International organizations, a failure

Peaceful settlement of disputes. International cooperation. Human rights defense. Arms control. Environmental care. Social-economic development. Reduction of poverty and starvation. Trade facilities. Humanitarian aid. Decorous conditions of labor. Respect to minorities…

Each one of these goals led to the creation of several organizations all over the world by linking global, regional, or bilateral interests, and depending on the issue of concern, the little or much success of such organization. Generally, the most successful are those based on economic aspects, like trade, investment or control of prices, while those which main aim is human development face innumerable difficulties. The first ones are more profitable than the others.

Who are the members of these international organizations? Well, it depends on the kind of organization we talk about. Let us say there is a group of countries concerned for increasing the regional commerce in order to strengthen their economies before the other regions so they negotiate the terms and create an Association of South-East Asian Nations. It is a competitive world, and so countries need allies to reach certain aims. It is like joining to a club... Or, let us think about several nations with a common, powerful enemy, who threatens global security and democracy. Then we could expect the birth of a North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Until this point there are only countries being considered to participate in international organizations, but there are some people who also think they have a voice in the world, and a mission, and they care about human rights, and thus they create Human Rights Watch; or they want to protect environment, and then they agree on establishing a Greenpeace (did anyone ever think peace would be green one day?) organization; and they believe or pretend they can make the thinks become different. But, can they?

Here it is required to evaluate the dimensions of powers involved, how they operate, the relations among them, and the different approaches to a possible cooperation.

If nation-states join a group of countries in an international organization, it is because they need of their help or their support, or they just want to have a friendlier image in face to the international society. But there are countries which do not need that kind of support in some ways, and that is one of the main reasons for the failure of international organizations, such as UN, specially the Security Council, where five nations have the power to decree a veto on any decision, making it very difficult to reach a general agreement.

In other cases, when it is about signing a Treaty or Convention, the national sovereignty of one country (better not to say the name of that or those countries) often opposes the efforts of most of the other countries to reach consensus, and dialogue is stopped, or the agreements accomplished do not apply completely. Besides, there is no way to oblige a country to sign it or to ratify it.

The strongest organizations are those emerged from a security threat, but they last only the same time that the risk, and once it is gone there is no more reason for it to continue existing, at least there is another danger menacing security (the threat could be invented then to keep the organization alive, as it has occurred frequently). Although their effectiveness, when it is attempted to increase cooperation by handing over sovereignty, the barriers appear and cooperation becomes rather difficult, as it happened to some European organization which tried to create a strong defense for the region.

Can peace be achieved through dialogue? Maybe until now there has not been any true dialogue among nations, because war and anger continue, and violence increases dangerously. Those institutions created to permit dialogue have no impact on foreign policies, because countries can talk but they are deaf. Every one exposes its own point of view, but they will never go any further than their own interest. Will General Assembly of UN discuss really any problem some day? Furthermore, if they really discussed the challenges world is facing, yet no consensus is possible because of the diversity of interests. In this sense, UN is an illusion of world democracy and dialogue. A pretension of equality. That stuff of giving each member one vote. What for? If at the end their voice will sound as a distant echo in the night. The compromise of nations is a beautiful and impossible ideal.

But the compromise of people is another different thing. Organizations based on civil participation are large and active, even though the results are not always flattering. When somebody accepts freely to join a cause, it is more likely that his compromise will be deeper than the compromise of nations. International organizations do not profit, and so it is necessary to believe on it to work on it. The labor of these institutions is very uncomfortable for corporations and oppressive or corrupted governments, and sometimes its members risk themselves for the cause they believe in. But, despite they would be more effective in abstract, in reality they are weakened by the other forces existing in the international arena. Corporations have huge economic power, so big to change laws and push governments to allow their abuses.

Corporations join into international organizations too, and as it could be imagined, those organizations are more powerful and more effective than the others. The pure profit search. The complete forget of principles and beliefs.

In such a world, international organizations have failed to accomplish the purpose they were created for.

As time goes by, the problems among nations are getting harder, and even though the people try to stop the oppression, their effort is not enough against the powers it is facing.  


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