The once United Nations Organisation, which helped, through international legal regulation of post-Second World War international society, has become divided, fractious and is poorly run.
Kuomi Duka, Yaseni Allah Yaseni, Ubangidi Yaseni, Allah Yaseni. Allah kawo Alafia, Allah kawo Alheri, Allah Biabukata, Allah Bamusaah!
The Origin of the UNO.
It was the United States President and visionary, F.D. Roosevelt, who first used the name United Nations during World War 11 in the “Declaration by the United Nations” on January 1 1942, when twenty-six nations agreed to continue to struggle against Germany, Japan and Italy.
On June 26, 1945, after the successful defeat of the Allied Powers, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, at Dumbarton Oaks. After receiving the required ratifications, the UN Charter came into force on 24 October 1945.
The new UN member-states expressed the determination “To practice tolerance and live in peace with one another as good neighbours; to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security and to ensure by the acceptance of principles, and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest; and to employ international machinery to promote the social and economic advancement of all peoples.”
The United Nations Charter has become a norm of jus cogens, from which no derogation is permitted. Yet, some states have acted with impunity, telling other states how to go about their affairs, in arrogant, insensitive manner that stoke the embers of international conflicts.
The work of the International Law Commission and other learned international lawyers has enriched the corpus of international law that have regulated the political, social and economic affairs of member-states since 1945.
Numerous international institutions were established, which have facilitated the work of the international community; the World Health Organisation, the International Court of Justice, the World Meteorological Organisation,the International Labour Organisation, the Food and Agricultural Organisation, the International Civil Aviation Organisation etc.
All these have played immense roles in assisting international understanding among nations.
A Unipolar World
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, a unipolar world emerged, with the dominance of the United States. Under George W, Bush jnr, a new approach to international relations, which had little regard for international law, became discernable.
US foreign policy appeared to have adopted the thesis in Hans Morgenthau’s book entitled “Power Politics’.. Its military affairs were conducted according to the teachings of Von Clausewitz.
By his own declaration, George Bush wanted to be remembered as a “war president”, as if there is any merit in sending young soldiers to die in order to plant democracies in ancient Arab regions, at the expense of the national economy.
Without UN permission, Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. This US action cost America dearly both in cash and in human loss, without much to show for it. Iraq is still far from being a democracy and brutalities of calamitous proportions are rife.
After the 9/11 attack of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan became theatres of war. As Noam Chomsky asked in a recent article, “Was war the only option?”
Wars and the US Economy.
Under the double impact of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the US economy dwindled. This decline affected those members of the United Nations, which received international assistance from the USA.
A war economy can never grant a nation sustainable growth since military expenditures eat deep into national budgets. This amazingly, is a truism, which American politicians and commentators discuss with tongue-in-cheek. Comedians in America, trivialize complex issues in America statecraft to the consternation of the world.
The UN and Human Rights
The United Nations Organisation has inexorably promoted political awareness about human rights and human dignity, in the last forty years.
It has propagated in several human rights declarations, covenants, treaties and conventions, too elaborate to find accommodation here, the doctrinal push that resulted in the people of the world revolting against bad governments, sit-tight leaders, corrupt leaders, subservient leaders, brutal leaders in the Middle East, Africa, North Africa and Europe, especially in the last three years.
Changed Circumstances in the World Economy
During this period, the whole world has been in revolutionary motion as a result of total collapse of the world economy. The economic and military might of China, Russia, India, South Africa and few emerging nations of Africa, like Angola and Equatorial Guinea seem to have turned the dynamics of international business.
Former importers became exporters and former exporters became importers. The currencies of some emerging economies like the Chinese Yuan, started agitating to be recognized by the international financial system, with a threatening force.
The US dollar, the British Pound and the Euro have suffered occasional degradation in the world capital markets.
The United Nations should summon a World Monetary Conference to take a global review of the current failure in the international financial system.
It has become obvious that the selective invitations to Euro-American states under the G-8, G-20 and other economic fora, do not satisfy the greater need for a global outreach, evinced in these matters.
Euro-American states like to listen to their economic logic based on Keynesian and World Bank prescriptions that have failed to work. Since what they do not know is not knowledge, they keep singing the same refrain like a broken record.
The Disastrous Consequences of Terrorism
The unexpected impacts of world terrorism, the colossal expenditures to combat terrorism, have left a big dent on the treasuries of major states. The direct impact can be felt in social benefits’ reduction, cuts in social spending, loss of unemployment opportunities, poor education funding and reduction in the quality of life.
Amidst these interlocking circles of misery world-wide, the wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, demonstrations in Greece, Spain, Britain, earthquakes in Japan, Chile and recently in the United States of America, have eroded the irrepressible and irresistible confidence, which I had invested in humanity. Are these truly the END-TIMES?
The United Nations Emergency Force?
The Libyan crisis is enormous. It has led to the destruction of a once desert enclave, which benefited from modernity, to a New Carthage.Is Libya a metaphoric state?
Perhaps, if the United Nations had deployed the United Nations Emergency Force to act as a buffer as it sent a United Nations Emergency force to the Israeli-Egyptian war in 1956, a different result would have come about.
The 2011 UN General Assembly
The 2011 United Nations General Assembly meeting may wish to re-affirm the cardinal principles in the UN Charter and the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki Moon must understand that he is supposed to play the role of a referee; a mediatory role, with the skills of a diplomatist and not cross borders into the orbit of the stronger contending parties. He acts as referee, who kicks the ball into the net of the team he does not like.
It is a very positive development that after many years of agitations by developing states in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the request for the enlargement of the UN Security Council has been accepted as a fact of life by the big powers, which are the movers and shakers of the “international community”.
As a young international law student at the Faculty of Law, Kiev State University, Ukraine (1963-1968), I had always queried the composition of the Security Council of the United Nations Organisation. Alth
ough I accepted the fact that its members were prominent members of the anti-Hitler coalition, I did not stop my criticism.
In the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of man, the affairs of the world should be put under God’s control. The Creator of the Universe is the only One, who can run the affairs of the world, which He created.
Perhaps, the United Nations building should be turned into a Cathedral of the Glorious Church, which will prepare the World for the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour, JESUS, the Christ.
All pretenders, who think that they can govern man, who they did not create, are living in a fool’s paradise. Many have been jailed for corruption. Many more will face trial in due course.
In this age of the social media, nothing is hidden in the wires. There are no more secrets! What an impediment to those governments, who do bad things around the globe?
The Need to Protect the World Social Media.
The United Nations should pass international laws that protect “whistle-blowers”. There should be a “United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Social Media and All Persons Engaged Therein.”
Any state that sanctions journalists, who expose the nefarious acts of governments against humanity, that engage in torture, degrading and inhuman treatment,to persons under their jurisdiction or control must be sanctioned by the General Assembly.
Nigeria an UN Security Council Seat
The issue of Nigeria’s membership of the Security Council should be resolved in Nigeria’s favour. In spite of the imperfections in our statecraft, the level of sophistication of our ministers, governors and other officers of state is rising. We have been a useful member of the UNO. We have actively participated in various UN activities and so, we deserve to have a seat at the UN Security Council.
The uncouth and ruthless military governance by military adventurers that gave our state a very bad image has been buried with no hope of resurrection.
Hopefully, I will raise a glass and certainly drink a glassful of ale, if and when Nigeria becomes a member of the United Nations Security Council, in no distant future.