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  #1    
Old October 24th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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Today is United Nations Day so let's talk about the UN.

How do we feel about the UN? Is it doing its job well? Is it too powerful/weak/etc.?

And on a broader note, what about international cooperation in general? Should individual countries need recognition or permission from the international community before big things like wars, invasions, etc.?
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  #2    
Old October 24th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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And on a broader note, what about international cooperation in general? Should individual countries need recognition or permission from the international community before big things like wars, invasions, etc.?
Yes! We've been trying to figure this out for almost a hundred years. Offensive war is abhorred by all. I think the UN is as good as it gets concerning the state of the world and the values it vies for, but it's aiming in the right direction.
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Old October 24th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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I am disgusted by the UN, just cause there are so much horrific things happening in the world, and what do they focus on atm: Trying to get a Dutch celebration banned cause it appears to be racist...

Its our culture, for years no one complained, and now that they complain the UN has to take a part in it aswell... i just hate the UN just for this... huge shame
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  #4    
Old October 24th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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It is weak, as long as one or two countries in the world can overrule UN's decisions.

I'm a law graduate, and I studied international law at college. When you do, you can't help but laugh at how farcical international law is. Because the whole principle of international law is based on voluntary adhesion of the countries to an international legal system, and, if they don't adhere, they can't be governed by those laws. Also, since state sovereignity must be respected, what is decided by the UN can and will not be respected by certain countries if they're powerful enough. So it becomes a matter of who's the strongest as opposed to which is the best course of action.

If it depended on the UN alone, the war against Iraq would've never have happened. But the USA is too powerful, both militarily and economically, so they did as they wanted and invaded Iraq. The UN is beautiful in principle, but a joke in reality.
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Old October 24th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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A lot of the UN's solutions are bombing or killing.
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Old October 24th, 2013, 03:47 PM
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Just like any group with political power, the UN would rather squabble amongst itself like children on a playground than actually work towards fixing the world's serious issues and human rights violations.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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^ Watch that for my answer.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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Just like any group with political power, the UN would rather squabble amongst itself like children on a playground than actually work towards fixing the world's serious issues and human rights violations.
But even without the UN, countries would be squabbling among each other anyways. States are sovereign, and that sovereignty - for the most part - should not be violated, and as such most of the decisions made are non-binding. It's something we call world governance - not government - governance is cooperation and our trying to articulate common interests amidst every country being out for themselves.
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  #9    
Old October 26th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Yeah, the UN doesn't have strict standards like the EU when it comes to membership. You just have to be a recognized as an independent country by most of the world and you're in.

I do wish the UN had a little more muscle in the way of enforcement for human rights though.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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I think the UN is more oriented to security and peace versus human rights per se. I mean, the most authoritative body is called the Security Council. They authorize things like sanctions and military action - and that tells us violating a country's security is a very very big deal. At the end of the day, it's a collective organization that is supposed to be a forum in which to articulate the interests of all the states in the world, and the majority don't have human rights as a priority.

I know there's an argument for human security vs. state security, but it's an emerging norm and nobody really know how to figure it out - especially because "enforcing" human rights necessarily means a breach of sovereignty.
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  #11    
Old October 26th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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I like it alot

i mean because practically everyone is involved, it can made people a countries many times rethink or stop it's plan. Its present alone probably has stop countries and nation from even thinking of war in anyway. (like When the USA might have spied a little on Brazil, before that would have been a reason for reverse spying which may lead to war, but now just bring it up in the Conference civilly.)

it also help strengthen bond between nations because of the cooperation (like how two Nations might be teaming up to block out USA's maybe spying) and helps to keep every nation somewhat equal grounds... really glad War isn't an Option (i live in the USA T.T)
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  #12    
Old October 26th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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I think the UN is more oriented to security and peace versus human rights per se. I mean, the most authoritative body is called the Security Council. They authorize things like sanctions and military action - and that tells us violating a country's security is a very very big deal. At the end of the day, it's a collective organization that is supposed to be a forum in which to articulate the interests of all the states in the world, and the majority don't have human rights as a priority.

I know there's an argument for human security vs. state security, but it's an emerging norm and nobody really know how to figure it out - especially because "enforcing" human rights necessarily means a breach of sovereignty.
Yeah, that's not an easy thing to balance. I'm, I don't know what philosophy you'd call it, of the feeling that sovereignty isn't worth anything if you're doing bad stuff with it. Abuse of power. I cynically feel that sometimes we in powerful countries don't do more to help people because we don't want to be responsible for taking care of them in the fallout and we'd rather have some dictator keep things in order so at least there isn't a big mess for us to worry about.
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  #13    
Old October 26th, 2013, 03:36 PM
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Yeah, that's not an easy thing to balance. I'm, I don't know what philosophy you'd call it, of the feeling that sovereignty isn't worth anything if you're doing bad stuff with it. Abuse of power. I cynically feel that sometimes we in powerful countries don't do more to help people because we don't want to be responsible for taking care of them in the fallout and we'd rather have some dictator keep things in order so at least there isn't a big mess for us to worry about.
But that mess is important eh? That mess involves unbearable human suffering.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:49 PM
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But that mess is important eh? That mess involves unbearable human suffering.
KONY FOR PRESIDENT!!! :D

^ This, is pretty much my answer to "letting a dictator handle it".

Sure, monarchic rule is effective for nations that literally are dumps to the point where drinking acid is healthier than drinking water, but we need to pay attention to what rulers those nations have.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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KONY FOR PRESIDENT!!! :D

^ This, is pretty much my answer to "letting a dictator handle it".

Sure, monarchic rule is effective for nations that literally are dumps to the point where drinking acid is healthier than drinking water, but we need to pay attention to what rulers those nations have.
Kony isn't a dictator though, he's a rebel. Also, who are we to tell another country how they should do things?
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Old October 27th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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Kony isn't a dictator though, he's a rebel. Also, who are we to tell another country how they should do things?
You mean in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black kind of way, or any country telling another what they should do? Certainly no country is quite perfect, but we do have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as much as there are people who accuse it of being too Western. But in any case there are human and civil rights that pretty much every country agrees to on a basic level so that's one area where no one should feel bad in pointing to a country that isn't following them.
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Old October 27th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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Well, there are those of us who believe sovereignty isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I don't think any country finds human rights to be bad things per se, they just get in the way. Especially the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, many governments don't respect them until it's worth paying the cost to respect them.
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  #18    
Old October 28th, 2013, 03:34 AM
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I used to respect the existence of the UN, until they decided to make us quit celebrating Sinterklaas, because of so called "Racism".
Really, we have a lot of black people living here, having many Black Piets walking with Sinterklaas is a tradition, and all the black people here even find it awesome it goes like this.
So, where is that "Racism" then?
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Old October 28th, 2013, 05:16 AM
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I used to respect the existence of the UN, until they decided to make us quit celebrating Sinterklaas, because of so called "Racism".
Really, we have a lot of black people living here, having many Black Piets walking with Sinterklaas is a tradition, and all the black people here even find it awesome it goes like this.
So, where is that "Racism" then?
I think you missed the part where they actually closed the investigation on the holiday and told the Dutch "do whatever you want" because the UN has no real power to ban anything anywhere- they were just going to "talk to the PM about the issue", but they just gave up four days ago. Don't worry, nobody is taking your guns celebrations.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...the-Dutch.html
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Old October 28th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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The UN is a conglomerate of many nations, so let's remember that building broad coalitions of several allied member nations isn't the easiest thing to do. The U.N. is only as strong as the nations who make up the bulk of its peacekeeping forces are, and given that the majority of them are western European nations and the United States, all of whom got hammered in the great recession a few years back, it's not really that surprising that the U.N.'s effective has been pretty bad as of late. There's so much else going on right now. Sometimes there's too much talk and not enough action, or there's political and bureaucratic red tape preventing action. We could have intervened in Rwanda, or in Somalia, the Darfur region of Sudan, etc. And in the event of another catastrophe like a Rwanda, I would hope that the UN could get it in gear and help, before another ethnic genocide happens while the western world sits idly.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Great idea, but rather broken and bloated in recent years. Needs to be fixed to remain effective.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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Great idea, but rather broken and bloated in recent years. Needs to be fixed to remain effective.
What parts of it are bloated? I'll admit I'm not terribly well-informed about the UN, but it has programs to fight hunger and poverty and stuff like that seems like it needs more funds if anything.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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The U.N. does not actually have any power in its own right. Its funding comes from the member nations and its military is basically the militaries of those nations. The U.N. can say nothing against the nations in its fold, especially the U.S., since the U.S.'s sponsorship and military power pretty much make it the owner of the U.N.

Due to this, the U.N. doesn't really have any power. It's just a facade of peace orchestrated by the member nations so they can easily justify war on a large scale, like with the War on Terror and now the Somalia Pirates issue.
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