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Thread: The United Nations...

  1. #1 The United Nations... 
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    This is a subject that we've been discussing in class recently, and I was curious to know what ideas you had on it:

    "The united nations should have its own army and be given the power to settle international dispute".

    What are your thoughts?


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  3. #2 Re: The United Nations... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sci-Fry
    This is a subject that we've been discussing in class recently, and I was curious to know what ideas you had on it:

    "The united nations should have its own army and be given the power to settle international dispute".

    What are your thoughts?
    I used to think that too. One question, though: would you (particularly given the bloodstrewn history of military coups and dictatorships) be prepared to fund/support an army that was not answerable to your democratically elected representatives?


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  4. #3  
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    I think a UN army would be directly controlled by the UN, which would have representatives from your country running the UN. So you may not have complete control, which is a good thing, but you'd have a vote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2so4hurts
    which would have representatives from your country running the UN.
    Not the way it currently works, as I understand it. If you want to redefine the UN into something that:

    a) does not currently exist; and
    b) is an idea of an ideal institution;

    then that's fine, but let's call it WorldGov or some such. As the UN currently stands I would trust it with announcements/pronouncements regarding areas in conflict; I would still trust Unicef, Unesco, WHO and the UNHCR for the work they do; I would be glad of, and grateful for, its existence; but I wouldn't trust it with an army of its own.

    cheer

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  6. #5  
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    I would be absolutely opposed to it as I have become accustomed to enjoying the freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution. Compare the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the US Bill of Rights. By comparison, the UDHR is a horrid abortion.
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    I don't see how they could even have an army. They would borrow soldiers from different countries, but those soldiers would still operate within the structure of their own army.
    Changing the make-up from the current system would make it awkward.

    However, a non-military anti-terrorist organisation that operates in a global capacity is not as strange and yet also as hostile to individual rights as Harold describes in regard to such an army.
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  8. #7  
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    I spent a year as part of UN forces in Egypt and Syria. At that time we (Canadians a NATO country) worked closely with the Poles (Soviet Block). We were under command of a UN force appointed chain of command (one of the participating nations was commanding officer).

    Today the forces in Afghanistan are Nato troops but under a UN mandate. in this case Canadians, americans, Dutch, etc. are directly under NATO command and it is not a UN force.


    When you see the blue berets (the ones we wore in the Middle East) those are legally UN forces. You won't see the Americans or Russians in those forces, not because there is anything wrong with those countries but because the UN forces attempt to perform a non-ideological role and carry out the UN's mandate.

    UN forces have performed many missions since the 1950's. Troops in the Middle East, Cyprus, Haiti, parts of Africa, etc. Much of Canada's military activity since the 1950's has been divided between Nato and just over 40 UN missions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    I spent a year as part of UN forces in Egypt and Syria. At that time we (Canadians a NATO country) worked closely with the Poles (Soviet Block). We were under command of a UN force appointed chain of command (one of the participating nations was commanding officer).

    Today the forces in Afghanistan are Nato troops but under a UN mandate. in this case Canadians, americans, Dutch, etc. are directly under NATO command and it is not a UN force.


    When you see the blue berets (the ones we wore in the Middle East) those are legally UN forces. You won't see the Americans or Russians in those forces, not because there is anything wrong with those countries but because the UN forces attempt to perform a non-ideological role and carry out the UN's mandate.

    UN forces have performed many missions since the 1950's. Troops in the Middle East, Cyprus, Haiti, parts of Africa, etc. Much of Canada's military activity since the 1950's has been divided between Nato and just over 40 UN missions.
    Yersss. This is the sort of role I appreciate. Sci-Fry's original question appeared to be about a UN standing army of its own - a different kettle of fish.
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    I don't know about a real standing army, but yes UN forces should become more common. At the moment there's a very long process between the UN deciding that action should be taken, and soldiers actually moving in to carry out the mandate (Rwanda, Sudan, etc, a horrible list of examples). Creating a UN standing army is one way to make this process quicker, but reforming the UN itself is a much better way to reach the same goal.

    For one thing, I think the UN should become more democratic. I'm strongly opposed to the idea of "1st class" UN members (Permanent Security Council members) vs "2nd class" members (the rest). Most world citizens are simply not represented well enough in the UN

    --
    btw we could move this discussion to Politics, I think it would fit in quite well there. Sci-Fry, would you agree with that?
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