Making the United Nations Work for Global Commons: Amending the UN Charter by Kalpana Murari :: SSRN

Get your policy wonk on and solve the problem of the environment using the tools of international organization.  (At least, it sounds appealing to academics.)

To improve global governance of the environment with the ultimate result to protect the planet from climate change effects reforms the UN system have been discussed academically. These are yet to be implemented due to lack of political will to set aside national interests and arrive at an international consensus to empower the UN or a third party agency of the UN to intervene to protect the Common Heritage of Mankind

via Making the United Nations Work for Global Commons: Amending the UN Charter by Kalpana Murari :: SSRN.


3 thoughts on “Making the United Nations Work for Global Commons: Amending the UN Charter by Kalpana Murari :: SSRN”

  1. I have to say that I agree that the delegates at the UN need to be more willing to put their own national interests second, and put on a more global perspective to work to improve the world. This article, which emphasizes the need for a global perspective especially to deal with the Syrian crisis is an interesting viewpoint. It raises the question of why the UN has so far done almost nothing to avert the death and suffering of the people in Syria. I think this is a question that should be answered, and the UN needs to decide what it can do to better address issues like this that will arise in the future, and then do it.

    1. The reason why states do not shelf their own national interests is because the international community does not have each individual country’s interest at heart (unlike our Heavenly Father). Unfortunately, even the United Nations is imperfect in its judgment and rules. This is really a matter of sovereignty and the implications that come from giving the United Nations power to enforce international law. If the United Nations followed perfect law and would have complete and perfect judgment, then yes, it would be good to give the United Nations power to act as the great government of the world. But we cannot have perfect faith in the United Nations. Since we cannot ultimately trust the United Nations to protect our interests, how can any nation, especially the United States, forfeit its sovereignty and become subject to an international body which consists of members who predominately blame the United States for the current state of affairs. As some authors have pointed out this is just an inevitable result of being the unipolar power. Until the United Nations and its systems have become competent and trust, the United States cannot trust the overarching power of the United Nations because it implications are that the United Nations would be able to impose sanctions or international laws that violate fundamental U.S. rights. For example, our defense of freedom of speech regardless of whether it attacks a religion. This may be more of a slippery slope fallacy, but at the same time, the realist in me says that an imperfect United Nations can not possibly defend and maintain the freedoms that the United States is built upon. Thus causing a security problem for the United States. Especially since the United Nations struggles to even define universal rights given the different perspectives of what should be included in universal rights.

      I am definitely not saying that there is not a time or place or need to limit state sovereignty. Indeed, I believe that a nation loses its sovereignty when the government violates certain human rights and therefore become illegitimate because it is not carrying out its function. However, we should be aware of the implications for America of giving more power to the United Nations. Therefore, proceed with caution.

  2. I agree with Troy’s comments. It is the start of a good thing to look into everyone’s interests. I agree that once again member states need to be very cautious when looking into giving more power to the UN and giving up their own sovereignty. The more rights we are willing to give up, the more they are willing to take and to ask for which could lead down a path that we do not want to be on, or will not want to be on in the future. It is good to discuss and this policy will need some time to discuss and to work out so that the decisions aren’t rushed. Also, other more pressing issues must be addressed first, like the Syrian Civil War, before other issues like global climate be addressed. Here is an article about the facts of global warming from the environmental defense fund.

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