The United Nations What is it how does

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The United Nations What is it, how does it function, and whose interests does

The United Nations What is it, how does it function, and whose interests does it serve?

5 -3 -1 • Take a minute to think about what words come to

5 -3 -1 • Take a minute to think about what words come to mind when you think about the United Nations (UN) • With a partner, come up with five (5) words that best describe the UN • Narrow those five (5) words down to three (3) • Once you have three (3) words, decide which one (1), in your view, best describes the UN • Be prepared to justify your choice

Sovereignty • “The exclusive right to the exercise of force within a given territory

Sovereignty • “The exclusive right to the exercise of force within a given territory and the sole right to raise taxes, pass laws, and represent that territory internationally” • One of the founding principles of the UN is respect for statesovereignty

Self-interest • Sovereign states are like parents – their principal interest is to protect

Self-interest • Sovereign states are like parents – their principal interest is to protect their citizens/family • Like parents, states make cost-benefit analyses when making decisions – e. g. is it good for the family? What are the risks?

The UN: what is it?

The UN: what is it?

The UN: what is it? (cont’d) • An association of governments of sovereign states

The UN: what is it? (cont’d) • An association of governments of sovereign states • NOT a global government • An international forum where leaders of all countries can express their voices and make collective votes on important issues

UN Aims • • • Keep world peace Develop friendly relations among nations Work

UN Aims • • • Keep world peace Develop friendly relations among nations Work to eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy Encourage respect for human rights and freedoms Stop environmental destruction

How does such a large organization function to achieve these aims? • Think of

How does such a large organization function to achieve these aims? • Think of the UN as the human body – it has various organs that serve different roles to help it function • Roles include re-locating refugees, protecting human rights, providing vaccines, medicine and food, and protecting children • UNESCO, UNDP, WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNHCHR, UNIDO, FAO

The General Assembly • It is the UN’s central body, and is made up

The General Assembly • It is the UN’s central body, and is made up of all 192 member states • A “one country-one vote” system • It votes on issues related to peace, security and admission of new members (votes require two-thirds majority)

The General Assembly (cont’d) • Votes are not legally binding, but can make recommendations

The General Assembly (cont’d) • Votes are not legally binding, but can make recommendations to the Security Council • Approves budget of the UN • President of General Assembly is elected every year

General Assembly Observers • The General Assembly allows international organizations, entities and non-member states

General Assembly Observers • The General Assembly allows international organizations, entities and non-member states to observe • Observers can speak in debates, submit proposals and amendments, and raise points of order

The Security Council • The most powerful organ of the UN • Charged with

The Security Council • The most powerful organ of the UN • Charged with maintaining international peace and security • Comprised of fifteen (15) members, five (5) of whom are permanent

The Security Council (cont’d) • Five permanent members: France, U. S. , U. K.

The Security Council (cont’d) • Five permanent members: France, U. S. , U. K. , Russia and China • Each permanent member holds veto power

The Security Council (cont’d) • Remaining ten are elected every two years by the

The Security Council (cont’d) • Remaining ten are elected every two years by the General Assembly • Only body allowed to legally authorize sanctions against a country, and to take military action against a state

Canada and the Security Council • Canada has served on the Security Council for

Canada and the Security Council • Canada has served on the Security Council for six (6) terms (12 years), one of the most out of non-permanent members • It has served every decade and never lost a bid until 2010, when the Harper government withdrew its bid

The Good • • • Millennium Development Goals Vaccines Food and shelter Education Refugee

The Good • • • Millennium Development Goals Vaccines Food and shelter Education Refugee relocation

The Bad • • • Peacekeeping failures in Rwanda, Bosnia, etc. Corruption and bureaucracy

The Bad • • • Peacekeeping failures in Rwanda, Bosnia, etc. Corruption and bureaucracy Power imbalance Oil for Food Scandal Sex abuse by soldiers

Sovereignty

Sovereignty

Top UN Contributors MEMBER STATE CONTRIBUTION (% OF UN BUDGET) United States 22. 0%

Top UN Contributors MEMBER STATE CONTRIBUTION (% OF UN BUDGET) United States 22. 0% Japan 12. 53% Germany 8. 018% United Kingdom 6. 604% France 6. 123 Italy 4. 99% Canada 3. 207% China 3. 189% Spain 3. 177% Mexico 2. 356% Other Member States 27. 797%

Top Contributors to UN Peacekeeping MEMBER STATE NUMBER OF TROOPS Bangladesh 10, 736 Pakistan

Top Contributors to UN Peacekeeping MEMBER STATE NUMBER OF TROOPS Bangladesh 10, 736 Pakistan 10, 691 India 8, 935 Nigeria 5, 709 Egypt 5, 458 Nepal 5, 044 Jordan 3, 826 Ghana 3, 647 Rwanda 3, 635 Uruguay 2, 489 CANADA (50 th) 200 UNITED STATES (70 th) 82 • As of March, 2011, there are 82, 058 troops on the ground around the world • 114 countries are contributing uniformed personnel • Budget from July 2010 to June 2011 is about US$7. 83 billion

Think/Pair/Share • Take a minute to think of possible flaws in the way that

Think/Pair/Share • Take a minute to think of possible flaws in the way that the Security Council and General Assembly are designed • With a partner, share your thoughts and together come up with two (2) possible solutions

Agree or Disagree? Four Corners “Risking lives in the absence of any definable national

Agree or Disagree? Four Corners “Risking lives in the absence of any definable national interest can only lead to overcommitment, to serious damage to relations with other, often far more important governments, and to an erosion of domestic support” -Former U. S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

Agree or Disagree? Four Corners “Sometimes the moral choice isn’t necessarily the legal one.

Agree or Disagree? Four Corners “Sometimes the moral choice isn’t necessarily the legal one. ”