Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Punitha and Ms Foo made my day today. P's box of strawberries and Ms Foo's bread helped me to understand many different things. I shall elaborate on a later date. Thank you Both very much.
God Bless You Abundantly! =)
-+=rAcH.AnNe.TeO=+- Just made a Wish and blew out the Candles .. Take Care PeEpS!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Hello All .. I just wrote this long .... essay .. haha read it if you want to .. =) nothing to post today except that i sprained my fourth finger on my left hand due to an unfortunate accident on the basketball court!! O the HORROR .. I need to play the PIANO! =[] ...

3. ‘International Organizations which aim to promote co-operation between different countries face an impossible task.’ Discuss. (June 1993)

Almost every country in the world today is a member of at least one International Organization. Even East Timor, one of the ‘newest’ countries in the world is part of an International Organization, the United Nations, which has helped it in forming a Transitional Government before its Independence from Indonesia. International Organizations exists in many different forms. They can exist as Governmental Organizations (GO) e.g. the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) etc. or as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) e.g. Amnesty International (AI), Greenpeace etc. These International Organizations can also function on different platforms, e.g. at a regional level, the continental level and even on a world level, as in the cases of the UN and the WTO. Almost every organization listed above aims to promote co-operation among its member countries while each member country professes to support and stand by the organization. However, while most member countries claim to support the organizations that they are involved in, it is almost impossible to state that every one of them actually support their organization. This can be seen from the lack of cooperation among member nations regarding several issues.
The first organization I would like to touch on is the United Nations or UN for short. Its inability to obtain the cooperation of its member countries is almost legendary. From its beginnings, to its present state, there are many issues that can be brought up and used as examples as to how the different member countries do not cooperate with one another. From the setting up of the veto power system in the UN Security Council, which only enabled the superpowers e.g. the United States of America (US), France, Britain, China and Russia to make their voice heard above others. They have been known to use it according to their wishes and their needs and wants. These member states have also carried on with their own plans when they do not succeed in getting the cooperation of their fellow organization mates. A very good example can be taken from the recent American Invasion of Iraq in the Iraq War of 2003. When America brought forward its plan to ‘liberate’ Iraq through invasive means, many of the countries in the world strongly and vehemently objected to the plan e.g. France, one of the veto powers in the UN Security Council, China and Russia, also part of the veto powers in the UN Security Council, Germany and a host of many other member nations in the Security Council. As a result, America did not receive enough votes to wage this war and was supposedly disallowed to carry out its plans as it was not agreed upon by the members of the UN. However, despite almost the whole world’s disapproval, save for a few which the US mentioned as its “friends and allies”, it still waged the war and there was nothing that the UN could do to stop the so called liberation.
Another example as to why the UN has faced an impossible task when dealing with the lack of cooperation among its member nations is the subject on enforcing human rights. On this issue, the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a pivotal point. There has always been a lack of cooperation by US in this issue as International Law has always involved an inherent tension between national sovereignty and accountability. The United States has not been for the creation of the ICC because the US felt that it was not for their interests if the ICC was ever created. Many of its officials could be targeted as people who infringed on human rights issues especially during wars of which the US were a part, e.g. the Vietnam War etc. Thus, even though the US has refused to sign the treaty to create this global tribunal due to reservations about sovereignty and jurisdiction, more than over 160 nations still voted to establish the ICC which will be located in The Hague, Netherlands. This goes to show that countries are run by their own self interest. There is no such thing as cooperation. Cooperation can only exist if member nations have similar ideals and aims it would want to achieve. It is the case here, or so it seems. The UN has tried in all its sincerity to get its work done but it has always faced an impossible task because of the refusal of the superpowers, the ones with the true means to allow for any work to be done, supporting it whenever they feel that it is a disadvantage to them. The above two examples support this view.
The next International Organization I would like to step on is the World Trade Organization or WTO for short. Its failure as an International Organization due to the lack of cooperation between member states is exemplified in the recent 5th Ministerial talks held in Cancun, Mexico from the 10th to the 14th of September 2003. The chairperson of this event, Luis Ernesto Derbez concluded that despite considerable movement in consultations, members remained entrenched, particularly on the “Singapore” issues. I shall not delve into the depths of this ministerial conference as it is of no relevance here in my essay, but it goes to show that the lack of international cooperation is evident in such a major organization. The WTO has also been said to be fundamentally undemocratic as the input from superpowers like the US Trade Representatives are more valued than the citizen input by the consumer, environmental, human rights and labour organizations. WTO’s policies have also worsened the hunger situation in the World owing to the fact that the economic powers have continuously shaped and tampered agricultural policies, these ineffective and unfair policies that have been said to be “against the developing countries” has resulted in as many as 800 million people worldwide suffering from chronic malnutrition.
All these examples just go to show the world that lack of cooperation between member countries in International Organizations have been there for a very long time and it seems to be in no position to be eradicated. It is from such situations that exemplify that it is highly impossible for International Organizations to promote International Cooperation. Every country, especially the superpowers, seems to think little about the rest of the world, only concerned for their merit. All they see is the immediate loss to them, even though it might even just be themselves that would benefit in the long run.
3. Article: Justice Goes Global (Creation of ICC) From Time Magazine, July 27, 1998 pp.46-51.
4. Article: Enforcing Human Rights by Karl E. Meyer From World Policy Journal, Fall 1999, pp.45-50.