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Do You Agree That International Organizations Are the Ideal Solution-Providers for the Problems of a Globalizing World? Use Case Studies of Environmental Issues, Refugee Plight and Poverty Where Appropriate.

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Essay Question: Do you agree that International Organizations are the ideal solution-providers for the problems of a globalizing world? Use case studies of environmental issues, refugee plight and poverty where appropriate.

It is inevitable that states have to put aside their national boundaries and come together to “cooperate, adjust, accommodate and compromise” to solve global problems and resolve conflicts which by definition of globalisation (the interconnectedness of states) would have spill-over effects on political, economic or environmental issues. Thus it is only logical to create an international organization (IO) that meets those inter-national needs. That is exactly what the United Nations (UN) provides, an avenue for nation states to voice their opinions over global issues. However, IOs have their managerial and implemental limitations. In addition, advances in technological communication, increasing emergence of non-state actors on the international scene cause further complications to the bureaucratic system. I will argue that though IOs are not ideal for implementing solutions, their existence brings about centralization to their efforts that help resolve global issues

The vision of an IO is to effect change through legal and moral authority. There are many forms of IOs; the principal distinction between them is the entitlement to memberships. Inter-governmental organisations are organisations whereby only state representatives are entitled to become members. Alternatively, non-government organisations (NGOs) are organisations where membership is made up of non-state actors. To be a truly effective IO which can attempt to meet the challenges of the mission it wishes to serve, the organisation must have a moral cause, legal structure, inter-jurisdictional recognition and economic strength. Due to the limits of this essay, I will confine the scope of the international organization to the WTO, United Nations (UN) missions and programmes and the efforts of NGOs under the UN mandate.

IOs face limitations in implementing their solutions as they are reluctant to violate the sovereignty of member states. The UN cannot force a country to impose sanctions on another if the country feels that it is inconsistent with the best interests of their own state. State sovereignty versus UN right to authority and autonomy comes into question. Should the UN ignore the state’s authority over such issues or should the “principle of sovereignty rationalise states' behaviour”? That in itself is another debatable issue which does not encompass the scope of this essay. However, my focus in relation to this topic is to draw attention to the fact that the UN is unable to fully resolve issues and implement their peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction solutions due to their limited autonomy. As a result UN gets criticized for not being an efficient solution provider and their passive voice frequently lead to disagreements among member states itself thus creating new inter-national problems.

It was felt in 2004 that the UN should have taken a stronger stand in “pushing for sanctions” against Congo where 232,000 refugees were killed. Similarly, in Darfur, where the genocide crisis still persists till this day and “2.2 million civilians have been displaced” , the Human Rights Watch criticized the UN for failing to impose sanctions on the Sudanese government. Human Rights Watch stated that “the Security Council should have imposed an oil embargo on the Sudanese government rather than simply threatening to take action вЂ?to affect Sudan’s petroleum sector.” They felt that by failing to impose an oil embargo on Sudan, the UN guaranteed that the Sudanese government would be able to follow through with the scorched- earth campaign in Darfur. Despite widespread awareness of the issues that exist in Darfur, the Sudanese government, along with its allies have managed to avoid the imposition of sanctions on those responsible for the atrocities. The African Union has stepped in to provide peacekeeping troops but is hampered by lack of strong logistical support and an unclear mandate.

In December 1990, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCHR) estimated that more than 6.3 million Afghan refugees were still living in neighbouring countries, 3.3 million in Pakistan and 3 million in Iran. The Taliban regime restricted access to the refugees, detained many aid workers and cut off communications with the rest of the world. This resulted in diminished relief from both IOs and NGOs resulting in a “slow erosion of funding”. In 1997, the UN tried to implement an effective structure to provide aid to the country however, in 2001 the World Bank concluded that there was no “budgetary process in place to distribute resources according to the priorities identified” . Once more the UN had proved its futility.

The situation in Afghanistan deteriorated even further after the September 11th attacks. With the collapse of the Taliban regime, the aid began returning to the region as well as an increase in funding. However, inadequacies still exist in addressing the Afghan refugee issue as the UN is often stifled by a “cumbersome and dysfunctional bureaucracy” and international action is often constrained by “politicized disputes between industrialized and developing countries”.

From the case studies above, it is evident that failure arises from both “policy and international architecture”. The UN has been thrust into dealing with post-conflict situations however, its member states are not willing to provide them the support required to resolve these matters. The system seems to be “struggling to address a wide variety of responsibilities ranging from international policing to economic reconstruction” as a result operation responses are delayed, local human resources are ignored and a lack of public order and security still persists in regards to their missions.

In Jessica Mathews’ scholarly article she argued that with globalisation, instantaneous access to information created a multilateral playing field and redistribution of power to non state actors. She asserted that “NGOs’ role and influence have exploded in the last half decade” . The Post cold war period saw an increase in power of NGOs. NGOs acquired more financial resources and expertise which surpassed those of smaller governments and of IOs. It was noted in 1993 by the head of the UN Centre for Human Rights, Ibrahima Fall, that “NGOs



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