Why We’re Better Off Without the U.N.
Aug 25, 2016   •   Tim Henares
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Aug 25, 2016   •   Tim Henares
Let’s be clear about this: while it is nice to fantasize about leaving the United Nations (to be “independent” from the rest of the world and the duties of being a member of the organization, etc.), there is no provision for leaving the U.N. in its charter, precisely to avoid using threats of leaving the organization as political leverage.
Also, the whole thing was just another hilarious joke by our beloved President Duterte. Haha.
Wouldn’t it be a great thing if we just up and left it, much in the same way the U.K. left the European Union (it’s still there, technically)? Or the growing clamor from the U.S.A. to leave the U.N., as spearheaded by the brilliant Sarah Palin, who obviously did not bother reading the memo. That said, what has the United Nations ever done for us, and why should we care?
Here are 8 signs we are better off leaving the United Nations.
What has the UN really ever done? After arbitration in our favor happened, isn’t it a bit like saying that China is still pretending the ruling never occurred? Indeed, the United Nations is of no help to us in our dealings with China!
Surely, the fact that America and Japan are keeping China at bay has absolutely nothing to do with us being a part of the United Nations, and directly in alliance with these countries, as a result, right? Oh, wait.
So, other than arbitration in our favor under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), and putting us together with our American and Japanese allies to fend off China both diplomatically and potentially otherwise, what has the U.N. really ever done?
Clearly, with the ongoing war in Syria, it is pretty clear that the U.N. doesn’t really have any teeth in trying to maintain peace, and…wait, what? They got Russia and U.S. to the bargaining table just by asking really nicely? So as bad as Syria is, it could easily be much worse otherwise? Who knew?!?
And, wait a minute: You mean to say that the United Nations has managed to enforce peace treaties, observe wars and step in when necessary, and succeeded in peacekeeping efforts that prevented both a third world war and nuclear escalation? And that, although you cannot give them all the credit, it’s pretty obvious they are somewhat responsible for 70 peacekeeping missions, some still ongoing to this very day, and would not have possibly existed if not for the United Nations? That’s a shocker.
Other than arbitration in our favor on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) under the United Nations Convention, putting us together with our American and Japanese allies to fend off China both diplomatically and potentially, and demonstrating an ability to help out and enforce peacekeeping endeavors since the 1940s, what has the U.N. really ever done?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights? What?!? Who cares about that stuff, if all it does is protect criminals, like, say former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? So we know about human rights; it apparently ensures that even in the cases of war, there is still some semblance of humaneness. And if a state is downright oppressive, it puts the state into question. And because it’s universal, it means these human rights apply to everybody, and any violation of these human rights are responded to by the state and by the human rights advocates from the U.N. to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) if the state or other power structures exceed their grasp.
In short, we would still be doing nothing about child labor and discrimination; chemical and nuclear warfare would still be the norm, and war crimes would not be considered war crimes.
Imagine how much more screwed up things would be if the United Nations didn’t put all of those systems into place? The fact that we are aware that something is being violated and we have the ability of the United Nations to call it out and impose sanctions on belligerent members when need be should tell us how big of a deal it is. These are guarantees that, while not legally binding by virtue of its very explication, is of moral and political importance in establishing standard expectations in society. After all, a truly progressive society must live by a maxim that can be universal law, or else a country simply descends into chaos, its norms and values dictated by whoever happens to have the biggest gun.
Listen: so other than arbitration in our favor under the UNCLOS, putting us together with our American and Japanese allies to fend off China both diplomatically and potentially otherwise, demonstrating an ability to help out and enforce peacekeeping endeavors since the 1940s, espousing and protecting our most basic human rights and thus at least enlightening us to not just accept abuse from the worst despots from within and without, what has the U.N. really ever done?
The Philippines is safer than it’s ever been, after all the killings in the last two months. Considering that there have been killings long before the president’s term began, isn’t it great that, now, only drug pushers and a few users are targeted, instead of law-abiding citizens? Sure, there have been just a few collateral damage casualties like innocent bystanders. And, inexplicably, an overwhelming majority of these dead suspects just so happen to be poor, while celebrities and politicians get all the due process in the world. We have an amazing level of peace and order now. Well of course, if you happen to disagree with possibly becoming a collateral damage statistic, there could be some misguided souls who might actually want to seek safer life elsewhere – maybe seek what’s known as asylum?
Well, hold on a minute. Isn’t that something the United Nations helps make happen? And without it, we’re pretty much stuck in a bad situation and there’s no getting out of it barring a lot of money (as usual)? Dammit!
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