United nations and the use of force

Established with both the unscrupulous inaction of the League of Nations and the decisive effectiveness of the coalition against the Axis powers, the United Nations seemed to provide a multilateral, enforceable approach to international law and order at its inception. The bipolar world of the Cold War and the arguably hegemonic position of the United States in its aftermath provided sundry challenges to the UN’s preeminence. As a climate of great-power policing pervaded international initiatives, the collective security goals of the UN were compromised by the national security objectives of the more prominent states. UN operations could be improved through Security Council reform and funding of peacekeeping operations, combined with expansion of the judicial authority of the United Nations to force compliance with its objectives. The structure of the UN Security Council must be drastically altered to better serve the collective good of its member states. The permanent membership of the United States, France, England, Russia, and China is anachronistic, reflecting a geo-political order that no longer exists. Though some of the remaining ten seats are reserved for Africa and Latin America, the regions do not automatically gain increased clout. During the Security Council debates on the 2003 war on Iraq, Latin America was fortunate to be represented by more influential states, such as Mexico and Chile, while Africa relied on Guinea, Cameroon, and Angola, three nations more susceptible to outside pressure than some of their counterparts. Altering or expanding the permanent membership to include eminent states from each continent would give the body a more global voice. Furthermore, in the interests of equality, the veto must be abolished to prevent obstructionist behaviour. Due to the national interests of the states holding the veto, the UN was not involved in Vietnam, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, or the Falklands War despite the …

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