Write 4 page essay on the topic The Developing World.
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Despite its proficiency in providing aid and humanitarian support, like its predecessor the League of Nations, the UN is fundamentally reactive, unable to independently and resolutely mark its influence upon events. This wouldn’t appear to be accidental as it cannot be an effective ‘world parliament’ or a conscientious objector when its policies and actions are determined by the interests of the main imperialist powers, predominantly the US ruling class.
Since 1945 America has been the dominant force in the UN. In the Korean War of 1950-1953 fought under the United Nations Joint Command, 90% of all army personnel, 93% of air power and 86% of naval power came from the US (UNDP, 2001). Washington is supposed to provide 22% of the UN budget, but has often withheld huge sums owed in order to force compliance with its wishes. These arrears currently stand at $1.3 billion (UNDP, 2001).
United Nations’ peacekeeping interventions are often controversial affairs and lay bare the UN’s inability to keep the peace when there is no peace to keep. The Security Council has been forced to explicitly accept responsibility for failing to prevent the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 people were killed.
On the eve of the atrocities most of the 2,500 peacekeepers were withdrawn after the deaths of 10 Belgian soldiers, thereby sending a green light to the killers. Moreover much of the subsequent UN aid was channeled through former Rwandan government officials who controlled refugee camps in Congo. (FAO, 2001). Many of these camp leaders were implicated in the campaign of genocide.
Similarly, the UN was widely criticized for rehabilitating the forces of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, even going so far as to provide them with funds for the 1993 election (UNCTAD, 2006). This policy suited both the US and China, both of which wanted to shore up any opposition to Vietnam. Then there is the shame of Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995, where Serb forces overran a so-called UN safe area, butchering 7,000 men and boys in Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two (UNCTAD, 2006).
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan later wrung his hands and concluded that “peacekeepers must never again be deployed into an environment in which there is no ceasefire or peace agreement” (SMH, 15/7/07). In a sick postscript, the perpetrators of this massacre, Bosnian-Serb leader Karadzic and General Mladic are still in hiding, having thwarted the UN’s attempts to bring them before the International Court of Justice at The Hague (SMH, 15/7/07).
Savage fighting between ethnic African rebels and pro-government janjaweed militia in Sudan’s vast western Darfur region has led to 200,000 deaths since 2003 (UNCTAD, 2006). A beleaguered 7,000 strong African Union force has been unable to stop the fighting and only now does it seem possible that UN troops will be permitted to enter the arena to try and uphold the Darfur Peace Agreement signed a year ago (SMH, 15/7/07).
The impasse in Israel-Palestine is one of the clearest examples of the UN’s inability to resolve complex crises.
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