Topics: United Nations, United States, United Nations Security Council Pages: 4 (1325 words) Published: October 20, 2013

Role of State and Non State Actors

The way United Nations works is very unique and many parts play significant roles to make it a viable organization. First it is the role of states that have different functions and powers that contribute to the UN. Major powers such as the United States, China, Russia, France, and Great Britain play key roles that make the UN a viable organization. There are also non state actors such as regional organizations, and NGO’s that also have significant roles towards the United Nations.

The United States is the most important power to the UN and plays a key role to making it a viable organization. Shaping the international system structure after World War 2, including the establishment of IGO’s is one example. However, the US started getting mixed feelings about international organizations and withdrew from several of them. In the Security Council, the US used its veto power 34 times between 1976 and 1985. In 2003, US went to war against Iraq without authorization of the Security Council. Therefore, US were not taking the UN seriously. This changed when Ambassador Susan Rice got appointed and restored her position to cabinet status. In 2009, the US sighed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, making it the first action on an international human rights treaty since 2002.

Several factors, such as the role of Congress have changed this US ambivalence. Congress controls the budget, which is an important source of US power in the UN. This is very significant to the relationship of the US and UN. Mainly, America’s unique history, its record of democracy, and its support for human rights all give it a special role in international relations. This is called the belief of exceptionalism, which is where the US power in the UN is derived from. Therefore, the UN needs this support from US if it is to remain a vital organization.

Russia is also a major power in the UN and its influence in the Security Council...
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