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The Relevance of the United Nations in the Post-Cold War Era: Iraqi Invasion as a Case Study

In: Social Issues

Submitted By aladeniyi
Words 11211
Pages 45



APRIL 2005




1. The basic concepts and assumptions that led to the formation of the United Nations (UN) dates back to the beginning of statecraft and humanity’s first efforts to foster international cooperation. The treaty of the peace of Westphalia of 1648 is regarded at humanity’s first effort in statehood and fostering international cooperation. The formation of the UN is predicated on the evolution of diplomacy, alliances, conferences, rules of warfare, means of peaceful settlement of conflicts and the development of international law. The overriding purpose of the UN is war prevention. This purpose was earlier pursued by ancient Greek Philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, who wrote on the conditions necessary for peace.1 The church in the Middle Ages also enunciated a doctrine of “Just War” to limit violence and destruction by sanctioning only wars fought for justifiable courses. The pacifists and internationalists, like Desiderius Erasmus, condemned war in its entirety as “immoral and wasteful”.

2. The need to institute mechanics for peaceful settlement of disputes and prevent war encouraged the formation of various international organizations over time. These include the Congress of Vienna and Concert of Europe in 1815. The Hague System worked towards the codification of international law, formulated a set of procedures for pacific settlement, which included mediation, conciliation and inquiry in 2 conferences of 1899 and 1907. The third conference could not however hold in 1915 due to the outbreak of the First World War (WWI) 2.

3. The League of Nations emerged after WWI. It was an international alliance for the preservation of peace. The League was...

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