Talk:United Nations

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Hold it! This may be conservapedia but even so we should mention at least some poisitve actions of the UN or its associated agencies. The W.H.O did eradicate smallpox afterall.

Good for you. Please do add that statement. Haha, I almost got banned for posting on the ACLU page about how the ACLU fought racism. Good times ;-). But DO add your words.-AmesG 20:59, 24 March 2007 (EDT)
I heard somewhere the UN serves 102 million meals daily; so there is an arguement to keep some of the alleged functions it performs going. RobS 21:03, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

Heavy political bias in this article. To say that Israel has been singled out is highly questionable and to state it as fact is intelletually indefencible. Stevendavy

I've tried to add a bit about the five main UN organs. It basically seems to be a good idea to start out by explaining what the UN actually is, before going into what different people think is wrong with it. AKjeldsen 11:18, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

ICJ jurisdiction

RobS, your edit about the ICJ is incorrect, as it does not only have jurisdiction over questions of treaties. It can handle all kinds of conflicts and crises between states that relate to international law. Treaties are a part of that, certainly, but not the whole of it. See Article 36(2) of the Court's statutes, or the list of previous cases when their website is back online next week. AKjeldsen 16:10, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

What "legislation" exists in "International law", other than treaties? RobS 16:17, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
According to Article 38(1) of the Statutes, the Court rules on the basis of conventions, international custom, general principles of law and, to a lesser degree, "judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations" and ex aequo et bono. Further, the fact is that not all cases are questions of treaties - all kinds of conflicts can be brought before the Court. As an example, it was attempted to settle the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran in the Court. AKjeldsen 16:28, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
None of this is possible without Treaty law, IOW, it is Treeaty law that brings the disputants to this Court. There is no Supra-legistor whom they interpret. "conventions, international custom," directly refers to Treaty law; "general principles of law" is meaningless--the Koran does not recognize any "general principals of law" other than the Koran, so what practical place does this have in any context? Clearly that would require more research before we could include it. "judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations", agasin referes to Treaty law, and to some extent judicial decisions among member states who are parties to treaties that recognize the Courts jurisdiction in certain matters. But this is not without controversy either, and we cannot state it has some sort of blanket jurisdiction or authority here. ex aequo et bono, according to Wikipedia is, according to the right and good; I'm not certain if we can take either the ICJ or Wikipedia as source for this claim. RobS 16:45, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
International law has always been based just as much in customary law as in treaties. This goes all the way back to the Roman jus gentium, and the natural law of the Enlightenment. These are the principles that have arisen out of e.g. the Peace of Westphalia and such works as Hugo Grotius' De Jure Belli ac Pacis and Mare Liberum. These are just as important sources of law for international law as treaties, if not more so. Besides, if the statutes of the Court themselves aren't an acceptable source of which cases the court are empowered to handle, what is? AKjeldsen 17:02, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
This Court was founded to mediate fishing rights between Icelanders & Englishmen; rumors like we're trying to spread here, like there is actually some sort of supra-national legal government to which the United States has ceeded its sovereignty, I think we need to nip in the bud. RobS 17:24, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
What in the world are you talking about? Nobody except you are talking about "supra-national legal governments". The whole point is that contemporary international customary law has been developed as a result of 400 years of interaction between sovereign states acting in an anarchic international system. If there was a supra-national government, it wouldn't be customary law in the first place. AKjeldsen 17:33, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
Ok, you cited the 1979 case of US v Iran [1] The Court ordered their immediate release. This didn't happen. In otherwords, it is absolutely powerless. And where the power to enforce the law ceases to exist, the law ceases exist, to cite an old general principal of law. RobS 17:48, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
Firstly, you cannot apply principles from domestic law to international law or compare the ICJ with the way a national court would function. Those share very few characteristics, because they are two completely different legal traditions. Secondly, yes, the Court is completely powerless if both parties to a given case do not agree to recognize its authority. That was the case in 1979: The new government of Iran refused to accept such authority, thus the case was dropped. I see very few sign of anything supra-national here. AKjeldsen 18:03, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
Good. So we agree, they are completely different legal tradtions. This is why a phrase, " founded to settle legal disputes " can be deceptive. So it needs to be cleaned up. RobS 20:07, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Fair enough. I propose something along the lines of this:

The International Court of Justice, based in the Dutch capital of The Hague, was founded to settle conflicts and disputes over questions of international law between sovereign states. It only has jurisdiction in cases where all parties to the case in question have agreed to recognize the authority of the Court. The Court bases its decisions primarily on international conventions and treaties, on customary international law, and on previous rulings by the court. However, previous rulings are not necessarily binding on the Court, that is, the principle of "stare decisis" does not apply. Also, if both parties to the case agree, the Court can mediate disputes according to the principle of ex aequo et bono. The Court also advices other organs and agencies of the United Nations on questions of international law.

This puts more emphasis on the specific nature of the court's legal tradition, and has the added virtue of being more exact overall. How does that look to you? AKjeldsen 20:26, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Excellent. Looks very good. RobS 22:57, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
I'll put it in the article, then. AKjeldsen 18:03, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Edit Explanation

I should have made a brief comment earlier on an edit I made to this article, but I'm learning the rules and ways as I go along, so bear with me. I removed the "Complements" section of this article mainly because it didn't really contribute anything solid, and was riddled with misspellings anyway. I hope we can create a heading in the future where we can insert quantifiable facts of any good the U.N. has done (example: "delivered 28.3 tons of grain to Zimbabwe in June, 2004") Alexander 18:14, 30 March 2008 (EDT)


The United Nations is committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

In Libya, is the UN looking for peace? Is it trying to develop an opportunity to save the life of civilians in Tripoli with diplomatic actions? Bombs are the only tools available? Have they ask the people from Benghazi if they agree with the legitimate Libyan government? There are news that the rebels don't let the people loyal to Gaddafi to express their feelings; many are in jail or dead. Is that democracy?

You just have to see pictures of Benghazi, Tripoli and Misrata to learn the high standard of living that they have. 50 years ago they were the poorest country. Also they have fought Al Qaeda that now is through trained rebels revenging.

Finally, Gaddafi's son has explained that people who was shut was trying to enter by force inside a military zone.

Could there be an opportunity for peace in order to find the real truth? Or, is the UN just a puppet of the Lords of the War?

--Joaquín Martínez 00:13, 3 July 2011 (EDT)