Limits of the UN’s human rights agenda Introduction One of the major outcomes of Second World War was the formation of United Nations (UN). It was established on 24 August 1945. Until the formation of United Nations, it was difficult to settle international disputes…
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However, League of Nations failed to achieve its objectives, which is evident from the occurrence of a Second World War. The formation of United Nations helped a lot in settling human rights issues and global political, cultural and economic issues. According to Kennedy (2007), “Without the actions and the existence of UN, human kind would be a lot worse off than it is today” (Kennedy, 2007, p.285). However, there are plenty of people who argue that United Nations failed to fulfil its objectives as far as the human right protection of the global community is concerned. “The first International Conference on Human Rights, held in Tehran in April and May 1968” (Burke, 2008, p.275). Since then plenty of global incidents happened in which human right violation occurred in one way or another. UN interfered in some international crisis successfully whereas it failed miserably on many such occasions. “The story of UN peace keeping operation in the 1990s - some success and some failures - to agree that the record is a mixed one”(Kennedy, 2007, p.285). This is because of the fact that UN failed to act neutrally on global issues. Some people argue that UN is working as a toy in the hands of America and its allies. In their opinion, UN fails to interfere properly in human rights violation incidents in which America and its allies are the culprits. They cite incidents from Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq etc to substantiate their arguments. This paper analyses the limits of the UN’s human rights agenda. Limitations of UN’s Human right protection efforts The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time on September 15, 2004 that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN Security Council or in accordance with the UN's founding charter (MacAskill & Borger, 2004). Even though Anan showed the4 courage to openly criticize America’s interventions in Iraq, UN failed to take any effective measures to stop America’s war with Iraq. It should be noted that thousands of Iraqi people suffered a lot because of America’s effort to seize Saddam and weapons of mass destruction from Iraqi soil. Even after years of battle and the execution of Saddam, America failed to establish peace in Iraq or seize any biological, chemical or nuclear weapons from Iraq. In other words, Iraq war was definitely the violation of international laws related to sovereignty and human rights. America vetoes any UN efforts which may go against their interests as well as the interests of their allies like Israel. Middle East is a region in which human right violations are going on for the last few decades. UN is acting as silent witness amidst all human right violations happening in Middle East. It failed to ensure safety and security to the lives and properties of the innocent Palestinian people from the hands of Israel. The right for having an independent state is a human right for Palestinians. However, Israel in company with America blocking Palestine’s every effort to become a sovereign state. Israelis have settled in to lands that Palestinians call home and these Israelis believe that they have the right to live there and call it home themselves. Palestinians want the Israeli "occupiers" to leave, and they desperately want a homeland of their own, a country of their own (The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, n. d). Israel’s ability to stop the functioning of a sovereign Palestine is definitely a failure to United
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