The Instigator
NoorH606
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
dsjpk5
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Is the United Nations Still Relevant?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
dsjpk5
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,102 times Debate No: 86983
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

NoorH606

Pro

the wake of the failure of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to legitimate or prevent the 2003 war in Iraq, the summer 2006 impasse over a resolution to the conflict in Lebanon, and the likely September 2006 stalemate with Iran over nuclear development, there are good reasons to be skeptical about the ability of the Security Council and, perhaps, the broader UN to fulfill their mandates to maintain international peace and security. Yet, in the face of new global challenges ranging from environmental degradation to infectious disease, from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to the prevention of terrorism, international lawmaking through the UN may be the best and possibly only means to promote international peace and security through the rule of law. The active engagement of the Security Council and a range of other UN organs in the processes of international lawmaking have never been more necessary.

In pursuing their various interests, states may choose from a broad array of means to cooperate. At times, they may choose non-legalized forms of cooperation such as implicit understandings and "handshake" agreements. In other circumstances, they may opt for formal legal arrangements with a single partner, such as a bilateral investment treaty. At still other times, regional treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the European Convention on Human Rights may be preferred. The importance of such forms of lawmaking should not be underestimated; there are more than 60,000 bilateral treaties deposited with the UN. Yet, the processes of globalization, the growing dangers posed by transnational threats, and the need for broad global coordination requires legal rules that reach across the globe, beyond any single relationship or region. Despite its faults and limitations, the UN is by far the best-suited institution to lead the global lawmaking that is essential to respond to these new challenges. The UN"s longstanding prominence in the creation and enforcement of international legal rules must continue if the present moment"s challenges are to be met through the law.

While the Security Council"s exercise of its Chapter VII authority is the most likely to make the headlines, international lawmaking through the UN takes a number of forms. The International Law Commission (ILC)"-a group of international legal experts tasked with the progressive development of international law"-meets annually to develop foundational drafts for future international treaties, such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and to explicate rules of customary international law, such as the Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, which codifies customary rules of state liability. In addition, the UN Sixth Committee offers a forum for discussion of international legal issues. The Human Rights Council (HRC) (formerly the Human Rights Commission) provides important jurisprudence in human rights law and monitors state compliance with human rights obligations. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the chief legal organ of the UN, has a growing caseload of interstate legal disputes and has pushed the development of international law through important precedents interpreting international treaties and identifying rules of customary international law. Perhaps the most important contribution of the UN to international lawmaking, however, is its role in the creation of new international treaties. A wide variety of international treaties"ranging from the 1982 Convention on the High Seas to the 1999 Convention on the Financing of Terrorism"have been negotiated under UN auspices. In fact, since 1945, the UN is the official depository of 517 concluded multilateral treaties.

The UN offers, at least, four critical benefits to international treaty making. First, and perhaps most important, is the possibility for wide, and sometimes even universal, participation in the creation of the legal rules that regulate international affairs. Every state is represented at the UN and can be included in the processes of international lawmaking. While it is true that bilateral or regional agreements may result in deeper levels of commitment"greater synergies of interests are likely to be found amongst smaller numbers of states"the challenges and dangers the global community faces today demand the near universal participation in legal regimes made possible through the UN. Whether international law seeks to regulate the Internet, respond to global warming, combat international terrorism, or address pandemic diseases, the exclusion or defection of only a small number of states may well render the broader enterprise of legalization worthless. A handful of serious polluters, a few safe havens for terrorists, or even one epicenter of disease outbreak may well undermine an otherwise global legal regime. The UN, with its broad reach, its all-encompassing membership, and its agenda-setting potential may well be the best (and perhaps the only) hope for developing universal legal regimes that can effectively respond to these new challenges.

Second, international lawmaking through the UN offers a global legitimacy critical to creating effective legal rules. Admittedly, the UN is subject to criticism"-some of it justified"-and its effectiveness has been questioned by the current US administration. Yet, for much of the rest of the world, the UN remains the preeminent, if not the only, institution capable of conferring legal legitimacy worldwide. While many states note the lack of representativeness of the Security Council, they nonetheless respect the bargain struck in San Francisco in 1945 and the normative force of an institution designed to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." Whatever form international lawmaking takes-"be it a multilateral treaty or the identification of customary rules in a decision by the ICJ"the fact that such rules were created through the UN creates a considerable "compliance pull" for many states to ratify international treaties, accept customary rules and, perhaps, change their behavior.

Third, the UN allows representation of diverse interests and promotes more equitable outcomes. Working through the UN allows poorer or less-developed states (particularly those from the Global South) to be included in the creation of international legal rules. Whereas many states lack the resources to monitor the ad hoc creation of legal rules and many fewer send representatives to every diplomatic conference where such rules may be created, all are represented at the UN. In contrast, to regional arrangements or bilateral arrangements, international lawmaking through the UN affords the possibility for preexisting subgroups of states to assert collective interests to counterbalance powerful states. The result may be more equitable legal rules to which there may be more widespread adherence.

A fourth important benefit of international lawmaking through the UN is the considerable reduction in contracting costs"making cooperation easier to achieve and legal rule making more efficient"accompanying the use of a preexisting international institution. The standing organs of the UN provide an already established forum for the negotiation of international treaties, the codification of emerging customary norms, and the explication of rules through judicial decisions. Organizing large conferences of states to conclude a treaty, setting the terms of reference for such a negotiation, or undertaking the background legal work to make a new treaty can be extraordinarily costly and time-consuming, often preventing agreements from being reached. Collectively, the institutions of the UN-"in which long-term investments have already been made"-provide a relatively efficient means of lawmaking and require considerably less incremental expense. For example, the ILC, as part of its normal work, may engage in years of background preparation for a possible new treaty. State delegations in New York may discuss and deliberate an emerging rule or proposed treaty. The UN Secretariat may coordinate an international treaty conference and the ICJ may interpret the resultant treaty in any subsequent dispute. The enhanced coordination and more cost-effective process that often accompanies international lawmaking through the UN may well result in new international agreements that otherwise would have been prohibitively costly to conclude.

Beyond its critical role in the creation and interpretation of international treaties, the UN Security Council has taken important new steps in response to pressing global threats. Whereas the Security Council has traditionally created international legal obligations under its Chapter VII authority with respect to individual states and in response to a clear threat to international peace and security, the Council has, in recent years, become more willing to recognize threats to international peace and security and to direct its lawmaking authority to the international community at large. For example, in response to systematic human rights abuse"traditionally a matter within the sovereign domain of states and outside the Council"s purview"the Council has found a threat to international peace and security, invoked Chapter VII, created binding legal obligations, and even legitimated the use of military force to end such abuses. Likewise, the Council has shown a new willingness to create legal obligations for all states to utilize their domestic systems to respond to pressing international threats. For example, Resolution 1373 requires states to "prevent the commission of terrorist acts" through the domestic criminalization of terrorism financing, freezing of terrorist assets by national authorities, use of domestic courts to bring to justice those involved in terrorist acts, and ratification by domestic authorities of relevant antiterrorism conventions. While some have criticized such "legislation" by the Security Council as ultra vires, it offers an important new tool for the creation of universal legal rules and state obligations to respond to the most urgent threats and challenges. The imposition on all states of such specific obligations to take domestic action is likely to be a critical element of the future of international lawmaking. Only the UN Security Council has the legal capacity to do so.

Admittedly, the UN has its fair share of problems. The Security Council is often unable to reach an agreement and its permanent membership is no longer representative. The General Assembly is subject to deep divisions and can be overly politicized. Processes of lawmaking are often slow and cumbersome. While the reforms suggested by the Secretary General"s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change are promising"-as indicated by the new Human Rights Council"-their realization and ultimate success are far from assured. Reforms are urgently needed to ensure the long-term viability of the UN. The Security Council must become more representative. Mechanisms to prevent political deadlock in the Council and the General Assembly must be developed. The processes of lawmaking must become more rapid and responsive.

Yet, consider the alternatives to lawmaking through the UN, despite its faults. Informal and nonlegal cooperation will continue to be important but cannot generate formal, binding obligations. Bilateral treaties, while perhaps more effective in regulating matters that only pertain to two states, cannot provide the seamless legal regime needed to address global threats. The use of regional organizations as fora for international lawmaking has its place, but cannot respond to truly global threats and creates the potential for regional fragmentation. The creation of multilateral treaties through ad hoc processes is costly, often exclusionary, and may lack the legitimacy necessary to generate state compliance. The establishment of an alternative global institution of a general nature as a replacement for the UN is politically impossible. Institutions such as the proposed Council of Democracies as an alternative or supplement to the UN may be useful, but in the short to medium term cannot offer many of the key benefits of international lawmaking through the UN.

In the face of avian flu, Al Qaeda, climate change, and the proliferation of nuclear technologies, legitimate and effective global rules of international law are urgently needed to coordinate states" efforts and constrain governmental conduct. The UN continues to offer critical advantages that cannot be easily rivaled in the creation of such rules. The UN and its organs are more urgently needed today than ever before to facilitate the creation of broad international treaties, to codify and interpret customary rules, or to "legislate" on behalf of the global community. Whether the UN"s potential to generate effective legal responses to these threats is fully realized, however, will depend on whether the organization itself embraces the reform process and whether states are willing to commit to the global processes of lawmaking so urgently needed.
dsjpk5

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate.

PLAGIARISM

My opponent has plagiarized his entire first round argument from the following website:

https://www.pennlawreview.com...

I ask the voters to consider this when voting on this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
NoorH606

Pro

NoorH606 forfeited this round.
dsjpk5

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited this round. Hopefully he/she will come back next round.
Debate Round No. 2
NoorH606

Pro

NoorH606 forfeited this round.
dsjpk5

Con

I was hoping to respond to my opponent's arguments, but he/she never made any original ones. All he/she offered was plagiarism and forfeits. I guess all I can do is make my own arguments:

Contention One

The U.N. is irrelevant. It has no power whatsoever. For example, Syria meets inspectors with artillery attacks, Iran continues to ignore U.N. officials, and North Korea continues to test nuclear weapons despite condemnation from the U.N. [1]

Sources:

1. http://www.the-american-interest.com...
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 12 months ago
dsjpk5
I haven't seen my opponent on this website for a while now. He probably too busy with his work at the U.N.
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
Apparently there was a round two.
Posted by NoorH606 1 year ago
NoorH606
and there won't be a round two so just don't bother
Posted by NoorH606 1 year ago
NoorH606
well did I say I wrote that the question therefore it's not so good luck and therefore
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
You also didn't use quotation marks, or cite your source... therefore, you plagiarized.
Posted by NoorH606 1 year ago
NoorH606
who ever read this don't think i plagiarised i just proved a point i never said i wrote it did i ?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by illegalcombat 1 year ago
illegalcombat
NoorH606dsjpk5Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Resolution very vague, advantage to Pro as long as they can justify that the UN is relevant even in the most general sense they win. Never the less they didn't cite their one and only argument which was copied, if they had done so good chance of winning. As such, plagiarized arguments from Pro are disregarded. Multiple forfeits by Pro = conduct to Con
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
NoorH606dsjpk5Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros lone argument was a blatant copy/paste plaigerism, which he followed up with two forfeited turns. Therefore he gets no points for conduct, S&G, more convincing arguments or citing sources - because he wrote none of it himself. Con actually wrote his own argument (points for S&G and more convincing arguments by default), cited a source to support said argument (source point to Con), and provided link to the article that Pro copy/pasted from.
Vote Placed by Unbelievable.Time 1 year ago
Unbelievable.Time
NoorH606dsjpk5Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: plagiarism
Vote Placed by Peepette 1 year ago
Peepette
NoorH606dsjpk5Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF multiple rounds