Has the UN become irrelevant?

News & Views

Mohammad Jamil

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi in her speech to the Geneeral Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonisation Committee said on Friday that its decolonisation agenda would remain incomplete without settling the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan on the basis of Security Council resolutions that pledged the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people. She reminded the international community that the 15-member Council’s resolution giving Kashmiris the right to joint Pakistan or India by holding a plebiscite under UN auspices has not been implemented. She added: “This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations.” Kashmiris have faced repression, oppression and barbarism of Indian armed forces, yet they are determined to achieve their right of self-determination. During the past two and a half months, over a 100 innocent Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds blinded and thousands injured by Indian bullets and pellets.
In the Middle East, Ambassador Lodhi said the continued denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is the underlying cause of conflict and a grave impediment to lasting peace. Palestinians have indeed undergone the longest suffering and ordeal in the annals of history. Despite various UN resolutions and accords there seems to be not end in sight to the atrocities perpetrated on them. The problem is that more than five American presidents had promised to get the UN resolutions implemented and Palestinians would get their state, but they did not pressurize Israel to honor its commitments. If America continues to give unqualified support to Israel, it will never remove settlements in the West Bank or stop constructing the new ones. The Oslo Accord was based on the principle of “Land for Peace”, and the US was a guarantor for implementation of the agreement.
But Israel would not implement it. Even former President Bush’s ‘road map’ had been shredded into bits by Israel when Sharon had unilaterally announced to withdraw from Gaza Strip years ago instead of completing the talks about total withdrawal from Palestine lands. It is too well known that the Israeli lobby afflicts US Congress and the President. Israel had resorted to false flag operations to provoke the US to attack other countries. During 1967 war Israel had deliberately attacked USS Liberty with unmarked fighters and torpedo boats causing 174 American casualties in an attempt to blame Egypt and garner American support. America was also tricked into bombing Libya in 1986. In fact, the US has angered many countries. There is a strong perception that the US suffered the terror of September 11 because of its unqualified support to Israel.
Apart from other reasons, the date the terrorists chose for attacking World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11 shows their true motivation, because 11th September is the anniversary of the League of Nations proclaiming the British Mandate in 1922 that paved the way for the creation of Palestine. The date represents the first physical step toward the implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of Israel. But this fact was never brought to light because international mass media are owned or dominated by Jews. The British Mandate of Palestine was given by the League of Nations to the United Kingdom to administer the territory comprising today’s Jordan, Israel and territories governed by Palestinian Authority and formerly governed by Ottoman Empire. These were many reasons for the failure of the League of Nations, and United Nations was formed after the end of 2nd World War.
The League of Nations had become irrelevant because the then big powers continued with the policy of colonizing smaller and weaker countries. Especially in the 1930s, weaknesses of the League of Nations were exposed that played a part in the outbreak of World War Two in1939. Article 11 of the League’s Covenant stated: “Any war or threat of war is a matter of concern to the whole League and the League shall take action that may safeguard peace.” Therefore, any conflict between nations, which ended in war and the victory of one state over another, had to be viewed as a failure by the League. In 1919, Italian nationalists felt that the “Big Three” had in their opinion broken promises to Italy at the Treaty of Versailles and captured the small port of Fiume. The Treaty of Versailles had given this port to Yugoslavia.
The next crisis the League faced was at Teschen, which was a small town between Poland and Czechoslovakia. Its main importance was that it had valuable coalmines there, which both the Poles and the Czechs wanted. As both were newly created nations, both wanted to make their respective economies as strong as possible and the acquisition of rich coal mines would certainly help in this respect. In January 1919, Polish and Czech troops fought in the streets of Teschen which resulted in many casualties. The League of Nations was called on to help who decided that the bulk of the town should go to Poland while Czechoslovakia should have one of Teschen’s suburbs. This suburb contained the most valuable coalmines and the Poles refused to accept this decision. Though no more wholesale violence took place, the two countries continued to argue over the issue for the next twenty years.
The Treaty of Versailles had ordered Weimar Germany to pay reparations for war damages. These could either be paid in money or in kind in the form of goods. In 1922, the Germans failed to pay an installment. They claimed that they simply could not rather than did not want to. The Allies refused to accept this as the anti-German feeling at that time was still strong. Both France and Belgium believed that some form of strong action was needed to ‘teach Germany a lesson’. In 1923, contrary to League rules, French and Belgian troops invaded the Ruhr – Germany’s most important industrial zone. France and Britain had broken their own rules as were introduced by the League of Nations. Today, if the UN fails to implement its resolutions, the situation may lead to another world war, and the victors would sit down to create another world body under some other denomination.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.

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