

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Roy Harding said:
If these were meant to be links, they aren't.

Nope just a list of resolutions on the subject, an indicator of how much useless hot air the UN has and how little of it is translated into anything resembling action. 

Our government is fighting an information war wrt Afghanistan, a war that could, if ignored, cost them the support of the Citizens of this country and possibly lead to our withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

Yet one of, if not the lead organization which according to its own propaganda is 200% behind bringing Afghanistan back from the brink of failure doesn't have the time of day to stand up in front of the worlds media and say "We want the mission in Afghanistan to continue. WE BELIEVE in the mission. We PRAISE the efforts of the Troops in Afghanistan who are bringing PEACE, LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS, and RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT to Afghanistan.  We support the DISSOLUTION of the Taliban State and the ERADICATION of the Al Quaeda terrorist network.

The UN... Playing it safe since 1945
 

Roy Harding

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Reccesoldier said:
Nope just a list of resolutions on the subject, an indicator of how much useless hot air the UN has and how little of it is translated into anything resembling action. 

...

Can you provide the links??
 

BKells

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Reccesoldier said:
Yet one of, if not the lead organization which according to its own propaganda is 200% behind bringing Afghanistan back from the brink of failure doesn't have the time of day to stand up in front of the worlds media and say "We want the mission in Afghanistan to continue. WE BELIEVE in the mission. We PRAISE the efforts of the Troops in Afghanistan who are bringing PEACE, LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS, and RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT to Afghanistan.  We support the DISSOLUTION of the Taliban State and the ERADICATION of the Al Quaeda terrorist network.

The UN... Playing it safe since 1945

You are making pretty wild assertions. You have to realize the United Nations is the largest bureaucracy in the world and is responsible for many more things then merely Afghanistan. The UN oversees the World Health Organization in its fight against bird flu, the United Nations Development Program, the IMF, the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc; the list just goes on. Additionally, the UN is particularly distracted right now by the showdown over Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Moreover, the UN has no presence in Afghanistan, they just sanctioned NATO to go in there.

So, don't be so quick to lay blame at the feet of the United Nations. Particularly with regards to Afghanistan, they're not even a major player.
 

Flip

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"So, don't be so quick to lay blame at the feet of the United Nations. Particularly with regards to Afghanistan, they're not even a major player."

I think that was RecceSoldier's point.

The Idea of the UN is a great one.
The problem is the "largest bureaucracy in the world"
is usually more concerned with political correctness and neutrality than
right and wrong. No black - no white - just a noisy and rhetorical shade of grey.

Read Shake Hands With The Devil by Romeo Dallaire.
Perfect example.


 

Roy Harding

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BKells said:
...
So, don't be so quick to lay blame at the feet of the United Nations. Particularly with regards to Afghanistan, they're not even a major player.

I'll lay as much blame as I can at the feet of the UN.

I was one of those who served when UN NY had an answering machine for those inconvenient hours outside of 9 - 5, Mon - Fri.  And yes, I DID experience it when I was in FRY - it wasn't fun.

I don't CARE how much the UN has on its' plate - you DO NOT put people into the field and then forget about them - if you do, you aren't worth supporting.

The UN is (unfortunately), a good idea gone bad - period.
 

hank011

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I personally think this story reinforces Roy Harding's point in part:

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070225/somalia_ship_070225/20070225?hub=World

How many times is this gonna happen before the UN realizes how inept this appears.
 

BKells

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Roy Harding said:
I'll lay as much blame as I can at the feet of the UN.

...

I don't CARE how much the UN has on its' plate - you DO NOT put people into the field and then forget about them - if you do, you aren't worth supporting.

The UN is (unfortunately), a good idea gone bad - period.

I'm not going to defend the admittedly numerous bungles the United Nations is responsible for.

You have to understand that the United Nations is responsible for many more things then merely the ones that they have done wrong. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to call for an outright abolition of the institution on the evidence of merely its faults? Is that not what we're experiencing with the Canadian public in regards to the mission in Afghanistan? They only hear the bad, what goes wrong over there, they never hear about all the honourable and effective things our troops our doing there.

The United Nations has definitely served a very important role over the last 60 years and helped better many lives.

If you want to present an argument against the role of the UN as an organization for deploying troops or sending aid workers into the field, that would be valid and I'd be willing to debate that. Without having spent much time pondering the matter, I think I would be in agreement that the UN is incapable of overseeing military missions, and perhaps that task is better left to smaller coalitions, such as NATO. That's the case we're seeing in Afghanistan right now. It's a UN-sanctioned and authorized mission that is carried out by other players, even though all parties in Afghanistan are indeed UN members.

BK
 

Roy Harding

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BKells said:
I'm not going to defend the admittedly numerous bungles the United Nations is responsible for.

You have to understand that the United Nations is responsible for many more things then merely the ones that they have done wrong. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to call for an outright abolition of the institution on the evidence of merely its faults? Is that not what we're experiencing with the Canadian public in regards to the mission in Afghanistan? They only hear the bad, what goes wrong over there, they never hear about all the honourable and effective things our troops our doing there.

The United Nations has definitely served a very important role over the last 60 years and helped better many lives.

If you want to present an argument against the role of the UN as an organization for deploying troops or sending aid workers into the field, that would be valid and I'd be willing to debate that. Without having spent much time pondering the matter, I think I would be in agreement that the UN is incapable of overseeing military missions, and perhaps that task is better left to smaller coalitions, such as NATO. That's the case we're seeing in Afghanistan right now. It's a UN-sanctioned and authorized mission that is carried out by other players, even though all parties in Afghanistan are indeed UN members.

BK

You are right in that I should have focussed my comments on UN military intervention.  I cannot speak to its' other roles, as I have not experienced those roles in any great detail.

That being said - UN military interventions were, in my experience, an abysmal failure.  And I did not "hear about it", I LIVED it.  The current trend of a non-UN force operating under sanction of the UN appears to be the way ahead, and, at least so far, appears to be more successful than straight UN military intervention.
 

Navy_Blue

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Veto powers are reasons the UN is for the most part a toothless orgaization.  It goes against any democratic thinking to give the big strong players a way to sqawsh anything not in there best intrest.  Unfortunatly none of the big players back then would have signed on without Veto powers.  If every nation had an eqaul voice we would not spend months wording a resoltion to suit the big boys.  It would be "Country A is commiting genicide on County B we must act."  "All in Favor?  All Oppossed?"  "Motion caried lets invade Fantasia!" 

:cdn: 
 

retiredgrunt45

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+1 Navy_Blue

My sentiment exactly. The US, China, GB, Russia and a few other major players get most of what they want, most of the time. Not much of a level paying field for the little guys. Its liking putting a major NFL team up against a highschool FB team, who do you think is going to win?

The UN was a great idea at its inception, but over the years is has erroded to the point, where's it's become a white elephant.
 

Reccesoldier

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retiredgrunt45 said:
+1 Navy_Blue

My sentiment exactly. The US, China, GB, Russia and a few other major players get most of what they want, most of the time. Not much of a level paying field for the little guys. Its liking putting a major NFL team up against a highschool FB team, who do you think is going to win?

Do you think that it should be equal?  I mean let's look at the USA for example, in spite of its often acrimonious relationship with the UN, the amount it contributes to the overall function and process of the place and even more importantly its ability to project the power which the UN itself lacks is vitaly important to the UN.  So, having said that should the vote of a bananna republic like Haiti be able to cancell out the US's vote? 

Think about it.  Let's say hypothetically that the cause du jour is calling for troops to be put into Darfur under a UN umbrella.  Under the one equal vote ideal Guatamalla, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, Ghana, Samoa and Nauru have just cancelled out the votes of the US, France, Germany the UK, Russia and China.  Is that equality or egalitarian stupidity?
 

Navy_Blue

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A veto is anything but Democratic.  No group of nations especially small nations would go against stopping genocide or a major destabilizing conflict.  A veto only gives power to those nations who for the most part benefit through arms sales or benefit by watching an adversary get its nose bloodied.  If the Americans, Russians etc etc are so great they could supply the smaller nations with support for a vote on they're side of thinking.  Kind of like how lobbyist control our system now. 

We have millions of people (Civilians) dieing every year from genocide, war, famine and decease. 

Not to play both sides here but it is probably the veto that kept us from Nuking the world for the most part.  The communists would never have had the freedom to do what the did after WWII and therefore it would have forced they're hand and sent us into another major conflict (Most likely from Korea).  That time has passed though and I think the world as a whole has matured enough to have a Democratic world body capable of change on all levels not just when the big boys intrests are present.

The way things work now the UN's budget pays for stationary tons and tons of stationary not change.

:cdn:
 

BKells

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Navy_Blue said:
A veto is anything but Democratic.  No group of nations especially small nations would go against stopping genocide or a major destabilizing conflict.  A veto only gives power to those nations who for the most part benefit through arms sales or benefit by watching an adversary get its nose bloodied.  If the Americans, Russians etc etc are so great they could supply the smaller nations with support for a vote on they're side of thinking.  Kind of like how lobbyist control our system now. 

We have millions of people (Civilians) dieing every year from genocide, war, famine and decease. 

Not to play both sides here but it is probably the veto that kept us from Nuking the world for the most part.  The communists would never have had the freedom to do what the did after WWII and therefore it would have forced they're hand and sent us into another major conflict (Most likely from Korea).  That time has passed though and I think the world as a whole has matured enough to have a Democratic world body capable of change on all levels not just when the big boys intrests are present.

The way things work now the UN's budget pays for stationary tons and tons of stationary not change.

There are a few different interpretations of the United Nations, and international organizations as a whole, but I'm going to illustrate one of them here in detail. The realist (as in, Realism in international political theory, not the literary definition of realist) conception of international organizations states that the powerful states use the organizations to legitimate their actions, and the weak states use the organizations to rein in the power of the biggest states. In years immediately following World War II, the war victors were the most powerful states (USA, USSR, China). They were given the right to veto any decision by the security council so that they could ensure the UN would never pass a resolution in direct opposition to their interests. Had this clause not been included, the three big powers would never have agreed to partake in an institution which could ultimately be used against it. Realism argues that the most powerful states will do whatever they want and whatever is in their national interest, and have no need to be involved in an international organization except to legitimate their actions to the world community.

So, as you can see in the case of the United States invading Iraq in March of 2003, the most powerful state ultimately decided on a unilateral course of action that was in its best interest, despite the wishes of the world community. The US initially went to the UN to plead its case to the world and seek approval. When this failed, and the US did not receive international support, they merely carried on with their planned course of action without pause-- irrespective of the fact that their actions were viewed as illegitimate by the UN and the world.

On the other hand, the weaker states must merely accept this as a reality of the true anarchy of the international order, and work within it to achieve their own goals. They must give the powerful states a veto so that the states will acquiesce to remain in the institution. The weaker states want them to remain because it provides them with an arena for open discourse and policy work with the most powerful states. It provides the weaker states with an avenue of communication to the true policy makers of the world. While the most powerful states will in the end always act in their own interest, they will make compromise on issues which they deem of lesser importance. Examples include the environment, human rights, etc. By marginally sacrificing a portion of their national interest, they seek to gain favour with the world community on a future issue which they would deem of the highest importance.



I said earlier the post-WWII victors were given vetos. France and Britain were given vetos as well because of their historically powerful position, despite being in complete ruin as of 1945.
 

Donut

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This is really about tension between the role of the state in the world.  Is it paramount?  Are states bound by the decisions of other states?  Are states bound by the majority decision of a whole group of states?  What's the difference?

Under the Westphalian state model, the state is paramount.  There is no authority greater then the individual states, who are each, as individual entities, members of the club.  Simply by belonging to a club, I don't subordinate myself to the other members, nor am I bound to follow the edicts of the club president simply because I carry a card in my wallet.

Oddly enough, the UN has somehow become LESS then the sum of its parts.  States, generally, follow the rules of international law because, generally, it is in their best interest to do so.

I don't elect a Canadian government to look after the interests of Mozambique.  If my interests are looked after, and they happen to coincide with those of Mozambique, great.  But that's not their mandate.

I'll use Israel as a (perhaps poor) example.  They don't have a seat at ANY UN regional groupings.  None.  Europe doesn't want them, the Middle East sure won't let 'em sit down, and they don't fit in with Asia.  Yet people scream and cry and wring their hands every time they ignore a resolution passed by bodies that openly discriminate against them and fund non-state actors to attack them from their territory.

"Israel is the only UN member not permitted to stand for election to the full range of UN bodies. So while membership of the UN Human Rights Commission now includes Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Syria -- four of the seven states designated as state sponsors of international terrorism by the U.S. State Department -- Israel cannot even be a candidate."

- Anne Bayefsky, The Globe and Mail
April 26, 2002

The UN is nothing more then the longest running diplomatic conference in history, and we all know how decisive those can be!  I'll dig out my Akehurst's Intenational Law if people want more examples, but these are off the cuff based on courses a while ago, in a university not so far away.

DF
 

Donut

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And now that paragon of virute, the UN, is condemning such horrible global citizens as Australia, Canada, and Switzerland for their harm reduction policies wrt "narcotics".

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=f9922177-8a0b-4f2f-8323-8bec41ef2819&k=70372

Oh Lordy Lordy, we've strayed, sinners!  ::)
 

Roy Harding

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ParaMedTech said:
And now that paragon of virute, the UN, is condemning such horrible global citizens as Australia, Canada, and Switzerland for their harm reduction policies wrt "narcotics".

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=f9922177-8a0b-4f2f-8323-8bec41ef2819&k=70372

Oh Lordy Lordy, we've strayed, sinners!  ::)

Actually, as much as I dislike the UN in general - in this particular case I agree with them. 

Either the drugs are legal or not.  If not, then providing a "safe injection site" is tantamount to endorsing their use.

Roy
 

Donut

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Roy,

The failure of this program was that only one of the "three pillars" was adequately funded, the safe injection site.  Despite asking for 60-ish new officers for the VPD, city council funded 13 this year.  Despite the demand for more detox beds, there's none to be had.

The safe injection trial in Vancouver was meant to be fundamentally different then that in Switzerland ( I don't know enough about Australias to comment) in that it was meant to be rolled out at the same time as increased enforcement, and an increase in funded detox beds.  Neither of the other two have made any progress, and in light of that, I agree, the trial should be stopped.  This will cause all sorts of types to suck their teeth and complain about the matter, and our pitiful, incompetent mayor will listen to them.  This is the same guy who personally, knowingly, funded adicts habits, and was shocked to discover the VPD launched an investigation into his actions.

All that being said, how Canadian provinces deal with health care is certainly none of the UNs business, and barely that of the Federal governments.  That, of course, assumes one views addiction as a health care matter, versus a criminal law matter.

The feds have the jurisdiction for all international relations, but it means that they, on occasion, sign treaties which they really don't have any jurisdiction to enforce domestically.  Unlike in the US, where international obligations trump domestic laws, that's not the case in Canadian law.

DF
 

Roy Harding

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ParaMedTech said:
... 
That, of course, assumes one views addiction as a health care matter, versus a criminal law matter.
...

I understand where you're coming from, however - as long as the substances in question remain illegal - it's a criminal law matter.

I don't know what the answer is - stricter law enforcement doesn't seem to work (witness the US efforts vis a vis the "War on Drugs"), and I view "safe injection sites" as granting permission to the addicts.  From one point of view, legalizing and CONTROLLING the stuff is one way of breaking the crime cycle related to these things - but then you'd have a bunch of space cadets running around LEGALLY, with no option for controlling them.  Although we do it with alcohol, which is known to be a personality changer as well (one reason why I no longer get drunk - at times I turn into a REALLY nasty son of a bitch).

Is this what we need to do with some of these drugs?  Let the kids make asses of themselves until they mature out of it (or turn into homeless addicts, similar to the wino's we're all familiar with?)

I really don't know - but I DO know that as long as doing these drugs remains a criminal offence, it is, to say the least, hypocritical for governments at any level to countenance these safe injection sites.

If someone out there has the answer to the drug problem, I'd be interested in hearing it.

Roy
 
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