in category Politics

Is the UN best placed to regulate and resolve international conflicts?

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In a Nutshell:
The UN has 5 permanent members: Russia, France, US, Britain, and China, which use the UN as an extension of their personal foreign policies. International customs and norms can only work if there is enforcement at a supranational and global level. Without this nation-states pursue what suits their interests.


The United Nations arose to prevent the genocides and violence seen during WW2, so that such events could be prevented in the future. The UN was founded in 1945 with one goal, to ensure future generations would live in world without wars. However since its creation, the world has seen over 250 conflicts, we can say the UN was not successful in its mission.

The UN has almost 200 states as its members. It is considered a non-biased institution by the West and many third world countries. All of its members support values like multilateral action, internationalism, pluralism, democracy, compromise, secularism, freedom and human rights.

Tool for Exploitation

There is much evidence that suggests the UN's values are not being met and the organization is a tool for exploitation, allowing its permanent members to abuse their power.

Rwandan Genocide:
This can be seen in the events such as not preventing the Rwanan genocide in 1994 where almost a million people lost their lives because the members of the Security Council refused to approve military action. France, which is a permanent member of the Security Council, supported the Hutu regime against the Tutsi rebels during their ethnic civil war in the colonial era. During the crisis the only thing the UN did, was an evacuation of foreign nationals from Rwanda, failing to protect the Tutsis. The Hutu militants were able to massacre about 2,000 refugees after the peacekeepers from Belgium left the school where they were assigned. But, this did not stop the Security Council reducing their force to just 260 people.

Srebrenica Massacre:
Another example is Srebrenica, where NATO was being pushed as security force by the US, even though they wanted this region's break-up alongside Britain. Srebrenica was supposing to a safe zone for the refugees and it was protected by 600 peacekeepers from the Netherlands. The camp was handed over by the Dutch peacekeepers to the Serbian forces, where they massacred the refugees.

Congo Slaughter:
The UN was again unable to prevent the slaughter of almost 5 million people in the second war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, the peacekeeping forces were established in the year 2000 and were supposed to monitor the peace process, but the civil war took its toll as the UN failed in their initial purpose.

Other Conflicts:
Because of the selectiveness in applying international law, the UN created a problem that led to the conflict between the Israeli and the Palestinians. It was publicly known that the UN was not effective in its mission and it was thrown aside just before the second war in Iraq. The US also has even stated that there is no UN.


The UN has 5 permanent members: Russia, France, US, Britain, and China, which have used this organization as an extension of their personal foreign policies.

The reality is there is no such thing as international law. International law requires enforcement to be at supranational and global level. Therefore, not having this leads to disregard of regulations of international agencies by nation-states when it suits them.


Waltz, K. (1979) A Theory of International Politics

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