Nobody takes the UN seriously, but here's how to fix it

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/04/nobody-takes-the-un-seriously.html

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#2

resetting all talk of a peaceful solution to zero.

To be fair, there is currently no path to a peaceful solution. Both sides have been fully entrenched in the status quo for too long and their politicians have their identity wrapped around the conflict. It’s a political force all to itself.

Every so often they’ll hold talks to humor the US/UN, but one or both of the sides will not be negotiating in good faith. Israel in particular seems to prefer the status quo.

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#3

I submit it’s too late.

But snarky cynicism aside, the article proposes some very interesting ideas and feasible solutions.

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#4

a body hobbled by a structure that implicitly assumes that the global superpowers are generally worthy of the veto power they wield.

…and that assumes that the victors in WWII will be the world’s superpowers forever.

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#5

The general public? Voter apathy is already a significant problem for other elections; surely it would be even more problematic to get any kind of turnout for something “nobody takes seriously”? And don’t elections in general come at a hefty price tag?

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#6

It would have to be linked to actual legislative power for it to have meaning.

I’d love that, but I seriously doubt any of the governments that currently make up the UN, and particularly any of the big 5 would have any interest in allowing such a degradation of their (perceived) power. And in fairness, most of them would be roasted by their home constituencies if they dared to give up any power without a corresponding benefit (see: the history of the UK and the EU).

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#7

Things can always be worse.

The United Nations is a favorite punching bag for its inability to resolve current crises, but 1) it is much better than nothing, and 2) it is much better than predecessors, notoriously the League of Nations set up after the Great War or the “great powers” approach of the 19th century imperialist nations. I like this piece because it suggests reform and improvement rather than destruction and replacement.

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#8

Well this is contra to basic democratic principle. Does Bill or Jeff or Elon has more vote than a homeless man? The UN has been rigged from day one since its inception. One country one vote, let’s follow the principle of democracy. This to be done in case of IMF too. And if USA unilaterally withdraws and for that matter any country, just stop the trade with that country, it will collapse so fast…no country will dare…

#9

Well, if Russia, China and India form an alliance and ask others to join, US, UK and France will be isolated and they won’t have any other options but to agree. Now the question is why these 3 will join hand in hand? Can you guess?

#10

I take the UN seriously if onyl because they oppose trump.

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#11

Yes… by the US. We also were champions of the league of nations before it.

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#12

The problem is that people don’t really understand what the UN is. It’s not a world government. It’s not a defense agency. It’s not the world police. It’s job is to encourage diplomacy between countries, especially in cases where more than one country is involved.

It basically exists to avoid the neverending complaints about scheduling and meeting location.

In terms of real power it has none. Power means being able to enact something that is against someone else’s wishes, and the UN can’t do that. They can write letters and tell countries just how disappointed they are in them, but they can’t take action unless literally every important member agrees, which rarely happens because everybody has a stake in everything.

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#13

11th-doc-this|nullxnull

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#14

They already have formed an alliance, along with Brazil. It’s called BRIC and they’re basically toothless on the world stage. Also, you forgot to conveniently mention the rest of Europe. Sorry to burst your world view of economic sanctions.

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#15

Seriously. I mean who even invited Aquaman to join anyway?

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#16

Amazing.

An article about problems at the U.N. featuring Jerusalem as the home for a new U.S. embassy, and not a freaking word about the fact that the U.N. Security Council has been chock full of antisemitic anti Zionist Arab states for decades. Missed something important there.

#17

Do member states have to demonstrate some minimal competence at free and fair elections before their delegates count, or do people who suck at democracy get more conveniently unanimous representation?

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#18

That means the US is right out…

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closed #19

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