The Instigator
SIVAPRASAD
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
thelemite
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

IS THERE NEED TO REVITALIZE UNITED NATIONS

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,178 times Debate No: 1802
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (6)

 

SIVAPRASAD

Pro

UN as the global platform for nations to resolve issues and move together in the path of peace and progress has achieved little. Everyone must agree that United Nations is the best bet for world peace and progress.
It has the dispute resolution mechanism in place but it is not effective because the permanent members made it ineffective.
It is the funding part that makes the UN heavily rely on the US and such other countries. Why not each county allocate a percentage of their budget for the maintenance of world peace. A 1% budget allocation for United Nations across all the member nations makes it strong and effective. It is a price all the countries must pay whether poor or rich.
All the disputes must be resolved only in the United Nations. Super powers must surrender all the Nuclear Weapons to the control of United Nations.
The Security Council must be replaced by a governing council where all the major countries must be represented. UK,France, must be replaced by India and a country chosen by the Islamic world. Veto power must be replaced by majority.
No member state can be permitted to join a dispute on either side and all the nations must adhere to the decisions that are binding.
Where unrest exists such nations must be brought under the UN control till the situation returns to normal.
Then only we can avoid Iraq or middle east like situations.
thelemite

Con

This is an excellent topic for debate and I thank my opponent for suggesting it.

I am not going to make an argument to not revitalize the UN. Rather my argument is to disband it altogether and kick it out of the United States.

The UN has proved itself to be completely and utterly anti-American. It doesn't matter what the issue is, the UN works against the interests of America every chance it gets, even when it would be better for the third world country that they are trying to help for the UN to get out of the way.

In this debate I'll show that the United Nations, up to and including the office of the Secretary General are corrupt, inefficient, inept and not worth the billions of dollars that the United States has given it.

I'll show that the United States and the world would be much better off without this ineffectual organization.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
SIVAPRASAD

Pro

If the US feels that the United Nations is a burden for them, they must clearly tell the world. Fortunately many nations are capable of hosting and funding the United Nations today, compared to the time when the United Nations was established.
Merely because the US is the major fund contributor, if the Americans expect the UN to tow their line and become another US department of State, they are sadly wrong. UN represents the aspirations of different nations and its aims are far wider than any single nation's global perspective.
Nations vote on the basis of policies adopted by the US and not on the basis of funding given by US to the UN. American foreign policies often supported dictatorships, and plunged the world into tensions is well known. The Vietnam War, the Iraqi war and many other wars stand as examples of the American blunders that led to the loss lives of millions of people in those nations. The recent Iraqi war and the Middle East tensions led to the spiraling oil prices that affected poor and developing countries more than the United States. America preaches something and practices some other thing is the biggest problem why the nations are voting against the US in the UN.
We must realize that US is as dependent on other nations as other nations depend on the US.
Why not US give notice to the UN to quit the US shores and relocate?
There is a need to reorganize the UN based on current realities and make it an effective in resolving disputes and making the world safer.
thelemite

Con

Okay it's on now!! I have been looking forward to this debate for a long time and I am ready to rock and roll. I just wish that you were highly in favor of the United Nations rather than just wanting to revamp it. Which is what I think you meant rather than "revitalize" it, am I correct in this?

Anyway, on with the debate!!

To start off, let's just remember the UN was founded in 1945 in San Francisco. The first Secretary General was none other than Alger Hiss, convicted traitor and spy for the Soviet Union. As if this wasn't enough, to prove my point we will now take a look at the Charter of the United Nations and see how well it's done its job.

"To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…" Well, we know how well they have fulfilled this part of the charter don't we?

"To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and nations large and small…" First off, how does a pseudo-governmental agency do this? By copying this clause, didn't I just do that?

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained…" Gee, I wonder how many treaties that the former Soviet Union, North Korea, Vietnam, just to mention a few, violated right under the nose of the UN without them doing anything other than protest about it.

"To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…" I'm sure that the people who lived under Apartheid really appreciated their efforts in this regard.

"To practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors…"
Practice makes perfect I suppose. But after 50+ years there isn't much evidence of their being successful with this either.

So far we have only gone over some of the Preamble. Let's get into some of the meat of the Charter shall we? Let's look at Article I which states the purposes of the UN.

"1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of peace;"

Come now, can anyone honestly put forth the argument that the UN has even come close to fulfilling this, their number one stated purpose of existence? What did the UN do when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait? Not much. Who handled it? The United States that's who. At the end of Desert Storm the UN put forth resolution after resolution to try and control Iraq. Did they enforce any of them? No. And here we are 10+ years later and the U.S. is the bad guy for finally going in and enforcing them. (Whether you agree with U.S. presence in Iraq is a topic for another debate.)

I bet the people in Darfur desperately wish that the UN would fulfill their primary purpose of existence and help them. What exactly are they doing about Darfur? Not much that I've heard of. Talking a lot about it but that's about it.

I think I've made my point so let's continue.

"2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;" Oh please! Equal rights? Most of the member nations of the UN have nothing even resembling equal rights for their citizens so this clause is just pure nonsense. That's enough on this point I think.

"3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion;" This is a good place to talk about the Oil For Food Program. In 1995, the UN instituted the Oil For Food program (UN Security Council Resolution 986) which allowed Iraq, who was under strict military embargo at the time due to their invasion of Kuwait, to sell some of their oil in order to provide the Iraqi people with food and other necessities. Well, it turns out that Hussein was putting billions of dollars in his own pockets as well as the pockets of many others including then Secretary General Kofi Annan's son. Many UN officers (hand picked by Kofi Annan) were investigated and fired for their gross mismanagement of the program and the UN led inquiry into the scam tried to sweep it under the rug. It wasn't until the U.S. got into it with their own investigation that got things under control.

Well, it's getting late so I'll stop for now. I think I have more than made my point that the UN isn't living up to some of the important points of its own Charter. In Round 3 we will deal with the threat the UN is to the sovereignty of the United States.

Thank you and I look forward to reading your next argument.
Debate Round No. 2
SIVAPRASAD

Pro

I ask you a simple and oft repeated question.
If you have headache will you apply a balm or take some tablet to get rid of the headache or will you cut your head?
Saying that the UN has not lived up to expectations is one thing and asking for disbanding is another thing.
If the UN is ineffective then who made it ineffective also needs to be analyzed.
My argument is that the United Nations is the best bet for the world peace and progress. I agree that the United Nations is not living up to expectations. I want the UN to be revitalized and revamped too keeping in view the current realities.
The goals and the agenda of the United Nations are laudable and to make the UN perform its tasks what is needed is revamping and revitalization. Your argument that the UN must be disbanded if implemented, leads to the powerful nations dominating the entire world, irrespective of merits of the issues.
As we know, not only the issues of war and peace, the UN also acts in the fields of concerns of the nations as a whole.
I think one of the main reasons for the ineffectiveness of the UN is the disagreement among the permanent members especially during the cold war period. Both the then super powers played games to keep their flock together and took the world to the brink. Veto power was used by the permanent members for their self interests and not for the cause of world peace.
Thankfully now the world is a better place to live. No longer the War groupings like Nato or Warsaw are relevant with the demise of the cold war. Germans were reunited. Russia no longer poses a threat to the US or its allies. China too agrees on major issues and solutions.
Economic interdependence emerged as the chief national interest for many nations. Global village concept is gaining ground. Europe has already got a common currency challenging the Dollar supremacy.
Yet we have many hot spots like Terrorism which emerged as threat number one to global peace. The unresolved disputes in the middle- east, the violence in Srilanka, unresolved Indo-Pak disputes, are among the major concerns before the world.
I think that the time is ideal for reforming/revamping/revitalizing the United Nations into a powerful instrument for ensuring global peace and all round development.
We can strengthen the UN by taking the following steps.
1.To implement its goals UN needs a lot of money. The principles governing contributions by member states must be revised keeping in view the changed realities. If each country pays 1% of their budget allocation, whether the nation is poor or rich, the UN will have so much of funds to carry out the tasks before it. It is the small price that each member need to pay.
2.Security Council must be broadly representative. The biggest populous countries like India cannot be left out.
3.Veto Power must be taken out. The Security Council must implement the decisions of voted by � of the council members.
4.The UN must be located in a neutral land preferably an island without any interference from the other nations.
5.UN must have an effective mechanism that prevents the outbreak of conflicts. In the event of out break, UN must take over the administration of that country till the situation improves.
6.Countries must redefine what sovereignty means in the present day world.
7.In facing common threats like terrorism, UN must be given a lead role.
8.Countries must give up their aspiration to dominate the world or other nations.
My plea is let us make UN work effectively. Let us remove the hurdles that block its performance. My friend can check up the foreign exchange reserves of nations like China, Japan , Russia and India to understand that they can bear the burden in funding the UN budget in the changed scenario.
When you talk of American tax payers money going to fund countries that vote against America, you must be also knowing how much America spends on fighting or preventing terrorist acts. It is close to 500 Billion dollars annually according to some reports. America and the world together through UN can fight better against the common enemies that ensure a peaceful world. US alone how ever mighty or powerful it may be will be able to fight against terrorism in isolation. What is needed is understanding the common causes and common solutions and UN is the right platform.
thelemite

Con

This has been an excellent debate and as I begin my final argument, I wish to thank my esteemed opponent for bringing up the topic and debating in such an intelligent and thoughtful way.

My esteemed opponent has stated that he believes the UN "is the best bet for the world peace and progress." Yet he is unable to give an example of how the UN has even come close to achieving this. Nor is he able to since there are no examples of such. He further states that should the UN be disbanded that it would lead to "the powerful nations dominating the entire world, irrespective of merits of the issues." Isn't that what we have now? The United States, Britain, China and others dominate the world stage because we are the most powerful and we all act in our own best interest. That's life in the big city, whether there is a UN or not. And that is the way it has to be unless each country gives up their national sovereignty to create a one planet nation. I cringe at the thought of what happens to the little things like individual freedom and liberty if this ever does occur.

>>>Yet we have many hot spots like Terrorism which emerged as threat number one to global peace. The unresolved disputes in the middle- east, the violence in Srilanka, unresolved Indo-Pak disputes, are among the major concerns before the world.<<<

And the UN has done what to resolve these grave issues? Natta, nothing, zip, zero. It is the United States in action with the other major nations that are doing something about Islamic Terrorism, problems in the Middle East, etc that are working to resolve these issues. Either the United States acting unilaterally or the United States acting as a broker to achieve peace has helped to resolve (at least temporarily) these issues, while the UN sits on its collective arse doing nothing but writing resolutions. In your beloved India, how many times has the US stepped in to broker peace between India and Pakistan? I want to say at least three times in my 40 years of living. I am going strictly by memory there so I may be wrong.

So now, let's go over your steps for revamping/revitalizing the UN:

>>>1. To implement its goals UN needs a lot of money. The principles governing contributions by member states must be revised keeping in view the changed realities. If each country pays 1% of their budget allocation, whether the nation is poor or rich, the UN will have so much of funds to carry out the tasks before it. It is the small price that each member need to pay. <<<

An international tax? Like the major countries of the world don't have enough tax problems my opponent suggests that we tax them more. Now he's going to say that this isn't a tax, but let me remind him that governments don't earn money. They take money from their citizens to pay the bills. Plus, how are Africa and other third world countries, which can't even pay their bills now, going to deal with a 1% tax on their entire federal budget. What effect is this going to have on their economy?

>>>4. The UN must be located in a neutral land preferably an island without any interference from the other nations. <<< Now this I have no problem with. Get them out of the US.

>>>5. UN must have an effective mechanism that prevents the outbreak of conflicts. In the event of out break, UN must take over the administration of that country till the situation improves. <<<

There is no mechanism that can prevent war. Until our race grows to a point that we can overcome the violent tendencies within us then, to quote Plato (I think it was him anyway) "Only the dead have seen the end of war". Don't get me wrong. It's a good thought. But completely unrealistic in this part of the 21st century. We also have that little problem with national sovereignty. But I think that is the next point he makes.

>>>6. Countries must redefine what sovereignty means in the present day world.<<<

Here's what sovereignty means from a national standpoint. Self-governing; independent: a sovereign state.

I think what my opponent is recommending here is a one planet government. I shudder at the thought. Unless of course it is the United States Constitution that is the governing document. But what is the likelihood of that?

>>>7. In facing common threats like terrorism, UN must be given a lead role.<<<

The US has gone to the UN in each of the armed conflicts that we have taken part in since the advent of the UN. At which point they write up some pretty resolutions but that is it. This has been tried and failed miserably. Just ask the government of Darfur right now.

In an attempt to save space, I have only addressed the items on his list that had an effect on the planet as a whole. The rest is internal working or idealistic rhetoric that sounds great.

>>>When you talk of American tax payer's money going to fund countries that vote against America, you must be also knowing how much America spends on fighting or preventing terrorist acts. It is close to 500 Billion dollars annually according to some reports. America and the world together through UN can fight better against the common enemies that ensure a peaceful world. US alone how ever mighty or powerful it may be will be able to fight against terrorism in isolation. What is needed is understanding the common causes and common solutions and UN is the right platform. <<<

I seem to remember our President, two different Secretaries' of Defense and our UN Ambassador going before the UN asking for help in battling Islamic Terrorism. What did we get in return? Nothing! Got told that we were over reacting to 9/11 and even though we give trillions of dollars to help foreign disaster areas, we are the bad guys and are demonized for going after the terrorists. We have some allies in the War on Terror, but their constituencies are voting them out of office and putting in wimps who will not stand up to Islamic Terrorism. How many times has someone brought up going to Darfur and doing something about the genocide going on there before the UN? Actually, shouldn't the UN be jumping at the bit to send peacekeepers into Darfur? Isn't that its supposed job?

In the limited space that I have left, let me explain what scares me most about the UN. That is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now this document lists out many wonderful and supposed rights that we as humans have. Much of which is utter nonsense and is not a "right" at all. But the part that scares me comes straight out of Article 29:

"3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."

This statement right here completely negates the whole concept of freedom, liberty or rights. What they are saying is that all these things are privileges that can be taken from the individual at the whim of the UN. That equals a police state and I'll have no part of it.

I'll close this argument in the words of Patrick Henry: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
Thank you, thelemite, for saying the right thing.
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