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United Nations History

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League Visualized

| League Formed →

According to Hobbes Edit


According to Hobbes, in a state of nature, we have a right to defend ourselves by any means necessary, whereas in civil society, government has a monopoly on the use of force; private revenge yields to a law-governed system of police and courts. In a state of nature our only duty is to try to get out of such a miserable condition, to try to gain agreement on a social contract that will establish civil society. In civil society, we may reasonably enter into all sorts of contracts and undertake all sorts of duties, since it is reasonable to assume that others will cooperate; in case they do not, one may go to court to have things set right.[citation needed]

Also, man is by nature selfish. A group of men by nature form a mob. Hobbes theorized government as a way to crush the "tyranny of the majority." On the global scale, nations act as people, and there is, according to Hobbes, the need for a global "League of Nations" to stop man's Selfishness.[citation needed]

The Kingdom of God is Within You Edit

Tolstoy, writer of War and Peace, visualized a league formed to outlaw war. He stated his views in his novel "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Kingdom of God Is Within You (Russian: Царство Божие внутри вас [Tsarstvo Bozhiye vnutri vas]) is the non-fiction magnum opus of Leo Tolstoy and was first published in Germany in 1894, after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's Christian thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation.[citation needed]

Quadruple Alliance Edit

The Quadruple Alliance of 1718 was formed by Great Britain, France, the Holy Roman emperor, and the Netherlands. This came into fruition when Philip V of Spain, guided by Cardinal Alberoni, sought by force to nullify the peace settlements reached after the War of the Spanish Succession (see Utrecht, Peace of). An English fleet landed Austrian troops in Sicily, which Spain had seized, while French and English forces entered Spain. Early in 1720, Spain yielded to the allies, but the peace terms thoroughly revised those signed at Utrecht. The Treaty of The Hague restored Naples to the house of Austria; Austria in turn promised that Philip's son Charles (later Charles III of Spain) would succeed to Parma, Piacenza, and Tuscany. Savoy, in exchange for yielding Sicily to the house of Austria, received the island of Sardinia and became the kingdom of Sardinia. Spain joined the alliance. A progressive rapprochement between Spain and France led to the Family Compact of 1733 and a further redistribution of territories after the War of the Polish Succession (1733–35). The Quadruple Alliance of March 1814 was concluded among Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia at Chaumont, France in order to strengthen their coalition against Napoleon I. After Napoleon's first abdication the four powers made peace with France (see Paris, Treaty of, 1814); after Napoleon's return from Elba, they defeated him in the Waterloo campaign and imposed on France the more severe Treaty of Paris of 1815. On the same day that treaty was signed (Nov. 20), the Quadruple Alliance was renewed in order to insure the treaty's execution. The so-called Holy Alliance, signed a few days earlier by Russia, Austria, and Prussia, became confused with the Quadruple Alliance, especially since the international congresses at Aachen (1818), Troppau (1820), Laibach (1821), and Verona (1822)—which were held according to provisions of the Quadruple Alliance—increasingly shaped the policy of the Holy Alliance, while England retired into “splendid isolation.” In 1818, France joined the powers of the Quadruple Alliance to form a Quintuple Alliance. The Quadruple Alliance of 1834 was formed by Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal for the purpose of strengthening the constitutional government of Spain and the throne of Isabella II against the Carlists. The Spanish marriages (1846; see Isabella II) ended Franco-British cooperation in Spanish affairs.[citation needed]

Other Contributors to the Concept Edit

The concept of a peaceful community of nations had been outlined as far back as 1795, when Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch outlined the idea of a league of nations that would control conflict and promote peace between states. International co-operation to promote collective security originated in the Concert of Europe that developed after the Napoleonic War in the nineteenth century in an attempt to maintain the status quo between European states and so avoid war. This period also saw the development of international law with the first Geneva conventions establishing laws about humanitarian relief during war and the international Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 governing rules of war and the peaceful settlement of international disputes. The forerunner of the League of Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), was formed by peace activists William Randal Cremer and Frederic Passy in 1889. The organization was international in scope with a third of the members of parliament, in the 24 countries with parliaments, serving as members of the IPU by 1914. Its aims were to encourage governments to solve international disputes by peaceful means and arbitration and annual conferences were held to help governments refine the process of international arbitration. The IPU's structure consisted of a Council headed by a President which would later be reflected in the structure of the League.[citation needed]

League Formed

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Origins of the League Edit


Description Edit

The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920. The League's goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation, diplomacy and improving global welfare. The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift in thought from the preceding hundred years.

James Eric Drummond Edit

James Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth, KCMG, CB (August 17, 1876 – December 15, 1951) was a Scottish representative peer, a British diplomat and the first general secretary of the League of Nations.

Half brother of the 15th Earl of Perth, Drummond was born in North Yorkshire, England. He was educated at Eton and began his Foreign Office career in 1900. In 1906, he became private secretary to Lord Edmund Petty-FitzMaurice, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In 1908 and again from 1910 to 1911, he was précis writer for Sir Edward Grey, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Joseph Louis Anne Avenol Edit

Joseph Louis Anne Avenol (June 9, 1879, Melle, Deux-Sèvres, France—September 2, 1952, Duillier, Vaud, Switzerland) was a French diplomat. He served as the second general secretary of the League of Nations, from July 3, 1933 to August 31, 1940. He was preceded by Sir Eric Drummond of the United Kingdom, who was general secretary between 1920 and 1933, and he was succeeded by the Irish diplomat Seán Lester, who was general secretary between 1940 and 1946, when the League was dissolved.

Avenol was sent to the League of Nations from the French Treasury Department in 1922 to handle the League's finances. He was under secretary-general in 1933, when Eric Drummond resigned. He became secretary-general because the first secretary-general had been British and there had been a private agreement at Versailles that the next would be French. Avenol was accused of using the League as an extension of the French Foreign Office in its policy of appeasement of Germany and Italy. In fact, as he showed after the German occupation of Paris, he was a supporter of Hitler, Mussolini and Marshal Philippe Pétain of the Vichy régime.

Seán Lester Edit

Seán Lester (September 28, 1888, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland – June 13, 1959, Galway, Ireland) was an Irish diplomat and the final Secretary General of the League of Nations, from August 31, 1940 to April 18, 1946.

Lester was both an Ulster Protestant and an Irish nationalist. He was born in County Antrim, the son of a grocer. Despite the fact that the town of Carrickfergus, where he was born and raised, was strongly Unionist, he joined the Gaelic League as a youth, and was won over to the cause of Irish nationalism. As a young man he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was working as a journalist for the North Down Herald and a number of other northern papers, before moving to Dublin, where he found a job with the Freeman's Journal. There, by 1919, he had risen to news editor.

After the War of Independence, a number of his friends joined the new government of the Irish Free State. Lester was offered, and accepted, a position as Director of Publicity.

External Links Edit

Protocols of the League

The League of Nations Protocol for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes Edit

2 October, 1920

Animated by the firm desire to ensure the maintenance of general peace and the security of nations whose existence, independence or territories may be threatened;

Recognising the solidarity of the members of the international community;

Asserting that a war of aggression constitutes a violation of this solidarity and an international crime;

Desirous of facilitating the complete application of the system provided in the Covenant of the League of Nations for the pacific settlement of disputes between States and of ensuring the repression of international crimes; and

For the purpose of realising, as contemplated by Article 8 of the Covenant, the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations;

The Undersigned, duly authorised to that effect, agree as follows:


The signatory States undertake to make every effort in their power to secure the introduction into the Covenant of amendments on the lines of the provisions contained in the following articles.

They agree that, as between themselves, these provisions shall be binding as from the coming into force of the present Protocol and that, so far as they are concerned, the Assembly and the Council of the League of Nations shall thenceforth have power to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties conferred upon them by the Protocol.


The signatory States agree in no case to resort to war either with one another or against a State which, if the occasion arises, accepts all the obligations hereinafter set out, except in case of resistance to acts of aggression or when acting in agreement with the Council or the Assembly of the League of Nations in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant and of the present Protocol.


The signatory States undertake to recognise as compulsory, ipso facto and without special agreement, the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice in the cases covered by paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statute of the Court, but without prejudice to the right of any State, when acceding to the special protocol provided for in the said Article and opened for signature on December 16th, 1920, to make reservations compatible with the said clause.

Accession to this special protocol, opened for signature on December 16th, 1920, must be given within the month following the coming into force of the present Protocol.

States which accede to the present Protocol, after its coming into force, must carry out the above obligation within the month following their accession.


With a view to render more complete the provisions of paragraphs 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Article 15 of the Covenant, the signatory States agree to comply with the following procedure:

1. If the dispute submitted to the Council is not settled by it as provided in paragraph 3 of the said Article 15, the Council shall endeavour to persuade the parties to submit the dispute to judicial settlement or arbitration.

2. (a) If the parties cannot agree to do so, there shall, at the request of at least one of the parties, be constituted a Committee of Arbitrators. The Committee shall so far as possible be constituted by agreement between the parties.

(b) If within the period fixed by the Council the parties have failed to agree, in whole or in part, upon the number, the names and the powers of the arbitrators and upon the procedure, the Council shall settle the points remaining in suspense. It shall with the utmost possible despatch select in consultation with the parties the arbitrators and their President from among persons who by their nationality, their personal character and their experience, appear to it to furnish the highest guarantees of competence and impartiality.

(c) After the claims of the parties have been formulated, the Committee of Arbitrators, on the request of any party, shall through the medium of the Council request an advisory opinion upon any points of law in dispute from the Permanent Court of International Justice, which in such case shall meet with the utmost possible despatch.

3. If none of the parties asks for arbitration, the Council shall again take the dispute under consideration. If the Council reaches a report which is unanimously agreed to by the members thereof other than the representatives of any of the parties to the dispute, the signatory States agree to comply with the recommendations therein.

4. If the Council fails to reach a report which is concurred in by all its members, other than the representatives of any of the parties to the dispute, it shall submit the dispute to arbitration. It shall itself determine the composition, the powers and the procedure of the Committee of Arbitrators and, in the choice of the arbitrators, shall bear in mind the guarantees of competence and impartiality referred to in paragraph 2 (b) above.

5. In no case may a solution, upon which there has already been a unanimous recommendation of the Council accepted by one of the parties concerned, be again called in question.

6. The signatory States undertake that they will carry out in full good faith any judicial sentence or arbitral award that may be rendered and that they will comply, as provided in paragraph 3 above, with the solutions recommended by the Council. In the event of a State failing to carry out the above undertakings, the Council shall exert all its influence to secure compliance therewith. If it fails therein, it shall propose what steps should be taken to give effect thereto, in accordance with the provision contained at the end of Article 13 of the Covenant. Should a State in disregard of the above undertakings resort to war, the sanctions provided for by Article 16 of the Covenant, interpreted in the manner indicated in the present Protocol, shall immediately become applicable to it.

7. The provisions of the present article do not apply to the settlement of disputes which arise as the result of measures of war taken by one or more signatory States in agreement with the Council or the Assembly.


The provisions of paragraph 8 of Article 15 of the Covenant shall continue to apply in proceedings before the Council.

If in the course of an arbitration, such as is contemplated in Article 4 above, one of the parties claims that the dispute, or part thereof, arises out of a matter which by international law is solely within the domestic jurisdiction of that party, the arbitrators shall on this point take the advice of the Permanent Court of International Justice through the medium of the Council. The opinion of the Court shall be binding upon the arbitrators, who, if the opinion is affirmative, shall confine themselves to so declaring in their award.

If the question is held by the Court or by the Council to be a matter solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the State, this decision shall not prevent consideration of the situation by the Council or by the Assembly under Article 11 of the Covenant.


If in accordance with paragraph 9 of Article 15 of the Covenant a dispute is referred to the Assembly, that body shall have for the settlement of the dispute all the powers conferred upon the Council as to endeavouring to reconcile the parties in the manner laid down in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 15 of the Covenant and in paragraph 1 of Article 4 above. Should the Assembly fail to achieve an amicable settlement:

If one of the parties asks for arbitration, the Council shall proceed to constitute the Committee of Arbitrators in the manner provided in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 of Article 4 above.

If no party asks for arbitration, the Assembly shall again take the dispute under consideration and shall have in this connection the same powers as the Council. Recommendations embodied in a report of the Assembly, provided that it secures the measure of support stipulated at the end of paragraph 10 of Article 15 of the Covenant, shall have the same value and effect, as regards all matters dealt with in the present Protocol, as recommendations embodied in a report of the Council adopted as provided in paragraph 3 of Article 4 above.

If the necessary majority cannot be obtained, the dispute shall be submitted to arbitration and the Council shall determine the composition, the powers and the procedure of the Committee of Arbitrators as laid down in paragraph 4 of Article 4.


In the event of a dispute arising between two or more signatory States, these States agree that they will not, either before the dispute is submitted to proceedings for pacific settlement or during such proceedings, make any increase of their armaments or effectives which might modify the position established by the Conference for the Reduction of Armaments provided for by Article 17 of the present Protocol, nor will they take any measure of military, naval, air, industrial or economic mobilisation, nor, in general, any action of a nature likely to extend the dispute or render it more acute.

It shall be the duty of the Council, in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of the Covenant, to take under consideration any complaint as to infraction of the above undertakings which is made to it by one or more of the States parties to the dispute. Should the Council be of opinion that the complaint requires investigation, it shall, if it deems it expedient, arrange for enquiries and investigations in one or more of the countries concerned. Such enquiries and investigations shall be carried out with the utmost possible despatch, and the signatory States undertake to afford every facility for carrying them out.

The sole object of measures taken by the Council as above provided is to facilitate the pacific settlement of disputes and they shall in no way prejudge the actual settlement.

If the result of such enquiries and investigations is to establish an infraction of the provisions of the first paragraph of the present Article, it shall be the duty of the Council to summon the State or States guilty of the infraction to put an end thereto. Should the State or States in question fail to comply with such summons, the Council shall declare them to be guilty of a violation of the Covenant or of the present Protocol, and shall decide upon the measures to be taken with a view to end as soon as possible a situation of a nature to threaten the peace of the world.

For the purposes of the present Article decisions of the Council may be taken by a two-thirds majority.


The signatory States undertake to abstain from any act which might constitute a threat of aggression against another State. If one of the signatory States is of opinion that another State is making preparations for war, it shall have the right to bring the matter to the notice of the Council.

The Council, if it ascertains that the facts are as alleged, shall proceed as provided in paragraphs 2, 4, and 5 of Article 7.


The existence of demilitarised zones being calculated to prevent aggression and to facilitate a definite finding of the nature provided for in Article 10 below, the establishment of such zones between States mutually consenting thereto is recommended as a means of avoiding violations of the present Protocol.

The demilitarised zones already existing under the terms of certain treaties or conventions, or which may be established in future between States mutually consenting thereto, may at the request and at the expense of one or more of the conterminous States, be placed under a temporary or permanent system of supervision to be organised by the Council.

ARTICLE 10. Edit

Every State which resorts to war in violation of the undertakings contained in the Covenant or in the present Protocol is an aggressor. Violation of the rules laid down for a demilitarised zone shall be held equivalent to resort to war.

In the event of hostilities having broken out, any State shall be presumed to be an aggressor, unless a decision of the Council, which must be taken unanimously, shall otherwise declare:

1. If it has refused to submit the dispute to the procedure of pacific settlement provided by Articles 13 and 15 of the Covenant as amplified by the present Protocol, or to comply with a judicial sentence or arbitral award or with a unanimous recommendation of the Council, or has disregarded a unanimous report of the Council, a judicial sentence or an arbitral award recognising that the dispute between it and the other belligerent State arises out of a matter which by international law is solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the latter State; nevertheless, in the last case the State shall only be presumed to be an aggressor if it has not previously submitted the question to the Council or the Assembly, in accordance with Article 11 of the Covenant.

2. If it has violated provisional measures enjoined by the Council for the period while the proceedings are in progress as contemplated by Article 7 of the present Protocol.

Apart from the cases dealt with in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the present Article, if the Council does not at once succeed in determining the aggressor, it shall be bound to enjoin upon the belligerents an armistice, and shall fix the terms, acting, if need be, by a two-thirds majority and shall supervise its execution.

Any belligerent which has refused to accept the armistice or has violated its terms shall be deemed an aggressor.

The Council shall call upon the signatory States to apply forthwith against the aggressor the sanctions provided by Article 11 of the present Protocol, and any signatory State thus called upon shall thereupon be entitled to exercise the rights of a belligerent.

ARTICLE 11. Edit

As soon as the Council has called upon the signatory States to apply sanctions, as provided in the last paragraph of Article 10 of the present Protocol, the obligations of the said States, in regard to the sanctions of all kinds mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 16 of the Covenant, will immediately become operative in order that such sanctions may forthwith be employed against the aggressor.

Those obligations shall be interpreted as obliging each of the signatory States to co-operate loyally and effectively in support of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and in resistance to any act of aggression, in the degree which its geographical position and its particular situation as regards armaments allow.

In accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the Covenant the signatory States give a joint and several undertaking to come to the assistance of the State attacked or threatened, and to give each other mutual support by means of facilities and reciprocal exchanges as regards the provision of raw materials and supplies of every kind, openings of credits, transport and transit, and for this purpose to take all measures in their power to preserve the safety of communications by land and by sea of the attacked or threatened State.

If both parties to the dispute are aggressors within the meaning of Article 10, the economic and financial sanctions shall be applied to both of them.

ARTICLE 12. Edit

In view of the complexity of the conditions in which the Council may be called upon to exercise the functions mentioned in Article 11 of the present Protocol concerning economic and financial sanctions, and in order to determine more exactly the guarantees afforded by the present Protocol to the signatory States, the Council shall forthwith invite the economic and financial organisations of the League of Nations to consider and report as to the nature of the steps to be taken to give effect to the financial and economic sanctions and measures of co-operation contemplated in Article 16 of the Covenant and in Article 11 of this Protocol. When in possession of this information, the Council shall draw up through its competent organs:

1. Plans of action for the application of the economic and financial sanctions against an aggressor State;

2. Plans of economic and financial co-operation between a State attacked and the different States assisting it; and shall communicate these plans to the Members of the League and to the other signatory States.

ARTICLE 13. Edit

In view of the contingent military, naval and air sanctions provided for by Article 16 of the Covenant and by Article 11 of the present Protocol, the Council shall be entitled to receive undertakings from States determining in advance the military, naval and air forces which they would be able to bring into action immediately to ensure the fulfilment of the obligations in regard to sanctions which result from the Covenant and the present Protocol.

Furthermore, as soon as the Council has called upon the signatory States to apply sanctions, as provided in the last paragraph of Article 10 above, the said States may, in accordance with any agreements which they may previously have concluded, bring to the assistance of a particular State, which is the victim of aggression, their military, naval and air forces.

The agreements mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be registered and published by the Secretariat of the League of Nations. They shall remain open to all States Members of the League which may desire to accede thereto.

ARTICLE 14. Edit

The Council shall alone be competent to declare that the application of sanctions shall cease and normal conditions be re-established.

ARTICLE 15. Edit

In conformity with the spirit of the present Protocol, the signatory States agree that the whole cost of any military, naval or air operations undertaken for the repression of an aggression under the terms of the Protocol, and reparation for all losses suffered by individuals, whether civilians or combatants, and for all material damage caused by the operations of both sides, shall be borne by the aggressor State up to the extreme limit of its capacity.

Nevertheless, in view of Article 10 of the Covenant, neither the territorial integrity nor the political independence of the aggressor State shall in any case be affected as the result of the application of the sanctions mentioned in the present Protocol.

ARTICLE 16. Edit

The signatory States agree that in the event of a dispute between one or more of them and one or more States which have not signed the present Protocol and are not Members of the League of Nations, such non-Member States shall be invited, on the conditions contemplated in Article 17 of the Covenant, to submit, for the purpose of a pacific settlement, to the obligations accepted by the States signatories of the present Protocol.

If the State so invited, having refused to accept the said conditions and obligations, resorts to war against a signatory State, the provisions of Article 16 of the Covenant, as defined by the present Protocol, shall be applicable against it.

ARTICLE 17. Edit

The signatory States undertake to participate in an International Conference for the Reduction of Armaments which shall be convened by the Council and shall meet at Geneva on Monday, June 15th, 1925. All other States, whether Members of the League or not, shall be invited to this Conference.

In preparation for the convening of the Conference, the Council shall draw up with due regard to the undertakings contained in Articles 11 and 13 of the present Protocol a general programme for the reduction and limitation of armaments, which shall be laid before the Conference and which shall be communicated to the Governments at the earliest possible date, and at the latest three months before the Conference meets.

If by May 1st, 1925, ratifications have not been deposited by at least a majority of the permanent Members of the Council and ten other Members of the League, the Secretary-General of the League shall immediately consult the Council as to whether he shall cancel the invitations or merely adjourn the Conference to a subsequent date to be fixed by the Council so as to permit the necessary number of ratifications to be obtained.

ARTICLE 18. Edit

Wherever mention is made in Article 10, or in any other provision of the present Protocol, of a decision of the Council, this shall be understood in the sense of Article 15 of the Covenant, namely that the votes of the representatives of the parties to the dispute shall not be counted when reckoning unanimity or the necessary majority.

ARTICLE 19. Edit

Except as expressly provided by its terms, the present Protocol shall not affect in any way the rights and obligations of Members of the League as determined by the Covenant.

ARTICLE 20. Edit

Any dispute as to the interpretation of the present Protocol shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice.

ARTICLE 21. Edit

The present Protocol, of which the French and English texts are both authentic, shall be ratified. The deposit of ratifications shall be made at the Secretariat of the League of Nations as soon as possible.

States of which the seat of government is outside Europe will be entitled merely to inform the Secretariat of the League of Nations that their ratification has been given; in that case, they must transmit the instrument of ratification as soon as possible.

So soon as the majority of the permanent Members of the Council and ten other Members of the League have deposited or have effected their ratifications, a process-verbal to that effect shall be drawn up by the Secretariat.

After the said process-verbal has been drawn up, the Protocol shall come into force as soon as the plan for the reduction of armaments has been adopted by the Conference provided for in Article 17.

If within such period after the adoption of the plan for the reduction of armaments as shall be fixed by the said Conference, the plan has not been carried out, the Council shall make a declaration to that effect; this declaration shall render the present Protocol null and void.

The grounds on which the Council may declare that the plan drawn up by the International Conference for the Reduction of Armaments has not been carried out, and that in consequence the present Protocol has been rendered null and void, shall be laid down by the Conference itself.

A signatory State which, after the expiration of the period fixed by the Conference, fails to comply with the plan adopted by the Conference, shall not be admitted to benefit by the provisions of the present Protocol.

In faith whereof the Undersigned, duly authorised for this purpose, have signed the present Protocol.

DONE at Geneva, on the second day of October, nineteen hundred and twenty.

League Attacked

← League Formed | UN Formed →

Overview Edit

The League lacked its own armed force and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, keep to economic sanctions which the League ordered, or provide an army, when needed, for the League to use. However, they were often reluctant to do so. Benito Mussolini stated that "The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out."

File:League of Nations cartoon from Punch - Project Gutenberg eText 16619.png

Article X of the League of Nations (1919) Edit

"The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled."

Because of these provisions, the United States Senate decided to not ratify the League's Charter.

Anit-Moderni Edit

The League was attacked as being a conspiracy to bring in the One World Government, the Anti-Christ (the supposed "King of the Jews", and set up world wide Judaism. It was also claimed to be Masonic and Nihilistic.

Chaco War Edit

The League failed to prevent the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay in 1932 over the arid Gran Chaco region of South America. Although the region was sparsely populated, it gave control of the Paraguay River which would have given one of the two landlocked countries access to the Atlantic Ocean, and there was also speculation, later proved incorrect, that the Chaco would be a rich source of petroleum. Border skirmishes throughout the late 1920s culminated in an all-out war in 1932, when the Bolivian army, following the orders of President Daniel Salamanca Urey, attacked a Paraguayan garrison at Vanguardia. Paraguay appealed to the League of Nations, but the League did not take action when the Pan-American conference offered to mediate instead.

The war was a disaster for both sides, causing 100,000 casualties and bringing both countries to the brink of economic disaster. By the time a ceasefire was negotiated on 12 June 1935, Paraguay had seized control over most of the region. This was recognized in a 1938 truce by which Paraguay was awarded three-quarters of the Chaco Boreal.

UN Formed

← League Attacked | Gladwyn Jebb →

Term used Edit

United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt first suggested using the name United Nations to refer to the wartime Allies. Roosevelt suggested the term to United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill ,who cited Byron's use of the phrase "united nations" in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, which referred to the Allies at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Franklin Delano Roosevelt adopted the name and the first official use of the term occurred on January 1, 1942 with the Declaration by the United Nations.

During subsequent phases of World War II, the Allies used the term "United Nations" to refer to their alliance.

Formation Edit

On January 1, 1942, representatives of 26 nations at war with the Axis powers met in Washington to sign the Declaration of the United Nations endorsing the Atlantic Charter, pledging to use their full resources against the Axis and agreeing not to make a separate peace. At the Quebec Conference in August 1943, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden agreed to draft a declaration that included a call for "a general international organization, based on the principle sovereign equality of all nations." An agreed declaration was issued after a Foreign Ministers Conference in Moscow in October 1943. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehran, Iran, in November 1943, he proposed an international organization comprising an assembly of all member states and a 10-member executive committee to discuss social and economic issues. The United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union, and China would enforce peace as "the four policemen." Meanwhile Allied representatives founded a set of task-oriented organizations: the Food and Agricultural Organization (May 1943), the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (November 1943), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (April 1944), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (July 1944), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (November 1944).

Dumbarton Oaks Draft Edit

U.S., British, Soviet, and Chinese representatives met at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington in August and September 1944 to draft the charter of a postwar international organization based on the principle of collective security. They recommended a General Assembly of all member states and a Security Council consisting of the Big Four plus six members chosen by the Assembly. Voting procedures and the veto power of permanent members of the Security Council were finalized at the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Roosevelt and Stalin agreed that the veto would not prevent discussions by the Security Council. Roosevelt agreed to General Assembly membership for Ukraine and Byelorussia while reserving the right, which was never exercised, to seek two more votes for the United States.

Meeting in San Francisco Edit

Representatives of 50 nations met in San Francisco April-June 1945 to complete the Charter of the United Nations. In addition to the General Assembly of all member states and a Security Council of 5 permanent and 6 non-permanent members, the Charter provided for an 18-member Economic and Social Council, an International Court of Justice, a Trusteeship Council to oversee certain colonial territories, and a Secretariat under a Secretary General. The Roosevelt administration strove to avoid Woodrow Wilson's mistakes in selling the League of Nations to the Senate. It sought bipartisan support and in September 1943 the Republican Party endorsed U.S. participation in a postwar international organization, after which both houses of Congress overwhelmingly endorsed participation. Roosevelt also sought to convince the public that an international organization was the best means to prevent future wars. The Senate approved the UN Charter on July 28, 1945, by a vote of 89 to 2. The United Nations came into existence on October 24, 1945, after 29 nations had ratified the Charter.

Gladwyn Jebb

← UN Formed | Trygve Lie →


Gladwyn Jebb Edit

Hubert Miles Gladwyn Jebb, 1st Baron Gladwyn, GCMG, GCVO, CB, known as Gladwyn Jebb (April 25, 1900 – October 24, 1996), was a prominent British civil servant, diplomat and politician as well as the first Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Diplomatic Service Edit

Entering the Diplomatic Service, in 1924, Jebb's career included: served in Tehran [Iran], Rome [Italy], and the Foreign Office; Private Secretary to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, 1929-31; Private Secretary to Permanent Under-Secretary of State, 1937-40; appointed to Ministry of Economic Warfare with temporary rank of Assistant Under-Secretary, August 1940; Acting Counsellor in Foreign Office, 1941; Head of Reconstruction Department, 1942; Counsellor, 1943, in that capacity attended the Conferences of Quebec [Canada], Cairo [Egypt], Tehran, Dumbarton Oaks [United States], Yalta [Soviet Union], San Francisco and Potsdam [Germany]; Executive Secretary of Preparatory Commission of the United Nations (August 1945) with temp. rank of Minister; Acting Secretary-General of UN, February 1946; Deputy to Foreign Secretary on Conference of Foreign Ministers, March 1946; Assistant Under-Secretary of State and United Nations Adviser, 1946-47; UK representative on Brussels Treaty Permanent Commission with personal rank of Ambassador, April 1948; Deputy Under-Secretary, 1949-50; Permanent Representative of the UK to the United Nations, 1950-54; British Ambassador to France, 1954-60, retired; Deputy Leader of Liberal Party in House of Lords, and Liberal Spokesman on foreign affairs and defence, 1965-88; Member, European Parliament, 1973-76 (Vice President, Political Committee); contested (L) Suffolk, European Parliament, 1979.

Association with Churchill Edit

Gladwyn Jebb was at Munich with Chamberlain, at Yalta and Potsdam with Churchill. His contribution to the establishment of the United Nations and NATO was sufficient on its own to have made him a major figure of the twentieth century. He was Britain's representative at the UN during the Korean War, our ambassador in Paris during the Suez crisis and he played a crucial part in Britain's first attempt to join the Common Market, famously vetoed by de Gaulle.

Establishing the UN Edit

The first meetings of the United Nations were held in London, before its move to New York. The first session of the General Assembly was held in Central Hall Westminster on 10 January 1946. With British diplomat Gladwyn Jebb (later Lord Gladwyn) acting as Secretary-General the United Nations was duly inaugurated, and the first General Assembly President and Secretary-General elected. One week later the Security Council met for the first time, in Church House, Westminster, with the Soviet presence in Iran immediately on the agenda. In 1947 two dedicated divisions were set up within the Foreign Office to handle United Nations issues, covering political and economic aspects respectively.

Trygve Lie

← Gladwyn Jebb | Dag Hammarskjöld →

Who was he? Edit

Trygve Halvdan Lie (July 16, 1896 – December 30, 1968) was a Norwegian politician. From 1946 to 1952 he was the first elected Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Early life Edit

Lie was born in Oslo (then Kristiania) on 16 July 1896. Lie's father, Martin, left the family to work as a carpenter in the United States and his mother, Hulda, ran a boarding house. Lie joined the Labour Party in 1911 and was named as the party's national secretary soon after receiving his law degree from the University of Oslo in 1919. He married Hjørdis Jørgensen in 1921; the couple had three daughters, Sissel, Guri, and Mette.

Legal Work Edit

He worked as a legal consultant from 1922 and was subsequently elected to the Storting (Norway's Parliament). He was appointed Minister of Justice when a Labour Party government was formed by Johan Nygaardsvold in 1935. Lie was later named Minister of Trade and Industries and Minister of Supply and Shipping.

Trygve Lie and Trotsky Edit

An early admirer of the October Revolution in Russia, Lie once met Vladimir Lenin and gave permission for Leon Trotsky to settle in Norway after he was exiled from the Soviet Union. It has been rumored that Lie succumbed to Joseph Stalin's wishes to have Trotsky placed under house arrest, though historians can neither confirm nor fully deny this. Lie later ordered Trotsky to leave Norway when Trotsky violated his promise to refrain from political activity.

Count Folke Bernadotte Edit


United Nations Security Council Resolution 72, adopted on August 11, 1949, after receiving a report by the Acting United Nations Mediator in Palestine on the completion of his responsibilities the UN decided to pay tribute to the late Count Folke Bernadotte, the then current Acting Mediator Dr. Ralph J. Bunche and the Belgian, French, Swedish and American officers who served on the staff and as military observers in Palestine.

Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg (2 January 1895 – 17 September 1948), was a Swedish diplomat noted for his negotiation of the release of about 15,000 prisoners from German concentration camps during World War II. In 1945, he received a German surrender offer from Heinrich Himmler, though the offer was ultimately rejected.

After the war, Bernadotte was unanimously chosen by the victorious powers to be the United Nations Security Council mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1947-1948. He was assassinated in Jerusalem in 1948 by members of the underground Zionist group Lehi while pursuing his official duties.

Text of Resolution Edit

The Security Council,

Having taken note of the report of the Acting United Nations Mediator in Palestine, submitted upon the completion of his responsibilities,

  1. Desires to pay tribute to the qualities of patience, perseverance and devotion to the ideal of international peace of the late Count Folke Bernadotte, who stabilized the situation in Palestine and who, together with ten members of his staff, gave his life in the service of the United Nations;
  2. Desires to express its deep appreciation of the qualities of tact, understanding, perseverance and devotion to duty of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Acting United Nations Mediator in Palestine, who has brought to a successful conclusion the negotiation of armistice agreements between Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria on the one hand and Israel on the other;
  3. Desires also to associate in this expression of appreciation the members of the staff of the United Nations mission in Palestine, including both the members of the United Nations Secretariat and the Belgian, French, Swedish and United States officers who served on the staff and as military observers in Palestine.

Dag Hammarskjöld

← Trygve Lie | U Thant →

Who was he? Edit

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld (July 29, 1905 – September 18, 1961) was a Swedish diplomat and the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. He served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961 under mysterious circumstances. The exact cause of his death has never been conclusively determined. He is the only person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.

As Secretary General Edit

When Trygve Lie resigned from his post as UN Secretary General in 1953, the Security Council decided to recommend Hammarskjöld to the post. It came as a surprise to him. He was selected on March 31 with the majority of 10 out of eleven states. The UN General Assembly elected him in the April 7–10 session, by 57 votes out of 60. In 1957, he was re-elected.

Hammarskjöld started his term by establishing his own secretariat of 4,000 administrators. He set up regulations that defined their responsibilities. He insisted that the secretary-general be able to take emergency action without the prior approval of either the Security Council or General Assembly.

Relations Abroad Edit

During his term, Hammarskjöld tried to soothe relations between Israel and the Arab states. In 1955, he went to mainland China to negotiate the release of 15 US pilots who had served in the Korean War and been captured by the Chinese. In 1956, he established the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF). In 1957, he intervened in the Suez Crisis.

Death Edit

In September 1961, Hammarskjöld found out about the fighting between non-combatant UN forces and Katanga troops of Moise Tshombe. He was en route to negotiate a cease-fire on the night of September 17-18 when his DC-6B plane (SE-BDY) crashed near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). The crew had filed no flight plan (for security reasons), and a decoy aircraft went (via a different route) ahead of Hammarskjöld's aircraft. He and fifteen others perished.

On August 19, 1998, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairman of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), stated that recently-uncovered letters had implicated British MI5, American CIA and South African intelligence services in the crash. One TRC letter said that a bomb in the aircraft's wheel-bay was set to detonate when the wheels came down for landing. Tutu said that the veracity of the letters was unclear; the British Foreign Office suggested that they may have been created as Soviet misinformation.

On July 29, 2005, 100 years after Hammarskjöld's birth, the Norwegian Major General, Bjørn Egge, gave an interview to the newspaper Aftenposten on the events surrounding his death. According to Egge, who was the first UN officer to see the body, Hammarskjöld had a hole in his forehead, and this hole was subsequently airbrushed from photos taken of the body. It appeared to Egge that Hammarskjöld had been thrown from the plane, and grass and leaves in his hands might indicate that he survived the crash, and had tried to scramble away from the wreckage. Egge does not claim directly that the wound was a gunshot wound, and his statement does not align with Archbishop Tutu's information or with the findings of the official inquiry. In an interview on March 24, 2007 on the Norwegian TV channel NRK, an anonymous retired mercenary claimed to have shared a room with an unnamed South African mercenary who claimed to have shot Hammarskjöld. The alleged killer was claimed to have died in the late 1990s.

Hammarskjöld is still the only U.N. Secretary-General to die in office.

U Thant

← Dag Hammarskjöld | Kurt Waldheim →

Who was he? Edit

U Thant was a Burmese diplomat and the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, from 1961 to 1971. He was chosen for the post when his predecessor Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in a plane crash in September 1961.

"U" is an honorific in Burmese, roughly equal to "Mister." "Thant" was his only name. In Burmese he was known as Pantanaw U Thant, a reference to his home town of Pantanaw.


Secretary General Edit

Thant began serving as Acting Secretary-General from November 3, 1961, when he was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council, to fill the unexpired term of Dag Hammarskjöld. He was then unanimously appointed Secretary-General by the General Assembly on November 30, 1962 for a term of office ending on November 3, 1966. During this first term he was widely credited for his role in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis and for ending the civil war in the Congo.

U Thant was re-appointed for a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly on December 2, 1966 on the unanimous recommendation of the Security Council. His term of office continued until December 31, 1971, when he retired. During his time in office, he oversaw the entry into the UN of dozens of new Asian and African states and was a firm opponent of apartheid in South Africa. He also established many of the UN's development and environmental agencies, funds and programmes, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN University, UNCTAD, UNITAR and the UN Environmental Programme.

Mediation Edit

He had also led many successful though now largely forgotten mediation efforts, for example in Yemen in 1962 and Bahrain in 1968. In each case, war would have provoked a wider regional conflict, and it was Thant's quiet mediation which prevented war.

Opposition to Vietnam Edit

He is also famous for opposing the United States for its Vietnam War.

Kurt Waldheim

← U Thant | Javier Pérez de Cuéllar →

Who was he? Edit

Kurt Josef Waldheim (21 December 1918 – 14 June 2007) was an Austrian diplomat and politician. Waldheim was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981, and President of Austria from 1986 to 1992. While running for President in Austria in 1985, his service as a Wehrmacht intelligence officer during World War II raised international controversy.

Service in World War II Edit

In early 1941 Waldheim was drafted into the Wehrmacht and sent to the Eastern Front where he served as a squad leader. In December 1941 he was wounded but returned to service later on. His further service in the Wehrmacht from 1942 to 1945 (at age 24 to 27) was subject of the international dispute regarding his person in 1985 and 1986. In 1985, in his autobiography, he stated that he was discharged from further service at the front and for the rest of the war years finished his law degree at the University of Vienna and married in 1944. Later documents and witnesses would come to light revealing that Waldheim’s military service continued until 1945, while it is correct that he graduated from the University of Vienna in 1945 receiving a law degree and that he married in 1944.

As Secretary General Edit

After being defeated in his home country's presidential election, he was elected to succeed U Thant as United Nations Secretary-General the same year. As Secretary-General, Waldheim opened and addressed a number of major international conferences convened under United Nations auspices. These included the third session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Santiago, April 1972), the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, June 1972), the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Seas (Caracas, June 1974), the World Population Conference (Bucharest, August 1974) and the World Food Conference (Rome, November 1974). However, his diplomatic efforts particularly in the Middle East were over shadowed by the diplomacy of then US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. In a 1976 security council debate he described the Israeli rescue of hijacked airline passengers at Entebbe, Uganda as "a serious violation of the national sovereignty of a United Nations member state."

Waldheim was re-elected in 1976 despite some opposition. Waldheim and then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter both prepared written statements for inclusion on the Voyager Golden Records, now in deep space. In 1980 Waldheim flew to Iran in an attempt to negotiate the release of the American hostages held in Tehran, but Ayatollah Khomeini refused to see him. While in Tehran, it was announced that an attempt on Waldheim's life had been foiled. Near the end of his tenure as Secretary-General, Waldheim and Paul McCartney also organized a series of concerts for the People of Kampuchea to help Cambodia recover from the damage done by Pol Pot.

When Waldheim sought a third Secretary-General term, the People's Republic of China used their veto powers to block this development. He was succeeded by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar of Peru.

Ostrovsky claims Edit

In 1994 the former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky claimed in his book The Other Side of Deception that Mossad doctored the file of the then UN Secretary General to implicate him in Nazi crimes. These allegedly false documents were subsequently "discovered" by Benjamin Netanyahu in the UN file, and triggered the "Waldheim Affair". Ostrovsky says the reason was Waldheim's criticism of Israeli action in Lebanon. Controversy surrounds Ostrovsky and his writings and the veracity of his writings is widely disputed, with some intelligence experts arguing The Other Side of Deception should be viewed as a novel rather than a work of non-fiction.

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar

← Kurt Waldheim | Boutros Boutros-Ghali →

Who Was he? Edit


Javier Michael Pérez de Cuéllar Mahan (born January 19, 1920, in Lima) is a Peruvian diplomat who served as the fifth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1982 to December 31, 1991. He studied in Colegio San Agustín of Lima, and then at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In 1995, he ran unsuccessfully against Alberto Fujimori for President of Peru. He was President of the Council of Ministers, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2000 until July 2001, during the turbulent period following Fujimori's resignation over corruption charges. In September 2004, he stepped down from his position as Peru's Ambassador to France, where he formerly resided. With the death of Kurt Waldheim in June 2007, he became the oldest former Secretary General of the United Nations.

Doctorate Degrees Edit

Mr. Perez de Cuellar received doctorate degrees honoris causa from the following universities: the University of Nice; the Jagiellonian University at Cracow; Charles University at Prague; the University of Sofia; the University of San Marcos at Lima; the Free University at Brussels; Carleton University at Ottawa, Canada; the University of Paris (Sorbonne); the University of Visva-Bharati in West Bengal, India; the University of Michigan; the University of Osnabruck in the Federal Republic of Germany; the Coimbra University at Coimbra, Portugal; the Mongolian State University at Ulan Bator; the Humboldt University of Berlin; the Moscow State University; the University of Malta in Valleta; the Leyden University in the Netherlands; La Salle University in Philadelphia; Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts; the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Diplomatic Career Edit

Pérez de Cuéllar joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1940 and the diplomatic service in 1944, serving subsequently as Secretary at Peru's embassies in France, where he met and married his first wife, the former Yvette Roberts; the United Kingdom, Bolivia, and Brazil. He later served as ambassador to Switzerland, the Soviet Union, (concurrently in Poland), and Venezuela. From his first marriage, Mr. Perez de Cuellar has a son, (Francisco, b. Paris), and a daughter, Agueda Cristina (b. London).

He was a junior member of the Peruvian delegation to the General Assembly at its first session - held in London in 1946-, and a member of the delegations to the 25th through 30th sessions of the Assembly. In 1971, he was appointed permanent representative of Peru to the United Nations, and he led his country's delegation to all sessions of the Assembly from then until 1975.

In 1973 and 1974, he represented his country in the Security Council, serving as its President at the time of the events in Cyprus in July 1974. On 18 September 1975, he was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus – a post he held until December 1977-, when he rejoined the Peruvian Foreign Service. During his time in Cyprus, Mr. Perez de Cuellar married his current wife, the former Marcela Temple Seminario, with whom he has no children.

As Secretary General Edit

On December 31, 1981, Pérez de Cuéllar succeeded Kurt Waldheim as Secretary-General and was re-elected for a second term in October 1986. During his two terms, he led mediations between Britain and Argentina in the aftermath of the Falklands War and promoted the efforts of the Contadora Group to bring peace and stability to Central America. He also interceded in the negotiations for the independence of Namibia, the conflict in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, and the Cyprus issue. Shortly before the end of his second term, he was unofficially requested by members of the Security Council to reconsider his earlier decision not to run for a third term, albeit shortened to two years, as a search for his successor had not, as of then, yielded a consensus candidate. Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar graciously[citation needed] declined the offer once a candidate was found, in late December 1991, his second term as Secretary-General concluding, as scheduled, on December 31, 1991.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

← Javier Pérez de Cuéllar | Kofi Annan →

Boutros Boutros-Ghali Edit

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Arabic: بطرس بطرس غالي, Coptic: Bουτρος Βουτρος-Γαλι) (November 14, 1922 – February 16, 2016) was an Egyptian diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996.


Nagorno-Karabakh War Edit

The Nagorno-Karabakh War refers to the armed conflict that took place from February 1988 to May 1994, in the small ethnic enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the predominantly ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the war progressed, Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet Republics, became enveloped in a protracted, undeclared war in the mountainous heights of Karabakh as Azerbaijan attempted to curb a secessionist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh. The enclave's parliament had voted in favor of uniting itself with Armenia and a referendum was held with the vast majority of the Karabakh population voting in favor of independence. The demand to unify with Armenia, which proliferated in the late 1980s, began in a relatively peaceful manner; however, in the following months, as the Soviet Union's disintegration neared, it gradually grew into an increasingly violent conflict between the two ethnic groups, resulting in claims of ethnic cleansing by all sides.

Security Council Resolutions Edit

Four UN Security Council Resolutions have been passed during the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

No. Purpose Date
822 Calls for the cessation of hostilities and withdrawal of occupying forces from Kelbajar district of Azerbaijan following its occupation on April 3, 1993. April 30, 1993
853 Calls on withdrawal of occupying forces from Agdam district of Azerbaijan occupied on June 23, 1993 and reaffirms UN Resolution 822. July 29, 1993
874 Calls on withdrawal of occupying forces from recently occupied Azerbaijani districts of Fizuli (August 23, 1993), Jabrayil (August 26, 1993), Qubadli (August 31, 1993) and reaffirms UN Resolutions 822 and 853. October 14, 1993
884 Calls on withdrawal of occupying forces from recently occupied Azerbaijani district of Zangilan, calls upon the Government of Armenia to use its influence on the occupying forces, and city of Goradiz and reaffirms UN Resolutions 822, 853, 874. November 12, 1993

Works Edit

Boutros-Ghali has published two memoirs:

  • Egypt's road to Jerusalem (1997), about the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.
  • Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga (1999), about his time as Secretary-General at the UN.

Kofi Annan

← Boutros Boutros-Ghali | Ban Ki-moon →

Kofi Atta Annan (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1 1997 to January 1 2007, serving two five-year terms. Annan was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Edit


On December 13 1996, Annan was recommended by the United Nations Security Council to be Secretary-General,[1] and was confirmed four days later by vote of the General Assembly.[2] Annan took the oath of office without delay, starting his first term as Secretary-General on January 1 1997. Annan replaced outgoing Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, becoming the first person from a black African nation to serve as Secretary-General.

Annan's tenure as Secretary-General was renewed on January 1, 2002, in an unusual deviation from informal policy. The office usually rotates among the continents, with two terms each; since Annan's predecessor Boutros-Ghali was also an African, Annan normally would have served only one term and Annan's re-appointment indicated his unusual popularity.

Mark Malloch Brown succeeded Louise Frechette as Annan's Deputy Secretary-General in April 2004.

In April 2001, he issued a five-point "Call to Action" to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. As Secretary-General, Annan saw this pandemic as a "personal priority" and proposed the establishment of a Global AIDS and Health Fund in an attempt to stimulate the increased spending needed to help developing countries confront the HIV/AIDS crisis.

On December 10, 2001, Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world".

During the buildup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Annan called on the United States and the United Kingdom not to invade without the support of the United Nations. In a September 2004 interview on the BBC, Annan was asked about the legal authority for the invasion, and responded, "from our point of view, from the Charter point of view it was illegal."[3][4]

Annan supported sending a UN peacekeeping mission to Darfur, Sudan, and worked with the government of Sudan to accept a transfer of power from the African Union peacekeeping mission to a UN one. Annan also worked with several Arab and Muslim countries on women's rights and other topics. Nuala O'Loan, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland recently stated, "I imagine that if Kofi Annan saw somebody abusing human rights he would kick them in the knee".

Beginning in 1998 Annan convened an annual UN Security Council Retreat with 15 States representatives of the Council at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) Conference Center at the Rockefeller family estate at Pocantico, which was sponsored by both the RBF and the UN.[5] Along with his wife he also attended the Playhouse at the family estate on the occasion of Brooke Astor's 100th birthday celebration (see Kykuit).[6] He is a strong supporter and guest of the family's Asia Society in New York.[7]

UN controversies during Annan's tenure Edit

Lubbers sexual harassment investigation Edit

In June 2004, Annan was given a copy of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) report on the complaint of sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and retaliation against Ruud Lubbers, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The report also discussed allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against Werner Blatter, Director of UNHCR Personnel by a long-serving staff member. The investigation report found Ruud Lubbers guilty of sexual harassment and no mention was made publicly of the other charge against a senior official or the two subsequent complaints she filed later that year. In the course of the official investigation, Lubbers wrote a letter that some speculate was a threat to the female worker who had brought the charges of misconduct.[8] However, on July 15, 2004, Lubbers was declared innocent by Kofi Annan [citation needed]. His decision only lasted until November when OIOS issued its annual report to the UN General Assembly noting it has found Lubbers guilty. Widely reported in the media, these events served to weaken Annan's position.

On November 17, 2004, Annan accepted a report clearing UN Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services Dileep Nair of graft and sexual harassment charges — charges which some viewed as retaliation against Nair for supporting the complainant in the Lubbers affair. However, clearance was not viewed favorably by some UN staff in New York, leading to extensive debate on November 19. In February 2005, Lubbers resigned as head of the UN refugee agency. [1]

Administration of the Oil-for-Food Program Edit

In December 2004, reports surfaced that the Secretary-General's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection SA, which won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation into this matter.

The Independent Inquiry Committee into The United Nations Oil-for-Food Program was appointed by Annan[9] and led by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker;[10] Volcker has strong ideological ties to the UN as director of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. In his first interview with the Inquiry Committee, Annan denied having had a meeting with Cotecna. Later in the inquiry he recalled that he had met with Cotecna's chief executive Elie-Georges Massey twice. In a final report issued on October 27, the committee found insufficient evidence to indict Kofi Annan on any illegal actions, but did find fault with Mr. Benan Sevan, a Cypriot national who had worked for the UN for about 40 years. Appointed to his Oil-For-Food role by Kofi Annan, Mr. Sevan repeatedly asked Iraqis for allocations of oil to the African Middle East Petroleum Company. Sevan's behavior was "ethically improper", Volker said to reporters. Sevan for his part, has repeatedly denied the charges and argues that he is being made a "scapegoat". The Volker report was also highly critical of the UN management structure and the Security Council oversight and strongly recommended a new position of Chief Operating Officer to handle the fiscal and administrative responsibilities which currently fall to the Secretary General's office. The report listed the companies, both Western and Middle Eastern, who illegally benefited from the program.

[2] [3].

Conflict between the United States and the United Nations Edit

Kofi Annan supported his deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown, Mark Malloch Brown, who openly criticized segments of the United States media in a speech on June 6, 2006: "But [the UN's role in peacekeeping] is not well known or understood, in part because much of the public discourse that reaches the US heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. The prevailing practice of seeking to use the UN almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable…. You will lose the UN one way or another."[11] The U.S. ambassador John R. Bolton was reported to have told Annan on the phone: "I've known you since 1989 and I'm telling you this is the worst mistake by a senior UN official that I have seen in that entire time."[12] At the end of Kofi Annan's tenure as Secretary General, Bolton was asked to sum up Annan's years at the UN. He responded simply: "I'll pass."[4]

Annan's recommendations for UN reform Edit

After years of research, Annan presented a progress report, In Larger Freedom, to the UN General Assembly, on March 21, 2005. Annan recommended Security Council expansion and a host of other UN reforms.[13]

On 31 January, 2006, Kofi Annan outlined his vision for a comprehensive and extensive reform of the UN in a policy speech to the United Nations Association UK. The speech, delivered at Central Hall, Westminster, also marked the 60th Anniversary of the first meetings of the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council.[14]

On March 7, 2006, he presented to the General Assembly his proposals for a fundamental overhaul of the United Nations Secretariat. The reform report is entitled: "Investing in the United Nations, For a Stronger Organization Worldwide".[15]

On March 30, 2006, he presented to the General Assembly his analysis and recommendations for updating the entire work programme of the United Nations Secretariat over the last 60 years. The report is entitled: "Mandating and Delivering: Analysis and Recommendations to Facilitate the Review of Mandates".[16]

Farewell addresses Edit

On September 19, 2006, Annan gave a farewell address to world leaders gathered at the UN headquarters in New York, in anticipation of his retirement on December 31. In the speech he outlined three major problems of "an unjust world economy, world disorder, and widespread contempt for human rights and the rule of law", which he believes "have not resolved, but sharpened" during his time as Secretary-General. He also pointed to violence in Africa, and the Arab-Israeli conflict as two major issues warranting attention.[17]

On December 11 2006, in his final speech as Secretary-General, delivered at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, Annan recalled Truman's leadership in the founding of the United Nations. He called for the United States to return to President Truman's multilateralist foreign policies, and to follow Truman's credo that "the responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world". He also said that the United States must maintain its commitment to human rights, "including in the struggle against terrorism."[18][19]

References Edit

  • Annan, Kofi: In Larger Freedom, 21 March 2005.
  • Jan Tromp, Relatie Washington en VN is danig verziekt (De Volkskrant, zaterdag 10 juni 2006) 6.

Footnotes Edit

  1. United Nations (1996-12-13). "BIO/3051 - Kofi Annan of Ghana recommended by Security Council for appointment as Secretary-General of United Nations". Press release. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1996/19961213.bio3051.html. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  2. United Nations (1996-12-17). "GA/9208 - General Assembly appoints Kofi Annan of Ghana as seventh Secretary-General". Press release. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1996/19961217.ga9208.html. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  3. "Iraq war illegal, says Annan". BBC News (BBC). 2004-09-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3661134.stm. Retrieved 2006-12-12. "When pressed on whether he viewed the invasion of Iraq as illegal, he said: "Yes, if you wish. I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."" 
  4. "Excerpts: Annan interview". BBC News (BBC). 2004-09-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3661640.stm. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  5. "Pocantico Conferences 2005". Rockefeller Brothers Fund website. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  6. Kuczynski, Alex (2002-04-01). "Grandest Of Dames Turns 100 in Style" (fee required). New York Times: p. B3. http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F10E11FC3E5E0C728CDDAD0894DA404482. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  7. Boxer, Tim (April 2006). "Society’s 50th Milestone Honors Rockefellers". 15 Minutes Magazine. http://www.15minutesmagazine.com/archives/Issue_74/front_page.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  8. "UN report slams Lubbers for 'regular sexual harassment'". Expatica. 2005-02-18. http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=1&story_id=17094&name=UN+report+slams+Lubbers+over+sexual+harassment. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  9. "About the Committee". Independent Inquiry Committee into The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme website. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  10. "Members". Independent Inquiry Committee into The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme website. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  11. Brown, Mark Malloch (2006-06-06). "UN needs US, US needs UN to face challenges -- HIV/AIDS, SUDAN -- that defy national solutions, says Deputy Secretary-General in New York address". United Nations website. United Nations. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  12. "Speech by U. N. Leader Draws Angry Response From US". Fox News. 2006-06-07. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,198535,00.html. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  13. "In Larger Freedom". United Nations website. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  14. "Annan addresses UNA-UK in London". United Nations website. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  15. "Reforming the United Nations". United Nations website. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  16. "Reforming the United Nations, Mandate Review". United Nations website. Archived from the original on 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  17. Leopold, Evelyn (2006-09-16). "UN's Annan depicts polarized world in farewell speech". Reuters. http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006-09-19T173615Z_01_N19388437_RTRUKOC_0_US-UN-ASSEMBLY-ANNAN.xml&archived=False&src=091906_1412_ARTICLE_PROMO_also_on_reuters. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  18. "Annan chides US in final speech". BBC News (BBC). 2006-12-11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6169669.stm. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  19. Annan, Kofi (2006-12-11). "Independence, Missouri, 11 December 2006 - Secretary-General's address at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library followed by Questions and Answers". United Nations website. United Nations. Retrieved 2006-12-11.

Ban Ki-moon

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Who is he? Edit

Ban Ki-moon (born June 13, 1944) is a South Korean diplomat and the current Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated college, accepting his first post in New Delhi. In the foreign ministry he established a reputation for modesty and competence.

Ban was the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006 he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. Ban was initially considered to be a long shot for the office. As foreign minister of Korea, however, he was able to travel to all of the countries that were members of the United Nations Security Council, a manoeuvre that turned him into the campaign's front runner.

Childhood Edit

Ban, the oldest of six children, was born in Eumseong in a small farming village in North Chungcheong, in 1944, while Korea was forcibly occupied by Japan. When he was three, his family moved to the nearby town of Chungju, where he was raised. During Ban's childhood, his father had a warehouse business, but the warehouse went bankrupt and the family lost its middle-class standard of living. When Ban was 6, his family fled to a remote mountainside for the duration of the Korean War. After the war, his family returned to Chungju. The U.S. military troops in Korea were the first Americans whom Ban ever met.

Diplomatic Career Edit

After graduation from university, Ban received the top score on Korea's foreign service exam. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 1970, and worked his way up the career ladder during the years of the Yusin Constitution.[6]

His first overseas posting was to New Delhi where he served as vice consul and impressed many of his superiors in the foreign ministry with his competence. Ban reportedly accepted a posting to India rather than the more prestigious United States, because in India he would be able to save more money, and send more home to his family. In 1974 he received his first posting to the United Nations, as First Secretary of the South Permanent Observer Mission (South Korea only became a full UN member state on 17 September 1991).[15] After Park Chung-hee's 1979 assassination, Ban assumed the post of Director of the United Nations Division.

In 1980 Ban became director of the United Nation's International Organizations and Treaties Bureau, headquartered in Seoul. He has been posted twice to the Republic of Korea embassy in Washington, D.C. Between these two assignments he served as Director-General for American Affairs in 1990–1992. In 1992, he became Vice Chairman of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission, following the adoption by South and North Korea of the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. From 1993–1994 Ban was Korea's deputy ambassador to the United States. He was promoted to the position of Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and International Organizations in 1995 and then appointed National Security Advisor to the President in 1996. Ban's lengthy career overseas has been credited with helping him avoid South Korea's unforgiving political environment.

On Kosovo Edit

As the Security Council debated Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to ensure the stability of Kosovo, which the United Nations has run since 1999, and the safety and security of its population.

“I urge all to reaffirm and act upon their commitments to refrain from any actions or statements that could endanger peace, incite violence or jeopardize security in Kosovo and the region,” Mr. Ban told an open meeting of the Council, convened at the request of Russia and Serbia.

“My efforts – and those of my Special Representative in Kosovo – are aimed at ensuring that the political and security situation in Kosovo and in the wider region remains stable, and that the population of Kosovo, and in particular, the minority communities are protected,” he added.

Order Visualized

← Ban Ki-moon | Global Government →

Explanation of the Term Edit

The term "new world order" has been used to refer to a new period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. The first usages of the term surrounded Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points and call for a League of Nations following the devastation of World War I. The phrase was used sparingly at the end of the Second World War when describing the plans for the United Nations and Bretton Woods system, in part because of the negative association to the failed League of Nations the phrase would bring. In retrospect however, many commentators have applied the term retroactively to the order put in place by the WWII victors as a "new world order."

Uses of the Term Edit

The most widely discussed application of the phrase of recent times came at the end of the Cold War. Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush used the term to try to define the nature of the post Cold War era, and the spirit of great power cooperation that they hoped might materialize. Gorbachev's initial formulation was wide-ranging and idealistic, but his ability to press for it was severely limited by the internal crisis of the Soviet system. Bush's vision was, in comparison, much more circumscribed and pragmatic, perhaps even instrumental at times, and closely linked to the Gulf War. Perhaps not surprisingly, the perception of what the new world order entailed in the press and in the public imagination far outstripped what either Gorbachev or Bush had outlined, and was characterized by nearly comprehensive optimism. Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, and a time when one chapter ended and another began.

Global Banking Crisis Edit

The scale and the speed of the global banking crisis has at times been almost overwhelming, and I know that in countries everywhere people who rely on their banks for savings have been feeling powerless and afraid. But it is when times become harder and challenges greater that across the world countries must show vision, leadership and courage – and, while we can do a great deal nationally, we can do even more working together internationally.

So now is the time for leaders of every country in the world to work together to agree the action that will see us through the current crisis and ensure we come out stronger. And there is no international partnership in recent history that has served the world better than the special relationship between Britain and the United States.

It is a relationship that has endured and flourished because it is based not simply on our shared history but on the enduring values that bind us together – our countries founded upon liberty, our histories forged through democracy and an unshakeable belief in the power of enterprise and opportunity.

But if it reflects our values and our histories, this special relationship is also a partnership of purpose, renewed by every generation to reflect the challenges we face. In the 1940s it found its full force defeating fascism and building the postwar international order; in the cold war era we fought the growth of nuclear weapons and when the Berlin Wall fell we saw the end of communism. In this new century, since the horrors visited on America in 2001, we have worked in partnership to defeat terrorism.

Now, in this generation, we must renew our work together once again. A new set of challenges faces the whole world, which summons forth the need for a partnership of purpose that must involve the whole world. Rebuilding global financial stability is a global challenge that needs global solutions. However, financial instability is but one of the challenges that globalisation brings. Our task in working together is to secure a high-growth, low-carbon recovery by taking seriously the global challenge of climate change. And our efforts must be to work for a more stable world where we defeat not only global terrorism but global poverty, hunger and disease.

Globalisation has brought great advances, lifting millions out of poverty as they reap the benefits of economic growth and trade. But it has also brought new insecurities, as this – the first truly global financial crisis – underlines. Globalisation is not an option, it is a fact, so the question is whether we manage it well or badly.

Mirror in Star Wars Edit

The Star Wars story has had, without a question, the greatest impact on popular culture of any movie in world history. We will now explore why it has resonated so strongly with so many people across generations.

At last, the mainstream media is picking up on something we've been talking about for years. The plot lines of George Lucas' six Star Wars films mirror, in many respects, the activities of western governments.

George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars saga, has said over and over again that he simply plays on subconscious archetypal symbols that evoke primeval fears and passions. Lucas has also stated on many occasions that he draws from historical examples of imperial leaders' lust for war and total power. Lucas has said that that is why his films have such a powerful effect of people. Deep down, everyone knows that the greatest threat to life and liberty isn't the average criminal on the street, but the monolithic, all-powerful state. The human desire to resist tyranny is one of the strongest drives we have and Lucas plays upon that instinct masterfully. While premiering his film, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, at the Cannes Film Festival George Lucas was asked if his new film was a social commentary on George Bush and the Iraq invasion (which even our own government admits is part of America's new "kindly, helpful and loving" imperialism).

How can they not ask this when Darth Vader says to his former teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi, "if you're not with me, then you're my enemy." Remember that Lord Bush, after the 9/11 attacks said, "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

Transformation into Dictatorship Edit

Lucas responded to the reporters by saying that the original Star Wars was developed in the early post-Veitnam War era shortly after Richard Nixon left office amidst a Byzantine scandal.

He continued by saying, "The issue was, how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship...When I wrote it, Iraq (the U.S.-led war) didn't exist.. but the parallels of what we did in Vietnam and Iraq are un believable ...I didn't think it was going to get this close." This story deals not only with parallels between Star Wars Episode III and the Iraq invasion, it also details the psychology of government-sponsored terrorism as a tool of empire, and real secret societies like the Order of Death that Darth Vader and the Sith are based on.

Most young people have been fed a false political paradigm and so are bored with history and world events. When they learn the true nature of the global controllers in a Star Wars context we know they will join the real rebellion. Learn who the real dark lords are in Martial Law. Speaking about present day America he said, "I hope this doesn't come true in our country."

There are thousands of examples of classical despotism being practiced in the US and worldwide today. Here are just a couple:

- Our new Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, in published memos told the President and military leaders that US forces could interrogate detainees to death. If the detainees died while being tortured, the military's actions would be legal as long as they hadn't killed them on purpose. The document contained examples of how to strap someone down to a table and lower them into "liquid effluent" until they began to pass out.

Gonzales had the nerve to say that President Bush is the law and that he can break any Federal or international law that he wishes because he is the President. Gonzalez openly defended his view in front of a Senate panel that still confirmed him to be Attorney General.

Remember Hans Solo in the Empire Strikes Back strapped down in a torture chair as Darth Vader administers electric shocks. According the Alberto Gonzales' logic this is good. Vader works for the Emperor and the Emperor is the law.

The Attorney General's dark views are shared by the rest of the White House. They believe that they are above the law. Coupled with the exploding American police state, this reality is the text book manifestation of dictatorship.

Combine this open demonstration of dictatorship with 63 countries on a White House invasion hit-list and tyrannical empire is the only term that fits.

-Under section 802 of the USA Patriot Act, misdemeanor non-terror related crimes are listed as terrorism. Citizens are stripped of their most basic Constitutional rights that were held sacred in the old Republic.

-George Bush has set up a draconian Department of Homeland Security, giving FEMA the power to engage in mass arrests.

-Last year, the outgoing head of CENTCOM, General Tommy Franks, told the press that if America was attacked again the Constitution would be set aside in favor of a military form of government.

-The Federal government is dismantling the last vestiges of States' rights with its new Federally-standardized National ID Card that has been integrated with thousands of private databases to track and trace our every action.

Global Government

← Order Visualized | League of Democracies →

What is it? Edit

World government is the concept of a political body that would make, interpret and enforce international law. Inherent to the concept of a world government is the idea that nations would be required to pool or surrender (depending on point of view) sovereignty over some areas. In effect, a world government would add another level of administration above the existing national governments or provide coordination over areas national governments are not capable of adequately addressing as independent polities. The authority granted this level and how it relates to national governments and/or citizens is debated by both adherents and opponents to world government.

According to Some Edit

Some people see international institutions (such as the International Criminal Court, United Nations and International Monetary Fund) and various supranational and continental unions (such as European Union, South American Union and Asian Union) as the beginning elements of a world government system. An organization comprised of legislators from various nations known as Parliamentarians for Global Action have promoted ideas of democratic global governance, though such promotion has varied in its scope and intensity during the organization's history.

The Book Edit

One World is a travelogue written by Wendell Willkie and originally published in 1943. It is a document of his world travels and meetings with many of the then-Allies heads of state as well as ordinary citizens and soldiers in locales such as El Alamein, Russia, and Iran. Willkie also discusses the need for some sort of World government.

Especially emphasized is the position of China in the world after the war; involved in a civil war between Nationalists and Communists, Willkie prophesies that whichever power achieves victory will make China a force to be reckoned with. It is the duty of the United Nations (the Allies, not the organization) to make sure that power is not only friendly to American and other Allied interests, but also that it is powerful enough to help the Chinese, the world's most populated nation.

One World was highly popular in its time and sold millions of copies. It spent four months weeks atop the New York Times bestseller list beginning in May 1943. The United States of Africa is a name sometimes given to one version of the possible future unification of Africa as a national and sovereign federation of states similar in formation to the United States of America, mirroring the idea of the United States of Europe. The idea has recently been advanced by Libyan leader, and newly elected chairman of the African Union, Muammar al-Gaddafi, at a 2000 summit in Lomé, Togo (and again in June 2007 and February 2009), and by Alpha Oumar Konare, chairperson of the African Commission, on the occasion of the commemoration of the Africa Day, on May 25, 2006.

United States of Africa Edit

The phrase "United States of Africa", was mentioned first by Marcus Garvey in his poem 'Hail, United States of Africa' in 1924. Garvey's ideas deeply influenced the birth of the Pan-Africanist movement which culminated in 1945 with the Fifth Pan African Congress in Manchester, United Kingdom, attended by W.E.B. Du Bois, Patrice Lumumba, George Padmore, Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah. Later, Nkrumah and Haile Selassie (among many others) took the idea forward to form the Organisation of African Unity, the forerunner of today's African Union.

League of Democracies

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McCain's view Edit

The Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, has espoused a proposal put forward by specialists in international relations close to the Democratic Party, such as John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter. The proposal is to set up a new international organization that can accept as members only countries with a democratic government, a kind of League of Democracies (sometimes also called a Concert of Democracies). Senator McCain did not go into detail concerning the characteristics this institution would have to have. He merely stated that “it could act where the UN fails to act."

Commentary Edit

With global tensions rising, what do you suppose keeps some foreign policy columnists up at night? It is the idea of a new international organization, a league of democracies. On both sides of the Atlantic the idea - set forth most prominently by Sen. John McCain a year ago and again in the first presidential debate Sept. 26 - has been treated as impractical and incendiary. Perhaps a few observations can still this rising chorus of alarm.

The idea of a concert of democracies originated not with Republicans but with Democrats and liberal internationalists. Madeleine Albright, President Bill Clinton's secretary of state, tried to launch such an organization in the 1990s. More recently, it is the brainchild of Ivo Daalder, a foreign policy expert and senior adviser to Barack Obama. It has also been promoted by Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and professor John Ikenberry, the renowned liberal internationalist theorist. It has backers in Europe, too, such as Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, who recently proposed his own vision of an "alliance of democracies."

American liberal internationalists like the idea because its purpose is to promote liberal internationalism. Ikenberry believes a concert of democracies can help re-anchor the United States in an internationalist framework. Daalder believes it will enhance the influence that America's democratic allies wield in Washington. So does McCain, who talks about the need for the United States not only to listen to its allies but to be willing to be persuaded by them.

A league of democracies would also promote liberal ideals in international relations. The democratic community supports the evolving legal principle known as "the responsibility to protect", which holds leaders to account for the treatment of their people. Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, suggested it be applied to Burma, where the ruling generals refused international aid to their dying people. That idea was summarily rejected at the United Nations, where other humanitarian interventions - in Darfur today or in Kosovo a few years ago - have also met resistance.

So would a concert of democracies supplant the United nations? Of course not, any more than the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations supplants it. But the world's democracies could make common cause to act in humanitarian crises when the U.N. Security Council cannot reach unanimity. If people find that prospect unsettling, then they should seek the disbandment of NATO and the European Union and other regional organizations which not only can but, in the case of Kosovo, have taken collective action in crises when the U.N. Security Council was deadlocked. The difference is that the league of democracies would not be limited to Europeans and Americans but would include the world's other great democracies, such as India, Brazil, Japan and Australia, and would have even greater legitimacy.

Community of Democracies Edit

The Community of Democracies (CD) is an intergovernmental organization of democracies and democratizing countries with a stated commitment to strengthening and deepening democratic norms and practices worldwide. The CD is composed of both a governmental component made up of government representatives, and a non-governmental component comprising civil society organizations who meet as a group at biennial ministerial conferences. In 2004, CD governments also organized themselves into a Democracy Caucus in the United Nations (U.N.).

Princeton Project Edit

The Princeton Project on National Security is a multi-year, bipartisan initiative to develop a sustainable and effective national security strategy for the United States of America. Under the stewardship of honorary co-chairs George P. Shultz and Anthony Lake, the Princeton Project brings together leading thinkers on national security from government, academia, business, and the non-profit sector to analyze key issues and develop innovative responses to a range of national security threats.

Through support from the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Mr. David M. Rubenstein, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, the Princeton Project has:

• Convened and published the findings of seven working groups that addressed different aspects of national security—including grand strategy, state security and transnational threats, economics and national security, reconstruction and development, anti-Americanism, relative threat assessment, and foreign policy infrastructure and global institutions;

• Held ten conferences in the United States and abroad to explore major issues pertaining to U.S. national security ranging from the use of preventive force to the role of the private sector;

• Commissioned seventeen working papers on critical security topics.

The Princeton Project culminated with the release of its final report, Forging A World of Liberty Under Law: U.S. National Security in the 21st Century, by project co-directors G. John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter. Released on September 27, 2006, the report proposes that the United States must stand for, seek, and secure a world of liberty under law. It argues that Americans would be safer, richer and healthier in a world of mature liberal democracies. Getting there requires: 1. Bringing governments up to PAR (Popular, Accountable, Rights-Regarding); 2. Building a liberal order through reform of existing international institutions and the creation of new ones, such as the Concert of Democracies; and 3. Rethinking the role of force in light of the threats of the 21st century.