The United Nations Lack of Influence on the Actions of the United States

Topics: United States, United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pages: 5 (1803 words) Published: February 11, 2011
The United Nations Lack of Influence on the Actions of the United States

In the year 1945, the United Nations, an organization comprised of over one hundred countries was established as a direct reaction to the Second World War. The United Nations was designed as a method to attempt to diminish world anarchy, war among nations, and establish a council of nations to collaboratively decide on the mechanisms of international relations. As explained in the text-book, The Globalization of World Politics, the main objectives of the United Nations are: “to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of the nations” (Taylor and Curtis 314). Essentially, The UN aims to act as a world authority figure, a world bodyguard, a peacemaker, and a mediator between nations. In certain instances, the role as a global moderator requires the United Nations to intervene onto the individual activities of nations. The ability of the United Nations to intrude on the actions of nations creates conflicts if the purpose of the organization is incompatible with the nation’s national interest. The tumultuous relationship the United States has upheld with the UN is a primary example of the conflict that arises, proving the ineffectiveness of a cooperative relationship with the UN if it goes against national policies. The futility in the US and UN relationship is exemplified when you consider the divergent language encompassed in the United Nations Charter as compared to Constitution of the United States, the opposition felt from other constituents of the UN towards the United States, and the United States’ blatant defiance of the United Nations’ recommendation on the 2003 attack on Iraq. Examining the various instances when the United States pursued actions regardless of the UN’s approval and comparing their clashing interests in terms of policy will demonstrate the ineffectual influence the UN has on the United States. Furthermore, the United Nations has reached a position where it is no longer an effective organization with regards to US national interest.

One example of how the wording in the United Nations Charter is opposed to the declarations made in the United States Constitution is with regards to human rights. This opposition proves the inconsistency in US involvement with the UN because their ideals do not match. The United Nations Charter recognizes human rights but confines them by stating in article twenty-nine of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “in the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law…” Through the Charter, the United Nations is mandating that human rights may be infringed upon with reasons justified by law. This statement is against the recognition the Constitution of the United States makes, specifically within the Bill of Rights, that men have undeniable rights that cannot be restricted by Congress. The United States considers certain human rights to be protected from government interference, yet the United Nations upholds the law and government above human rights. Having initial contradicting views on policies will lead to disagreements on those policies and create tension within the US and UN relationship, which will be undeniable and difficult to surpass. In order to preserve the nation’s interest, the US will have to uphold its Constitution over the United Nations Charter because it defines many of the nation’s interest, and it is the sole document that regulates United States law and its governmental structure. In doing so, the US undermines the United Nations authority making their collaboration difficult to maintain and honor. If the United Nations’ authority can be easily overlooked because it goes against national interest, the involvement with such...

Bibliography: “60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Welcome to the United Nations: Its Your World. Web. 27 Jan. 2011.
Baylis, John, et al. The Globalization of World Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Malone, David M
Yoo, John. “International Law and the War in Iraq.” The American Journal of International Law 97.3 (2003): 563-76.
[ 3 ]. D. Malone, The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century, Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 2004, p.365
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[ 5 ]. D. Malone, The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century, Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 2004, p.365
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