Chapter 7:International Organizaton, Law, and Human Rights
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS CHAPTER 7:INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATON, LAW, AND HUMAN RIGHTS Roles of International organizations. States work together by following rules they develop to govern their interactions, and states usually do follow these rules and they develop the habit of working through institutions and within those rules. Great gains can be realized by regulating international interactions through institutions and rules, thereby avoiding the costly outcomes associated with a breakdown of cooperation. International norms: the expectations actors hold about normal international relations.
Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq wasn’t illegal but widely viewed as immoral. Agreed norms of behavior, institutionalized through such organizations, become habitual over time and gain legitimacy, States refrain from behavior not just for cost-benefit reasons (as emphasized by realists and liberals) but for normative reasons having little to do with material calculations (as emphasized by constructivists). Especially in times of change, when shared norms and habits may not suffice to solve international dilemmas and achieve mutual cooperation, institutions play a key role.
International Organizations (IO’s): Concrete, tangible structures with specific functions and missions and they include IGOs, and NGOs. Regional: EU, ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), MERCOSUR (Southern Cone Common Market), and the African Union. Global: Intelsat, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) NGOs: International Political Science Association, International Air Transport Association, Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood, International Olympic Committee.
Liberals point out that it’s the codification of international norms in institutions that gives norms their power. The United Nations The UN System Purposes of the UN Members are sovereign states that have not empowered the UN to enforce its will within states’ territories except with the consent of those states’ governments. Basic purpose is to provide a global institution structure through which states can sometimes settle conflicts with less reliance on the use of force. UN Charter: based on the principles that states are equal nder international law; that states have sovereignty over their own affairs; that states should have full independence and territorial integrity; and that states should carry out their international obligations. Benefits: international stability, symbol of international order and even global identity; it’s also a forum and mechanism for conflict resolution. Structure of the UN Centers around UN General Assembly: where representatives of all states sit together in a huge room, listen to speeches and pass resolutions. UN Security Council: five great powers and ten rotating member states make decisions about international peace and security.
History of the UN Founded in 1945. Throughout the Cold War, the UN had few successes in international security because the US-Soviet conflict prevented consensus. UN was successful in the late 1980s in ending violent regional conflicts (in Central America and the Iran-Iraq War) while introducing peacekeepers to monitor the cease-fires. In Namibia, a UN force oversaw independence from South Africa and the nation’s first free elections. Currently, the UN follows a principle of “three pillars”: security, economic development, and human rights. The Security Council
Responsible for maintaining international peace and security and for restoring peace when it breaks down. Has the tremendous power to define the existence and nature of a security threat, to structure the response to such a threat, and to enforce its decisions through mandatory directives to UN members. The five permanent members are: U. S. , Britain, France, Russia, and China. Security Council resolutions require 9 votes from among the 15 members, and a “no” vote by any permanent member defeats the resolution (veto power). Council’s 10 non-permanent members rotate on the Council for two-year terms. non-permanent members are elected each year by the General Assembly from a list prepared by informal regional caucuses. Members can abstain on resolutions, an option that some permanent members use to register misgivings about a resolution without vetoing. China regularly abstains when its own security is not directly affected. Security Council meets irregularly upon request of a UN member-often a state with a grievance regarding another state’s actions. The Security Council’s power is limited in two ways: The Council’s decisions depend entirely on the interests of its member states.
Although Security Council resolutions in theory bind all UN members, member states in practice often try to evade or soften their effect. Proposed Changes Japan and Germany have the same formal representation in the UN as tiny states even though they are great powers that contribute substantial UN dues and make large contributions to UN programs and peacekeeping operations. Any overhaul of the Security Council would require a change in the UN Charter, and a change in membership would reduce the power of the current five permanent members, any of which could veto the change, making any change very difficult. Peacekeeping Forces