July 24, 2009

U.N. Intervention vs Humanitarian Imperialism

United Nations Secretary General, Ban-Ki- Moon " ...resist those who turn our common effort to curb the worst atrocities in human history into a struggle over ideology, geography or economics...It is high time to turn the promise of the 'responsibility-to-protect' into practice."' (July 2009)

2005 UN World Summit adopted the “responsibility to protect,” known as R2P, which “formalized the notion that when a state proves unable or unwilling to protect its people, and crimes against humanity are perpetrated, the international community has an obligation to intervene—if necessary, and as a last resort, with military force.

... then how does one explain the continuing humanitarian crises in Dar-fur, Congo, and Iraq?

Does Noam Chomsky's explanation answer this...

Noam Chomsky : "The UN system doubtless suffers from severe defects. The most critical defect is the overwhelming role of the leading violators of Security Council resolutions. The most effective way to violate them is to veto them, a privilege of the permanent members. Since the UN fell out of its control forty years ago the United States is far in the lead in vetoing resolutions on a wide range of issues, its British ally is second, and no one else is even close. Nevertheless, despite these and other serious defects of the UN system, the current world order offers no preferable alternative than to vest the “responsibility to protect” in the United Nations... and the humanitarian imperialism” of the powerful states that claim the right to use force because they “believe it to be just,” all too regularly and predictably “perverting the administration of justice itself.

...does that mean that in order for the UN to be effective, it has to turn a blind eye to the apparent hegemony that is practiced by some countries because they happen to be the major resource providers for the UN?

Would this explanation suffice...

US Ambassador to UN, Susan Rice : "There will be more perpetrators...more victims. But we must work to ensure that there will also be more justice and fewer and fewer bystanders."

Do you see future UN interventions as necessary, viable, and justifiable?


Saadia said...

"...the international community has an obligation to intervene—if necessary, and as a last resort, with military force."

"Almost" as if the international community comprises of the few great powers to "intervene" as and when they desire. Hard to trust the UN at face value, really! Good point!

Anonymous said...

'Necessary'...yes; 'viable'...unfortunately not; 'justifiable'... yes.

In all this the 'good is oft interred with the bones'...there are so many UN organizations that work relentlessly all over the globe for the upliftment of downtrodden! People who are critical of the UN overlook the vast good that is done by it. Stop questioning the validity of the UN. It does more good than you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the UN has many organs within it that have no agenda besides "the upliftment of the downtrodden".
However, there is some validity in the argument that sometimes it isn't really the UN intervening, but in fact "the major resource providers for the UN". Yet, the majority of the world looks at the UN and only sees the high-profile organ known as the Security Council. And looking at the flaws seen in the gridlock caused by the veto powers of the permament members, the structure and guidelines of the UN Security Council is definitely brought into question.
Nevertheless, we mustn't use broad brush strokes when depicting the UN; the Security Council is only one organ of the UN, and the entire UN does indeed do a great deal of good around the world.


ms said...

If the "international community" alludes to the US (which it erroneously often does- US is very isolated country right now), and it's stooges, then the answer is an emphatic no.

Mariana Soffer said...

I thinks for this kind of stuff words are not enough.
Anyway it is bad