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U.N. at Crossroads

Posted March. 11, 2003 22:23,   


The United Nations has not had very much influence in deciding the case of Iraqi weapons resolutions. If the U.N. Security Council rejects the second resolution, the U.S. is likely to react with a ‘U.N.-unnecessary’ argument.

Will the U.N. degrade its status to a mere humanitarian institution that provides only food to Third World countries? The Financial Times observed future prospects of the U.N. in its March 11 Special Edition.

If France, Russia, and China, all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, reject the second resolution, the U.S. and Britain have two choices. They can once again try to win the U.N.`s approval, or they could go to war without its help.

David Malone, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.N., predicts that if the latter is the case, the U.S. will show unfriendly sentiment towards the U.N. and exclude its opinion in future affairs, thereby taking a unilateral approach in replacing ‘wicked’ governments and carrying out preemptive strikes against its enemies. It`s a scenario of the U.N.’s emasculation before a superpower that has a superior military power following the end of the Cold War. The notion that the core capacity of the U.N. is its collective security will amount to nothing.

Even if the U.S. wins the vote of approval from more than 9 permanent members of the U.N. Security Council with no vetoes, former U.N. Secretary General Advisor John Ruggy analyzed too that U.N. will show the same degrading effect of its status. According to his view, it will be by unjust methods that the U.S. finally does get approval, and this will mean less credibility to the lawfulness and ethics of the U.N.

However, the Financial Times noted with optimism that this is not the first crisis of its kind for the U.N., saying that the U.N. has evolved and developed out of crises in the past. Analysts from outside and inside the U.N. all agree that if the U.N. fails tomorrow, it will rise up again the following day.

Besides the Security Council, other U.N. organizations like the World Food Program (WFP), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), play an important role in many places around the world and have wide support.

“The U.S. will reap no practical benefit by freeing itself from the U.N.,” NYU international law professor Tom Frank said. “Moreover, the United States’ unilateral approach will free the U.N. from U.S. control and make it an organization of restraining influence on the last superpower. In this case, the U.N. will become a counter-force and its own superpower against the U.S.”