“If blue helmeted UN peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, RUN.”
Andrew Thomson, Emergency Sex
Few days ago in the evening I was doing my usual stuff on the internet: surfing, surfing and again surfing internet news channels and Facebook/Twitter, when suddenly I noticed this controversial photo which at least for me was both too funny and a real cold shower late at night.
Yes, the photo maybe is too sarcastic but it has many things inside to say to the whole humankind. The UN peacekeeper with his blue helmet just standing nearby the banner of the UN with motto “Involved in Peace”. George W. Bush once made a great statement which I usually use a lot “The World has changed after September 11!”
As much as time is passing from 9/11, as much I understand that Mr. President was totally right. The new grasp of changes is spreading all over the world: political regimes which have been in charge for decades are tumbling down, new political elites are being formed, but just another question is being raised after all this: what will be the next? What shall we expect from the world order which is somewhat becoming something like a global chaos?
In the above-mentioned context the “Syria Case” is the one which shows best how modern international politics work out these days. No, I am absolutely not a pessimist nor a anti-globalization activist, far from it. I am always supporting any globalization initiative as in my personal perception it might be the real key to sustainable development and peace building in the world, but the situation that we see today in international politics mostly looks more like a global chaos, than like sustainable development; Syria is just a good example of that.
Already for 16 months Syria has been involved in civil war and what has been the reaction of global powers? Just meaningless resolutions and statements which in any case could not stop the war, the slaughterous fratricidal war between the Syrian current authorities and rebels. As a result, what do we see? Thousands of Syrians running from their homes to Jordan and Lebanon, big refugee camps on the Syrian-Turkish border, useless diplomatic missions of the Arab League and other international institutions.
In this regard I would like to pay special attention to the position which right now hold the United Nations, as the organization which is responsible for maintaining peace all over the world. During the last decades and particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Empire many researchers and experts of international politics have expressed positions that the UN should be reformed in order to meet the requirements of the world of the 21st Century, but nobody could have imagined that this powerful, most important international institution may get into such a useless situation as the one it is in at the moment.
Sad to say, but the word “useless” for this moment totally describes the present situation, as one may easily check that even according to Wikipedia “The United Nations (abbreviated UN in English, and ONU in French and Spanish), is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security,economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.”
Enough of Wikipedia, let’s get back to business: so where are international law, security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace in Syria? A minute of break for thinking…
In the beginning of the 1990s there were big hopes that the end of US-Soviet rivalry, which in the past had paralyzed the Security Council of the UN, would mostly free the UN to become more effective. But these kind of hopes have soon been abandoned as during that period humankind experienced the horrible acts of genocide in Rwanda and massacres and genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia during which the blue helmeted UN peacekeepers were only following everything as observers and did not even raise a finger to stop the violence.
And another even more ironic fact is just coming to depress me even more: entering the official webpage of the United Nations Organization (http://www.un.org/), you see the following statement while picking the webpage’s language – United Nations: It’s your world!
Taking into account the latest developments in Syria and all over the Arab states during the last year and half, as well as the dark stories of the 1990’s, I do not know how the UN officials think about it, but I totally do not want to have such a world! A world filled with inequality and double standards, a world in which only the strongest states are bringing forward their political goals and interests, a world in which there is no security, no possibilities for guaranteeing economic development and social progress, a world in which human rights and peace are just some things which can easily be put on the negotiations table and could be exchanged for a barrel of oil! That is whole story of present international politics.
Usually in international affairs and politics, each time period has its name (Cold War, Versailles-Washington and etc.), so after making so many remarks and conclusions I have started to think about how the present time period will be called in the future.
Definitely in my opinion it should be called the age of UNINVOLVEMENT in PEACE, as for a common observer it is obvious that neither the UN, nor any other power wants to dirty their hands with blood. It’s really high time for just RUNNING when we see blue helmeted peacekeepers somewhere in the world.
Written by Armenak Minasyants, AEGEE-Yerevan & Speaker of International Politics WG