The Role of United Nations in Peace Movement
The Role of United Nations in Peace Movement
Peace is probably as old as humanity and it is our ultimate goal. There is no way to peace, peace is the only way. Peace movement is a significant tool for establishing peace in all over the world and it is very much essential concern in peace studies. Peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war and tries to create positive peace such as social justice, human rights, democracy, protect environment, eradication of poverty, removing illiteracy, refugee settlement and so on. After the bloodshed and destruction of World War II UN was established. Main purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security, to strengthen universal peace and to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems. The United Nation was created to be a comprehensive organization not only in terms of its membership, but also interims of wideness of its competencies.
Each aspect of its works peace keeping, human rights, development cooperation, and environmental protection and so on will be the search for cooperative solutions for economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problem, and the encouragement of behavior that accords with the principle of international law. The main purpose of this article to focus the UN role in peace movement and it covered all the initiatives of United Nations for establishing peace in all over the world through various peace movements. Firstly this paper paying attention on various organs of united nations activities such as Security council : issues of war and peace ,General assembly : the main parliamentary , budget and decision making organ, Economic and social council : quality of life worldwide, International court of justice: adjudication of international legal disputes, General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) ,General Assembly Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) ,Peace building Commission, Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, Disarmament Commission, Conference on Disarmament, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Beside these issues, peace movement is accelerated by the UN subsidiary organizations, such as- the UNDP, the FAO, the UNFPA, the UNICEF, the WHO and so many so on. A large share of this article is engaged by several case studies of the UN peace movements in different parts of the sphere. These case studies are selected in region basis and their degrees of magnitude have tried to show the achievement of the United Nations in case of peace movement and the UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures.
Today we face a world almost infinite promise and or potentially terminal destruction. But peace is the ultimate goal of all human being.The idea of world peace is, in itself, a relatively recent idea. Not so long ago, all over the world every generation had had “its” war. World War I took the lives of more than 9 million people, killing between 20% to 25% of the male population of France and Germany. As for World War II, 55 million people died, including 6 million Jews in the Nazi concentration camps. Faced with the largest catastrophes in human history, men and women around the planet began to dream of a better, peaceful world. After the bloodshed and destruction of World War II, the victorious Allied states pledged that history would not repeat itself and, toward that end, agreed to establish a new global organization that would be set up with the goal of preserving peace among nations. On October 24, 1945, 51 States ratified the United Nations Charter with the hope of freeing our world from the possibility of war. The UN was thus created and equipped with instruments that its predecessor lacked.
The UN established several programs intended to reduce, as much as possible, all the factors leading to outbreaks in conflicts. These programs did not only focus on peace keepers, who intervene after a conflict has erupted, but also on economic and social development, human rights, and the struggle to end world poverty and hunger. Indeed, all of these United Nations programs contribute directly or indirectly to the peace movement and thus to peace on earth. It is certainly true that, in the last 50 years, not everyone in the world has known peace, but it is gradually gaining ground. The dream of peace in the world is becoming less and less utopian and more and more attainable. United Nations is contributing in peace movement through its various activities such as preventive diplomacy, peace keeping mission, peace building measures, peace making process, human rights and humanitarian interventions ,social and economical development process.
Rise of United Nations initiated a great transformation in peace movements. In this paper I have tried to focus peace movement shortly and the role of United Nations in peace movement comprehensively. I think the United Nations cannot, and was never intended to solve all of the problems of international community. However it is the place where we can best hope to avoid the worst of war and establishment of world peace.
A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war (or all wars), minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of achieving world peace. Means to achieve these ends include advocacy of pacifism, non-violent resistance, diplomacy, boycotts, moral purchasing, and supporting anti-war political candidates, creating Open Government and Transparency tools, demonstrations, and National political lobbying groups to create legislation. (www.wikipedia.com) Pope John Paul II said about peace movement “War is defeat for humanity. Only in peace and through peace can respect for human dignity and its inalienable rights be guaranteed.” [Pope John Paul II, world day of peace, January 1.2000]
Pope John Paul II also said about peace movement, “It is only through a conscious choice and through a deliberate policy that humanity can survive.” [Approach to peace, 2000, Page 227] Peace movements have tended to coalesce around goals related to preventing or stopping specific wars, abolishing certain weapons or weapons systems, or opposing military conscription. Peace movements have always had a pacifist dimension, opposing all war. They have also had a radical, socialist, or liberal dimension that critiqued the links of capitalism to imperialism and militarism. Often there was a commitment to refusing to participate in specific wars. The political left—anarchist, syndicalism, social democrat, Marxist—has often taken antiwar and antimilitarist stances, often in alliance with more traditional peace groups. Peace movement is a social movement. In sense of positive peace it covers human rights, democracy, social justice, human security, and social, economic and political development. Types of peace movement:
There are various types of peace movement such as Religious pacifism, liberal internationalism, anti conscription, socialist internationalism, feminist anti militarism, ecological pacifism, communist internationalism, nuclear pacifism. Peace movements may be divided into three categories
Movement to eliminate war in general
movement to stop particular aspects of war
Movement to stop particular war
(David P. Barash, Charles P.Webel:2002)
Transformation of peace movement:
In 19th century Peace Movement was viewed as “Peace Movement is efforts to utter the foreign and military policy of government and is organized by private citizen usually in constitutionally governed nation”. Wikipedia says “A Peace Movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war (or all wars), minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of achieving world peace. ……..advocacy of pacifism, non-violent resistance, diplomacy, boycotts, moral purchasing, and supporting anti-war political candidates, creating Open Government and Transparency tools, demonstrations, and National political lobbying groups to create legislation……..the common goal of peace and humane sustainability”.
The Peace movement is primarily characterized by a belief that humans should not wage war on each other or engage in violent ethnic cleansings over language, race or natural resources or ethical conflict over religion or ideology. Long-term opponents of war preparations are primarily characterized by a belief that military power is not the equivalent of justice. The more mainstream technology critics such as the Green parties, Greenpeace and the ecology movement they are part of. In the 20th century, it is one of several movements that led to the formation of Green Party political associations in many democratic countries. The peace movement has a very strong influence in some countries’ green parties, such as in Germany, perhaps reflecting that country’s negative experiences with militarism in the 20th century.
Objectives and purposes of the Peace movement:
To create the consciousness of world peace
To faster friendship and harmony among the people
To achieve disarmament and total elimination of all biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in the entire world. To purify and maintain a clean and ecological balanced environment To alleviate poverty and hunger
To improve the healthy, educated and living conditions of peace on earth. To promote and protect human rights.
To assure international justice and universal human rights by world government. What is the United Nations?
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization or gathering of sovereign states, founded in the closing days of the Second World War. Its Charter was adopted and signed on 26 June 1945 by 51 founding members. Of these, 4 were from Africa (Ethiopia, Egypt, Liberia and South Africa). Membership to the United Nations is open to all peace-loving nations that accept the principles and obligations set out in its Charter. With the surge in decolonization, many states gained their independence and admission to the UN; and as a result membership rose from 51 in 1945 to 192 in 2010.
The United Nations System
The UN is a three-tiered system of independent inter-governmental organizations, related uniquely with each other. Allow me to briefly sketch the interdependent parts of the United Nations. It has six (6) principal organs.
Figure: United Nations system
Purposes’ and principles of UN:
We can easily guess the inspiration of peace movement of UN through its purposes and principles. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are: To maintain international peace and security
To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples: To cooperate in solving international economic , social,, culture and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these common ends. The United Nations acts in accordance with the following principles: It is based on the sovereign equality of all as members;
All members are to fulfills in good faith their charter obligations; they are settle their international disputes by peaceful means and without enduring international peace and security and justice; They are to refrain from the threat or use of force against any other state ; They are to give the United nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the charter and shall not assist states against which the United nations is taking preventive or enforcement action; Nothing in the charter is to authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. Characteristics of UN peace movement:
United Nations works for international peace and security
It cooperates in solving international economic, social ,cultural and humanitarian problems United Nations develops friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights It creates the consciousness of world peace
It works for promoting and protecting human rights in all over the world
United Nations can take preventive measures and enforcement action for peace United Nations covers whole objectives and purposes of peace movement, from antiwar movement to sustainable and durable peace process. It works for international justice
United nations peace movement is a collective action plan and efforts of all member states Every initiatives of UN somehow is involved in peace process United Nations has a great acceptance in all over the world and it can take actions easily than others. Dissimilarity of UN peace movement from others organization: It is a universal organization
It has vast work of actions
It involves more than190 states
UN not only works for anti war but also works for peaceful settlements and post conflict situation. Only UN can use force for peace process
UN has straightforward access in all over the world but others organizations cannot get this. UN and its various specialized organ work effectively of their own sectors for peace such as UNESCO, UNICE, UNDP, UNHCR, FAO, WHO etc. Others organization works for single issues but UN covers huge areas of peace such as Millennium Development Goals, human rights, anti war movements, peaceful settlements etc Only United Nations uses the collective security approach for establishing peace and minimizing war. Only UN uses peacemaking, peace keeping and peace building process. UN secretary general and various organs won noble peace prizes, it proves the specialty of UN incase of peace movement. The UN is the largest multilateral contributor to post-conflict stabilization worldwide. Only the United States deploys more military personnel to the field than the United Nations.
There are almost 110,000 serving on 20 peace operations led by the UN Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS) on four continents directly impacting the lives of hundreds of millions of people. The UN does not have its own military force; it depends on contributions from Member States. As of 31 March 2008, 118 countries contributed military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. More than 77,000 of those serving were troops and military observers and about 11,000 were police personnel. In addition, there were more than 5,000 international civilian personnel, 12,000 local civilian staff and some 2,000 UN Volunteers from over 160 nations. Women are increasingly performing key leadership functions in peacekeeping: between February 2007 and January 2008, there was an increase of over 40% of women serving in peacekeeping
UN approaches to preventing and managing conflicts
Figure: Approaches of UN peace movement
Collective security- theory and practice where by all states thwart an aggressor state by joining together against the aggressor. Attempts to prevent the outbreak of conflict, but if an attack occurs, aggressor is met with force. Preventive diplomacy-practice of engaging in diplomatic intervention before the outbreak of conflict and monitoring hot spots through the use of peace keeping forces or surveillance technology. Peaceful settlement- various techniques by which disputes are settled, such as adjudication, arbitration, mediation, conciliation and good officers. Peacemaking- efforts of bring parties to agreement.
Peacekeeping- the use of multilateral forces to achieve several, different objectives: observation of truce and ceasefire lines; separation of forces, promotion of law and order; provision of humanitarian aid and intervention. Peace building- post conflict activities to strengthen and preserve peace, such as development aid , civilian administration and human rights and election monitoring. Enforcement measures – direct actions taken to ensure compliance with UN measures, such as imposition of economic sanctions, banning of air flights or communications, and use of force. Arms control and Disarmament- efforts to persuade states to limit reduce or eliminate specific types of weapons. [Source- Based on discussion in Mingst and karns, 2000, p 76] Role of Security Council in peace movement:
Security Council plays a key role in peace movement in all over the world. Collective security which is very much important for peace movement was adopted by Security Council. The UN’s role in international collective security is defined by the UN Charter, which gives the Security Council the power to: Investigate any situation threatening international peace;
Recommend procedures for peaceful resolution of a dispute;
Call upon other member nations to completely or partially interrupt economic relations as well as sea, air, postal, and radio communications, or to sever diplomatic relations; Enforce its decisions militarily, or by any means necessary; Avoid conflict and maintain focus on cooperation.
Economic and Social Council and peace movement:
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. This council set down Millennium Development Goals which are very much important for Social and economic development and it is a great effort of UN peace movement in all over the world.
Figure: Millennium Development Goals
International court of justice:
Its purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference and ethnic cleansing, among others, and continues to hear cases .(http://www.icj-cij.org/court/index.)International court of justice is playing a good role for promoting justice in all over the world. Such as International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
Special Court for Sierra Leone
Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Human rights and humanitarian assistance:
The pursuit of human rights was a central reason for creating the UN. The UN Charter obliges all member nations to promote “universal respect for, and
observance of, human rights” and to take “joint and separate action” to that end. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, though not legally binding, was adopted by the General Assembly in 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all. The Assembly regularly takes up human rights issues. The purpose of the United Nations Human Rights Council, established in 2006, is to address human rights violations. The Council is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which was often criticized for the high-profile positions it gave to member states that did not guarantee the human rights of their own citizens. UN Bodies for human rights
A common framework of action:
It is possible to find out a common framework action in the UN operations for peace.
This figure shows how actions of the UN take place one after another.
The United Nations and peacemaking :
The term “peacemaking” is used in several different ways. According to the UN, peacemaking is “action to bring hostile parties to agreement, essentially through such peaceful means as those foreseen in Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations; Pacific Settlement of Disputes. In this sense, peacemaking is the diplomatic effort intended to move a violent conflict into nonviolent dialogue, United Nations peacemaking is an extension of the parties’ own efforts to manage their conflict. When they cannot, the parties, the Security Council or the General Assembly may call upon the United Nations Secretary General to exercises his “Good Offices” to facilitate the resolution of the conflict. The Secretary General may also undertake independent peacemaking initiatives by offering his “Good Offices” to parties to resolve the conflict in a peaceful way.
In An Agenda for Peace, former United Nations Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali defined peacemaking as “action to bring hostile parties to agreement, essentially through such peaceful (means as those foreseen in Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations; Pacific Settlement of Disputes.” These actions are carried out during a conflict, violent or latent. They entail the diplomatic process of brokering an end to conflict, principally through the use of mediation and negotiation skills. United Nations Peacemaking excludes the use of force, unless imposed action is taken by the Security Council to facilitate the peacemaking process. [www.un.org/peacemaker)
The United Nations and Peacekeeping:
Keeping the Peace, the UN Mission
The UN Security Council is the main organization of the United Nations dedicated to the resolution of conflicts and peacekeeping. Peacekeeping missions allow the Security Council to watch over the cease-fire and participate in the creation of conditions for peace. On a few rare occasions, the Security Council has authorized member States to use all the necessary means to keep the peace, including collective military action. General Indar Jit Rktye, the former president of the International Peace Academy who has participated in several peacekeeping missions, defines peace keeping as being “the prevention, limitation, moderation and cessation of hostilities between or within States due to the intervention of a third party, which is organized and directed at the international level and which calls upon military, police and civilian personnel to restore peace.” United Nations Peacekeeping System Hierarchy
The United Nations and Peace building:
Peace building is defined as the medium to long term process of rebuilding war affected communities through identifying and supporting structure to consolidate peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict peace building currently includes the process of rebuilding the political, security, social and economic dimensions of societies emerging from conflict. this includes addressing the root causes of conflicts and promoting social and economic justice, as well as putting in place political structure of governance and rule of the law in order to consolidate reconciliation, reconstruction and development. Peace building further involves demobilization, disarmament and reintegration, as well as security sector reform. It is critical to ensure the UN commitment to peace building in Africa since there are currently ten key war affected and post conflict countries on the continent including Angol,Burundi cote d’Ivorie,the DRC,Liberia, Mozambique,Sierra Leon Sudan and western sahara.
The map following map is a of all the current UN mission:
The United Nations Peace building Fund (PBF) which promotes peace movement: The Peace building Fund is a multi-year standing trust fund for post-conflict peace building, established in 2006 by the Secretary General at the request of the General Assembly with an initial funding target of $250 million. The fund was established out of the recognition that among the impediments to successful peace building is the scarcity of resources, most notably financial resources. The fund aims therefore to extend critical support during the early stages of a peace process. Country
Burundi Government Peace building Fund priority plan, namely governance, the security sector, justice and human rights, and land issues.
good governance, security and justice sector reform, youth employment and empowerment, and capacity-building Côte d’Ivoire
build confidence between ex-belligerents of the Ivorian conflict and contribute to the implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, leading to the organization of free and fair elections Central African Republic
to support political dialogue, including a period of mediation by
international facilitators, between the Government, civil society members, opposition political parties and armed opposition groups
Source : http://www.unpbf.org
Expenditures for PKOs also have increased dramatically as depicted in Figure 1 Moreover, many operations have become multidimensional to include PK, peace enforcement (PE), support of elections, and humanitarian aid. The type of conflict also has changed – intra-state conflicts with transnational effects, such as the conflicts in Bosnia and Rwanda
The Other UN Organizations That Contribute to Peace : There are other UN organizations that help promote a culture of peace and this is very much important for peace movement to bring peace in all over the world.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund (www.unicef.org), helps to protect the rights of children. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund (www.unfpa.org), also helps to promote a culture of peace WHO, the World Health Organization (www.who.int), promotes scientific cooperation in health matters, FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (www.fao.org), which sets up programs to help foster greater agricultural productivity, UNESCO designated as Focal Point which are very much important for peace movement in all over the world. Eight action areas of UNESCO which are very much significant for UN peace movement: Fostering a culture of peace
Promoting sustainable economic and social development. .
Promoting respect for all human rights by distributing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Ensuring equality between women and men
Fostering democratic participation by.
Advancing understanding, tolerance and solidarity
Supporting participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge Promoting international peace and security
All of these UN programs are attempting, with the means that are available to them, to prevent conflicts and have a world that is free of violence. However, it will be some time before we reach this enviable state on our planet. This being true, the UN will have to continue to separate belligerents by intervening through peacekeeping missions. The UN peace agreements:
The UN actively participated in different peace agreements between or among contending parties or nations. Actually the UN hardly a party of any accord but everywhere its key role is to facilitate the conflicting parties so that they can reach in an agreement and can be able to implement the agreement. As study shows two thirds of world conflicts, at one stage, or another have come to concern of the UN, some conflicts have actually ended through a decision in the SC. This is rare, but it was way the Iran-Iraq War was terminated (Wallensteen: 2002). Through some other ways like mediation, negotiation, SG’s good office agreements came into reality in the past. Peace agreements facilitated by the UN have concluded many conflicts. It is necessary to say, that the UN and its subsidiary organizations cooperate actively with other organizations those who are also parties. To settle Rwanda and Burundi conflict the UN cooperated with African Union and in Balkan conflict the UN cooperated actively with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Commission (EC). Individual initiative of Secretary General:
The role of the Secretary General has grown with the passage of time and the office has now become the focus of multilateral diplomacy to resolve disputes among states. Hammarskjold’s efforts eliminate danger of war between the US and China in the 50s. U Thant’s intervention prevented full scale war between the US and the Soviet Union in 1962 on Cuba The efforts of Prewz de Cueller scaled down the Falkland’s War in 1982 Kofi Anan’s diplomatic efforts averted a crisis between the US and Iraq in 1998 in inspection of sites in Iraq relating to weapons of mass destruction. He proposed a number of priority areas in his Millennium Report Freedom from want
Freedom from fear and
Boutros Boutros Ghali’s agenda for peace in 1992
19 January 2010 – The Security Council backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to increase the overall force levels of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts following devastating earthquake. Following his visit to the capital, Port-au-Prince, Mr. Ban asked the Council for an additional 1,500 police officers and 2,000 troops to reinforce the mission, known as MINUSTAH, to augment its 9,000 uniformed personnel already on the ground. Noble Peace Prize: Achievement of UN in peace movement:
Both the organizations of the United Nations and staffs specially the Secretary General gained noble peace prize. In 1965 United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) obtained noble prize for its contribution to build a safer world for children. In 1969 International Labor Organization gained Noble prize in peace for its active contribution to establish dignity of labor and to protect laborers rights all over the world. In 1981 United Nations High Commission for refugees awarded by noble peace prize for its significant humanitarian assistance to refugee and internally displaced people. In 1988 United Nations Peacekeeping Forces received noble peace prize for its role in peace establishment in different parts of the world. At last in 2001, United Nations and SG Kofi Anan awarded with noble peace prize. UNITED NATIONS ACTIONS FOR PEACE IN VARIOUS REGIONS OF THE WORLD A FEW CASE STUDIES:
The UN role in Haiti
A military coup dislodged the legitimate government of president Jean Bernard Aristide in 1991. President fled the country. In 1993 the UN under Chapter vii decided to restore the legitimate government by “all possible means”. The US then landed troops and restored the Aristide government. Thereafter the UN sent peace keeping troops to take over from the US forces. The UN continued its programs to build up a new police force and a small army after election in 1996 in Haiti, the UN ended its peace keeping mission in 1997.
The UN again has been involved in peace keeping mission in the country since 2004.(Harun ur Rashid,2005) After 2004, through resolution 1529 the SC authorized the immediate deployment of Multinational Interim Force (MIF). Under the SC resolution 1542, United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) established. It is working now for the positive change in political environment in Haiti (UN: 2008). Since June 2004 to December 2008 strength of MINUSTAH was- troops- 7,036; police- 2,053; international civilian- 492; local civilian- 1,211; UN volunteer- 210 and in total 11,002 personnel. Fatalities recorded 39 and approved budget is 07/08-09/06 $601.58 million (Year In Review: 2008).
Burundi peace process
Initially the UN had little role to mitigate Burundi conflict. Despite some comments from the SC and SG, direct intervention in terms of peacekeeping force was absent. Even in 2003, when conflict intensified the UN withdraw its non essential staffs from Bujumbura. Were it is mandatory to say that, the AU played very significant role to mitigate the conflict. Till December 31 2008, BINUB was lead by Executive Representative of the SG: Youssef Mahmoud (Tunisia). The strength if this mission was –International civilian -117, local civilian -213, military observer -8, police -12, and the UN volunteer -50. BINUB is one of the most important political or peace building missions directed and supported by the Department of peace building operations.
The UN’s current initiatives in ME
Currently the UN has three different missions in ME. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is working in Lebanon. Strength of this mission is , troops – 12,435; international civilian – 317; local civilian – 640 and in total 13,392 personnel are working there. Recorded fatalities are 279 and approves budget is 07/08-06/09 $680.93 million. There are two peacebuilding missions in ME and Lebanon. The office of the United Nations Coordinator for Middle East (UNSCO) and Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) are working since 1 October 1991 and 16 February 2007 respectively ( Year In Review: 2008). UN role of peace movement in Guinea_ Bissau:
Guinea_ Bissau- ECOMOG provided security for humanitarian assistance in Guinea_ Bissau. Following the signing of an agreement in Nigeria’s Capital, Abuja, in November 1998, observers were deployed in a buffer zone between warring parties along with the border Guinea- Bissau and Senegal. Prompting the fight of 200,000 returned refugees.
UN role of peace movement in West Africa:
In the case of west Africa,15 years after the end of the cold war, the security council authorized the deployment of 40,000 troops to Sierra Leone(1999),Liberia(2003),and cote divorce(2004),with a mandate initially to observe, and later, to keep and maintain peace in conflict situations where the political will to sustain such interventions was questionable.56 in the case of sierra Leone, the un experiences were defined by differences of approach between the un mission in Sierra Leone(UNAMSIL)and Britain –sierra Leone former colonial power-in how to address the conflict. The struggle between London and sub regional hegemony Nigeria which had led an ECOWAS mission in the country between 1997 and 1999 for control in mediating the dispute also had a negative impact on UNAMSIL effectiveness. In addition, there were internal divisions within UNAMASIL on how to manage the conflict.
French interests in managing dispute also affected the UN peacekeeping mission cote d Ivory the UN experience of peace keeping in west Africa demonstrated the tension as well as the potential involved in establishing a powerful partnership between UN actors and regional organization in Africa. of the observer mission 368 military observers were authorized to be deployed to Liberia (UNOMIL) and 192 to sierra Leone(United Nations observer Mission in sierra Leone,(UNOMSIL).In terms of peacekeeping missions, the United Nation mission in sierra Leone grew from 6000 (1999)to 20000 the United Nations Mission in Liberia totaled 15000 and the United Nations mission in cote d Ivory had 9183 total uniform personnel in 2007. UN role of peace movement in WEST Sahara:
In western Sahara the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)has been present in the territory since April1991,observing a ceasefire between the government of Morocco and the Frente popular Para la Liberian de Sangria el Harm y Rio de Oro (Frente POLISARIO)to date, this UN peace keeping mission has been successful in maintaining a ceasefire in the region, which has been occupied by Morocco since 1975.However,the Moroccan government, backed by France and the US, has continued to stall over the date of referendum to determine the wishes of the people of Western Sahara. Balkan conflict:
The Balkan region is the main conflicting region in Europe. Conflict mainly centralized in former Yugoslavian Federation. Yugoslavia was a founding member of the UN in 1945. Since the Second World War, under the leadership of Joseph Martial Tito it protected its unity among six republics viz. Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. And two other additional autonomous regions of Vojvodina and Kosovo- Metohija located within Serbia included in the new federation. Thus it is obvious that the then Yugoslavia contained numerous national and ethnic groups (Cronobrnja: 1994). Former Yugoslavia:
The ethnic conflicts in Yugoslavia began in 1992 and the UN began to approve a number of resolutions that eventually numbered more than 100 to deal with situation,. The UN together with the European negotiated with parties and the UN sent a UN Protection Force, first to Croatia and then to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The contingent included 14,ooo soldiers however ethnic conflicts turned into genocide or “ethnic cleansing” in Croatia and Bosnia_ Herzegovina. In 1995 the UN permitted NATO to carry out air attacks on targets in Bosnia. In 1999 NATO attacked Yugoslavia to halt “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo. (Harun ur Rashid,2005) In 1993 the UN created a criminal tribunal to try to those accused of “ethnic cleansing”. The trial of former president of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic accused of master minding”ethnic cleansing” began in 2002 and it would end by 2004. The UN has begun supervising the administration in Kosovo
Success and failure of UN peace movement:
United Nations cannot, and was never intended to solve all of the problems of international community. However it is the place where we can best hope to avoid the worst of war and establishment of world peace. Though United Nations is working for global peace and prosperity UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures and also is being honored for its success. According to a 1999 international Gallup poll, less than half of respondents thought the performance of the United Nations was satisfactory. Failure of United Nations peace movement:
The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions, an issue that stems from the UN’s intergovernmental nature—seen by some as simply an association of 192 member states who must reach consensus, not an independent organization. Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Failure to provide humanitarian aid and intervene in the Second Congo War, Failure to intervene in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and protect a refugee haven by the authorizing the peacekeepers to use force, Failure to deliver food to starving people in Somalia,
Failure to implement provisions of Security Council resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Continuing failure to prevent genocide or provide assistance in Darfur. UN is not playing a proper role in Afghanistan and Iraq, peace making process is weak in position. UN peacekeepers have also been accused of child rape, sexual abuse or soliciting prostitutes during various peacekeeping missions, starting in 2003, in the Congo, Haiti, Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti to be repatriated after claims they paid prostitutes”. (International Herald Tribune. 2007-11-02.) In 2004, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold criticized what it called the organization’s moral relativism in the face of (and occasional support of) ( Gold, 216-217)genocide and terrorism that occurred between the moral clarity of its founding period and the present day. Gold specifically mentions Yasser Arafat’s 1988 invitation to address the General Assembly as a low point in the UN’s history.( Gold, 38)
There has been criticism that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear club Another criticism of the Security Council involves the veto power of the five permanent nations; a veto from any of the permanent members may cripple any possible UN armed or diplomatic response to a crisis. Another concern is that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are five of the top ten largest arms dealing countries in the world. (Global Issues – The arms trade is big business by Anup Shah. Retrieved 15 January 2010.) Successes of United Nations in peace movement:
The following are some of the successes of the UN:
Promoting international relations and diplomacy over the last fifty years. Ensuring that international agreements are implemented by the member states. Promoting cooperation among various countries, especially within the south. Tackling common problems together, which in the end foster cooperation The River Blindness Control Program in West Africa has fostered cooperation among 11 West African states. Secondly, immunization campaigns by WHO and UNICEF of children under five years have reached over 80% of the world’s children who are under five years. Thirdly, the UN has been instrumental in the eradication of smallpox. Helping African countries to prepare regional forecasts and analysis of socio-economic indicators among African countries, normally done by the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Raising public awareness through organizing international conferences, environment(Rio),
Human Settlement (Istanbul),
the plight of children (New York).
Supporting the decolonization of more than 80 nations, which were formerly under colonial rule and some were under UN Trusteeship arrangements. These nations gained independence and joined the UN as sovereign states. Promoting technical assistance in various fields to its member states in the third world. Currently, there are many development and humanitarian activities, which the UN is funding all over the developing countries. Providing shelter and relief to millions of refugees from war and persecution, and supporting the repatriation and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons.
An Evaluation of UN peace movement:
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations at the end of World War II. The entire planet had been scarred by the ravages of that war, and millions of lives had been lost. The survivors, led by the United States, pledged to end this scourge and created the United Nations to preserve the peace. “We believe that the United Nations has made a major contribution to world peace, although there have been disappointments along the way. The fact is that we did not have a third world war despite the titanic struggle between the free world and the Communist bloc during those years. The fact is that the number of state-to-state conflicts in the last half of the 20th century was half that of the first half without the United Nations.” (Jim Van de Water February 24, 2005)
The process of creating world peace requires cooperative effort. The United Nations is a voluntary association of member states – not a world government, which can readily force cooperation. The 51 original signatories to the United Nations Charter have now grown to 191 members, each having its own economy, language and culture. Given the number and diversity of states, the wonder is not that there have been problems in the peace process but rather that there has been so much success. The problem is that we tend to remember failures and discount success. We remember Rwanda and forget successful operations in El Salvador, Mozambique and Nambia. We focus on Kosovo, where the U.N. mission met stiff resistance, and forget Cyprus, where the United Nations has preserved the peace since 1964.
We remember the disaster in Somalia and forget the mission in Kashmir, where the “blue hats” of the United Nations have played a role in keeping the peace between the nuclear powers of India and Pakistan since 1949. Today, there are 18 peacekeeping missions in the world with more requests for new missions than the United Nations can handle. If U.N. peacekeeping has failed, why does this demand exist? It is important to remember the context in which the United Nations struggled for peace over the last 60 years. Historians will look at the last half of the 20th century and mark it as the period when the world largely ended more than 300 years of colonial rule. Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, 80 nations and more than 750 million people were freed from the shackles of colonial oppression and exploitation. These emerging nations also needed assistance from the world community to survive. The United Nations provided much of that assistance through its specialized agencies and programs. UNICEF, for example, arranged for assistance to hundreds of million of children over the last 60 years.
Last year UNICEF gathered more than $700 million in supplies for children; operated safe water and sanitation programs in 90 countries; and served as the principle agency providing aid to the 13 million children in Africa orphaned by the AIDS pandemic. This year it was the agency the world turned to to provide much of the leadership needed to bring aid to victims of the Asian tsunami. The poor and disadvantaged, however, are not the only beneficiaries of cooperative U.N. action. The U.N.’s World Health Organization is critical to the entire world’s “health security.” No sensible observer of the international scene discounts the value of its work in the fight to end polio; or deal with the AIDS crisis or the contributions it has made to control diseases such as smallpox and malaria. One only need consider the fact that the deadly SARS epidemic in China has been contained to know the value of this organization. Or consider the work of the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization to stabilize and improve the world economy to the benefit of everyone.
Could we do without any of these agencies, which are part of the U.N. family, or for that matter, could we do without other lesser known agencies. Who would do the work of UNESCO to foster cooperative scientific and cultural programs? Who would provide the cooperative framework for ensuring safe air travel if we did not have the U.N.’s Civil Aviation Agency? Who would do the work of the International Postal Union, which arranges co-operative agreements for international mail delivery? What agency would provide the coordination agreements that put the WW in the World Wide Web if we did not have the International Telecommunications Agency? We need the United Nations for all of these peacekeeping and humanitarian functions, and we need to be thoughtful about our criticism of the United Nations. Recent questions about the relevance of the United Nations are misguided. The oil-for-food program in Iraq, a focal point of the recent attacks, was a flawed program from its inception. Yet despite its flaws, it worked by keeping U.N. oil trading sanctions in place. It thus prevented Saddam Hussein from fully rearming his military forces; developing weapons of mass destruction and providing significant assistance to terrorists. U.S. officials who helped negotiate the deal with Saddam have stated that the choice was between allowing some leakage or having no embargo at all.
International support for the oil embargo was waning due to civilian casualties resulting from malnutrition and disease. A device was needed to provide food and medicine to Iraq. Saddam was willing to let this to occur only if he could have some control of the program. A deliberate decision was made to meet his demands and accept the likely risk of corruption to keep the embargo in place. It was the right decision. The flawed nature of the program and other considerations should also be taken into account when judging the actions of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. First, much of the management of oil-for-food program was outside of his direct control and under Committee 661 of the Security Council. Second, there were not enough resources within the Secretariat to adequately audit and monitor the program, and member states did not want to provide additional resources. Third, member states have always strictly limited the power of the secretary-general.
He is simply not the CEO of the entire United Nations either theoretically or practically, and this reality is abundantly evident in the administration of the oil-for-food program. Fourth, although the interim Volker report has found evidence of some corruption by U.N. officials and criticized implementation of the program, it did not find evidence of widespread or systemic corruption or wrongdoing by the secretary-general. If it is found that the secretary-general or any U.N. official is guilty of wrongdoing, we should take appropriate action. But fairness demands proof. Constructive criticism leading to thoughtful reform of the United Nations may be needed, but let’s wait for the final Volker report before we act. Concluding remarks:
In the era of globalization Peace movement becomes a wide-reaching movement and it is very much appropriate to lead this movement by internationally recognized organizations, United Nations is the best one of them. Peace processes do not emerge from a vacuum. They need conscious decisions, initial steps, fresh analysis and risk taking (Darby: 2003).The united nation is a unique institution of concerted action for peace movement. The UN agencies have come a long way in alleviating sufferings of the poor. International cooperation, humanitarian action, peace keeping and post conflict peace building and human rights are some of the goals the UN has been trying to achieve for almost six decades. Despite its limitations its record on peace movement areas has been noteworthy and UN has a lot of contribution in peace movement.
The United Nations cannot, and was never intended to solve all of the problems of international community. However it is the place where we can best hope to avoid the worst of war and establishment of world peace. As the most universal and most representative organization in the world, the United Nations must play the central role to deal with the new challenges of peace movement and it should take more initiatives to resolve the conflicting issues in all over the world for bringing peace which is the ultimate goal of peace loving people.
Barash David P.,2000;Approaches to peace ;Oxford University Press: New York Barash David P., Webel Charles P.;Introduction to peace and conflict studies ;Sage publications, California Darby, John(s) ed. 2003; Cotemporary Peace Making; Palgrave Macmillan Press; New York. The Unied Nations Today; 2008; Published by United Nations Department of Public Information ; New York. Rahid Harun ur; introduction to peace and conflict studies; University press, Dhaka Unied Nations Peace Operation : Year In Review; 2008; Published by United Nations Department of Public Information ; New York. The Unied Nations Today; 2008; Published by United Nations Department of Public Information ; New York. International Herald Tribune. 2007-11-02.)
Global Issues – The arms trade is big business by Anup Shah. Retrieved 15 January 2010 Jim Van de Water
February 24, 2005.sUnion-Tribune Publishing Co