Sunday, 21 June 2009

International cooperation

Hague conference The first Hague Conference – 26 countries met at Hague, Holland to discuss disarmament among major European powers, in 1899. The second Hague Conference – 40 countries joined, in 1907. They failed to prevent outbreak of WWI, but they have set up the Hague Tribunal to settle future international disputes. The League of Nations In 1919, President Wilson of US suggested to form a peacemaking organization, and to solve problems by discussing but not by fighting. It was set up in 2020, its HQ were in Geneva, Switzerland. The objectives include: cooperate with others; work for peace among all nations; respect other’s boundaries; settle dispute peacefully through this organizations; take action if a member was attacked, and set up and accept the decisions of the Court of International Justice. Achievement: It encouraged its members to provide better wages and working conditions in their country; controlled the spread of epidemics; and improved the health services of under-developed areas in the world. Weakness 1) President Wilson thought that members can protect each other by arm force originally, but many countries didn’t want to use armed force after WWI, and thus it’s lack of armed force to carry out its decisions. 2) Lack of support from US which had a strong influence to the world at that time. 3) Lack of fund. At the end, it can settle dispute among small nations, but failed to maintain world peace – failed to stop aggression from the axis power and led to the outbreak of the WWII. It was formally dissolved in 1946 (the year after WWII). The United Nations Britain, China, the US and USSR planned for a new organization to replace the League of Nations after WWII. 51 countries met in San Francisco and signed the United Nations Charter in 1945. It officially started on 24 Oct. 1945. Its HQ is at New York City. There’s two olive branches surround the world and symbolizing world peace in the UN flag. - The General Assembly for all members to debate world issues and set policies of UN. - The Security Council is responsible to preserve international peace and security, and Britain, France, Russia (former USSR), China (PRC) and the US are permanent members of the Council. - The secretariat – Administrative region, carries out day-to-day work of UN. Headed by the secretary-general and as a mediator between administrative region and other parts of UN. (Kofi Annan → Ban Ki-moon) - The Economics and Social Council – to raise living standards and improve economic conditions throughout the world. Agencies include FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization), UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization). - Trusteeship Council – promote self-government in non-independent countries. - The International Court of Justice – handles dispute against international law. - Other works include providing shelter for refugees; providing financial aid to developing countries; take care of underprivileged children; protecting human rights; increasing food production; developing education and Improving sanitary conditions. Achievements 1) Settling International Disputes successfully so far. Examples include quarrels among Israel, Palestine and Arabia; forced Iraq to remove troops from Kuwait during Persian Gulf War. 2) Promoting International Cooperation – held conference to solve global problems since 1960s, and worked on international disarmament and banned nuclear and biological weapons. 3) Providing humanitarian assistance – help refugees, underdeveloped and war-torn nations; emergency aid for developing countries. Examples: Vietnam refugees. 4) Improved social, economic, cultural and sanitary conditions in the world, and established the basic rights of every person on earth. It also helped developing countries to improve the public health service. Weaknesses 1) It’s only a voluntary organization and lack of independent armed force→ reliance on members to supply armed force. 2) Lack of sufficient funds. (The US didn’t give money to UN.) 3) Overuse of veto power in the Security Council – Once veto power is used, the issues is canceled. Therefore some countries used this power for their own selfish reasons, and the UN is hard to make effective actions against those countries.

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