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49% (37 Points)
Debate Type: Traditional Debate
Voting Format: Casual Voting
Time Per Round: 24 Hours Per Round
Voting Period: 24 Hours
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Arguments (6) Comments (5) Votes (5)
In Round 1, I will examine how the UN fails as an institution, pointing out its flaws and its need for replacement.
In Round 2, I will reaffirm my position and take any rebuttals and respond to @whiteflame's argument.
In Round 3, I will examine how I would reshape the UN to best fit the needs of this world.
Summary of my Argument:
The UN has served the world for 70 years, but is in need of replacement. When the UN was created, it served to protect certain ideals and causes after the second World War. However, the UN does not function accordingly. The UN has increasingly seen tension and kickback in recent years, to a point where the UN needs to be remodeled. Certain flaws include handling of countries, moral issues, and corrupt system of power in the councils. Combined, the UN needs to adapt to the changing world.
To start off this debate, a history of the UN to date would be helpful to get context into the UN's current situation, and I will present the information as objectively as I am able. My information will come from http://www.un.org/en/sections/history/history-united-nations/, the site of the UN to date.
Beginning > The UN first came into existence on October 24, 1945, in order to draw up Europe and Asia after the Second World War. Previously, the term United Nations came from the 26 nations who fought against the Axis powers, thus a primal purpose of the UN was to prevent wars and maintain global peace. This has generally been the goal of the UN since its founding and its charter between 51 nations in 1945-1946. Major leaps include the decreasing of atomic bombs, the creation of a peace making force in 1956, the addition of over 17 African countries in a year, the imposing of sanctions on certain countries, and environment and food conferences, to name a few.
Before I list my objections, I need to acquiesce a critical point in this debate. The UN, as a whole, is a solid idea, and has been properly maintained so that as an organization, it is strong and representative of the world. I believe that if we were to replace the UN, we would have to change its form of governing, and not necessarily its outlooks. This is why I have dedicated Round Three to exploring alternatives, because the pitfalls for the UN come from how they have handled crises over their history, and how this does not follow with the prospects of the UN.
Contention 1: The handling of major wars and genocides.
One of the common problems with the UN is that it does not have the capacity, or want, to help nations engaged in war. Think about this from a logical standpoint, the UN represents the world, they are going to certainly have disagreements, but this is where the UN fails. In order to take the opinion of every representative, issues can simply be overlooked. This was the case with the Rwandan Genocide. According to http://endgenocide.org/learn/past-genocides/the-rwandan-genocide/, the genocide consisted of Tutsi's and Hutu's fighting over land resulting after a civil war and an airplane crash. Over 100 days, this would lead to the slaughter of 800,000 people, which the UN did not fully stop at its height.
Here is how the UN responded, according to https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/switzerland/11700969/UN-at-70-Five-greatest-successes-and-failures.html,
"The UN had an “Assistance Mission” for Rwanda in 1994, which knew about the impending genocide, but its peacekeepers failed to stop the majority Hutus going on a murderous rampage and killing almost a million members of the Tutsi minority. The imprecation “Never Again”, which after the Holocaust hung over the founding of the UN, was never more studiously ignored."
It was not only the peacekeepers, but the lack of care for the issue. According to the Global Policy Forum, https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/201-rwanda/39240.html.
"The independent report, commissioned by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, showed a UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda doomed from the start by an insufficient mandate and later destroyed by the Security Council's refusal to strengthen it once the killings began. And it showed UN officials - Annan and then-Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali among them - unable or unwilling to act on information from the field that a massive slaughter was occurring and that they needed to do something to stop it.
Coupled with another self-critical analysis of the UN role in the fall of Srebrenica during the Bosnian war, the report is sure to fuel the growing international debate about the imperative of the United Nations and its member governments to stop grave violations of human rights."
Now, it would be easy to say that this was one mistake that the UN failed to grasp at the time, and yes, every institution makes mistakes, but this has always been a constant problem in Africa, to which the UN constantly fails to respond.
Enter rape issues in Africa, to which the UN itself is responsible for. According to USA Today, UN peacekeepers would rape children and women in the Central African Republic, which led to a recent 2014 scandal against the UN. Here is a quote from an affected mother.
"I am ashamed of the so-called international community," a tearful Marie-Blanche Marboua said as she described how a U.N. soldier raped her 10-year-old son a year ago in Bouar, 300 miles from this capital city. "My son is still traumatized."
An attempt to clean up a civil war ended up resulting in corruption and issues regarding morality in their peacekeepers themselves, who only worsened the conflict rather than solving it. This is a recent 2014 issue, thus it should be noted that if the UN faces these issues today, then how can they be trusted to carry out global tasks? Thus, we either have to replace the entire labor force for the UN or resolve how the UN handles and prepares such men for the role of peacekeeping. If the UN is spreading wrongful morale or is not supervising/training the peacekeepers, what is to prevent a similar issue from happening later?
"I didn't rape because I am angry, but because it gave us a lot of pleasure," says 22-year-old Mateso (not his real name). "When we arrived here we met a lot of women. We could do whatever we wanted." (The Guardian)
I have now discussed global issues concerning the UN, particularly in Africa, whose countries are heavily abused by the UN and the world at large. I will frequent Africa, because if the UN shows preferences to countries, then can it be trusted with setting up institutions in the country?
I will now concern myself with the inner workings of the UN, and how they exploit countries, and how the system is corrupt at large.
Contention 1: The UN has served its purpose:
A weaker point in the fold, but a good starting point for arguments to follow. The UN, as an ideology, is sound, and actively works to prevent wars and maintain peace. However, the UN no longer has the authority to reach fair decisions for countries (Later). The original intent of the UN was to divide up Europe and prevent a Third World War from occurring. After nations signed on, the organization grew in influence, yet this made it harder for world decisions to be made. Therefore, the power has now resided in the most powerful countries, who now dictate affairs to the lower countries. This was not the purpose of the UN. The UN was created to prevent this mindset from becoming the focal point of the present day UN. As a starting point, therefore, the UN was created for a purpose and served it, and with its current branching systems, the power is tilted toward the more powerful countries and away from the countries in need of assistance. This is an issue that can not simply be revised, this is an issue that has to be remodeled completely, which the UN will not change in the future.
According to Sunday Guardian,
"It can be no one's case that there is no requirement for inter-governmental agencies to solve problems that involve a large number of countries or which spill over borders. But any objective analysis will tell you that the UN, WHO (even the World Bank has struggled to play a meaningful role in the Ebola crisis) and other such institutions set up almost seven decades ago are not doing what they are supposed to. It is hard to radically change these institutions by tinkering around the edges. The only way forward is to abolish these institutions and build new ones, which recognize the reality of the 21st century."
Yet, five major countries run the majority of the UN, which I will delve into right now.
Contention 2: The Security Council:
The biggest issue that I have with the UN is that the Security Council, which is designed to prevent future wars, and delegates most of foreign policy from the UN, is run by five countries, The US, UK, France, Russia, and China. This simply is not representative of the whole world. While the UN tries to diversify this, the UN favors the strongest and most capable countries to make decisions for the rest of the world, and with these countries, it is near impossible to reach a unanimous decision, as they work for their own benefit, not that of the world. Let me explain:
The US and Russia have generally been at odds, especially since the end of the Cold War, and although we are trying to thaw tensions, issues in Syria involving ISIS have only increased tension between the two countries. In addition, China and Russia have been at odds in many issues, including, communism and free market principles. Thus, the five nations rival each other, and having veto power given to us allows the five countries to veto bills in their own interests and not that of the world. Here is an example from https://stiffkitten.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/is-the-un-serving-its-purpose/.
"The International Court of Justice rejected Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara in 1975. Morocco’s transfer of over 300.000 civilians into Western Sahara in late 1975 was in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Morocco’s presence in Western Sahara is illegal, a fact that has been upheld by over 100 resolutions in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The Charter of the United Nations states that those nations who are responsible for non-self-governing states, such as Western Sahara, must protect the citizens of such states and take account of their political aspirations, none of which Morocco is doing. And Morocco’s theft of Western Sahara’s natural resources is in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, something that has been reaffirmed by several UN Opinions.
But despite this overwhelming evidence of Morocco’s gross violation of international law for over 35 years and Western Sahara’s right to independence, France and the USA, both permanent member of the Security Council, has managed to veto any attempts at solving the Western Saharan conflict through the United Nations for strategic reasons. France is Morocco’s main trade partner and investor. Morocco was one of the USA’s closest allies in their fight against communism and is one of its main allies in its fight against terrorism."
Thus, in supporting allies who favor freedom instead of communism, the UN manages to make biased choices in favor of major countries with power and money.
Final Contention: Colonialism:
The UN faces moral issues when dealing with developing countries, offering alternate solutions to problems in those countries rather than providing the assistance they need. For instance, many individuals are starving in Africa and the Middle East because of overpopulation and the need for food. However, instead of food, the UN ships condoms to reduce birth rates, yet this does not solve the problem, and is equally morally reprehensible. If countries want help from the UN, they have to accept these immoralities to get the help they need, which shows the UN using their power abusively to push ideals and beliefs onto weaker countries.
Here is evidence from Crisis Magazine:
"So here’s the surprise: According to the latest research, condom promotion is ineffective for anything but lowering the rate of AIDS in concentrated, high-risk groups, like homosexuals in San Francisco or prostitutes in Bangkok. Condoms have never been shown to reduce HIV infection rates and AIDS deaths in general-population epidemics like those in sub-Saharan Africa. Paradoxically, the more condoms AIDS activists send to Africa, the more widespread the disease has become.
Therefore, if condoms don't solve the problem, then the UN is trying to liberalize the countries into following the UN's agenda, which then promotes immorality.
While the UN can be used for good purposes, it has failed to adapt to modern world issues, and is run by major powers who judge the world, against the original intent of the UN. Thus, the UN needs to be replaced, as neither of the five countries want their power stripped or such changes to be made.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing @whiteflame's argument.
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Looking forward to debating you as well, @WilliamSchulz. Certainly looks like you’ve set up a sizable and strong case!
Let’s begin by defining the bounds of the debate, starting with some basic definitions.
The United Nations: "an intergovernmental organization established on 24 October 1945 to promote international co-operation... The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict."
The UN is composed of a wide variety of specialized agencies, many of which I’ll cover in this debate, but for an exhaustive list, here’s a link.
worth retaining: having positive value sufficient to warrant its continued existence.
Onto a bit of burdens analysis.
First, I’d just like to note that this is an equal burdens debate. It’s my burden to prove that the UN is worth retaining as an institution, and Con’s burden to prove that it is not. Voters are encouraged to compare the benefits of its being retained against the harms, and determine whether the continued existence of the UN is net beneficial. There is no specific threshold that needs to be met for this – we are simply comparing the benefits of a world with the UN and a world either without it or with some replacement.
Second, while we are certainly going to bring up past actions of the UN as part of our arguments, note that the resolution is about retaining the organization as a whole. As such, I am not required to argue that the UN in its current form is net beneficial, though I do believe that is the case. Part of the ground for my side of this debate is to propose changes to how the UN functions that would provide further support for its retention. My opponent is welcome to present the framework for a separate organization that should replace the UN, though bear in mind that the two must be mutually exclusive (i.e. the UN could not implement changes to make itself functionally equivalent to this other organization). The reason for this is that he would essentially be arguing that the UN as an institution actually should be retained, just in a slightly altered form. That would be an argument for my side of the resolution.
Third, it is part of the basic rules of debate that all of our constructive arguments are presented before the final round. I don’t mean to address any of the issues that Con presented in his opening round, but I can’t help but notice that he’s planning on presenting the entirety of his counterplan in the third round. Doing so would mean that I would only get 1 round to attack his case, while he gets 2 full rounds to attack my case. That's not just harmful for me, since it means any rebuttals I'd have for your case would remain unaddressed. I would rather have a solid set of argumentation on both sides for both of our cases, and as such, I would strongly encourage Con to present his counterplan in R2. If he wishes to simply argue over the net benefits of my case, he’s welcome to stick to rebuttals alone in the following round.
With that, I’ll start by focusing on the elements of the UN that have provided substantial benefits, focus on some key improvements that could be made in how the UN is run, and finally address the question of what a world without the UN would look like. I’ll save rebuttals for the next round.
I. Strengths of the UN
I’m not going to pretend that the UN has a flawless record with peacekeeping, which is something I’ll address in more detail later in my case. However, the UN has demonstrated successes as well. In Sierra Leone, the UN helped to “implement a peace agreement after the country’s devastating civil war… blue helmets disarmed more than 75,000 ex-fighters, including hundreds of child soldiers. The UN destroyed more than 42,000 weapons and 1.2 million rounds of ammunition.” Considering this war cost between 50,000 and 300,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million within the country, their mandates to protect civilians and to ensure that an agreement to end the war was effectively followed clearly saved untold lives. The UN has been successful at resolving a number of international disputes. In Burundi, the UN is credited with helping the nation recover from decades of ethnic war. That war cost 300,000 lives, and the recovery efforts were essential to ensuring that both sides continued to respect the ceasefire and disarmament agreements, as well as ensure the protection of civilians.
These successes extend to Côte d’Ivoire (“to facilitate the implementation by the Ivorian parties of the peace agreement” and “to control a ‘zone of confidence’ across the centre of the country separating the two parties”), Timor-Leste (“to support the Government in consolidating stability, enhancing a culture of democratic governance, and facilitating political dialogue among Timorese stakeholders, in their efforts to bring about a process of national reconciliation and to foster social cohesion”), Liberia (“to monitor a ceasefire agreement”), Haiti (mostly responding to the earthquake by providing security and distributing humanitarian aid ) and Kosovo (“to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo and advance regional stability in the western Balkans” ). “[B]y providing basic security guarantees and responding to crises, these UN operations have supported political transitions and helped buttress fragile new state institutions. They have helped countries to close the chapter of conflict and open a path to normal development, even if major peacebuilding challenges remain.”
There is no doubt that the UN has reduced the loss of life in these countries, and the fact that they have a clear set of factors required for a mission to be a success, and they aren’t guided by unilateral, single nation interests sets them apart from every other effort at peacekeeping.
2. Just… So Many Agencies…
I don’t think there’s much question that many of the agencies under the umbrella of the UN perform extremely beneficial actions. I’ll highlight just a few.
UNICEF has a remarkable record of improving children’s lives. The numbers are staggering, with tens of millions of kids vaccinated against polio, millions gaining access to clean water, massive educational outreach services, access to necessary nutrients, psychological support, critical health care and protection services, and much more. All of this in war-torn areas like Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria.
The World Health Organization works in offices across 150 countries, connecting governments and partners to control a variety of infectious diseases and ensure safe food, water and air. More specifically, the WHO functions as a central leadership organization for “shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge… setting norms and standards and promoting their implementation… articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options… providing technical support, catalyzing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity… monitoring the health situation and addressing health trends.” As an actor in an international system, it has a unique advantage in all of these areas to engage with individuals, organizations and governments across borders and boundaries. And they’re tackling a great deal of problems that cross those boundaries and chiefly affect nations that can’t afford to combat them, like malaria, HIV, child mortality, maternal health, and poverty and hunger.
The UN Development Programme works in 170 nations and territories to help poor countries develop to reduce inequalities and exclusion. It has invested 130 initiatives in 70 countries, “partnering with government and private sector to leverage alternative finance, behavioral insights, data innovation, and public policy labs.” These efforts have yielded substantial decreases in the incidence of HIV, malaria and TB in countries where these efforts would have otherwise been impossible. They’ve also sought to promote rights in a number of nations where LGBT communities lack basic protections.
The UN Population Fund (UNPFA) and UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) both have a strong track record of improving the lives of women in numerous nations.[19, 20] The UNFPA is seeking to put an end to obstretic fistulas and female genital mutilation, to make pregnancy safer for women, and to promote their equality and physical safety. Though these are daunting tasks, they’ve made great progress in “improv[ing] the health of mothers, slow[ing] the spread of HIV/AIDS, and mitigat[ing] the virus’s impact”. The UNDFW has a strong track record across continents of ensuring peace and security, achieving gender equality and promoting the human rights of women, reducing violence against women, strengthening the economic capabilities of women, and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
And all of this is just 4 of the 15 agencies, not including any related organizations or sub-agencies. Again, I don’t think there’s any question that these agencies have done an incredible amount of good, bringing in employees and partners from nations around the world to solve a variety of dramatic problems.
II. How to Improve the Formula
1. A Standing Military Force
This will emulate the proposal summarized here. While there is a lot of detail in this, let’s just focus on the major hits to simplify. This includes the formation of a standing army composed of approximately 12,000-15,000 members, ranging widely but trained by the UN directly. They would function under a single command structure, being directly loyal to the UN. The deployment can be authorized by the Security Council, requiring two vetoes in order to vote down a given action. I won't provide all the details here, but the reasons for deployment and training methods are spelled out in that link. The costs are $2 billion to start, $900 million annually, contributed by member nations, with larger shares of the cost covered by the Security Council.
As I’ve already explained, the UN's functionality, in large part, is peacekeeping. They play an important role in the national and international stability, stopping egregious rights violations. However, they could do so more effectively.
The army I'm proposing would make them more efficacious. At least two of the five pillars on which the UN stands – peace and security and development – are facilitated directly by having a force they can directly deploy to assist in either facet. My case ensures that these soldiers would be trained and equipped sufficiently. They will have volunteered to enlist, improving dedication to each cause. They will be commanded and controlled better by a centralized leadership, and will be more likely to work with one another instead of for their own interests, as they will have trained and fought together for a mutual cause.
Realize as well that this is an army that functions solely as a neutral peacemaker and peacekeeper, something that no individual country can reasonably claim. This means that, unlike the concerns with other nations, their entry wouldn't be construed as a declaration of war, or as meddling on the part of the countries behind the participating troops.
The need here is obvious. People are dying rapidly in genocides and wars, and the UN has to be responsive to that concern on a much more pragmatic level. The U.S. and NATO forces, in particular, both utilize such forces to respond to concerns both at home and abroad, and these forces play key roles in numerous conflicts. It's important for nations to protect their interests, but all the more important for an international body like the UN to be able to act in a manner that can protect human rights from the most severe transgressions. Having this standing force makes them both more effective and more rapid in their responses.
2. Making the Security Council Accountable
The United Nations Security Council is an important part of the functionality of the organization as a whole, particularly the P5, a group of 5 nations that have a permanent seat on the council and retain veto power. As it is, these nations represent a rather outdated power structure that no longer resembles the world we live in to a sufficient degree. While the US, Britain, France, China and Russia are all undeniably powerful, it leaves out important powerhouses like Germany and India. Perhaps more importantly, it lacks representation from Africa and Latin America, effectively leaving them powerless to address any vetoes from any of these countries. It doesn’t help that the P5 nations often feel little to no need to pay their UN dues, which often leads the UN to lack substantial funding, particularly from the US.
The fix for this is rather simple: give these countries reason to feel that they have some buy-in, and require that any retention of those seats be based on paying their dues on time. While these 5 countries could retain their seats and some measure of their power, other countries should be added to these permanent seats, including the G4 nations (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan), as well as South Africa. Any veto would require at least 3 of these countries to take effect. All of these countries would only retain these seats so long as they pay their dues annually in full or contribute national resources towards UN efforts at similar financial cost.
III. A World without the UN
What, exactly, would a world without the UN look like? Without an institution that has such a large and diverse membership and a relatively strong history of support, there’s little chance that any other organization could fill that void.
If the goal is to create a new institution like the UN, that would be no simple task. The League of Nations, which was the first major attempt at such an organization, failed miserably as a result of minimal buy-in. And getting that kind of buy-in would be incredibly difficult. The end of World War II was a rallying cry that brought the major nations of the world together to build the UN. Ignoring whether or not such an organization could actually take the positive functions of the UN and avoid the negative, just managing to bring in a wide variety of member nations and function on any meaningful level would be quite the undertaking.
If you’re looking at any other multinational group (say, NATO or the African Union), you’ll find that these are really only effective at representing a subset of interests, usually to the detriment of other nations. It is highly doubtful that nations in other regions of the world would treat peacekeeping forces and efforts from these countries as anything but an effort to benefit its member nations. So these would be functionally similar to individual nations acting: most of the purported efforts at peacekeeping would be anything but (i.e. efforts to garner resources or obtain a powerful position in the region), and local populations would be largely hostile to efforts at intervention.
That just leaves not intervening at all, which seems likely to happen in a lot more cases in the absence of the UN. That means allowing a great deal of civil wars and genocides to take place without response. I view that result as entirely untenable, and I think my opponent would agree.
Back to you, @WilliamSchulz.
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Summary of my Argument to Date:
In my first constructive, I analysed the UN's pitfalls, namely in world affairs and structure as a whole. I think my opponent will agree that all organizations, especially ones that encompass world affairs, will make mistakes from time to time. However, the UN has consistently given a blind eye to Africa and developing nations. Undoubtedly, they have done good in the world, and I respect that my opponent believes changes could be made. However, even if changes are possible, they will never be done by the current day UN. To properly make a statement on whether the institution is worth retaining, it is important to note that we must also consider the UN's current status, as well as its agenda and values. Structurally, as I have brought mention to in Round One, the UN will not want to change for the proposals at complete restructure.
The UN is necessary, but only as an ideology, and not in its current applications. In short, the restructure that I will propose will maintain the beneficial aspects of the UN, as noted by my opponent, but will have radical change in ideology and how the organization functions as a whole.
It would be easy to call what I am saying changes that keep the UN as an institution. However, what I am proposing is that we keep the core ideas of the UN, but change the organization structurally, so that it fits with a changing world.
Restructuring Point #1:
I will first begin with the Security Council, and to properly object to this, we need clear definitions. The UN is, "the division of the United Nations charged with maintaining international peace, composed of five permanent members (U.S.,Russian Federation, France, United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China) and ten temporary members, each serving for two years." (1). As my opponent noted in his constructive, the Security Council needs change, however, his method of change is very different then what actually needs to be done. My opponent states that the P5, or the five countries do not pay their dues, and other countries need a sort of buy in so that the UN can properly function.
An easy possibility that may slip is that the seats are permanent. Whiteflame suggests that the countries can be on the permanent board so long as they pay their dues on time. However, this wouldn't really make the seating permanent, now would it? The key reason the five countries don't pay their dues is because their place is permanent, they don't have to worry about losing their seats, as they are, in fact, permanent. Money will not solve the issue, and whiteflame should address that countries may be affected in a way that will harm their role in the UN. How so? In many nations, we have economic strengths and pitfalls, and in 2008, we faced an economic recession as a result of poor banking processes. "The Great Recession—which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009—began with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble. The resulting loss of wealth led to sharp cutbacks in consumer spending. This loss of consumption, combined with the financial market chaos triggered by the bursting of the bubble, also led to a collapse in business investment. " (2) This not only affected America, it affected the rest of the world, similar to the Great Depression of 1930, when one country fails to provide for itself, the world suffers as a result from lack of trading and economic deals with that country. In fact, one of the other five members of the security council, China, was affected. "Officially, Chinese economists expect growth to slow down to 9 percent in the wake of a U.S. recession, but only if such a recession is mild, lasting two quarters. If the U.S. recession is severe four quarters or more and is centered on a faltering U.S. consumer who buys fewer Chinese goods, then China's growth is likely to slow to 6 or 7 percent, a hard landing, indeed." (3)
So where does this apply. Essentially, if a country is struck by monetary loss and can not afford to pay the fine (it will remain unspecified for debating purposes), then the country gets kicked out. That means that the seating is not permanent, it is conditional. Obviously, we want the most representation, but we can not set monetary standards, especially with certain currencies worth more than others. Compared to the pound, it would take 1.4 dollars to get a pound. (4) Now lets take the currency say of South Africa, which is the rand. Let's do the same exchange, it would take 16.5823 rands to get a pound! (5)
The question I therefore pose to whiteflame is, if you truly want to make this change, what set limit are you going to make, if any? I have proved here that based on economical crises and the modern day exchange rate, it would be impossible for all countries to always have the capacity to afford to pay for the UN, so monetary support must not be the solution to the Security Council.
I also do not believe that giving resources with similar monetary value would be necessary, since resources are for economic trading, and the UN would then function is a bartering central, and not the worldwide security organization which whiteflame advocates.
Nevertheless, I do think that the five countries should invite more give up some power, and other countries should be involved. I would completely do away with the security council for time being. Rather, I would set up a different system. First, you would have the five countries, including any other G4 countries that whiteflame mentioned. However, the other country able to vote would be the countries affected, and a general majority vote from the branch. How would this work? The permanent members would be the deciders, if they reach unanimous agreement, then the majority vote does not occur. If there is anything off of a majority, the council votes as a whole. The country affected does not count for this total, yet must back up the Security Council or force changes to occur that would be damaging to the country as a whole. For instance, if I want to sanction North Korea, a unanimous vote could presuppose the action, but North Korea would be given an opportunity to counter and barter the sanctions to an appropriate level. If no agreement is reached, the vote goes through.
Note: This may seem like a change, but this is critical for the debate. One point that I think whiteflame has strayed from is that the UN would never do such a thing. To understand the idea behind doing away with the UN, we have to consider whether the changes could be done in a UN setting. I believe that whiteflame's idea could work, as it deals with monetary and economic principle. However, my idea involves a complete restructuring that will resurface later on that none of the five world powers would want to give up. A unanimous decision will almost never be reached, and the five countries in power do not want to see a majority vote oppositely, so this would decrease their power in the UN overall. After all, in order for the change to be made, it has to pass through the council, and they would most certainly veto this.
To conclude, I will agree that more countries need to be added to permanent seating, with the condition that the countries permanently seated comply with all rules and regulations imposed and that they maintain their status, (as a first world nation). What happens in an economic crisis, however? In that instance, the other nations on the permanent council would be responsible for rebuilding and restructuring the country with their own money, that way no fees have to be paid, solely a trust in each other for charitable spending in harm's way. If it is not met, then the country is removed from the council.
One last point, I mentioned unanimous voting, but if we add more countries, how is the unanimous vote achieved? Simply, we keep the original five and pressure a unanimous vote. Any other countries on the branch must have a 3/4th vote minimum.
Whew! Off of restructuring, what to do with the other branches. In truth, I trust that what whiteflame presents is accurate, and as a result, I propose keeping the organizations intact, as they are all headed by the Security Council in actions taken, so if we change the cause, then the branches will be affected individually from my proposals, for better or for worse.
Before I begin the rebuttal, I want to make a point very clear:
I am not advocating that we do away completely with the UN, rather that we focus on major structural changes, that does away with the present UN, and forms a modernized UN.
"First, I’d just like to note that this is an equal burdens debate. It’s my burden to prove that the UN is worth retaining as an institution, and Con’s burden to prove that it is not. Voters are encouraged to compare the benefits of its being retained against the harms, and determine whether the continued existence of the UN is net beneficial. There is no specific threshold that needs to be met for this – we are simply comparing the benefits of a world with the UN and a world either without it or with some replacement."
I will accept shared burden of proofs for this debate. However, we are not taking away the UN from society, rather we are considering the UN at an equal level to the League of Nations, an institution with structural flaws that can be revised, but only through a completely reshaped organization. Similar to the League of Nations, " the UN is often portrayed as a forum for political posturing where national interests will always supersede the legitimate concerns of the wider international community." (6) How is it similar? The League of Nations failed because, "The League was supposed to present the world and encompass all countries, but many countries never even joined the organization, of which the U.S. was the most prevalent one." and "
How is this similar the current UN. As extensively mentioned, the Security Council is flawed, and with changing requirements for nations that achieve crisis status, certain incidents like the Rwanda Genocide and the rapes occurred. Today, the UN fails to encompass all nations, preferring those of the United States and other first world nations to the values of others, as visible in the Security Council. Therefore, we need to reshape the UN similar to the way we restructured the League of Nations.
- "The international relations of member countries conflicted with the League’s requirements for collective security." (7)
"My opponent is welcome to present the framework for a separate organization that should replace the UN, though bear in mind that the two must be mutually exclusive (i.e. the UN could not implement changes to make itself functionally equivalent to this other organization). The reason for this is that he would essentially be arguing that the UN as an institution actually should be retained, just in a slightly altered form. That would be an argument for my side of the resolution."
This is a great point, and what I hope that I have stated is that the changes that I propose will never be implemented because of the countries's standards delegated from the UN to date, not just the applicability of the UN.
"In Sierra Leone, the UN helped to “implement a peace agreement after the country’s devastating civil war… blue helmets disarmed more than 75,000 ex-fighters, including hundreds of child soldiers. The UN destroyed more than 42,000 weapons and 1.2 million rounds of ammunition.”
Good points about peacekeeping! Careful with this, however, because although good can be achieved through the UN's efforts, this is a result of the UN working in opportune conditions and times, and more often than not, the success can be related to the political nature at the time and the cooperation of all countries. According to a paper that compares the successes to the Dominican Republic of the Congo, where they failed, success or failure can be attributed to "overly ambitious or ambiguous political objective — one that hopes peacekeepers can make peace amidst spoilers outside the peace process — also creates an environment ripe for failure. Both speak to the utility of force and its interplay with the political process." (8)
(Image Credit > Youtube
Do you notice how the flag of China is next to the branch? This means that different soldiers are being sent from around the world, and fewer prepared soldiers may not adequately handle the struggles of the country. The UN is not solely for war purposes, in fact, when they try to prevent diseases such as Cholera in Haiti, they fail, as they only worsened it in the area. Rather than sending troops under a unified banner, eliminate the system entirely and set up separate branches with different people of expertise and relevance to the mission. The UN functions heavily on war based situations, but when the issue is dealing with say an environmental issue, the UN should be sending experts and agents with prior knowledge of the situation, including tests concerning their role, for instance, if they carry the disease but doesn't have it per moment, he/she still should not embark on the trip. In terms of military, there needs to be a better system for training the UN peacekeepers.
According to the UN itself, these are their guidelines.
Develop training standards, policies and materials
"ITS develops DPKO/DFS guidance materials such as peacekeeping training policies, standard operating procedures and guidelines. Working in collaboration with Member States, peacekeeping training institutions (PKTIs) and substantive experts, ITS develops training materials, such as the Core Pre-Deployment Training Materials (CPTMs), as well as Specialized Training Materials (STMs). It also coordinates knowledge and information management activities related to training for the benefit of DPKO-led missions, DPKO/DFS at Headquarters and Member States.Develop and deliver cross-cutting peacekeeping training.
ITS develops general and mission-specific pre-deployment peacekeeping training standards and materials, and conducts civilian pre-deployment training, cross-cutting and management development programmes. To advance these and other peacekeeping training agenda, ITS works in partnerships with Member States and their associated peacekeeping training institutions; specialist trainers in DPKO/DFS and Integrated Mission Training Centres (IMTCs).Oversee peacekeeping training activities and provide technical support
ITS establishes cross-cutting peacekeeping training strategies, implements work plans and is at the centre of planning and reporting on the training budget for DPKO and DFS, providing programmatic and substantive review of reports, briefing notes, statements and other documents and communications on and advocacy for peacekeeping training." (10)
While it seems as if the UN does have trained specialists, these are not necessarily the people who are on the mission, rather they delegate the work to future peacekeepers. Instead of preparing a person to deal with every situation, a restructure must include the same diversity, but on a single task, so that peacekeeping is not merely political, but rooted in the field that must be dealt with. In this way, nations would see fewer troops entering their area, but they would be armed with prior knowledge, safety procedures, ethical duties, and most importantly, an idea of what to do. Leadership would be delegated under the same specialists who taught the peacekeepers, and would be responsible for all happenings in the nation.
These are questions I would like to see answered that will be useful for the final round of rebuttals. I encourage whiteflame to ask similar questions upon choosing.
Q1: You state that "The UNFPA is seeking to put an end to obstetric fistulas and female genital mutilation, to make pregnancy safer for women, and to promote their equality and physical safety."
May I ask you to detail how pregnancy is safer for women. Is it through birth control,or by ethical means? UN peacekeepers are representative of the UN's values, so if they are promoting equality and safer pregnancy, how is this achieved?
Q2: You state that "These efforts have yielded substantial decreases in the incidence of HIV, malaria and TB in countries where these efforts would have otherwise been impossible. They’ve also sought to promote rights in a number of nations where LGBT communities lack basic protections."
I will not use this debate to attack LGBT rights, but I will leave my opponent with this question. If the UN represents the world, in what situation were the LGBT people at the time of "lacking rights." From the statement, it seems as if the UN promotes LGBT rights, when conservatives and the Catholic Church are against the notion altogether. Is the UN trying to force ideals and policies on the nation where this is occurring, or did the nation give consent first?
Q3: You state that "While there is a lot of detail in this, let’s just focus on the major hits to simplify. This includes the formation of a standing army composed of approximately 12,000-15,000 members, ranging widely but trained by the UN directly. They would function under a single command structure, being directly loyal to the UN. The deployment can be authorized by the Security Council, requiring two vetoes in order to vote down a given action."
The question here is, how do you make a change to the UN without changing its structure? I state that the UN has to make structural changes that reshape the UN from peacekeeping objectives to the role of the Security Council, whereas you value change, but not to a point where it interferes with the internal principles of the UN. Here, you seem to make a structural change, with only two votes to turn down a given action. If you want more people on the Security Council, how is the two factored into the group? Second, two doesn't represent the majority, three does, so where is the rationale behind this?
Q4: You state that "They will have volunteered to enlist, improving dedication to each cause."
You also state that they have a central leadership and will perform better having fought for a unified cause. However, how would this prevent cases like the Rwanda Genocide? Volunteering shows support to the issue, but does that make them more qualified than my example, in that without a peacekeeping force, the UN rather has highly specialized branches?
In conclusion, I do not advocate a destruction of the UN, or that we shouldn't have a branch with a similar scope that the UN has. Rather, we need structural changes that do away with the old views of the UN, and replace the branch with more modern means.
1. A complete restructure in the Security Council that does away with the five powers and sets more reasonable standards that give all countries a say in world affairs and takes away most of the power the five countries currently hold.
2. Training the individual branches with ethics committees and people specialized in a certain area. This involves doing away with peacekeepers in favor of better trained individuals trained not by the UN, but by knowledgeable individuals. Additionally, there would be increased security measures and a reshaping of what constitutes peacekeeping in the area.
3. Indirectly, I am advocating that the agencies, under the new UN, would work to make their roles acquainted to the task at hand. In this way, the organizations would not inflict the views of the UN on the country, such as condoms to decrease rapid birth rates, but rather propose the solution and giving the country leverage in its own affairs, as noted by my Security council argument. Just because the organization keeps the views of the UN does not mean that the UN is the primary judge of what is ethically and morally right or wrong.
Thus, because the UN will never bring itself to make these changes, reasons aforementioned above, the UN can not function as its current self and should not be retained.
Thank you for reading, and back to whiteflame.
Sources! (There may be more, but this is a basic list.)
8. Kreps, Sarah E., Why Does Peacekeeping Succeed or Fail? Peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone (2010). Modern War and the Utility of Force, edited by Jan Angstrom and Isabelle Duyvesteyn, (New York, Routledge, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2116454
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On with the rebuttals!
Contention 1: Major wars and genocides
The Rwandan Genocide is an interesting choice, mainly because it’s unclear that Con’s counterplan would have solved for it. Con presents an instance where the UN failed to respond sufficiently to a slaughter that occurred in that nation. However, a veto by one of the P5 members did not prevent intervention, nor was insufficient training a reason for the poor response. The bureaucracy behind the process and a lack of contributed troops was the problem (Con’s own source shows this, I’ll provide it again here ). None of that disappears with his advocacy, and since neither of us is addressing the bureaucratic problem, the standing force I advocate for is the only change in either of our plans that would have improved the response.
Beyond that, while the response was certainly not sufficient to deal with a great deal of the genocide, the UN did eventually expand UNAMIR’s mandate, declaring “the continuing magnitude of human suffering as constituting a threat to regional peace and security.” That led them “to establish protected zones in south western Rwanda and increase UNAMIR’s force level to 5,500 troops.” This still reduced the number of deaths, and when the genocide was over, they were also responsible for “prosecuting persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory” leading to multiple convictions. Their response was certainly insufficient to address the majority of the suffering, but it does not show that the UN was not net beneficial in this instance, just that it could have benefitted the people of Rwanda more if it had taken action sooner. Moreover, as I’ve shown with my examples, there are a plethora of instances where the UN has responded effectively to genocides and civil wars that could have been as bad as Rwanda, so while Rwanda represents a somewhat minor benefit from the UN, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Haiti and Kosovo are all examples of far more substantial benefits from UN peacekeeping efforts. Missions like these are put at risk by changing the power dynamic, and thus the resulting contributions of member states, in the UN.
The rape issues in Africa start to move into territory of what harms the UN has brought about as a result of its peacekeeping efforts. Pro is correct that this occurs (though I will note that his source, which isn’t posted, for the Mateso quote actually says this was a Congolese soldier, not a UN peacekeeper – again, I’ll provide the link ), though he’s not clear about why this is happening. The problem is derived from two key issues: long-standing enmity and training.
For the first of these, most of the countries that dedicate soldiers to the UN do so because local nations are concerned about the effects of the fighting. That’s why the Security Council only contributes a small percentage of the overall peacekeeping force. However, the fact that they are neighboring countries means that long-standing national issues between these nations generate a lot of enmity. Peacekeepers are put in a position of power over the local population and are given the tools to assert it, which often leads to these kinds of abuses.
For the second, there’s a dearth of training for these troops in nearly every situation where troops are deployed, mainly because they have to request them from member states. These “contributions often fall short of agreed specifications. Yet, because of the extreme difficulty in getting personnel, the U.N. is reluctant to send personnel back to the contributing nations even if they fall well below agreed specification.”
I would argue that these cases of abuse are likely to continue so long as they keep drawing from local populations and lack sufficient training. However, I will concede that the UN could be doing better than it is currently. Both of the changes I’ve proposed would go a long way towards solving issues of abuse like this. If the UN has a standing army, that army would be well-trained, under a clear system of command, and subject to the same basic standards of warfare, which means they could be punished summarily without the permission of the soldier’s nation. If showing preference to certain countries is the problem, as my opponent asserts, then I would argue that including more permanent members on the Security Council attacks that head-on. In particular, putting South Africa on the Security Council ensures that African nations will always have a powerful seat at the table, something that is absent in Con’s case. In fact, his counterplan does little to resolve the training problem, and fails to address the need to draw from local populations.
Contention 2: Served its purpose
It's not clear what Con is trying to prove with this. However, given what I have gleaned, I have two responses.
1) There are clearly a broad set of goals that the UN is making an effort to pursue, as I’ve made clear in my case. Are all of those issues solved? Even if we assume that, as Con has argued, they’ve achieved some initial purpose (and it sounds more like Con is arguing that they have become irrelevant in a world with superpowered nations, which my case debunks), they clearly are still seeking to achieve substantive goals. And, as I’ve also argued, the UN is specifically more adept at achieving those goals than any other institution in existence. At best, Con’s argument shows that some of the goals of the UN are outdated, though he concedes that most of the organization in its current form should be maintained, so it must still have a vlid purpose.
2) The whole idea of focusing on a single “purpose” and establishing its having been served as a reason to effectively disband the UN is absurd. As I explained in my burdens assessment, deciding whether the UN should be retained should only consider its total net benefit. If it achieved a central purpose, then that purpose is no longer relevant to its success going forward, nor its current net benefits.
The notion that the UN cannot be modernized is just plain wrong. The quote Con provides just states another person’s opinion on the matter, but he provides no support for the statement. Con even goes so far as to point out the P5 as a problem, but both our cases seek to address that, so clearly these major problems can be resolved.
Contention 3: The Security Council
The second plank of my plan resolves this problem, at least in part. It does not allow single countries with personal interests to veto bills - any vetoes would have to be decided by at least 3 of the countries on the permanent Council – and it better represents the world by including countries from every continent. I’m not under the impression that my policy choice will solve this completely because, as Con states, these are still among the strongest countries in the world and most nations are left out of these decisions. However, the reality is that these countries would not contribute resources to the UN if they did not have some form of power. An effort to include every other country and give them an equal vote on every matter would push these countries away, dramatically reducing available resources (more on this on his counterplan).
However, solving this problem isn’t necessary to show that the UN is net beneficial. Despite the lack of representation on the Security Council and the issue of veto power, all Con is really talking about is how the UN is flawed because of its inaction. In fact, this seems to be a common theme throughout most of Con’s arguments: the UN should have accomplished more than it has, and because of its inaction/the structure of its bureaucracy, it is allowing terrible things to keep happening. That argument is correct, but it doesn’t show that the UN is doing harm. All it shows is that the UN could feasibly be doing more good than it is. So not only are these arguments solely functioning as mitigation (meaning they are not furthering Con’s side of the debate, which is to show that the UN is net harmful and therefore should not be retained), but they’re also non-unique, since a lack of meaningful intervention would persist with Con’s counterplan (more on this on his counterplan).
Lastly, Con’s argument suggests that the UN intervening more is an automatic benefit. I would disagree. The UN has a very limited set of resources available to it, has to draw from a variety of member nations in order to get those resources, and inevitably ends up falling short in its interventions for that reason. Con is simply spreading those resources more thinly.
Contention 4: Colonialism
I honestly don’t get this argument. The title of the contention suggests that Con views the process of sending condoms over to a nation as an effort to acquire some measure of control over those countries. Seems like an awfully strange way to manage that, especially as the UN is only providing the means to reduce birth rates, not forcing people to use them.
But if Con really wants to talk about taking control of a country, he probably shouldn’t have mentioned that the UN should ship food to them, which is what a lot of countries end up doing (the US included). Food aid has been used as a political weapon. It’s fine when all you’re doing is emergency relief, but when it’s a continuous effort, food aid “undercuts local farmers, who cannot compete and are driven out of jobs and into poverty, further slanting the market share of the larger producers such as those from the US and Europe.” That sounds like the perpetuation of colonialism to me. Maybe Con views the export of condoms (which have no effect on local markets) as an effort to “liberalize” other countries, but it seems apparent that it was an effort to address the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic in these nations. Clearly, that effort failed, but that doesn’t mean that colonialism is alive and well in the form of insidious condom delivery and promotion *shudder*. And as I pointed out in my case, it’s clear that the UN has had a substantially positive effect on the incidence of HIV/AIDS worldwide, even if this single effort was a failure.
As for the claim that his counterplan will solve for this, it doesn’t hold up. Experts would logically have proposed that condoms would work in any setting, and if the UN is pushing its views on a country, Con is providing no means to end this. Giving the affected country what Con believes is “leverage” does nothing if the country has no means to veto the decision beyond getting every single permanent Security Council member on board. If a majority of the UN believes something, they can still force those views on other nations.
Finally, the counterplan. A few major responses.
We have a problem with burdens. Please note my second point under the burdens analysis (I’m bolding the relevant pieces):
"My opponent is welcome to present the framework for a separate organization that should replace the UN, though bear in mind that the two must be mutually exclusive (i.e. the UN could not implement changes to make itself functionally equivalent to this other organization). The reason for this is that he would essentially be arguing that the UN as an institution actually should be retained, just in a slightly altered form. That would be an argument for my side of the resolution."
This is important because whatever organization Con wanted to use to juxtapose against the UN, it had to be separate, i.e. the UN itself would have to be done away with as an overarching framework. Now, why did I say this? Because when you’re talking about retaining the UN, you’re talking about the institution itself, not every individual piece. Con was welcome to suggest an entirely different structure that would take essential pieces of the UN and fold them into its purview. He was welcome to even take some of the structural features of the UN and use them as part of this new organization. I wouldn’t have objected to any of these, so long as there was some clear mutual exclusion that separated his organization from the UN.
But despite this ground being available and clearly articulated by me in the first round, Con has failed to uphold his burden. He even goes so far as to state, in no uncertain terms, that he DOES want to retain the UN, just in a slightly altered form:
“I am not advocating that we do away completely with the UN, rather that we focus on major structural changes, that does away with the present UN, and forms a modernized UN.”
That’s a blatant concession that he’s failed to meet his burden with this counterplan. The organization would still be called the United Nations, it would still have all the same structure (with a structural change to the power structure in the Security Council and a more compartmentalized approach to interventions), and it would still serve the same basic purposes as the UN does today. Much as Con’s changes might be a good idea (and I’ll get to that shortly), and they are mutually exclusive, he’s fundamentally failing to meet his burden of presenting a case where the UN is not retained. And since this is the last round in which constructive arguments can be presented, Con has failed to meet the main burden of presenting such a case. So voters can choose to do one of two things: vote Con down on the basis that the hasn’t met that burden, or default his case to simply disbanding the UN as a whole.
Con’s counterplan planks are more than a little lacking in important details and clarity.
He states that he’s going to “completely do away with the security council”… but he’s not going to do away with the Security Council, as he states within the same paragraph that there would still be permanent members of that Council, that the G4 countries would be added to it, that countries affected by their votes would be included in it (not quite clear what the bounds of that are), and that they would have the power to basically veto resolutions so long as there’s unanimous agreement. If they don’t reach unanimity, then the decision goes to “a general majority vote from the branch.” It’s not all that clear what “the branch” is, but I’m guessing he’s either talking about the total Security Council (10 more members) or bringing it to the General Assembly (which is actually an entirely separate branch). I’d assume the former, but that wouldn’t be the kind of majority vote that Con is espousing, since most of the nations of the world wouldn’t be involved.
He’s doing away with peacekeepers and replacing them with... “trained specialists”… except not, because he’s also talking about a need to create “a better system for training UN peacekeepers,” which means that he still wants peacekeepers… I’m not very clear on where the divide is. Con seems to want trained specialists in some instances, and trained UN peacekeepers in others, but isn’t specific about which group should go where. They should go to specific places only if they have “expertise and relevance to the mission,” but he doesn’t show that the UN has the resources to do this or how the UN would decide what expertise is most relevant.
And the problems with the second plank run deeper than just being vague. Con wants to send a single expert or even a small group of experts into a region to resolve problems. How, exactly, are the directions of those experts going to be followed and enforced in the absence of a peacekeeping force? The UN needs manpower to carry out its missions, not just a good mind or set of minds directing the action, yet he’s making clear that he doesn’t want those forces to be present. This is going to make acting in these countries much more difficult, particularly where the local population is being decimated with diseases like Cholera. Con also talks about improving training for UN troops, even specifying training standards, but fails to address the inherent problem, which is that UN troops contributions are unreliable and often come last minute. That leaves little to no time for training, and it forces the UN to accept troops that don’t meet its basic standards. Con’s case doesn’t solve for this, whereas my case provides a standing force that will be trained.
All of this creates two problems. One, since Pro’s case is not apparent in its essential functions, it’s difficult to understand how it would play out. I have specified all the vital details for my case. Voters should prefer a case with a clearly articulated means of action. Two, there are inherent barriers to Con’s solvency, which means that he’s not clearly solving for any of the harms he placed on my case. That means he incurs all the same disadvantages. Where his plan is clear, it is making those issues worse by limiting/removing necessary manpower and by reducing other currently available resources.
3) P5 countries will opt out
Con is effectively removing the vast majority of the power that P5 nations have by removing anything resembling veto power. It’s because of that veto power that P5 nations are willing to pay dues at all: they need to retain substantial control over the actions of the UN to have that buy-in. While my plan does soften that veto power, Con’s does away with it entirely. What’s more, he essentially provides equal power to countries involved in their decisions. I’ll get into more of why this matters later, but to be clear, this doesn’t mean that only one country will be added for each decision they make. If the goal is to, say, intervene in the Syrian conflict, then Syria would need a seat at the table, but so would the surrounding nations who are affected by that conflict because they are also affected by the decision to respond to that conflict. Even if we just assume that countries with over 100,000 refugees would have a say, that’s still 11 more countries that would have an equal voice in the decisions made in that region. Let me put that in context. That means that they would have to get 20 nations on-board in order to stop a general majority, wherever that may take place. Getting that many countries to agree on any proposal is asking a lot, let alone regarding intervention in one of the most divisive regions in the world.
And the P5 won’t stand for having such a limited voice in this process. They may choose to retain their seats, but they are far less likely to contribute substantial resources to the UN, which is a big problem if you want to increase the activity of that institution. As I said in the first plank of my plan, the UN is absolutely dependent on member contributions, particularly from the US. France, the UK, China and Russia are all in the top 9 contributors to the UN regular budget. Even if they do contribute, these countries are likely to use their wallets in lieu of veto power, i.e. they will withhold necessary resources for any mission they don’t support. That’s effectively a veto, particularly from the US, except that it’s actually worse. At least with veto power, they may feel obligated to provide resources to the UN because they can direct it away from missions they don’t like. That means those funds can be used for missions the US supports, or missions that it regards neutrally. Con is taking that incentive away, and as such, they will solely direct their resources towards missions they support. That means the UN will have a glut of resources for some missions, and far less for the rest. And without veto power, the UN is likely to commit to a lot more. That means more failed missions.
Before I get to the list of questions, a bit of counter-rebuttal.
In terms of case response, Con only attacks one aspect of my argument, which is the second plank of my plan. To start, he argues that the seats won’t be permanent if they don’t pay their dues. He’s exactly correct: if countries wish to maintain their advantageous position within the UN, they are required to meet their basic obligations to that organizations, which means paying dues. Con even goes so far as to state my reasoning himself: “The key reason the five countries don't pay their dues is because their place is permanent, they don't have to worry about losing their seats, as they are, in fact, permanent.” These seats will be available to them should they pay their dues regularly. If they fail to do so, they’ll lose their seats until they pay.
Now, why all this focus on money? Well, as I’ve said multiple times throughout this rebuttal, the UN has a lot of finite resources. Some of those resources are soldiers and supplies, and funding tends to be pretty tight, but funding is mainly critical for the individual agencies, which tend to function rather poorly without it. A lot of the functions I’ve described in my case require this funding. So, while funding won’t solve everything, it’s still necessary for a lot of the good things that the UN does. Requiring some of the highest paying nations to keep paying year-on-year ensures that those functions continue. While Con’s case exacerbates these problems, mine addresses them.
Con brings up a good point, though: recessions happen, and when they do, money is tight. As a result, we should expect that the UN funding should be one of the first things to go. That would be a fine argument… if the dues represented a substantial portion of US funds in general. “In 2016, the U.S. government contributed more than $10 billion to the United Nations, of which about $6 billion was voluntary and $4 billion was assessed. (This represents roughly twenty percent of the $50 billion the United States spends annually on foreign aid, which, in comparison, is also about what the government allocates annually to the U.S. Coast Guard.)”. Note that 60% of what we paid that year was entirely voluntary – that’s not part of what would be required to maintain their seat. Moreover, the US pays by far the most of any country, over double what Japan (the next country down) paid in the last 3 years. It’s not at all clear why, if the US can afford this easily (even during the 2008 recession), other countries are unable to do the same with their far lower dues.
However, all of this is besides the point. That same article explains that dues are based on an average per capita GNP compared to global average GNP. If a recession happened, the GNP would fall relative to other countries, and the dues of that country would decrease. That’s the reason why South Africa’s dues are significantly lower than those of England – the strength of a country’s economy, currency and all, are accounted for. If a country decides that it doesn’t want to spare the amount for whatever reason, they will lose their seat to another country that will, and be able to retrieve it when they pay up. If you want one of the most powerful seats at the table, you’ve got to contribute.
The last point Con makes here is that giving resources is somehow turning the UN into “a bartering central,” which doesn’t make sense to me. If a country decides to provide weapons, experts in a field to help with operations, more soldiers, or any number of other assistance, then that should be assessed as part of their contribution and deducted from the dues they owe. I don’t see how it’s a negative to cut out the middle man and provide necessary resources instead of just finances. The UN would still proceed with all of its basic functions, and its functionality would improve as a result.
Lastly, as Con requested, I’ll respond to his questions. Answering the above rebuttals would be sufficient for me:
Q1: May I ask you to detail how pregnancy is safer for women. Is it through birth control,or by ethical means? UN peacekeepers are representative of the UN's values, so if they are promoting equality and safer pregnancy, how is this achieved?
If you check out source #22, you’ll see what these efforts look like:
“support to midwifery and anesthesia-training schools… strengthening regulatory mechanisms, developing and strengthening education and accreditation mechanisms… promoting the development and role of midwives associations… equip[ing them] with the necessary textbooks, training models, and mannequins… train[ing] midlevel health care providers… in integrated emergency obstetric care and surgery… Health Mananagement Information System (HMIS) tools… distributed to all health facilities in the country to enhance commodity delivery and tracking… Gaps at health facilities – such as low knowledge or insertion skills among health facility workers – that have resulted in poor uptake of long-term family-planning methods were identified. As a result, UNFPA has offered training to health-facility workers in IUCD insertion. Contraceptive procurement has also been going on for large quantities… developmental education programme[s]… consultative workshops… a year-long campaign to stop early marriage, an HTP that significantly increases a young woman’s risk of death or injury in childbirth.’
I’d argue that all of these methods are promoting equality and safer pregnancy, which I’d say are the same as the UN values.
Q2: If the UN represents the world, in what situation were the LGBT people at the time of "lacking rights." From the statement, it seems as if the UN promotes LGBT rights, when conservatives and the Catholic Church are against the notion altogether. Is the UN trying to force ideals and policies on the nation where this is occurring, or did the nation give consent first?
In source #18, there are separate links that clearly spell out what is done in these countries.
“Being LGBTI in Asia is a regional programme aimed at addressing inequality, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, and promotes universal access to health and social services. It is a collaboration between governments, civil society, regional institutions and other stakeholders to advance the social inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The programme recognizes that LGBTI people are highly marginalized and face varied forms of stigma and discrimination based on their distinct sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.”
If you’re put off by the idea that this is somehow an effort to force ideals and policies on these nations, be my guest and argue it. I’d be happy to defend their right to basic liberties and safety. Human rights are being violated in these nations for this subset of people, so addressing that seems entirely reasonable for an organization that seeks to protect those rights worldwide for all peoples.
Q3: The question here is, how do you make a change to the UN without changing its structure? I state that the UN has to make structural changes that reshape the UN from peacekeeping objectives to the role of the Security Council, whereas you value change, but not to a point where it interferes with the internal principles of the UN. Here, you seem to make a structural change, with only two votes to turn down a given action. If you want more people on the Security Council, how is the two factored into the group? Second, two doesn't represent the majority, three does, so where is the rationale behind this?
It doesn’t alter the structure of the UN itself. They have facilities to house these troops and utilize troops from diverse countries commonly. They have specific protocols to train them, and do so, as you’ve pointed out. The only difference between this change and status quo is that they either have the forces readily available or they just must request them for each individual mission. Beyond that, as I’ve already stated on my Burdens point, structural changes to the UN are allowed on my side of the debate, mainly because the resolution only requires me to defend the UN as an institution, not all its constituent parts. As for the two votes… that was a mis-type. Any decision to deploy this force should require three votes, the same that is required to veto a resolution. In effect, three countries on the council must approve, but if three countries are against it, any such effort would be vetoed. Con rightly points out that this doesn’t represent a majority of the Security Council. This is because permanent members would rescind their resources in lieu of veto power.
Q4: However, how would this prevent cases like the Rwanda Genocide? Volunteering shows support to the issue, but does that make them more qualified than my example, in that without a peacekeeping force, the UN rather has highly specialized branches?
I don’t believe it would have prevented the genocide, nor do I believe that Con’s case would. As stated earlier, the lack of response to the genocide wasn’t the result of a veto from the P5, so diminishing that power would not have affected the response. What it does do is make the response to said genocide all the stronger and faster. Con’s proposal doesn’t appear to improve response times or strength. At best, he’s providing better leadership for when the response occurs, though it’s unclear that using more specialized responses with more tailored experts would facilitate any prevention or amelioration of any genocides.
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Thank you for your argument! In this final round, I seek to clarify major issues and defend against my position, with rebuttals in tow. I would like to thank @whiteflame as of now for debating me on this issue. The first rebuttal I get into will be out of order, but is the one that needs to be addressed the most.
At the start of the debate, Pro rightly posed burdens, but there is a flaw in an aspect of the terms given. When I agreed, I chose “a separate organization that should replace the UN, though bear in mind that the two must be mutually exclusive” to be my central focus (more later), yet I disagree that my goal is to make the UN seem net harmful while Pro’s is net beneficial. Unlike murder, the UN can not be automatically be marked as harmful, so we will start from a utopian view to actual view, as to get a feel of where I will present the rest of my case.
In the utopia view, this is what would be said, “The UN is purely net beneficial because nations under one flag handling world issues will benefit the countries and will set up institutions that will leave the country secure in the future.”
Now descend one scale, “The UN is mostly beneficial because nations under one flag can handle world issues if all countries contribute to the set task that needs to be dealt with.”
Descend another scale, “The UN is beneficial because nations under one flag can handle world issues if all countries contribute to the set task and the peacekeepers obey commands.”
More, “The UN is beneficial when nations under one flag contribute to the set task, the peacekeepers obey commands, and the P5 has given consent beforehand.”
Conclusion: “The UN is only beneficial to countries if enough resources (whatever it needs to be > men, supplies) are collected, if the peacekeepers stay in order, and if the UN votes to help or not to help, whether it can perform an appropriating job.”
In terms of the debate, what am I trying to get across here? The UN can be net beneficial in every issue that the organization deals with, no joke! However, the mentioned complications roadblock the help a country receives, and roadblocks lead to instances like the Rwandan Genocide, (more on that later) where the UN fails to be net beneficial. As stated in Round 2, the UN is conditionally beneficial, as an organization and the ideas surrounding it, it is a sound hub for nations. This is what I was attempting to present in Round Two, when I said that “I am not advocating that we do away completely with the UN, rather that we focus on major structural changes, that does away with the present UN, and forms a modernized UN.” To clarify with the set terms presented, you did not present my other quote about the issue, namely, “The UN is necessary, but only as an ideology, and not in its current applications. In short, the restructure that I will propose will maintain the beneficial aspects of the UN, as noted by my opponent, but will have radical change in ideology and how the organization functions as a whole.” This happened to be my thesis for Round 2, and still follows suit here. The ideas surrounding the UN are necessary and beneficial, but only as ideas for a better institution, as the UN current misuses their current resources and applicabilities in other nations. As such, I propose structural change, so that the parts that make the UN beneficial are kept, but radically altered, this comes in the form of a change in colonialistic beliefs, a complete release of the Security Council (more later), a change between the peacekeepers and people who can perform better, revised seating options, the affected countries vote on the task’s response. Furthermore, the questions that I proposed to you will be used here to the fullest, as the separate branches of the UN that you mention, 15, will have their core ideologies redesigned and their applicabilities changed.
Once more, it would be easy to say that I am simply altering the current UN. Consider this if you will viewers, if the ideas surrounding the retaining of the UN are fundamentally good, but more questionable in the ideas surround the separate branches, then to change the structures completely means completely changing the ideas of the branches, while still keeping the overarching goals of the UN. However, the UN would not want to see the P5 lose power, they would not want to completely drop the peacekeeping force, the would still want a say in political affairs, and they would not want to revise seating. All of these changes involve shaking the UN’s core ideas surrounding the organization. Even if the intention is good, namely, to help nations with struggles with unified world support, the backbone surrounding the process is fatally flawed.
Pro seems to emphasize that my changes are mutually exclusive, but my supposed retaining of the UN is not. There must be a distinction here, namely the cause for change. Change is done for many motives, and change seeks to replace something or improve something (for the purposes of this debate, replace something) with something that the person deems more important or worthwhile to have. For example, if I buy a new door for my house, it must mean that I hold more value in the door that I buy because I believe the door will serve a greater purpose, regardless of whether that is true or not. Therefore, the changes I propose can be labeled as changes to the UN that I don’t see worth retaining, instead replacing them with a completely different style of governing. I will highlight this with Pro’s argument concerning change, because if the motive behind change is replacing one item with another, as the old item wasn’t worth retaining, here is Pro’s argument.
“The UN is worth retaining. Yes, changes should be done, but even without them, the UN is able to function and serve the needs of the world.”
My claim. “The UN is not worth retaining. Changes should be made, but they are mutually exclusive to Pro and the UN without them can not serve the world to their fullest abilities.” Thus in order to do so, we must replace the UN with the changes so that we retain the goals and outlooks of the UN, while radically changing the functionalities of the UN.
The Rwandan Genocide:
According to Pro, the reasons behind why the mission in Rwanda failed was because of a lack of military troops which could have prevented the death of over 800,000 people. This is partially the cause, but it was more so because the UN failed to act when they saw the violence, and because of the cause of failing to act, not enough men were deployed in the region. My plan would have been able to solve this issue, because just as the Security Council Argument, the affected nation, in this instance Rwanda, would also sit at the council, provide information about the genocide, and be able to have a greater vote in the actions taken for/against Rwanda. If the UN lacked information and motive, my plan provides it by allowing the nation to detail the issue and any details surrounding the genocide.
"The independent report, commissioned by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, showed a UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda doomed from the start by an insufficient mandate and later destroyed by the Security Council's refusal to strengthen it once the killings began. And it showed UN officials - Annan and then-Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali among them - unable or unwilling to act on information from the field that a massive slaughter was occurring and that they needed to do something to stop it.” (Round 1, Global Policy Forum)
Was the Eventual UN Response Enough?
Pro states that, “Beyond that, while the response was certainly not sufficient to deal with a great deal of the genocide, the UN did eventually expand UNAMIR’s mandate, declaring “the continuing magnitude of human suffering as constituting a threat to regional peace and security.” That led them “to establish protected zones in south western Rwanda and increase UNAMIR’s force level to 5,500 troops.” This still reduced the number of deaths, and when the genocide was over, they were also responsible for “prosecuting persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory” leading to multiple convictions.” This, according to Pro, makes the UN action net beneficial, but we must consider morality here. A question for the viewers, even if the UN managed to set up a system to persecute people for their actions, does that nulligate that the UN could have prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths if they had acted sooner. In this case, this was the least that the UN could do, and realized their mistake. It is important to note that the UN did not act right away, and so this means that the UN was net harmful, perhaps being beneficial to the country politically after the event, but not morally in allowing the death of 800,000 people minimum. Pro admits this when he states, “Their response was certainly insufficient to address the majority of the suffering, but it does not show that the UN was not net beneficial in this instance, just that it could have benefited the people of Rwanda more if it had taken action sooner.”
That is the issue here, we can not assume that the UN will act accordingly. The fact is, sometimes, the UN fails to act, and under its current system, we have major countries like the US, who according to the same source, labeled Rwanda as a massacre and not a genocide to avoid military involvement. The problem is, Pro skews the response by stating that the UN could have benefited more if it acted sooner, but systematically, it wouldn’t have acted sooner anyway. Thus, the UN responce was not enough and needed more involvement from countries, military for the country only comes when the countries agree to do so beforehand, so that points to the UN’s actions as the problem, not the lack of resources.
Quick Rebuttal before talking about Enmity and Training:
Pro states, “The rape issues in Africa start to move into territory of what harms the UN has brought about as a result of its peacekeeping efforts. Pro is correct that this occurs (though I will note that his source, which isn’t posted, for the Mateso quote actually says this was a Congolese soldier, not a UN peacekeeper – again, I’ll provide the link ), though he’s not clear about why this is happening.”
This is true, however, according to your system, soldiers volunteer with the UN which for you increases efficiency in the nation, accordingly, we have to treat the volunteer soldier as if he was a UN peacekeeper, if he is working with the UN to eliminate the issue, he must be treated and related as a peacekeeper working for such.
Pro correctly states that the countries that dedicate soldiers to so because they are concerned with the effects of the war, and also that the UN only contributes a small peacekeeping force. This is actually a concession, because I previously stated that we should relieve peacekeepers of their duties and replace them with trained specialists familiar with the issue at hand in the country. If the UN only provides a small number of peacekeepers, it would be simple to replace the peacekeepers with my plan and then any other soldiers would be used in military related instances.
Pro concedes that “For the second, there’s a dearth of training for these troops in nearly every situation where troops are deployed, mainly because they have to request them from member states. These “contributions often fall short of agreed specifications. Yet, because of the extreme difficulty in getting personnel, the U.N. is reluctant to send personnel back to the contributing nations even if they fall well below agreed specification.” Pro also concedes that the soldiers need training and that the UN could be doing better at this. However, Pro fails to follow with the problem. If the UN has such great difficulty getting troops, why not set a mandatory amount that each country must give upon specification of the issue? If the UN struggles to get troops, how are the nations punished for not contributing to a real issue? The answer, they might drop out or disfavor support for the UN as an institution. Yes, that is the fault of the country, but by the same token, the UN is a collection of nations willing to help other nations of the world. The idea is that the country regardless will not leave the UN because they would lose their voting and say in world affairs, take for instance North Korea as a modern example. Again, we must attack the cause behind the lack of military to the structure of the UN witch is unsound. Under my proposed structure, the country affected has a say in the affairs that occur to their nation, and a revised system of mandatory military donation. Concerning the training, I will accept Pro’s training process, and I will accept the need to draw from local populations, under the conditions that the local soldiers are under the command of a more developed nation, so that the rape instances do not occur under the supervision of higher authority.
To clarify, the instance where I showed nations having preference was whether to sanction Morocco or not for actions committed which would be against UN standards. This was not a confrontation involving military deployment, this was a preference because of actions Morocco had done for the US, which somehow was able to persuade the US to nulligate wrongful actions of the country. That is flawed, and a abuse of the P5 veto power, which is why I advocate stripping the P5 of most, but not all of their power.
The Second Contention Misconceptions:
Whiteflame correctly points out that if a success is achieved, then the UN moves forward and still continues to serve a plethora of purposes. What I was alluding to is that if the backbone of the UN is world representation, then giving the majority of power to five countries is contradictory to the UN’s focal goal. Once more though, we are not considering the net benefit of the UN, certainly, it is an important aspect, but benefits come from the way the UN is currently structured, and the UN is structurally flawed at best, needing changes to better represent the needs of this world, as my plan achieves, by taking power away from the P5.
However, Pro states that ,”Con even goes so far as to point out the P5 as a problem, but both our cases seek to address that, so clearly these major problems can be resolved.” Once more, I urge voters to consider, would the UN make the changes? In whiteflame’s instance, they could, but my changes are not mutually exclusive, and would not be changed by the UN for aforementioned reasons in the Burdens section.
The Security Council:
In his proposal, Pro states that, “It (the Security Council) does not allow single countries with personal interests to veto bills - any vetoes would have to be decided by at least 3 of the countries on the permanent Council – and it better represents the world by including countries from every continent.” That is the issue, I have given you instances in which the council voted out of personal interest, in Rwanda because the US tried to label the event as a massacre, not a genocide, Morocco, where France and the US vetoed sanctions against the country because the country had supported them during the Cold War, and the current rivalries between China and Russia, communism and capitalism. Votes coming from the P5 are going to have personal interests attached, because face it, global competition is important to most nations. Trump recently blocked a trade deal with Qualcomm because he did not want China to take the lead in manufacturing electronic parts. If your policy takes out nations with personal bias, that is great, except you would lose too many nations on that account. Rather, have whatever neutral nations remain vote on the veto/proceed handed by the P5 and any additional countries and give the neutral nations power to accept or reject with a 60% vote passing.
Capabilities for Harm:
Pro states that, “However, solving this problem isn’t necessary to show that the UN is net beneficial. Despite the lack of representation on the Security Council and the issue of veto power, all Con is really talking about is how the UN is flawed because of its inaction. In fact, this seems to be a common theme throughout most of Con’s arguments: the UN should have accomplished more than it has, and because of its inaction/the structure of its bureaucracy, it is allowing terrible things to keep happening. That argument is correct, but it doesn’t show that the UN is doing harm.”
To counter, this exactly shows, if you will, how the UN is harming, because by not benefiting other countries, that increases the risk of harm in that country. UN intervention should not be the only category for harm caused, the second factor should be was UN inaction the cause of increased or continued harm in the nation. If so, then the UN has done harm by showing inaction to the issue, by failing to provide the means necessary to counter the problems. Furthermore, the structure prevents action from occuring because of the corruption of the P5, resources aside.
Pro is correct when he states that, “Lastly, Con’s argument suggests that the UN intervening more is an automatic benefit. I would disagree. The UN has a very limited set of resources available to it, has to draw from a variety of member nations in order to get those resources, and inevitably ends up falling short in its interventions for that reason.” For this reason, the clear solution is making a mandatory amount be given from every nation on the council and in the UN. While UN intervention is not always justified, when it does enter a country, it should have enough men, specialists, and resources to make a change. Con fails to show a plan to get more resources for the UN other than forcing monetary concessions, which I already rebutted, (but more on that later).
To help explain my argument, the UN has an agenda, politically and morally. The UN values contraceptives and birth control, against the notions of the Catholic Church and conservatives as noted in my 4th question I posed to you. The idea is, if we (the UN) support you, then you must do something for us as well. Thus, a policy of the UN and even Secretary Clinton is, “We’ll provide you food for your growing population if you also take these condoms to reduce the birth rates of your country.” Pro incorrectly states that “ Maybe Con views the export of condoms (which have no effect on local markets) as an effort to “liberalize” other countries, but it seems apparent that it was an effort to address the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic in these nations. Clearly, that effort failed, but that doesn’t mean that colonialism is alive and well in the form of insidious condom delivery and promotion *shudder*.” If you check Round One, research shows from two professors and researchers that "According to the latest research, condom promotion is ineffective for anything but lowering the rate of AIDS in concentrated, high-risk groups, like homosexuals in San Francisco or prostitutes in Bangkok. Condoms have never been shown to reduce HIV infection rates and AIDS deaths in general-population epidemics like those in sub-Saharan Africa. Paradoxically, the more condoms AIDS activists send to Africa, the more widespread the disease has become.” Once more, I am not trying to advocate for or against the use of condoms (even though I am against them), my overarching point is that the UN has an agenda that gets in the way with what the affected country might value. If so, then the UN is doing the country a disservice by forcing the products onto people in exchange for food and crops.
Clarifications for Whiteflame:
Pro finds that, “He states that he’s going to “completely do away with the security council”… but he’s not going to do away with the Security Council, as he states within the same paragraph that there would still be permanent members of that Council, that the G4 countries would be added to it, that countries affected by their votes would be included in it (not quite clear what the bounds of that are), and that they would have the power to basically veto resolutions so long as there’s unanimous agreement.”
To clarify here, we must not confuse applications with ideologies. When I say I want to get rid of the Security Council, in applicability, I entail that we strip the P5 of most of their power while adding countries and setting new standards for permanent seating. As an ideology, therefore, this proposed that the Security Council is set up for a different purpose than personal gain for the five countries, but that they also include the affected countries in the voting system and have trust in other permanent nations should recessions occur in the country. To also clarify, I meant the additional permanent members (10-12) and hold a vote that must reach 3/4th majority to pass the resolution if unanimity is not reached.
Pro finds that, “He’s doing away with peacekeepers and replacing them with... “trained specialists”… except not, because he’s also talking about a need to create “a better system for training UN peacekeepers,” which means that he still wants peacekeepers… I’m not very clear on where the divide is. Con seems to want trained specialists in some instances, and trained UN peacekeepers in others, but isn’t specific about which group should go where.”
To clarify here, you previously stated that the UN only contributes a small number of peacekeepers, the rest being volunteers from other nations. Previously, I agreed to your method of training, and if we were to take these soldiers (thus making them peacekeepers), they would only be used in military based situations. Otherwise, the trained specialists would perform better work than soldiers because the specialists have more knowledge about the issue. For instance, if there was cholera in Russia, I wouldn’t send military to help, rather I would send doctors, researchers, and various forms of medical attention, which a military force alone would not be able to achieve all at once. In this way, people with more expertise are given opportunities to act in countries with specific needs, not one force who sometimes succeeds or fails to complete a task. The UN might additionally send peacekeepers, which I would be fine with, but the overall backbone of the team would lie in the specialists. In fact, I would agree that the UN could give manpower, as you state “The UN needs manpower to carry out its missions, not just a good mind or set of minds directing the action, yet he’s making clear that he doesn’t want those forces to be present. This is going to make acting in these countries much more difficult, particularly where the local population is being decimated with diseases like Cholera.” However, you further concede that, “UN troops contributions are unreliable and often come last minute. That leaves little to no time for training, and it forces the UN to accept troops that don’t meet its basic standards.” Thus, if my standards in Rounds 1 and 2 are not met, then the UN must undergo restructuring that will force the current UN to prevent retainment. To clarify, under my new system, the UN must set mandatory standards for all countries and structurally speaking, this must be dictated by the P5 and G4’s to other nations, as this would be a power grantable to the P5 in the absence of most of the power from the Security Council. Pro provides a way to train the peacekeepers, but does not state at what time or place the peacekeepers will be taken, thus my method which includes mandatory obligations will solve the issue of resources, specialized branches, and manpower backup if Pro wishes.
Case Concerning P5 Countries:
Pro begins this segment by stating that because I have done away with most of the veto power, then the countries will opt out of the UN or simply not pay their dues. In this case, I would argue that a country refusing to assist other countries with their own means should be left out of the UN. If the purpose of the UN is for nations to collectively pitch to help other nations when crises arrive, nations who consistently do not help should be kicked from the UN. The reason that they would contribute is because the UN is a major force when dealing with international politics and affair, so P5 countries would stay because of additional responsibilities and duties as mentioned and so that they can have a state in world affairs.
To clear up a misconception, I did not state that all countries would have equal voting power. I stated that the P5’s and the G4’s would still have voting power, but this would be dependent on whether a unanimous vote could be achieved among the P5 and whether a 3/4th vote could be achieved among the G4 nations. When I refer to the affected nations, I mean that if the proposals go through with the General Branch or the Permanent Seats, the affected nations should consent to the actions of the UN and vote on whether the decision is fair or not. Here, a problem arises, in that the UN can simply disregard the nations and perform the action anyway. In the restructured UN, the permanent seats must consult the ambassadors of the nations. If the term is agreed to by a general majority, the plan commences. If the plan is vetoed, the term must be revised according to the nation’s terms, or a 2/3rds majority can override the veto. Now, all of this takes time, so for the purposes of this debate and the UN, affected countries can not veto any decision regarding manpower or the people who enter the country. Rather, they can veto the restructuring of their country and and changes the UN wishes to make in the country. In this sense, the UN can take care of the issue and then hold a delegation for the country’s rebuilding after the strife. More likely than not, the country will accept the help, but disagree with the way the UN rebuilds, which is why the institution is in place. As I state in Round 2, “The country affected does not count for this total, yet must back up the Security Council or force changes to occur that would be damaging to the country as a whole.” Finally, with the mandatory resource cap, all P5 and G4 countries will be making major contribution for all cases that occur in the world.
So, let’s recap before I enter your rebuttals by restating the Powers and Counter-Powers of the permanent seats:
The P5 and any other nations must maintain their status as first-second world nations and have some sort of global influence.
In the event that one of the permanent seat nations incurs fallback or economic disparity, the other permanent nations are required to help rebuild that country.
The P5 and other nations are given a mandatory resource cap that they must reach in the event of an economic crisis in other nations.
Powers of the P5:
Reduced veto power, they must achieve a unanimous vote to pass an issue. If the voting is not unanimous, it goes to the G4 nations. A 75% or higher vote will pass the delegation.
P5 nations must compromise with affected countries in order to help the area. The affected nations can not veto the help they receive, but they can veto the post plan in the rebuilding of their country with a simple majority. If a compromise can not be reached, then a 2/3rds vote will override the veto or the nation dictates its own affairs. Any further actions that break UN regulations outside of the help will result in sanctions, the severity which can be decided by the P5.
The P5 is responsible for handling all resources and men going into the country, and are responsible for the actions that occur in the nation.
The P5 may vote not to enter a country, but if information presented by affected nations invokes urgency, then a lack of action reflects on the P5 as a failure of the UN. If the issue still worsens, mandatory action will be taken in the country.
In conclusion, the P5 maintains power in where and how to delegate response teams in harmed nations, but the affected nations are included in the process to decrease colonialism in the countries.
To conclude, whiteflame mentions money and how funding is important for the UN’s use, showing how the US pays 6 billion voluntarily, so that even during a hit, we would still be able to pay the costs. Whiteflame further questions how other countries wouldn’t be able to meet the funding if the fees are based on the GNP of the country. The answer lies still in the recessions. The US can afford to take a hit and still pay funds, but developing nations, especially ones in debt would be crushed if any sort of further recession came upon their country. In fact, the UN’s job would then be to restructure the economy of the nation, but fewer dues does not mean that it is more easily paid. The number is simply relative to the status of the economy. Nations with fewer dues have them because their economy is either worse off or they do not have a stable currency. Once more, Pro faces the nation leaving the UN based on unpaid dues, and although Pro shows how the dues are minimized, he does not fully state action if the dues remain unpaid, so it is safe to assume that the nation leaves the UN. My solution is that we have categories, in that based on an accession of all the countries, those facing recession should not be forced to pay any dues, yet still maintain status in the UN, with dues starting when the economy is stabler. Pro can argue that the P5 would make an excuse not to pay dues or see the action as unfair, but in an organization where the goal is to help nations, fairness should not get in the way of justice.
Question 1 Response:
Although I disagree with contraceptives on the part of the UN, I can see how the UN responds to such as of current and it seems fair enough to me.
Question 2 Response:
Pro states that, “The programme recognizes that LGBTI people are highly marginalized and face varied forms of stigma and discrimination based on their distinct sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.” However, Pro fails to detail what discriminations are against LGBT people, so are they political or simply representative of the values of society. A society that favors heterosexual marriage is obviously going to look down upon same sex marriages. In fact, until recent years, gay marriage in the United States was not fully legalized until 2012 from the Supreme Court. If it took the US a considerable amount of time, then the “various forms” are simply how society has set up its form of government. If the UN wants to change this, then it is trying to liberalize the nation. Note that I have not directly argued against LGBT members, but I have shown that the UN can not try to interfere with the nation’s belief system.
Question 3 Response:
Pro states that, “Beyond that, as I’ve already stated on my Burdens point, structural changes to the UN are allowed on my side of the debate, mainly because the resolution only requires me to defend the UN as an institution, not all its constituent parts.” I would disagree, the constituent parts of the UN are what make the UN as an institution worth retaining or not. Take the UN like an apple, on the outside, it might appear crisp and ready to eat, but on a bite, you find out that it is moldy on the inside. Without the parts, there is no whole. In this debate, I have attacked the parts, which in turn, is representative of the whole of the UN, so by reshaping the parts, I do not retain the whole of the UN.
Question 4 Response:
Pro mentions that my response wouldn’t be any faster or more effective than what could be achieved by the current UN. However, the current UN had information about Rwanda, and failed to act on it, so it wasn’t a matter of speed, it was a matter of leadership that failed on the basis of UN inaction.
To conclude, the UN is not an institution worth retaining, as the UN would have to radically switch the roles of its members and values to fit the restructured UN. While Pro mentions change, he does not advocate complete replacement, though I have adequately shown that complete replacement would, in fact, help the world in future crises. Thank you for your time reading this debate, thank you to whiteflame for the debate, and I wish all voters a Happy Easter!
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I’d like to thank my opponent, @WilliamSchulz, for the stellar debate. I really loved doing this.
There is a lot going on in this debate, and to anyone reading through this, I’m sure it seems like a lot to process. To make things simpler, I’m going to spend this round mainly just crystallizing what happened and focusing on the key details. In order to better target the main points, I’ll be using questions for each of my headings, each of which should be key to any voter’s decision. I’ll be engaging in a bit of rebuttal, but I will try to keep that to a minimum.
1. Have we both satisfied our burdens in this debate?
I was honestly hoping I wouldn’t have to harp on this, but it just seems like we keep hitting the same wall. I am the only one who, at the start of this debate, clarified precisely what the burdens would be for each of us in this debate. Con accepted all these clarifications, so those are the actual burdens we bear. They are precisely what we were required to do to succeed in this debate. Not meeting a burden is tantamount to conceding the debate because that would mean that one of us has failed to uphold our side of the resolution.
I’m not going to contest that we both met the first burden. Con does try to argue that this isn’t about simple net benefits in the final round, but each of his points beyond that brings it back to the same framework. We both bear equal burdens to showcase the benefits of our cases and compare them, and we both did that.
It’s the second and third burden (I’ll talk about this under the second question) where things start to get hairy.
In the previous round, I showed that there was one feature that was clearly not present in Con’s counter plan: “a separate organization that should replace the UN”. Con spent a lot of R3 arguing that he had met this burden by arguing that his case would fundamentally alter the UN. On that front, I agree – Con satisfied the part of his burden that required mutual exclusivity. The UN would absolutely never engage in the kinds of changes that Con is proposing. But that’s not the part of this burden that I’m highlighting, and with good reason. Even if he removes huge parts of the UN, it is still the UN in title and role. No matter how integral these pieces are to the UN, altering them (he isn't removing anything, since all of these structures still exist in his counterplan) does not make a separate organization. It’s the same organization, simply with different functionality.
If the topic of this debate was “The UN is, on balance, an institution that should be substantially altered” then Con would certainly be topical. However, that’s not the topic, nor are his efforts to explain himself sufficient to avoid addressing the glaring mistake he made in the construction of his case. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Con’s counterplan does not meet his burden. Instead, he took ground in the debate that was available to me (altering the current structure of the UN) and avoided engaging with his side of the debate. No matter how good his counterplan may sound, based on this alone, voters, you should vote him down.
2. Have we both presented clear cases?
I presented a third burden in the debate, though this was more of a standard of etiquette in any form of debate. I’ll repeat this stated burden.
“it is part of the basic rules of debate that all of our constructive arguments are presented before the final round. I don’t mean to address any of the issues that Con presented in his opening round, but I can’t help but notice that he’s planning on presenting the entirety of his counterplan in the third round. Doing so would mean that I would only get 1 round to attack his case, while he gets 2 full rounds to attack my case. That's not just harmful for me, since it means any rebuttals I'd have for your case would remain unaddressed. I would rather have a solid set of argumentation on both sides for both of our cases, and as such, I would strongly encourage Con to present his counterplan in R2. If he wishes to simply argue over the net benefits of my case, he’s welcome to stick to rebuttals alone in the following round.”
If you read through Con’s second and third round, you might have noticed that many of the details of that case suddenly appeared for the first time in the latter round. You might have also noticed the addition of two new planks to that plan. There are a bunch of these, including (and I’ll bold the new planks):
“the additional permanent members (10-12)” (note that he only said he was adding the G4, not any other permanent members)
the “3/4th majority to pass the resolution if unanimity is not reached”
“making a mandatory amount [of troops] be given from every nation on the council and in the UN”
“have whatever neutral nations remain vote on the veto/proceed handed by the P5 and any additional countries and give the neutral nations power to accept or reject with a 60% vote passing.”
“nations who consistently do not help should be kicked from the UN.”
“If the plan is vetoed, the term must be revised according to the nation’s terms, or a 2/3rds majority can override the veto.”
“affected countries can not veto any decision regarding manpower or the people who enter the country. Rather, they can veto the restructuring of their country and and changes the UN wishes to make in the country. In this sense, the UN can take care of the issue and then hold a delegation for the country’s rebuilding after the strife.”
“My solution is that we have categories, in that based on an accession of all the countries, those facing recession should not be forced to pay any dues, yet still maintain status in the UN, with dues starting when the economy is stabler.”
“The P5 and other nations are given a mandatory resource cap that they must reach in the event of an economic crisis in other nations.”
…Anyone else notice that this substantially alters his counterplan, and that he’s presenting it all in the final round, which is not a constructive round? Unlike Con, I only used constructive rounds to explain my policy changes. He chose to wait until R2 to post his counterplan, and is using his final round not just to fill holes in his plan, but to actively add planks that change his plan substantially. He’s effectively forcing me to do rapid-fire analysis of his case at the last minute.
Voters, you have two ways of looking at all this. You can either decide that Con has violated the basic rules of debate (not to mention those I clearly articulated and that Con accepted at the start of this debate) and choose to award points on that basis, or you can deny Con these additions to his case and accept the glaringly vague aspects of his counterplan.
However, if you’re still considering taking these new pieces of his plan into account, I’ve got a few responses.
Con dropped my argument that conflicts commonly include multiple nations. Since he has only 9 permanent members (the P5 and G4), this will often mean that the affected nations will comprise more seats than the Security Council would currently have (look at the Syria example). In doing so, he’s further diluting the power of the P5 and G4, giving them more reason to spurn the UN. He’s also virtually guaranteeing a veto on nearly every resolution, and since this group will comprise more than 1/3rd of the total number of nations on the Security Council, that veto is almost certainly not going to be overridden. Pro is guaranteeing that the UN will only intervene in instances where one or two countries are affected, and only because they will have next to no voice in the decision.
Con says that P5 nations will effectively be shouldered with the economic crises of other nations, and that they are required to help those nations through those crises. He also wants to require them to commit troops, though it’s unclear on both fronts what the amounts would be. Presumably, those costs would be added to their dues, which Con concedes they often don’t pay in status quo. So, yeah, they’re not likely to agree to adding such massive costs onto their bill. And Con seemed pretty keen on just kicking them out of the UN if they “consistently do not help”…
Yep, sounds like a great idea. That will really solve for the lack of troops and funds required to help member nations. Removing big players who already contribute more than any other nation in the UN because they don’t meet undefined financial and military assistance levels is not just a bad idea for ensuring that the UN has the necessary resources it needs to resolve problems, but it also sets these hugely important players as enemies of the UN that will make intervention in any region more difficult. Con is effectively shoving key players out of the UN, and yet he balks at the prospect of them losing a Security Council seat temporarily over not paying their dues on time.
Based on these responses alone (which I had to make in the final round, since Con only clarified these parts of his plan in this round), voters should already be voting for me. Con’s effort to bring affected nations into the discussion sounds like a nice symbolic gesture, but ends up pushing the Security Council to avoid large conflicts where multiple nations are involved, and to essentially provide a relatively meaningless voice to a couple of nations with smaller issues, since they can still send in the military without worry of a veto. Con’s misguided attempt at beneficence and improved staffing is going to result in an underfunded, understaffed UN that has turned its P5 from leaders into competitors in the global sphere. That is far worse than the worst possible scenario under my plan (more on this under #3).
3. Which of our cases is the most net beneficial?
We’ve got two cases, each of which has their own set of potential benefits and harms. Con’s absolutely correct that simply being net beneficial over a world without the UN isn’t enough (though I think he risks a world where the UN is functionally irrelevant), so let’s just focus on analyzing what each of our cases would really do.
Let’s start with Con’s counterplan. Beyond the additional planks, which I have already addressed, there are two planks to his plan. Some aspects of those planks are still vague, but I’ll present them as clearly as I am able to do so.
Plank 1: The UN Security Council will now be comprised of roughly 20 countries (I'm assuming that non-permanent seats would still be present), including the P5 and G4 nations. Those 9 nations will have permanent seats and veto power, so long as the P5 achieves unanimity in their decision or the G4 has 3 out of the 4 countries in agreement. The Security Council will expand to include nations whose countries are affected by the specific decisions being made, each of which will get partial veto power to strike down any efforts to restructure their country. Should no veto be used, the whole Security Council would vote, and a 2/3s majority is required to proceed with a mission.
Plank 2: The UN will now silo its responses to various world crises into distinct groups, each of which is specialized to take on said task. These groups will include experts in the appropriate field and a minimal peacekeeping force, which is tasked with following the recommendations of said experts.
I’ll start by admitting that these planks are not all bad. Without veto power, he’s certain to yield more missions for the UN, which means there will be more opportunities to intervene successfully than are present even in my case. There’s less of a “UN agenda” in that other countries have input on whether or not a certain intervention should happen, so any policy decision would have to be vetted by a larger number of countries. By sending in siloed “experts,” he does provide a greater probability of strong intellectual leadership where the UN intervenes. Con’s case sounds great, in theory. He’s bringing other nations to the negotiating table more so than I am, he’s ensuring that more missions are run by the UN, and he’s setting up a more specifically tailored response to each problem they face.
However, the devil’s in the details for all these benefits.
As I stated in the previous round, by basically removing veto power, he’s causing two major problems: he’s committing UN troops to more missions than they can handle, and he’s pushing the P5 out of the UN. Con’s case tries to address this in two ways: by mandating the commission of troops (which I’ve already explained would be a disaster for the UN as a whole), and by limiting the number of troops in each engagement. However, all Con is doing is dooming these missions to failure due to lack of manpower. He hasn’t specified what kind of decrease we’re looking at, but if we’re considering how many more missions the UN will be engaged with, that decrease must be significant. These peacekeepers are dealing with civil wars and genocides, massive outbreaks of disease and major human rights violations across whole countries. Even if they have the best brain power on their side, the lack of troops is always going to handicap their efforts. This seems like it’s just Con’s effort to avoid the peacekeepers abusing the local populace, but that’s more likely under his plan than it is under mine. He’s still bringing in untrained and biased troops last minute. Those troops have the same problems as in status quo, even if he’s sending fewer of them. My standing force checks back both problems.
The UN agenda point, combined with the “expert” plank, does have some promise. He’s only brought up a couple of examples of this, pointing out that sending condoms was a mistake and that checking back against human rights abuses pushes against the belief systems of member nations. I’ll admit that the condoms showcase a failure of response (though that recent research appears to have come after this program started) that might be eliminated with the use of vague “experts” deciding these things, but it’s unclear that these same “experts” wouldn’t have the same exact biases. Even if we assume they’re much smarter, Con’s only presented alternative is dumping food on these nations, which I’ve already shown does far more to control these countries than do condoms. As for human rights abuses, Con may care a lot about the rights of local populations to abuse and violently attack LGBT individuals, but I don’t. If the UN comes into conflict with local beliefs to provide basic protections to these oppressed people, then I believe it must. Culture clash is not a reason to allow the plight of these people to go unaddressed.
What Con’s case purports to accomplish and what it would actually do are two very different things. His efforts to bring more countries to the table and proceed with more missions will lead the UN to overpromising and underdelivering. By thinning the forces he sends out, he guarantees that more missions will fail, while allowing the persistent problems of recruitment to continue. By limiting the UN’s ability to respond to human rights violations, he’s allowing massive abuses to continue unchecked.
Lastly, and most importantly, Con shoots himself in the foot by arguing that member nations that don’t contribute to the UN should be removed. Let’s walk through this. A P5 nation (let’s say the US) is upset that it just effectively lost its veto power. It’s no longer nearly as substantial of a power player within the UN is helped create, particularly as it would have to agree with both Russia and China in order to veto anything. As I argued in the previous round, this will lead the US to one of two choices. They may choose to leave the UN, which removes the teeth from Con’s argument. If they already left, they can’t be removed. Con’s only reasoning as to why they would stay is because the UN does good in the world, but he’s argued at multiple points throughout this debate that countries like the US regularly use their veto power to further their interests. If they don’t have a substantial role in the direction the UN takes, why would they care about being a part of it? The US plays a substantial role in “international politics and affair[s]” by itself, it doesn’t need the UN. But let’s assume they do stay. Con dropped my argument that they will create a seat of power for themselves by only directing their resources towards missions they support. The US, which contributes the most to the UN, would have every reason to use this leverage to retain their veto power. This may result in them getting kicked out… but if they’re out, then the UN gets absolutely none of their resources.
So, Con’s case results in one of two outcomes: either all the P5 nations leave, or they use their substantial resources to force other nations to follow their lead. Both situations are worse than their veto power. At least with veto power, they contribute resources to the UN as a whole, meaning that any mission (whether they support it or are just neutral about it) gets those funds. In Con’s world, only the missions they support get substantial resources, or all of them get a severe drop off in resources at the P5 leaves. That means Con either supercharges the harms of veto power, or depletes the UN of essential resources (including finances, military, and yes, experts), ensuring that most if not all of its missions are failures.
My case also has two planks, and luckily, these are short.
Plank 1: The UN shall recruit a standing army, to be trained and led by UN personnel, that can be rapidly and efficiently deployed by the votes of three members of the Security Council.
Plank 2: The UN shall add the G4 countries (Germany, Brazil, India and Japan), plus South Africa, as permanent seats on the Security Council with the same powers as the P5. They may only retain their seats should they pay their dues on time annually, and will be replaced on the Council by another member nation until they have paid.
I’ll concede that my case still allows permanent members of the Security Council to block interventions, though that’s far less likely than what happens in status quo. Even if you buy that the lack of intervention in Rwanda was due to the US vetoing intervention (it wasn’t, and much as Con keeps citing it, source #29 does not support this assertion), that kind of thing is far less likely to happen when three countries must agree in order to veto something. Con did assert this round that Rwanda could provide more accurate information by sitting on the Security Council. However, as Rwanda was already a part of the UN since 1962, and as it was therefore providing said information in the General Assembly, it’s not clear how merely replacing them into the Security Council solves for a lack of actionable knowledge.[http://www.un.org/press/en/2006/org1469.doc.htm] The US wasn’t suddenly going to classify the issue as a genocide rather than a massacre simply because Rwanda was sitting on the Security Council instead of just in the General Assembly.
I will also concede that my case has the potential to put some countries under financial distress. The issue is that it’s unclear which countries would struggle to pay. The US pays the most, and Con concedes that they will continue to be able to pay, so that just leaves the other 9 countries that would be on the permanent Security Council, and the only one of those that is a developing country and therefore may have massive swings in its gross national product is South Africa (note that other developing nations would not be required to pay in order to stay in the UN, this is solely for the Security Council). However, you might notice that I brought up a link in R2 stating precisely how much they pay, and explaining how that price would go down substantially in a recession. Given that the dues decrease, it’s not clear why they would be unable to pay them. Furthermore, even if they can’t afford them, that only means that they transiently lose their seat on the Security Council. For South Africa, that would put it back to where it is right now. They can then wait until their economy recovers and then start paying again.
However, the places where Con’s responses are fewest are where he’s in the most trouble.
My case ensures that the UN will always have a standing peacekeeping force that is well-trained, well-equipped, and under capable leadership. The UN will hire these people long-term (I said this in my first round), meaning they won’t be hired just before they must do some actual peacekeeping. These can be deployed rapidly to war-torn areas, whereas under Con’s counterplan, the UN would continue to function extremely slowly, requiring months to obtain the necessary troops.[https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/military] Voters, please note that Con has presented absolutely no reason why this plank of my plan is either harmful or ineffective, meaning that all of these benefits are conceded.
Meanwhile, Con continues to rely on the contributions of member nations, which have consistently failed because of biases and a lack of training. He simply asserts that smaller teams of peacekeepers will be effective because the “experts” will be leading them, but provides no support for this assertion. Even “experts” will still need manpower, particularly in conflicts. He still encounters the same problem of limited training, and most of the troops are still likely to come from neighboring countries first.
My case ensures that countries from every continent are given a powerful seat on the Security Council. It’s important to recognize that, while no single set of countries represent everyone, powerful countries need to be given some incentive to support the UN. By recognizing those powerhouses and providing an equal seat at the table for South Africa, I retain that incentive while increasing the representation of this body. Moreover, by requiring three votes for any veto, my plan requires these countries to cooperate. It pressures these nations to not function as islands unto themselves, and creates room for the UN to support more missions than it currently does. Regardless of what we do, atrocities will happen in the world. The UN is slow to respond to crises, even slower to act, and it has limited resources with which to address the various ills of the world. Nonetheless, by increasing the number of potential missions that receive attention beyond a single veto, I ensure that fewer atrocities are poorly addressed without overwhelming the resources of the UN or pushing major contributors to take theirs and go home.
Lastly, my case keeps the lights on. Con has conceded that the clear majority of what the agencies at the UN do is hugely beneficial. This is extremely important because it means that any extra funding they receive can only benefit populations worldwide. Only my case provides a meaningful boost to available funds by pushing the major contributors to pay their dues regularly and on time. Con’s case potentially pushes these resources away from the UN, depriving peoples worldwide of medical care, safe access to the essentials of life, basic protections from violence and discrimination, important collaborations between researchers, and so much more.
So, even if you believe that Con has met his burdens in this debate, his case is still massively outweighed by mine. The kinds of changes he's imposing would threaten all of the benefits that the UN provides, whereas my case would mainly enhance them. No case is perfect, and the UN will always be a flawed institution, but both of us recognize that it's still necessary and beneficial. We cannot risk losing what makes it so important.
Thank you to WilliamSchulz for debating this with me, and Happy Passover to all of my fellow Jews out there!
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