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International Organization, Law, and Human Rights


International Organization, Law, and Human Rights CHAPTER SEVEN Dr. Clayton Thyne PS 235-001: World Politics Spring 2008 Goldstein & Pevehouse, International ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: International Organization, Law, and Human Rights

International Organization, Law, and Human Rights
Dr. Clayton Thyne PS 235-001 World
Politics Spring 2008 Goldstein Pevehouse,
International Relations, 8/e Student notes
Evolution of World Order
  • The most powerful states, especially hegemons,
    have great influence on the rules and values that
    have become embedded over time in a body of
    international law.
  • New international norms

Roles of International Organizations
  • Most international conflicts are not settled by
    military force.
  • States generally refrain from...
  • States work together by following rules they
    develop to govern their interactions.
  • Institutions grow up around rules and states tend
    to work through these institutions.

Roles of International Organizations
  • International norms
  • _________________and respect for _____________
  • However, adherence to norms may vary different
    expectations for normal
  • In times of change, when these norms and habits
    may not suffice to solve international dilemmas
    and resolve conflict, ____________ play a key

Roles of International Organizations
  • International organizations (IOs)
  • Include intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)
    such as the UN, and nongovernmental organizations
    (NGOs) such as the International Committee of the
    Red Cross
  • Growth of IOs
  • Global nature of some IOs
  • Regional IOs
  • Global IGOs
  • NGOs more specialized in function than IGOs

Figure 7.1
The United Nations
  • State sovereignty creates a real need for such
    organizations on a practical level why?
  • State sovereignty also severely limits the power
  • States often reserve power to themselves

The UN System
  • Founded after _____________
  • Purpose
  • Closest entity to a __________________
  • Members are...

Purposes of the UN
  • UN Charter
  • Based on the principles that
  • States have _______________ over their own
  • States should have ______________ and territorial
  • States should carry out their international
    obligations (pacta sunt servanda).
  • Also lays out the structure of the UN and how it
  • Costs of membership are __________, benefits

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Structure of the UN
  • UN General Assembly
  • UN Security Council
  • UN Secretariat

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Structure of the UN
  • World Court / ICJ
  • National delegations to the UN, headed by
    ambassadors from member states, work and meet
    together at the UN headquarters in NYC.
  • Universality of membership
  • Five great powers each have a veto over
    substantive decisions of the Security Council.
  • Mechanism for collective security

Table 7.2
History of the UN
  • Founded in
  • Successor to the _________________
  • Tension with the U.S.
  • Increases in membership in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Due to
  • Impact on voting patterns
  • Role during the Cold War
  • Role after the Cold War
  • Currently follows the principle of three

Bush and the UN
JOHN BOLTON (2/3/1994) The United States makes
the UN work when it wants it to work, and that is
exactly the way it should be, because the only
question, the only question for the United States
is what is in our national interest. And if you
don't like that, Im sorry, but that is the fact.
The Security Council
  • Responsible for
  • Decisions binding on all UN member states
  • Has tremendous power to define the existence and
    nature of a security threat, structure the
    response to that threat, and enforce its
    decisions through mandatory directives to UN

The Security Council
  • Five permanent members
  • U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China
  • Substantive Security Council resolutions require
    ______ votes from among the _____ members, but a
    no vote from any permanent member defeats the

The Security Council
  • Councils 10 nonpermanent members rotate onto the
    Council for 2-year terms.
  • Elected (5 each year) by the General Assembly
    from a list prepared by informal regional
  • Chairperson rotates among the Council members
  • Meets irregularly
  • Power limited in two major ways

The Security Council
  • Military Staff Committee
  • Proposed changes to the Security Council
  • Japan and Germany
  • Little momentum for change (SQ bias)

Figure 7.3
Peacekeeping Forces
  • Not mentioned in the UN Charter
  • Charter requires member states to place military
    forces at the disposal of the UN anticipated to
    be used in response to aggression (under
    collective security)
  • Troops borrowed from states, fight under the UN
    flag (called blue helmets)
  • Neutral forces

Peacekeeping Forces
  • Peacekeeping missions
  • Authority for these granted by the Security
    Council for a limited but renewable period of
  • Funds must be voted on by the General Assembly
  • Serve at the invitation of a host government
  • Observers unarmed military officers sent to
    watch and report back to the UN
  • Peacekeepers armed soldiers who
  • Peacemaking
  • UN often focuses on state building, leaving
    others to make peace
  • Who contributes? http//

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The Secretariat
  • The secretary-general of the UN is the closest
    thing to a president of the world that exists.
  • Secretariat is the executive branch of the UN
  • Secretary-general
  • Works to bring together the great-power consensus
  • Currently Ban ki-moon
  • Former secretary generals http//

The General Assembly
  • _________ voting members meet every year, from
    late September to early January in plenary
  • Convenes special sessions every few years on
    topics such as economic cooperation
  • Has the power to
  • Main power lies in
  • Economic and Social Council
  • Has 54 member states elected by the General
    Assembly for 3-year terms

UN Programs
  • Uses more than a dozen major programs to advance
    economic development and social stability in
    poor states of the global South.
  • Each program has a staff, headquarters, and
    various operations in the field where it works
    with host governments in member states.
  • UNEP (UN Environment Program)
  • UNICEF (UN Childrens fund)
  • UNHCR (Office of the UN High Commissioner for
  • UNDP (UN Development Program)
  • UN Conference on Trade and Development

Autonomous Agencies
  • UN General Assembly maintains formal ties with
    about 20 autonomous international agencies not
    under its control.

International Law
  • Derives not from the actions of a legislative
    branch or other central authority, but from
  • Differs from domestic law
  • Difficulty of enforcement, which depends on

Sources of International Law
  • Declarations of the UN General Assembly are not
    laws, and most do not bind members.
  • Treaties and other written conventions signed by
    states are the most important source.
  • ____________ is the second major source of
    international law.
  • ____________ of law also serve as another source.
  • ____________ is a fourth source.

Enforcement of International Law
  • International law is much more difficult to
  • Depends heavily on...
  • States also follow international law because of
  • If a state breaks an international law, it may
  • One great weakness

The World Court (aka ICJ)
  • Rudiments of a general world legal framework
    found here
  • Only ____________ can sue or be sued in the World
  • Is a panel of 15 judges elected to 9-year terms
    by a majority of both the Security Council and
    the General Assembly.
  • Meets in

The World Court
  • Great weakness
  • Main use of the World Court now is to
  • Used infrequently (less than 100 judgements)

Figure 7.4
International Cases in National Courts
  • A party with a dispute that crosses national
    borders gains several advantages by pursuing the
    matter through the national courts of one of the
    relevant states.
  • Benefits
  • U.S. is a favorite jurisdiction within which to
    bring cases for two reasons
  • Problems
  • Immigration law

Law and Sovereignty Laws of Diplomacy
  • Bedrock of international law is
  • Diplomatic recognition
  • Diplomats have the right to
  • Diplomatic immunity

Law and Sovereignty Laws of Diplomacy
  • Diplomatic pouches
  • Interests section
  • Formal complaints
  • Terrorism

JustWar Doctrine
  • International law distinguishes just wars (wars
    that are legal) from wars of aggression (which
    are illegal).
  • Today, legality of war is defined by the UN
    Charter, which outlaws aggression but allows
    international police actions.
  • Most important principles for a just war
  • Just-war approach explicitly rules out war as an
    instrument to

Human Rights Individuals vs. Sovereignty
  • The idea of human rights flies in the face of...
  • Consensus on the most important human rights also
  • Rights are universal versus relativism
  • Amnesty International
  • Publicity and pressure most often used

Human Rights Individuals vs. Sovereignty
  • Concept of human rights comes from at least three

Human Rights Individuals vs. Sovereignty
  • No globally agreed-upon definitions of the
    essential human rights exist.
  • Often divided into two broad categories
  • civil-political negative rights
  • economic-social positive rights

Human-Rights Institutions
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Does not have the force of
  • Does set forth
  • Since its adoption, the UN has opened 7 treaties
    for state signature to further define protections
    of human rights.
  • Two important treaties
  • Convention Against Torture (CAT), 1987

Human-Rights Institutions
  • Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC),1990
  • Role of IOs in protecting human rights
  • Today, NGOs play a key role in efforts to win
    basic political rights in authoritarian countries

War Crimes
  • Large-scale abuses of human rights often occur
    during war.
  • International law is especially difficult to
    enforce during war.

War Crimes
  • Crimes against humanity
  • Lack of declaration of wars
  • War powers act (1973)