Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Control of the UN

  1. Sep 10, 2004 #1
    Is the UN a forum through which countries may meet and discuss matters on equal terms, and all have a fair say? Is it a means by which the nations of the Security Council may exert diplomatic influence over the rest of the world? Does one nation currently rule through economic influence?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    IMO, the UN is a forum for discussion and little more, and as such "control" is largely irrelevant - there is little action taken, so little to control. I think that control of a conversation that doesn't lead to action is/would be largely pointless.

    If you're talking about US influence over the resolutions passed (or not passed), a lot of countries including the US, stay out of a great number of the votes for political reasons. As such, majority "rules." We don't generally veto or vote against anti-Israel resolutions, for example. It seems the US is also starting to test the waters for possible action in the Sudan - action opposed by two security council members. But no-one wants to be direct because no one wants to lose anything or appear to be bullying anything. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Politics, politics, politics.
     
  4. Sep 10, 2004 #3
  5. Sep 10, 2004 #4
    cool......
     
  6. Sep 10, 2004 #5
    I recommend actually reading the material I supply. In the past two decades, the USA has blocked 22 UN resolutions against Israel.
     
  7. Sep 10, 2004 #6
    God, not this again.
     
  8. Sep 10, 2004 #7

    kat

    User Avatar

    ooohhh ahhhh ewwww how many has it blocked against the Palestinians?

    OOooooHH wait, that's right Israel can't get resolutions through against the Palestinians....I guess we know who controls the UN!! :surprised
     
  9. Sep 10, 2004 #8
    While it may pass for a cheap comedy act around time for last call, it doesn't do so well in what might otherwise have been rational discussion. If you wish to see who has been the target of UN resolutions, and who has blocked them, please view the material I have provided.
     
  10. Sep 10, 2004 #9

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I didn't mean to change the subject of the thread (unless this was where you wanted it to go all along). That's 22 out of what - 100+? Not a large percentage, but regardless, not something I really care about arguing about.

    In any case, Adam, what do you think about my first in that first post? What is your answer to the question you posed?
     
  11. Sep 10, 2004 #10
    Actually I would rather get back on track. I'll restate the questions.

    Is the UN a forum through which countries may meet and discuss matters on equal terms, and all have a fair say? Is it a means by which the nations of the Security Council may exert diplomatic influence over the rest of the world? Does one nation currently rule through economic influence?
     
  12. Sep 10, 2004 #11
    As for my answer...

    Nothing happens without money or something else changing hands somewhere. Whether in the UN chambers, an embassy lunch room, the Prime Minister's country house during a visit from another head of state, or whatever, there's money or influence or the promise of such changing hands. Overall, I think the UN is the circus part of "bread and circuses".
     
  13. Sep 10, 2004 #12

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps we can deal with Israel, the US, and the UN in another thread...?
    Are you talking about outright bribery or just economically motivated decision-making (or even economic imperialism)?

    From the original question, clearly the US has the most economic power due to the size of our economy: the EU was created for the purpose of countering that. Certainly, much of what happens in the UN often reflects these facts. But clearly we can't 'buy votes' or bully the council into passing our resolutions (at least not with any regularity). The bit resolution on Iraq before last year's war (I can't remember which one) was a noteable exception where we put the full weight of our diplomatic power into getting it passed. Veto power, while we choose to use it more than others only stops other resolutions, it doesn't push our adjenda through.
     
  14. Sep 10, 2004 #13
    That's what I did, and somehow you gave a reply with READING in italics.
     
  15. Sep 10, 2004 #14
    If you are saying that the UN is the US' puppet, you will then need to explain why (1) the Left calls for the UN to take the lead in Iraq, and (2) why the UN didn't support the US' invasion.

    You can't have it both ways.

    The United Nations is a group of nations that form policies. The US happens to be a very influential member, like China and Russia. Why not just leave it at that?
     
  16. Sep 10, 2004 #15
    Well, one is the commonplace practice of the other. Either way, it's people being bought.

    No, the veto doesn't push, money pushes.
     
  17. Sep 10, 2004 #16
    No, I'm saying that people with money have influence over people who want money.

    Why not? Some nations were bought, some weren't. Remember the thing about Turkey? The USA offered something like 32 billion dollars. The EU (France and Germany, mostly) offered EU membership.

    As has been stated, veto stops resolutions, it doesn't create them. Diplomacy/money outside the veto vote makes things happen.
     
  18. Sep 11, 2004 #17
    Adam, what is your point? You obviously are driving at something here. Is it the United Nations sactions against Iraq? Care to fill us in?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Control of the UN
  1. UN today ? (Replies: 20)

  2. Effectiveness of the UN (Replies: 55)

  3. UN question (Replies: 1)

  4. UN - methods (Replies: 0)

  5. Future of the UN (Replies: 5)

Loading...