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Экология Call for reform. Renewing the United Nations
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Suggested activities for students and topics for discussion

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Концепция поддержания мира конкретно не указывается как таковая где-либо в Уставе Организации Объединœенных Наций. Она возникла в качестве прагматического решения в первые годы работы Организации, когда стало очевидным, что некоторые положения Устава, относящиеся к поддержанию международного мира и безопасности, не могут осуществляться так, как это предполагалось. Первая операция — Орган Организации Объединœенных Наций по наблюдению за выполнением условий перемирия на Ближнем Востоке (ОНВУП)[18] — начала осуществляться в 1948 году с целью наблюдения за выполнением перемирия в Палестинœе, к которому призвал Совет Безопасности. На веб-сайте ООН в Интернете дается общий обзор миротворческой деятельности Организации Объединœенных Наций, и приводятся списки завершенных и текущих операций.

Как правило, операции по поддержанию мира учреждаются Советом Безопасности — органом, который по Уставу несет главную ответственность по поддержанию мира и безопасности; финансовые аспекты операций по поддержанию мира, с другой стороны, рассматриваются Генеральной Ассамблеей. Цель этого руководства состоит по сути в том, чтобы дать общий обзор главной документации обоих органов, относящейся к учреждению и осуществлению операций по поддержанию мира, и изложить имеющиеся варианты изучения и поиска информации.

1. Being safe and feeling safe are both individual and collective needs. In order to address that need, governments design security provisions, which range from deci­sions to develop and stockpile weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical weapons), conventional weapons (planes, ships, tanks, artillery etc.), land­mines, and small arms and handguns. Choose а country and research the securi­ty/defence decisions made by the government. How are resources allocated? How do these allocations compare to expenditures for social programmes such as health care and education?

2. Choose one of the ranges of armaments listed above (for example nuclear weapons, biological weapons, conventional weapons etc.) and research the countries most involved in the production and distribution of this kind of weapon. Consider also the following:

· Who is involved in the production: which industries produce what?

· What is needed for production? From where is this material obtained?

· How are arms transferred: are there legitimate/illegitimate transfers? (a report оn this topic is available on http://www.basicint.org.

· How can production be monitored? By whom?

· When weapons are confiscated or destroyed, what replaces them?

· Who has/can have access to weapons?

· How can distribution of weapons be monitored? Are any efforts being made by the government to monitor or control distribution?

3. Efforts to provide security can be offered by regional security organizations in place of individual country efforts. Who belongs to such regional security organizations as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of South-East Asian Nations and the Organization of American States? Is membership open to all the countries in the area? Do provisions exist for peacekeeping operations? What kind of а regional organization could help with secu­rity issues in the Middle East, South Asia or North-East Asia? Does any such organiza­tion exist?

4. Choose either your own or another country and find out the requirements for military service for males and females. Do alternative provisions exist for service in peacekeeping and mediation corps? If so, what are the steps involved for participat­ing in such alternatives? If not, why not?

5. As it is put in the Charter one of the fundamental goals of the UN is "to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war". How do you regard the UN's success in this field? Can you give any examples that will prove its effectiveness? Do you believe this goal to be achievable? What means of achieving this goal would you propose?

6. Armed conflicts are not the only threats to а country's security. Today, hunger, malnutrition and disease kill as many people in two days as the Hiroshima Bomb. Even if only а fraction of military spending was redirected to peaceful purposes, living standards and economic and social development would significantly improve. According to expert teams research comparative expenditures of the world are as following[19]:

  World Developed Developing
Military expenditures per soldier (US$) 31,480 123,544 9,094
Education expenditures per student (US$) 7,675
Health expenditures per capita (US$) 1,376

How can you account for such figures? Do you think a different allocation of means may contribute to alleviating the suffering of people in the world?

7. Here are some man's characteristics:

a) "Homo sapiens are the deadliest species"

b) "We have inherited a tendency to make war form our ancestors";

c) "The war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature";

d) "Humans have a violent brain";

e) "Aggression is an instinctive part of human nature"

Do you agree with definitions given above? If yes, how you see the way out of the situation? Can we then hope to live one day in peace or peaceful coexistence of peoples is a Utopia? Choose one of them to comment on.

Chapter 5

1. Read the following text:

"For the United Nations, success in meeting the challenges of globalization ultimately comes down to meeting the needs of peoples. It is in their name that the Charter was written; realizing their aspirations remains our vision for the twenty-first century."

Secretary-General Kofi Annan

"Other than its membership, whom is the UN accountable to? Its membership is of state parties, many of which are authoritarian governments, who couldn't give a damn what their people think of it. There aren't checks and balances by public constituencies over what member states do at the UN, so it's undemocratic in that sense. It's also undemocratic in the sense that it is dominated by a few key members, particularly the P5, and the power of the veto".

Shepard Forman, New York University's Centre on International Cooperation

The pace of today's globalized world means that change is a constant. This is no different for the United Nations. Member states' demands of the UN and its Secretariat, agencies, funds and programmes have grown enormously. The UN is expected to deliver more services to more people in more places than ever before.

In the past nine years alone, the number of civilian and soldiers deployed on peacekeeping missions has increased from 20,000 to 80,000. Over the same period, the overall financial resources managed by the Secretariat have doubled to $18 billion. The number of humanitarian and human rights operations have also dramatically increased.

Such a volume of highly operational activity places a greater premium on the ability of the organization to discharge the increased and more complex mandates it is given, and to manage the funds entrusted to it, in an accountable and ethical manner. In the meantime, these demands and expectations have strained the Organization's existing structures and systems

In recent years the appeals for comprehensive reforms in the UN are heard more and more often. "Reform" is always a loaded word because its meaning is often so subjective and because any significant change will affect power relationships and the status of particular member-states. The idea to make all bodies of the UN more relevant to modern times echoes throughout the UN. Loud voices from many corners call for reforms, or at least improvements, in most of the bodies, agencies and activities that constitute the UN. The calls are fed partly by concern that the Secretariat, the agencies, and other parts of the UN system could be much more effective, efficient, and accountable than they are and partly by allegations that the bureaucracy has been a juicy career plum for a small group of administrators who put their interests ahead of those of the organization. They complain that the UN response to calls for reform has too often been knee-jerk and has not tried to address the significant problems that exist within the bureaucracy. One of the insiders of the UN has put as follows: "I do want to debunk the notion that the UN has nothing but dead wood. That is completely wrong. The UN has a number of very good people. But the UN is bound up in rules…The red tape at the UN is… completely dysfunctional[20]". Another problem, according to analysts is the lack of accountability as the UN doesn't have an effective system of checks and balances.

The principles of the Charter of the United Nations are today as relevant they were in 1946. But the way we deliver on these aims and objectives has to move with the times. Since the Secretary-General took office[21], reform has been a priority – from more effective peace operations to closer partnerships with civil society and the private sector, from improved management structures and systems to security for staff in the field.

"We must put people at the centre of everything we do . . . А more people-oriented United Nations must be а more results-based organization, both in its staffing and its allocation of resources." This quote from the Secretary-General's Millennium Report sums up the kind of renewal the organization is going through to serve both states and people better in the 21st century.

It is а renewal of the means used to achieve the goals of the United Nations: peace, prosperity, social justice and а sustainable future. These goals are increasingly being pursued through collaboration with private corporations and non-governmental and public organi­zations and through the use of new information technologies, such as the Internet. There is also renewal from within the Organization in the form of streamlined and client-oriented programme delivery, designed to make the UN leaner and more effective.

The arrival of the new millennium and the events surrounding it present аn out­standing opportunity for the UN member-states to rededicate themselves to the mission of the UN and its core values: freedom, tolerance, equity, non-violence, respect for nature and shared responsibility. When it was created more than half а century ago in the aftermath of the Second World War, the UN reflected humanity's greatest hopes for а just and peaceful global community. And still the United Nations is the only global institution with universal membership.