OBSERVATION: UN Exhausted Its Relevance

OBSERVATION: UN Exhausted Its Relevance
  • PublishedDecember 1, 2023

AFTER the First World War which broke out between 1914-1918, the necessity to construct a world intergovernmental organisation whose main duty would be maintenance of world peace and security became imperative. 

Hence, on January 10, 1920, the League of Nations was founded as first organisation to play that role – forestall a repeat of World War. Within the space of two decades however, it failed in its primary responsibility as the World War II broke out between 1939-1945 and by 1946, the League of Nations ceased to exist, having been succeeded by a new organisation – United Nations.

Before its final extinction, on 25 April, fifty nations had met in San Francisco, California, for a conference to draft the UN Charter which was adopted two months later-25 June, 1945. This charter was built on four core areas – Peace and Security; Human Rights; The Rule of Law; and Development. There was Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is a document that is a worldwide standard for rights, freedom and equality of every individual globally.

There are thirty articles on this Universal Declaration of Human Rights which accord civil and political rights such as right to life, liberty, free speech, right to education, right to organise and to be treated fairly and right to privacy, among others to every human being no matter who he/she is and where he/she lives.

However, under the UN watch, these articles have been serially, violently violated with impunity by the west led by United States. It is instructive to note that end of the World War II resulted into emergence of bipolar world between United States leading the west and Soviet Union leading the eastern bloc. The two super power houses had distinct ideologies. Soviet Union with its eastern bloc sought to promote communism where means of production are collectively owned and private property is severely curtailed, giving premium to the social welfare of the people while US and its western bloc promoted bourgeois democracy and capitalism where means of production are privately owned to promoting profit and private property of a few over the welfare of the majority.

Until the beginning of rapid disruption of Soviet Union in 1989 under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev and its eventual collapse in 1991/92, the bipolar world was divided into these two ideological lines while weak countries, mostly in Africa, subscribed to Non Aligned Movement – receiving supports from the two blocs without aligning to either. With the collapse of cold war and emergence of US as the sole super power, the world has consistently been threatened of wars mostly engineered by US with flagrant disobedience to UN resolutions and Universal Declarations, making unipolar world order consistently in disorder with unprecedented escalation of regional conflicts and widespread deadly terrorism. There are many examples to attest to this fact but few will suffice because of limited space. 

Cold war is a state of conflict between nations that does not necessarily involve direct military action but pursuit of economic and political propaganda and sometimes, proxy wars by surrogates. That was the situation between Soviet Union and US immediately after the World War II till 1991.

On March 20 till 1st May 2003, United States with its allied forces invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein regime based on unverified allegation of building and accumulating Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) which was a threat to world peace. WMD means nuclear, biological, chemical and long-range ballistic missiles.

To justify Iraq attack during assemblage of US allied forces, Mr. Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister, publicised an “intelligence” reports, claiming that Iraqi missiles could be readied within 45 minutes to hit UK targets in the Eastern Mediterranean. To ascertain these allegations and claims, the UN had sent its weapon inspectors and that of International Energy Authority to Iraq for verifications. US didn’t, however, wait for the inspectors’ reports before it invaded Iraqi, ousted Saddam Hussein and murdered him. Eventually, international inspectors’ reports said Iraq didn’t have significant WMD capability as at the time of invasion by US and allied forces – lies and baseless allegations!

The real reason behind Iraqi invasion has to do with control of Iraqi Oil Wealth and Domination of Middle East Businesses. President George Bush government orchestrated the plans to invade Iraq based on public deception and fragrant violation of International Rules simply because it saw Iraq as part of its defined “axis of evil” along with Iran and North Korea.

Although Muammar Gaddafi collaborated with US during Iraqi invasion by allowing it use Libya as a base to launch offensives, the US used the upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011 to spur civil wars, first in Libya and later Syria, again for its strategic interest in the Middle East and North Africa. Under the guise of humanitarianism, human rights and enthronement of democracy as a cloak for its predatory interest, US-NATO launched attacks to overthrow and kill Gaddafi to enthrone a government directly under its control.  Up till date, the country and region has been in turmoil with regular destruction of infrastructures and lives with Libya jugular under the iron fist of US.

Assuming that HAMAS did wrong in launching multi-programmed invasion on Israel from the Gaza Strip on 7th October, 2023, can’t Hamas be neutralised without carnage of innocent lives of children, women and civilian in Gaza? Gaza Strip has been under Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) authority since 2007 and faced with years of conflicts, poverty and humanitarian crises. UN has been rendered helpless in resolving the war and daily carnage, especially civilians. Genocide is being committed under the watch of UN without clearly articulated response. It is obvious that it has become a tool for hegemony and imperialist domination as its Security Council is rendered impotent and General Assembly even more irrelevant.

UN failure is not recent. In 1960, United States imposed economic and trade embargo against Cuba. Despite the majority votes of states at the UN General Assembly against it, year after year, with only US and Israel voting against and Ukraine abstaining, the embargo subsists. What was Cuba offence? Aftermath of the 1959 revolution and ascendancy of Comrade Fidel Castro to power and socio-economic reforms with increased cooperation with Soviet Union, US severed relations with Cuba since January 1961.

For six decades, US has continued with economic, commercial and financial embargo that has caused harmful and negative impact on Cuba overall human development as it has denied it access to market, basic medicine and food, international aid and cooperation, technology transfer, cultural, sport and scientific relations, all which counter efforts to sustainable development.

Assuming US sees Cuba relations with Soviet Union a threat, couldn’t that have evaporated after the collapse of the Soviet Unions? Why sustaining the blockade till date, despite yearly majority votes of the General Assembly against it in post-Soviet era, as it was before it?

There are litanies of crimes against humanity committed under the full glare of UN without response once US imperialism is involved as direct or indirect beneficiary of the proceeds of chaos and genocide. This situation can no longer be condoned by majority of long-suffering humanity yearning for an equitable, humane and just world order. There is an urgent need for a new world order where human lives and dignity will be valued with equality of all men and women within sovereign nations to determine how they want to live once it doesn’t negatively affect other sovereign states.

With their capabilities and orientations, Russia and China could initiate halt of institutionalised inequality, double standard, hypocrisy and might is right by initiating and advocating the exit of nations that subscribe to equal rights and justice for all from the UN and its replacement with a more human and humane global intergovernmental organisation where the interest of the weak could be protected with assured world peace and tranquillity. 

  • The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not represent the opinions or views of OSUN DEFENDER.

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