Avatar for amix 19 февраля 2004
amix сотрудник

Hi people.

Assignment for this week:

Week 2: Lectures 2-3 (Due Tuesday, February 24 rd , 12:00 midnight Moscow time)

Please answer only ONE of the following two questions.

  1. There is a debate about what specific criteria should guide the UN intervention in violent conflicts. Some people argue that the UN should intervene intervene only in the easiest cases; others believe that it should intervene only when the number of casualties is “sufficiently” high; and a third opinion contends that only humanitarian crises merit UN intervention. Which of these positions do you agree with most? In your answer, briefly but explicitly address the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three alternatives.
  2. Some people argue that “early-stage” conflict management in ethnic and regional conflicts is cheaper and easier to implement as compared with “later-stage” conflict management. Do you agree or disagree? Justify your answer.

(source: http://idl.stanford.edu/104/assignments.html)

(Actually Inna started the discussion but had to create a new topic for it and move Inna's message to here)

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Avatar for almadi 15 минут назад (19 февраля 2004)
almadi

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Hi, all.
I think the time has come and we have to start the discussion so I would like to offer the first theme to discuss:

There is a debate about what specific criteria should guide the UN intervention in violent conflicts. Some people argue that the UN should intervene only in the easiest cases; others believe that it should intervene only when the number of casualties is “sufficiently” high; and a third opinion contends that only humanitarian crises merit UN intervention. Which of these positions do you agree with most? In your answer, briefly but explicitly address the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three alternatives.

I also think we should point a responsible person for that assignment and we should do it quick as far as we have another one to write on this week.

  1. UN should intervene only in easiest cases.
     If we presume that UN are to intervene only in the easiest cases who will handle the hardest cases? Superpower/s?
    Article 33 of the UN Charter
  2. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of a, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.
  3. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.

Shall we restrict power of the UN by the role of mediator in the negotiations, as it’s set in the cited article?

 What measures can SC apply in the “easiest” cases? Shall it be measures that do not involve the use of armed force, as it’s described in Article 41 of the Charter?
Article 41 
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

 Who will define the border between the easiest cases and most difficult ones? And another problem is how can we create the criteria to determine how difficult the case is?
There are tree causes when SC can make recommendations or decide what measures are to be undertaken:
threat to the peace
breach of the peace
act of aggression
(The UN Charter, article 39)

What of counted above can be called “the easiest case”?

 What if the process of decision making about how complicated the case is will want much time? Will it mean to loose time in vain?

2. UN should intervene only when the number of casualties is “sufficiently” high
 Here we can mention the first two or all three arguments I’ve written above
 What can be defined as “sufficiently” high number of casualties? A dozen of people? Hundred? Thousand? Is not that criterion too abstract, vague and indistinct?
 What else can we think about?

3. Only humanitarian crises merit UN intervention
 So there’s nothing to do with all kinds of aggression and threat to peace? Shell we restrict the role of the UNO to the humanitarian organization?

http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/index.html
United Nations Charter

hope the those poor things that i've mentioned will be enreached soon :)
what's with Liza? Did she register? or there's Andrey to do her job? ;) well I hope to see her soon here :)

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Avatar for lizka спустя 2 дня (22 февраля 2004)
lizka

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Only “easiest cases”

  1. high cost in human lives and resources
    · I think that mathematical approach is absolutely irrelevant when speaking about people dying. However I’d rather mention that there would be losses in dead and wounded and casualties in both cases: whether we start intervention or not.
  2. UN image
    One can say that a failure of UN intervention would negatively reflect on UN image.
    · However I think that if UN shows it’s inability to adopt to new realities, it’s reluctance to act etc. it’ll do even more damage to its reputation. That is it’s worth trying to increase capabilities of UN.

Not only “easiest cases”
1. natural resources and geo-strategic position
· If civil violence starts in a region where some kind of natural resource is concentrated it’ll bring difficulties to all countries (for example, if a civil war started in Sverdlovsk region and lasted for 10 years there would be (50%) less titanium in world market, less new airplanes would be produced, more old obsolete airplanes would be used, more accidents would… etc. Or let’s recollect the situation on world market 2 years ago when our government couldn’t make a decision about the palladium trading license). One can argue that it also could have long-term advantages for non-belligerent countries as new technologies, advanced materials etc. could be invented (as it was after the 1973). We also have to keep in mind that immediate difficulties caused by such kinds of wars would be more severe in politically, socially, economically instable countries, and a crisis could bring them to a civil war as well.
· The similar situation would arise if a civil war would happen in a country with a very important geo-strategic position as it could paralyze transportation, trade etc in half of the world. That is such cases should not be ignored by UN.
2. self-defense
· UN inaction could force neighbor-states to start a war themselves, as they may seem a situation threatening their security. (According to the UN Charter a state can use force in case of self-defense however there’s nothing said about whether self-defense could be preventive or not). I think that is a situation that should be avoided. Perhaps the votes of neighbor-states should be decisive when discussing whether to intervene or not.
3. mentality
· if speaking about the other part of the debates (whether to sub-contract to regional organization) we should take in consideration the following. Perhaps it would be easier for Africans to mediate conflicts in Africa as they have the same norms, value system, priorities, way of thinking etc. In order to avoid just “simply passing the the-buck” perhaps some regional UN departments should be created to do the “preliminary work”, to try to prevent conflict on its “early stage” and if it didn’t succeed…

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Avatar for amix спустя 1 день (24 февраля 2004)
amix сотрудник

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[size=4]POSTED. Waiting for results.../size

Ok, I've posted it to the Stanford IDL forum.

Thanks...

And sorry for my inactivity, just having problems with time (as always) and home PC (that's a disaster - as always).

Next time i'll do my best... and, hope, we'll finally start discussing all the stuff.

Well... who's gonna be responsible for the week 3? i can...

I suppose that we start week 3 online talks on Friday.

And, btw, the results of each essay will be copied to relevant topic from the official forums.

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Avatar for almadi спустя 2 дня (26 февраля 2004)
almadi

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Hi all

well, what can I say!?

first.
I think that the previous discussion we did all wrong because mostly we did it via mail and as a result no live discussion at all.
second.
we did everything at the last moment so that we simply didn't have enough time to discuss it all. and as a result we got a draft to be sent there. I don't think it's really the best we could do.
so I would really appreciate to start our discussion from tomorow, as Andrey offered to do.
and no letters at all!!!! everything we think we have to put it here and try to make a discussion to elaborate a so colled «common» point of view.
Thanks to all.
Please, point the theme of our current discussion :)

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Avatar for almadi спустя 22 часа (27 февраля 2004)
almadi

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
COMMENTS:
· GOOD ESSAY.
· IN YOUR ASSESSMENT OF EACH OPTION TRY TO BE MORE BALANCED, ADDRESSING BOTH ITS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES, AS WELL AS HOW FEASIBLE ITS IMPLEMENTATION IS.
· IN ADDITION TO THE UN DOCUMENTS, YOU COULD/SHOULD HAVE USED REFERENCES FROM THIS WEEK’S READINGS AND/OR FROM LECTURE. IT IS ALWAYS VERY IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIMS WITH THE EXISTING LITERATURE.
· YOUR CONCLUSION COULD HAVE BEEN STRONGER. REMEMBER THAT ALWAYS THAT YOU PROVIDE SOME SORT OF POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS, YOU MUST ALSO ADDRESS HOW IT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED AND ITS FEASIBILITY. OTHERWISE, THEY ARE ONLY “GOOD INTENTIONS”.

GRADE: 80-90

PS we also have to make up a title next time.

PPS as my curiosity to look trough all essays shows we'are not the best with our assignment but not the worst nither :) well, I think we can do it better next time but even those results we've got already are not really bad.

PPPS So pleeeeeease choose a topic for discussion or just express the topic you wold like to discuss so that we could start to work. :)

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