Last Updated 14 May 2020

The Role of The Uno In Preserving and Promoting International Peace and Security

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The main aims which inspired those who founded the United Nations Organization in 1945 were to preserve and promote international peace and security , and to secure international co-operation for establishing political, economic and social conditions conducive to maintaining peace on earth " to save succeeding generations from the scourage of war, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind."

Peace-keeping is thus raison d'etre of the Organization and the best criterion by which qe can determine how its coming into existence has been beneficial to mankind is to see to what extent it has been able to help in maintaining and promoting peace in the post-war world.

The U.N.O. owes its existence to victors of the second world war. But no sooner had the Organization come into existence than they fell apart. Instead of striving together after peace and international co-operation, they moved into the era of "cold war" triggered off by the extension of the Soviet Union's hold over East Europe.

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The U.N.O. was a silent spectator of the direct confrontation between the great power blocs headed by the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union, and the consequent race between them for nuclear aemaments and foe securing economic foothold in the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa. These developments naturally vitiated its working and it could not do anything to stop the armaments race or the emergence of rival defence organizations like the NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Even so, the world owes it to the U.N.O. that the " Cold war" has not assumed the aspect of a nuclear conflagration. The Committee rooms and council chambers of the Organization provided safety valves for the rivals to let off steam and to avoid explosions. Its very existence as a forum where differences could be freely aired and tensions relieved in that manner helped to gain acceptance fir negotiation as a better method of setting international disputes than the arbitrament of arms. And for war-weary world, this has not been a small gain.

The foregoing may not, however, be taken to mean that the Organization was prevented from taking any positive steps to rid the world of danger of war. It is true that it has been largely ineffective where it came to holding the hand of big powers, e.g., in the disputes over Berlin, Cuba, Vietnam etc. In spite of that, it did play a useful role in bringing to a stop the fighting in Korea and again in the Suez crisis.

It was however, much more effective in dealing with conflicts in which the big powers were not directly involved, e.g., in the dispute between the Netherlands and Indonesia over New Guinea, in the civil wars in Greece and Congo, in the trouble in Cyprus, in preventing a bigger war in Palestine and between India and Pakistan in Kashmir etc. All this had served to keep the hounds of war at bay these twenty-eight years, and it cannit surely be dismissed as an indifferent record.

Those who hold the opposite view, however, have two main grouses against the Organization. Firstly they say that like its predecessor, the League of Nations, te U.N.O. is ineffective against the big powers. But it is so because while bringing the Organization into existence, those big powers had reserved for themselves the prerogative of veto by which they can paralyse its working at will. Obviously, it cannot now do anything to hold them in check unless the prerogative is abolished through an amendment of the U.N. Charter, and unless they voluntarily agree to submit to its arbitration in all circumstances. But this does not appear to be even a distant possibility.

Secondly, the critics point out that whatever the U.N.O. has been able to do in establishing peace between smaller nations is no more than the application of temporary palliatives which do not and cannot go to the root cause of the trouble. All that they are prepared to concede is that the Organization has succeeded in localising the conflicts for the time being.

But they go on to argue that this bottling up of conflicts without simultaneous easing of the tensions and removal of the causes which brought them about in the first place is a practice fraught with danger even greater than the original. They are of the view that, left to build up, these tensions in any are enough to result in an explosion which can once again rock the world.

While going into the validity of this criticism, we have to keep in mind the limitations under which the U.N.O. is functioning. It has no armed force, and neither the money to sustain one with which to back its decisions and ensure their implementation. In the curcumstances, it cannot but have eesort to emergency improvisation. And that is what it has been doing all along .

The peace-keeping forces it has thus far organized, whether for Korea, for Cyprus, for Congo or for the Gaza strip, were all make-shift arrangements made possible by the co-operation of second grade powers like Canada, Sweden, India, Ireland and a few others who have no political axe to grind in the international sphere.

A peace-keeping force is contradiction in terms because what is kept by force can be anything but peace. More than keeping or establishing the peace, the emergency forces organised by the United Nations from time to time have served the limitated purpose of standing between the combatants after the latter have agreed to stop armed action.

They have helped to secure disengagemwnt if troops on both sides and generally tried to create conditions in which those fighting it out could be enabled to explore other aventures for settling the issues agitating them. They have thus prepared the ground for U.N.O. to effectively discharge its primary functions of medication and conciliation-tasks which cannot be accomplished while guns are barking and bullets are flying.

Thus we see that the U.N. peace-keeping forces discharged their functions faithfully, even at grave risk, and paved the way for the removal of the basic causes of conflict. That such causes have persisted even then is again not attributable to the United Nations or its peace-keeping forces. In most cases this can be traced to distortions in international relations caused by big power dimplomacy over which the U.N.O. has no control.

In nine cases out of ten, the primary cause for prolongation of a conflict has been lack of sincerity and, therefore, unanimity among the big powers. The Indo-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir is one such problem which has resisted solution for twenty-five years because the western nations take a cross-eyed view of it. But whenever they have been in agreement over how a conflict must be resolved, it has been resolved. The Suez crisis of 1956 is a case in point.

Within the limitation placed on its functioning by the big powers, the U.N.O. has been effective in minimising the risk of a third world war to some extent. But even in that it has been handicapped by the attitudes adopted by some of the members, particularly in the matter of sharing tye costs of peace-keeping operations.

There is a moral in that, viz., That the world body can come into its own only if and when the big powers realise that it is the collective strength of all nations, big or small, acting is unison which can successfully counter and eliminate all threats to peace from whatevwr quater, and that unless they are prepared to cede that to the U.N.O., it would be less than honest to blame it or call it unless.

But such a consummation will remain impossible of achievement till the big powers and labouring under suspicion and fear of each other. It is these attitudes which pose the greatest danger to peace on earth. The U.N.O. has held the fort for more than two decades. But unless the efficacy of the means of peace keeping at its diposal is improved and the unchecked proliferation of weapons of destruction going apace is stopped, it will one day render incapable of guarding the peace and go the way League of Nations went.

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The Role of The Uno In Preserving and Promoting International Peace and Security. (2020, May 14). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/the-role-of-the-uno-in-preserving-and-promoting-international-peace-and-security/

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