By: Toraino Beckford
Defined as a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country, wars are arguably the most destructive and counterproductive ventures in the history of man. Warfare has consumed most of our modern history but possibly stretches back since humans started to self identity with varying groups.
Ending all warfare is one of the most longed desires of humanity. The idea of preventing all wars carry a utopian effect, taking into consideration the long history of continuous brutal warfare. However, possibly for the first time in history, we have the physical and logistical capacity to prevent all forms of warfare. Additionally, we have more civilized means of resolving conflicts, especially between nations.
The destructive nature of modern warfare has become threatening to the balance of civilization and the natural world and therefore just like nuclear weapons, armies should be used as a deterrent to direct military engagement. The world simply cannot withstand the disastrous and impressionable effects of modern warfare and therefore the Theory of Mutually Assured Destruction now applies to all forms of warfare.
THE UNITED NATIONS AND ITS DUTY TO END ALL WARS
The United Nations (UN) was chartered in 1945 as a solution to the destructive nature of modern warfare. The horrors of the 2nd World War increased the need for a global consensus on conflict prevention and the League of Nations had seemingly outlived its usefulness. The United Nations was chartered with maintaining international peace and security and has yet to see the onset of a major war of “World War” proportions.
However, the organization has not managed to prevent or put an end to wars as previously expected. Admittedly, the United Nations developed during the Cold War where the will of the two superpowers overshadowed peacekeeping objectives. However, these times demand that the United Nations actively pursue its purpose of seeking to end wars altogether.
Wars are currently happening throughout the world, leading to the destabilization of entire nations and the death and displacement of large groups of people. The UN has a responsibility to put an end to these wars and therefore if the organization requires military resources and support from the General Assembly then it must reform its peacekeeping protocols.
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Under Chapter V, Article 24 of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council has authority over peacekeeping operations. This means that the activities of the UN Peacekeeping Force is literally controlled by these countries, some of whom instigate wars, proxy wars and even fuel the continuation of conflicts to benefit their geopolitical interest. In order for the UN to effectively operate as a global solution to wars, the organization must allow its peacekeeping operations to be Democratic, allowing all UN member states (General Assembly) to have a vote.
UN PEACEKEEPING REFORM (EQUAL VOTE)
A critical part of conflict prevention is having the ability to enforce the requirements for peace. The UN Peacekeeping Force should be expanded and should be structured in a more representative framework for the well- being of all the people of the world.
Currently the UN Character gives the Security Council the authority to administer peacekeeping measures. However, factors such as conflicts of interest (domestic and geopolitical) have made the Security Council inefficient and picky at its duty of preventing military conflicts globally. Additionally many countries may have refrained from contributing military resource to the UN Peacekeeping Force due mainly to the fact that they are not given a voice in peacekeeping operations.
Therefore if we are to expand the military resources of the UN Peacekeeping Forces while making peacekeeping operations more representative and more enforceable in all parts of the world then it is advised that the UN allow the General Assembly to possess voting power and the right to administer peacekeeping operations.
By decentralizing and democratizing peacekeeping operations within the UN, countries will have a stake in maintaining peace and obeying UN resolutions, since they are given a vote in Peacekeeping operations. This will also prevent Security Council members or UN officials from using the UN and its Peacekeeping Force as an undemocratic world government.
What is required here is a peacekeeping force which possess the capacity to intervene in and put an end to all current wars while being able to prevent future wars from developing. Therefore, by extending the vote to the UN General Assembly, all countries will have increased involvement, a reason to donate more soldiers and military resources and an incentive to maintain peace.
However, this significant international military development poses a threat to the sovereignty and independence of all nations because if UN officials possess too much direct authority over the deployment and administration of the expanded peacekeeping force then this benevolent measure may become a “One World Army” to be abused by internationalists. Therefore, it is critical that all nations maintain direct control and monitoring of their respective military contributions to the UN.
However, it may became a logistical nightmare if military officials from all the nations are required to play an active role in administering the expanded Peacekeeping force and therefore nations must require consent for all peacekeeping operations and up-to-date reports regarding the objectives and results of these operations. Also, all nation which contribute military resources and personnel to the extended peacekeeping force MUST reserve the right to immediately withdraw their contributions at any time. On the other hand, it is the duty of all other nations to determine if such an action (withdrawal) is done in good faith or maliciously and to direct sanctions or penalties regarding such a withdrawal.
STAGES OF CONFLICT MITIGATION
Pre conflict stage: In the event of a suspicion of impending military conflict between nations.
1) Conflict Mediation
In order to prevent a military conflict from developing, UN Diplomatic teams should be dispatched to the countries that are likely to engage in a military conflict. The objective is to encourage the countries to resort to peaceful negotiations as opposed to armed conflict.
2) Intervention to discourage conflicts
At this stage the active deployment of UN troops would be used to discourage any form of active engagement between hostile nations. In order to physically prevent a conflict from developing, the UN must use it’s Peacekeeping troops to intervene and block any potential warfare from developing to the best of their capabilities. During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, if the UN had deployed an overwhelming peacekeeping force to block the border between Kuwait and Iraq then it would be likely that the Iraqi army would retreat and the war would have been prevented.
3) Address the nation’s grievances and foreseeable future conflicts
At this stage, the UN would negotiate a treaty agreement that will satisfy the parties to the potential conflict or at least compensate the aggrieved party/ parties and or warn/ sanction the aggressor.
In order to achieve sustainable peace and discourage future conflicts, nations on the brink of war must be satisfied with or at least agree to comply with the terms of peace advocated by the UN.
In order to achieve sustainable peace after intervening into a potential conflict, the measures listed below must be assured.
a. Establish consensus and execute effective treaty negotiations and arrive at favorable terms
b. Use rewards and sanctions to assure compliance to peace agreements
c. Outline the relevant international laws and require adherence to them.
d. Accommodate for countries to report concerns that may lead to treaty violations and or war.
e. Form a Treaty Commission and include diplomats from all UN member states and formulate strategies on how countries can make concessions and other efforts towards producing agreeable and lasting treaties that will be effective at preventing the escalation of conflicts.
Active Conflict Stage: In the event of a development of military conflict between nations.
1) Active Intervention
This stage consists of deploying troops with the intent on putting an end to an ongoing conflict. A large and well equipped peacekeeping force with the full consent of a majority of the nations in the world will be a legitimate and pragmatic means of ending a conflict.
Due to the fact that the peacekeeping force is in effect a coalition of armies around the world requiring a vote from the majority of nations globally, the peacekeeping force will likely possess the capacity to put an end to most if not all the wars likely to develop throughout the 21st century. Additionally, parties to a conflict can hold no grudge against intervention since it was agreed upon by a majority of the world’s nations in the best interest of peace.
The UN peacekeeping force should be heavily deployed in the war in Syria to form a buffer between the hostile forces and to demand or forcefully enforce peace.
Parties to the conflict should not be allowed to deploy troops in the peacekeeping operations.
2) Treaty Solutions
This stage is conducted after a ceasefire is achieved and the leaders of the parties to the conflict are invited to engage in peace talk. By utilizing sophisticated treaty negotiations along with diverse and attractive concessions and reinforced with harsh sanctions, treaties assuring lasting peace may be achieved.
What may be required in the Iaraeli / Palestine issue is permanent deployment of peacekeeping forces at defined borders to cease any of potential future conflicts between Israel and Palestine (or other sectarian groups supporting Israel or Palestine).
The Treaty Commission should be used to achieve lasting peace treaties through the pragmatic structuring of attractive concessions/ incentives and sanctions which encourage deterrence to treaty violations or outright conflict.
PUTTING AN END TO ALL WARS
Since wars are currently occurring throughout the world, the above outline provides a blueprint on how to literally prevent wars from happening. This method of constantly intervening into conflicts to enforce peace and to discourage future conflicts is a realistic means of delivering peace to the world.
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The UN General Assembly has 193 nations as member states and if between 2 and 6 persons start a fight in a room of 193 people, regardless of the varying strengths and sizes of each person, the remaining persons most definitely have the ability to put an end to the fight. This same principle applies to nations and therefore the UN and its Peacekeeping Force is the means by which to end nation- level conflicts.
The objective of this paper is to encourage nations to use the UN General Assembly to prevent foreseeable wars and to use the UN Peacekeeping Force to intervene and put an end to wars that break out.
This paper calls for an intervention into all conflict no longer than six (6) months after its commencement.
The duty of ending all wars is a collective effort which demands global cooperation.
This paper seeks to outline a workable method of enforcing and maintaining peace and international justice.
The resolvable hindrances to the UN’s effective implementation of peacekeeping operations has been identified and solutions provided.
The second stage calls for an active intervention into conflicts and require the UN to take control of conflicts and put an end to them by appropriate means. The consent and involvement of the General Assembly is the legitimacy required to implement this enforceable form of peace that should be adopted by the UN.
Admittedly the UN already have certain measures in place to facilitate for significant aspects of this peacekeeping outline. However, the reformative contribution of this paper is to make UN Peacekeeping operations more credible, more inclusive, more funded and in a better position to end all current wars and to prevent future conflicts, which is an objective they have failed to achieve over the past 73 years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Toraino Beckford is an activist, a philosopher and a politician who resides in Savanna-la-mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica. His articles place central focus on Democracy, reform and modernization but also encompasses constructive criticisms and exposure. As a concerned citizen of his native country of Jamaica, Toraino prides himself at using writing as a means of contributing positive progress to the human race.