Is the United Nations In Jeopardy?

After the establishment of the Holy Alliance among European States, the Aachen Congress (1818) was the first diplomatic Assembly which met to adopt the resolutions of the Vienna Congress (1814-1815). Imperial regimes were admonished to adopt more humane policies and not to resort to war as an instrument of national policy. The Aachen Congress ordered the immediate removal of occupation troops from France.

In August 2008, France is undertaking diplomatic initiatives to mediate in the Russian-Georgian war. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia maintained cordial all-round relations with Russia. The situation nose-dived after the Saakashvili intervention, which saw the forcible exit of Edward Shevardnadze, who was the Soviet Foreign Minister, and later the President of Georgia.

The new Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili engaged himself in a hurried eagerness to forge close alliance with Europe and especially, with the United States of America. The Georgian President expressed the urgent and irrevocable ambition to join NATO and the European Union.

His naïve calculations were that these strategic and tactical maneuvers would enable his state to distance itself from the Russian Bear’s grip. He launched provocative policies backed by boastful speeches and actions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He sent 2000 troops to Iraq and accepted two thousand American peace- keepers and stationed them at the border, where contentious engagements were in top gear.

Saakashvili went over the bend and over the top, when he ordered his army into South Ossetia. His leadership style is pedagogic and grand-standing in the extreme, almost reckless. Unfortunately, in the world of power politics, the rascals get away. In future, some Georgians will tell their exuberant President that charisma and war-games are hard to reconcile.

The US President said that Russia’s response was “disproportionate”. It is generally accepted that even in the exercise of self-defense, a measured response is recommended. However, with tempers flaring like Prairie fires and military muscles bulging, George Bush knows how it feels.

In a foreseen move, Russia called out its army and navy to respond. Obviously, the international community that did not restrain Georgia also failed to persuade Russia to withdraw its armed forces from a military surgical operation. Civilians on both sides have suffered inexorably.

The undiplomatic altercation between the Russian and US representatives underlined the Euclidian theory that “Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another” (Iraq, Afganistan, Georgia)

Georgia called for a ceasefire and under Franco/Finnish diplomatic consultancy, a frantic visit by the duo to Moscow ensued. On August 11, President Sarkozy of France visited Moscow to meet with the Russian government. He undertook the mission, with cautious optimism.

European concerns center around the safety of oil-pipe lines that carry oil to European cities from the Baltic region. The Black Sea traffic route is of immense worry to Europeans and with the cold weather in the wings, one never knows.

The phenomenon of militarism and militarization of world politics is posing frightening dangers for mankind. Both in method and subject, a strategic analysis exposes a cross-current of hedonism, which manifests in hard attitudes that often throws caution to the winds.

Functional relationships mature into partisan affiliations that create hostile divisions in the world. Unintelligent, monosyllabic ranting that neither defines policies nor explain them is constantly thrown at the international media. Questions aimed at further elucidation of vague statements receive further illogicality.

The quality of leadership in the world is at an all-time low. One noticed this phenomenon a decade ago, when the United Nations offered weak leadership as a result of the unbearable harassment the African-born UN Secretary-General suffered in the hands of some powerful states, who insisted that international law and the United Nations Charter were irrelevant and so, violated their provision at will. The same trend is discernible under Ban Ki Moon.

The UN is being pushed to act as a supra-national organization, which can intervene in domestic politics, when unloved leaders err. The violent exchanges between Russia and the United States over the war in Georgia and the hard feelings expressed on both sides signify a throw-back to the days of the Cold war when consensus on innocuous matters was difficult to achieve.

Should the leading members of the United Nations remain at logger-heads and at daggers-drawn, this will spill over and create a wide division among UN member-states, with attendant consequences to the international community.

As a result of the concepts of “regime change,” “war on terror,” “he who is not for us is for the terrorists,” etc, international politics has lost the ability to adopt definitions, which are universally applicable in international relations.

I hereby advocate strict adherence to international law and the provisions of humanitarian law treaties and protocols. A state that uses armed force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state has committed aggression. A state that is the victim of aggression has a right to self defense.

The Legal Department of the United Nations has a duty to use official evidence to pronounce on which state was the aggressor in this conflict. They should not allow political consideration to becloud their declaration.

The belligerents must respect the Laws of International Armed Conflict, the Geneva Regime and there should not be an establishment of the regime of capitulation or consular jurisdiction .Objects indispensible to the survival of the civilian population must be given priority in order to alleviate their suffering.

The world is very dangerous as it is, with nuclear weapons in the arsenal of many states. A misguided missile can set a state on fire. As the Russians would say,” Chem chot ni shutit.”

Written by
Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
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