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The un-UN

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    Posted: 13 Sep 2016 at 08:09
The United Nations has condemned nuclear testing by North Korea and is about to issue new sanctions on the rogue state. The UN has also condemned Russia for the annexation of the Crimea and China for its claims on reefs in the South China Sea.
 So what? Big deal! 

China and North Korea have openly said that they will continue to do as they please, while Russia simply ignores the UN.

China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States, the five power brokers in the UN Security Council each have the power of veto over UN resolutions. Bearing mind that two of the five are considered, generally as behind many of the problems facing the internation community, I question why any of the five should retain the powers of veto.

What benefit does the international community gain from membership of the UN with respect to incursion by nations such as China, North Korea and Russia?

Having condemned militant, or potentially militant actions by the three, why has nothing more been done.

The three countries named have blatantly thumbed their noses at the United Nations, in fact, I wonder if the UN is worth the money and effort in the 21st Century.

Comments please.



Edited by toyomotor - 13 Sep 2016 at 08:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2016 at 18:09
The UN keeps people talking, and presents the possibility of a united front against an aggressor.  Russia has sanctions against it and there is some international support for Ukraine, I don't know about Georgia, but no body recognizes South Osettia except Russia.  There are costs to Russian action, which makes action less likely with the Baltic states, or so one argument would be.  North Korea has sanctions, I don't know if they are UN sanctions, but the more criticism the less chance of them being lifted soon.  There is international pressure on China, the fact that China copies everything it gets its hands on, is a minus for anyone in manufacturing interested in keeping their cultural property, the fact that that China's pollution is terrible, has costs.  Everything has costs (and probably benefits), being scolded at the UN means some people are going to say, "well, maybe I don't need to see the Great Wall, maybe I don't need to see the Hermitage."  I don't know about all the influences of the UN, but considering cost for a nation is based on GNP (or GDP?) it costs the most for the US, and the least for Niger? Chad?? South Sudan???  not sure who.  US resists Muslim proposals regarding Israel, so it is not just China or Russia that uses its veto.
Everybody else votes for the Muslim proposal, knowing that the US will veto it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2016 at 02:59
@Franciscosan:

That's the whole point. Why should any of these countries have a veto power? Any why is the UN so slow to react to Russias aggression and Chinas South China Sea incursions. And of course, why is crazy Kim Jong Un allowed to continually threaten peace in the area?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2016 at 03:16
Because the victors of WWII wrote the rules, but I suspect you knew that.  And if the rules were not written that way, I suspect the victors (read Soviet Union and its 3 votes in the general assembly) would not have participated and then it wouldn't have happened.  A veto power may also have been necessary to sell it to congress, as well, especially since US has the largest bill.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2017 at 15:27
franciscoan- I respect your views.

IMHO, the UN is a defunct organisation, as far as world peace is concerned. Certainly it plays a major role in humanitarian efforts around the world, but, as demonstrated by the International Courts ruling on Japanese Whale fishing in the Southern Ocean, the South China Sea and Crimea, the UN wrings its hands, and does nothing.

NATO, rattles its sabres every now and then, moves troops into countries neighbouring Russia, and does, NOTHING.

I'm not a hawk, but I believe in the rule of fair play for everyone.

Russia should not be permitted to remain in the Crimea, China should not be permitted to annexe the South China Sea, the blood thirsty War Lords should not be permitted free license in Africa-and that includes Mugabe.

World conflicts will not change until a stand is made, and probably the Western Powers butt out of the Middle East.



Who said "All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"? (Edmund Burke)



Edited by toyomotor - 12 Feb 2017 at 16:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2017 at 00:18
toyomotor, it's franciscosan (francisco-san), if you want to get it wrong, that's okay,  I'll answer to either<grin>.

I would not consider the UN in an either/or manner (defunct or not defunct).  There are things it is good at and there are things it is bad at.  There is an organization, and it works, to a certain extent.  The US, who pays the most, every once in awhile complains about not getting enough bang for their buck, but that is not the purpose of the organization.

Japan and I think, Norway and Iceland engage in 'scientific' whaling.  In the meantime, the Japanese in general are loosing the taste for whale meat, despite government promotion.  In the long run, eating whale or dolphin is on its way out.  It is only a few species of the smaller whales that the Japanese are allowed to take.

NATO is making a tripwire.  Russian aggression is not just for Crimea.  President Obama did much to look the other way.  In 2007 John McCann went to Georgia to voice his support, but of course he lost the Presidential election.  The Baltic states have to worry, but part of the problem is that these 'new' Eastern European countries have a large ethnic Russian minority, that the majority does not appreciate, and the problem feeds itself.  Putin claims to be just siding with the Russian ethnic minority, riles them up, and then supports them when they butt heads with the majority.  'if they weren't discriminated against, I would support them.'  But perhaps if he was not feeding the fire, supporting them, they wouldn't so much be discriminated against.  I agree that Ukraine's territory should be honored, but Russian eyes, it is not just a land grab but is protecting Russian ethnic minority, just like they did in Georgia (Ossetia).

Russia and China have seats on the Security Council, which makes it hard for UN effort, the Korean War was an aberration when the Russians walked out, the Americans had a vote with them not there (and Taiwan was China at the time).

When I was in college in the 1980s, people said, "oh my God! Some thing has to be done about Nuclear War and Mutually Assured Destruction!  And something was done about it, but not by the protesters wringing their hands, demanding that we do something immediately (an unilaterally).  Reagan and to a lesser extent, the first Bush engaged with communism worldwide, with the help of John Paul II, and Thatcher.  He rachetted up the cost of it, raised the stakes and called the Soviet bluff.  Because of the cost of doing so, HW Bush had to raise taxes despite a campaign promise not to, and hence he became a one term President.  Central America became a battle ground because of the fall of Nicaragua during the Carter administration to the Sandinistas and their support of insurgents in El Salvador and Guatemala.  The US engaged in rollback in little Grenada (as opposed to containment).  It was hitting a peanut with a 10 pound sledge hammer, but it woke people up that communist expansion was not going to continue on 'as usual.'  Also, the ANC was a (self-declared) communist organization, and so the administration supported the white government in South Africa, despite what many well meaning people wanted to do.  I remember, asking people arguing for divestiture in South Africa 'what about the fact that South Africa has the only industrial base in Africa?  There attitude was that 'if it was destroyed, then we would still know that we did the right thing' or some such rationalization.  Point is, we have gotten past mutually assured destruction, and it was Ronald Ray-guns that did it.  I didn't like Reagan at the time, but I have a lot of respect for him now.  Likewise we are past apartheid, and we did so without full scale civil war in South Africa.  South Africa has its problems, but full scale collapse was not one of them.

Another issue that you don't really hear about is, religious fundamentalists saying that AIDS is a curse from God.  That changed because of George W Bush treating AIDS in Africa as a health issue.  And because an evangelical such as George W Bush treated AIDS in Africa as a health issue (mainly affecting heterosexuals), that had the affect of AIDS coming to be treated as a health issue, not a moral issue, in the US.  There are however some screwy laws around AIDS that prevented (and still prevent) infectious disease measures from being used to contain aids outbreaks.  This is much the fault of AIDS and gay activists who did everything they could to suppress partner notification.

But my point is stuff is being done, problems do get solved or made moot.  Everybody feels a need to put their two cents in (rightfully or sometimes, wrongfully) the UN is good for that, and it gives the son in laws of Presidents for life a cushy job in New York<grin>.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2017 at 02:28
franciscosan-deepest apologies. Old eyes and an old brain, I'll do better in future.

The Japanese "scientific whaling" is only a cover, a means to get around the International Court ruling.

I understand that the Eastern European states each have Russian minority populations, to varying degrees, and the Ukraine probably one of the highest. IMHO, this is not a good enough reason for Putin to annexe the Crimea, or any part of any other neighbouring country. Russia made a mess of Georgia, and there's still fierce resistance to Russian intrusion. Of course the real reason for the Crimean annexation is to gain control over warm water ports.

I agree, some stuff does get done. But not enough. Oh well, I suppose what you can't control, you shouldn't worry about.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2017 at 02:53
http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/06/africa/united-nations-peacekeepers-sexual-abuse/

UN has a lot to answer for, immunity to UN workers who commit sexual assault and worse. The bureaucracy is like something out of Little Dorrit. Disgraceful and fast becoming obsolete.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2017 at 03:21
http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/world/africa/french-peacekeepers-un-sexual-abuse-case-central-african-republic.html?_r=0

It's still going on. Isn't the UN effort mostly to stand around without ammunition, pretending to facilitate the movements of WHO, UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations? Are they not totally defenseless themselves? Unless we are talking about children under extreme duress and hardship. Shameful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2017 at 13:05
Vanuatu

I agree with your two posts above.

Far too much death and suffering is taking place around the world, in circumstances where a clear, lawful and forceful intervention could prevent this from happening.

The nations of the world need to man up and act against the forces of evil which exist, and ensure that, as far as is possible, we have a better world to live in.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2017 at 01:30
The cure would be worse than the disease.

You get a failed state like Somalia, and because it is a failed state, other countries dump toxic waste of its coast, which kills off its fishing industry, which leads to piracy, being a failed state leads to refugees, which lead to refugee camps, which leads to despair, which leads to terrorism in neighboring Kenya.  these things are complex, so you can talk about "clear, lawful, forceful intervention,' but these things are anything but clear, often legally and morally ambiguous, and are penalizing the wrong people.

There are pressures on China and Russia, although President Trump seems to want to, unrelated to the current reasons for sanctions, further penalize China, and back off of Russia.  So quit wringing your hands, saying "we gotta do something!" and realize that people are doing something, they're just not consulting you (or me) when they do it.  You can always write your representatives and post here if you want to be more participatory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2017 at 11:53
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

The UN keeps people talking, and presents the possibility of a united front against an aggressor.  Russia has sanctions against it and there is some international support for Ukraine, I don't know about Georgia, but no body recognizes South Osettia except Russia.  There are costs to Russian action, which makes action less likely with the Baltic states, or so one argument would be.  North Korea has sanctions, I don't know if they are UN sanctions, but the more criticism the less chance of them being lifted soon.  There is international pressure on China, the fact that China copies everything it gets its hands on, is a minus for anyone in manufacturing interested in keeping their cultural property, the fact that that China's pollution is terrible, has costs.  Everything has costs (and probably benefits), being scolded at the UN means some people are going to say, "well, maybe I don't need to see the Great Wall, maybe I don't need to see the Hermitage."  I don't know about all the influences of the UN, but considering cost for a nation is based on GNP (or GDP?) it costs the most for the US, and the least for Niger? Chad?? South Sudan???  not sure who.  US resists Muslim proposals regarding Israel, so it is not just China or Russia that uses its veto.
Everybody else votes for the Muslim proposal, knowing that the US will veto it.

It is a question of political will -and a mighty wind like blowhard Obama. You are very clear and what you say makes sense if we forget the past. No one can call an institution that functions in the way you describe useful. Commerce is the language among nations, UN is pretending to still have influence and relevance but they don't enforce sanctions and no one is telling China or Russia or US what to do. It's prime real estate, we should dissolve the UN and create a higher level ambassador in home countries. We have computers! We don't have to house and feed this post war fantasy.  

Obama’s refusal to veto anti-Israel U.N. vote ranked most anti-Semitic incident of 2016

“The most stunning 2016 U.N. attack on Israel was facilitated by President Obama when the U.S. abstained on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for settlement construction,” the center said. “It reversed decades-long US policy of vetoing such diplomatic moves against the Jewish State.”

Also making the list was activity by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement as well as U.S. white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s questioning whether Jews are “people or soulless golem” at a November gathering in Washington, D.C.

Two top Israeli officials have accused the Obama administration of orchestrating the resolution behind the scenes, insisting that they will provide proof to President-elect Donald Trump after he takes office in January.

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said Wednesday that Israel would work to repeal the resolution 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2017 at 12:00
"We do gotta do something"
Examples please of all the UN is doing??

So Somalia is a failed state and that has what? to do with the UN

It behooves politicians to cloud issues with endless complications. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2017 at 01:03
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

"We do gotta do something"
Examples please of all the UN is doing??

So Somalia is a failed state and that has what? to do with the UN

It behooves politicians to cloud issues with endless complications. 

LOL I know the answers are elusive. It was rhetorical, you are not responsible for lighting my dim bulb. :)
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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