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Is The United Nations Needed?
in Global

Position: Against
By billpassedbillpassed 141 Pts edited December 2017
Do you belive that the United Nations is needed?

I don’t believe that it is needed on any scale including the global scale.

Opponent - @whiteflame
aarongislander507agsrSilverishGoldNovapassedbillyolostidewalterbaMax_Air29
  1. ?

    13 votes
    1. Yes
      84.62%
    2. No
      15.38%



Debra AI Prediction

Tie
Predicted
50%
Likely
50%
Unlikely

Details +


For:

52% (32 Points)


Against:

48% (29 Points)



Votes: 4


Debate Type: Traditional Debate



Voting Format: Casual Voting

Opponent: whiteflame

Rounds: 3

Time Per Round: Blitz - 15 Minutes Per Round


Voting Period: 24 Hours


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Voting


Arguments



  • Round 1 | Position: Against
    The United Nations (UN) is not needed on any scale including the global scale.

    The UN receives billions of dollars from many countries in an un proportional way from many countries. The United States currently pays over $2,000,000,000 out of over $5,000,000,000 to the UN which is an extremely high amount compared to what the other countries such the UK, France, etc.

    The UN is also not needed due to countries being able to efficiently converse and communicate with each other as well as set their foreign policy and make their own decisions.
    aarongagsrwhiteflameSilverishGoldNova
  • Round 1 | Position: For

    Let’s start by defining what the UN is. The United Nations is "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."[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations]

    So now the question is, why is it needed?

    There are several major functions of the UN.

    First, and perhaps most important, is its capacity in peacekeeping. The UN plays an essential role in national and international stability, responding to a variety of human rights violations in many nations. Theoretically, any nation or group of nations could function in this capacity, but there are some key differences. Their forces function solely as a neutral peacemaker and peacekeeper, something that no individual country (or small group of countries, for that matter) can reasonably claim. This means that, unlike the concerns with other nations, their entry isn’t construed as a declaration of war, or as meddling on the part of the countries behind the participating troops. Moreover, the UN cannot act unilaterally – the only way they can get troops to do this is if individual nations provide them. So they are not a sovereign entity, they have no nationalistic concerns that could function as ulterior motives, and they’re generally trusted by the vast majority of nations in the world, as most every nation has joined.

    Second, the UN functions as a microphone for a variety of small nations that would otherwise go unheard. It is only because the UN exists that small nations that would otherwise be ignored can have their plights heard. It’s because the UN exists that oppressed parts of nations can precipitate meaningful response. It’s also really important for responding to nations that would otherwise do harm to countries like the US. The conflicts of interest that pervade individual nation responses to, say, North Korea are effectively absent when directed from the UN. It can draw other nations into a response, particularly in the form of sanctions. 

    It's nice to believe that in a world without the UN, every nation will treat each other well. But the reality is that national interests will always prevail. The UN is a distinct check against those interests, keeping global interests as the most essential.

    billpassedislander507agsrSilverishGoldNova
  • Round 2 | Position: Against
    The United Nations is not needed for peace keeping and it’s current method of maintain global peace is not efficient and very expensive for multiple controls globally, especially the United States.

    Countries can communicate with each other and have more direct conversations for peace, etc. exciting Foreign policy can also be easier to an extent without the United Nations. When the Trump and the US decided to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the United Nations helps a vote where the majority of the countries in the UN voted against that move. Without the UN, the US could have had less conflict with other countries, etc. , because of the embassy.

    Small Nations can communicate with all or many nations including world powers without the UN or other organizations. They may also be able to build better and stronger relationships without the concocts which could come with the UN and it’s votes.

    Sources -
    1) https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/21/572565091/u-n-votes-overwhelmingly-to-condemn-trumps-jerusalem-decision
    2) 
    http://www.un.org/en/index.html
    islander507agsrwhiteflameSilverishGoldNova
  • Round 2 | Position: For

    Con talks about economics, so let’s focus on that for a moment.

    It’s only because the UN exists that countries cannot unilaterally decide what they’re going to do on a variety of international economic concerns. For example, during “the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the US had to push back against proposals to undermine protection for innovation and intellectual property rights, to assign historical liability for loss and damage from natural disasters, and to ban certain technologies or energy options important to US energy security and climate risk reduction.”[http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/313753-walking-away-from-the-un-would-harm-us-economic-interests] Without the UN, other countries would have just made the decisions to implement these without talking to the US, which means that our economic interests (as well as those of many other nations) would have been dramatically harmed. We have a very strong seat at the table, being able to veto anything that is against our interests. If anything, our control ensures that the US is always in a strong position abroad economically. That’s well worth spending several billion dollars considering that our income internationally far exceeds this.

     

    Now for counter-rebuttals.

    Con argues that the UN isn’t needed for peacekeeping, but doesn’t respond to the core of my argument. The problem is that countries like the US have a vested interest in maintaining control for their own purposes. For example, looking at North Korea, China and other nations nearby have very little incentive to cooperate with the US because we have a vested interest in protecting our allies in the area and building our economy there. The UN doesn’t have those interests, so it can bring countries like China and North Korea to the table, whereas the US is hampered. We also can’t send in troops to any country without declaring war, whereas the UN can do so on a peacekeeping mission. That’s true for any country, so I’m unclear how any country can effectively maintain peacekeeping without declaring war multiple times.

    Countries can and should communicate with each other to ensure peace is maintained, but when things get out of hand, the UN is necessary to calm down rising tensions and stop human rights abuses in war-torn countries. That’s not something any country can reasonably do. Con brings up the example of Trump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and I think this is a perfect example: the UN had to respond so that it could prevent bombastic responses that could have precipitated economic and even military conflict over such a move. If countries are united against it, they have a chance to stop something that could precipitate those conflicts. If they are individualized, there’s little chance of that. The US would have conflict without UN involvement.

    Lastly, while small nations can still communicate in the absence of the UN, it’s the microphone part that’s important. They can speak to all nations in an open forum, where news media is involved. Other nations simply aren’t allowed to ignore them – their plights become front page news in nations across the world. In the absence of a UN, nations could simply block them out or pretend that these abuses aren’t happening. The UN forces attention to be paid.

    agsrSilverishGoldNovabillpassedwalterba
  • Round 3 | Position: Against

    It’s only because the UN exists that countries cannot unilaterally decide what they’re going to do on a variety of international economic concerns. For example, during “the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the US had to push back against proposals to undermine protection for innovation and intellectual property rights, to assign historical liability for loss and damage from natural disasters, and to ban certain technologies or energy options important to US energy security and climate risk reduction.”[http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/313753-walking-away-from-the-un-would-harm-us-economic-interests] Without the UN, other countries would have just made the decisions to implement these without talking to the US, which means that our economic interests (as well as those of many other nations) would have been dramatically harmed. We have a very strong seat at the table, being able to veto anything that is against our interests. If anything, our control ensures that the US is always in a strong position abroad economically. That’s well worth spending several billion dollars considering that our income internationally far exceeds this.


    Countries can and should communicate with each other to ensure peace is maintained, but when things get out of hand, the UN is necessary to calm down rising tensions and stop human rights abuses in war-torn countries. That’s not something any country can reasonably do. Con brings up the example of Trump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and I think this is a perfect example: the UN had to respond so that it could prevent bombastic responses that could have precipitated economic and even military conflict over such a move. If countries are united against it, they have a chance to stop something that could precipitate those conflicts. If they are individualized, there’s little chance of that. The US would have conflict without UN involvement.


    The United Nations can increase tensions between countries and the world due to votes and rising conflicts.

    Communication between countries can be done without the UN. That is a fundamental reason why the United Nations is not needed to maintain global peace. It takes billions of dollars from countries for stuff that they can do more effectively and efficiently by themselves.

    The UN vote on the US embassy in Israel made tensions higher between the The US and other countries.

    The United Nations also increases control over countries through sanctions, foreign policy, etc.
    walterba
  • Round 3 | Position: For
    I think that, while both of us are talking about the same things (conflict, economics and international voice), it's pretty clear that we've got very different opinions of how they all play out. So, I'll spend this round just explaining how each of them played out.

    Conflicts is probably the most important point of the round. The ability to prevent, ameliorate, or end conflicts means protecting lives, which is a huge impact when taken on an international level. Con has argued that UN votes precipitate conflicts, but he hasn't pointed out any examples that support this. His sole example is the UN vote about the decision to move the UN embassy, which I feel he's fundamentally misunderstood. Bringing together countries against it means that a) they have a louder voice and greater influence to try and stop it, b) individual nations are less likely to do something drastic because they've had their voices heard, and c) there's a clear watchdog preventing individual nations from taking those drastic actions. These are all preventative measures that stop conflict before it happens. Tensions are there regardless; nations can and will be upset by the decision. But so long as that anger is controlled by a body like the UN, conflict can be prevented. Moreover, I've already explained in great detail how the UN facilitates peace talks and can save people in war-torn nations without declaring war, both of which no nation can feasibly do. That's countless lives the UN can and has saved. And I completely agree that "The United Nations also increases control over countries through sanctions, foreign policy, etc", because that's how it does it: by influencing nations that would otherwise be focused solely on their own interests. It uses those interests to pursue a global good, diminishing or preventing many conflicts.

    Onto communication. I've already made it very clear that the open forum and media presence of the UN fundamentally makes communication through it very different than any other form of communication. Small countries and factions within countries can talk to large countries that could do something, sure, but the lack of a means to ensure that those nations have some reason to respond means that they won't respond. These small nations are left out in the cold without the UN, and their communication is essentially useless without it. More conflict. More death.

    Lastly, economics. Con keeps going back to the billions spent by the US, but he ignores all the reasoning I presented in the previous round about how US involvement in the UN ensures that we continue to have strong international trade. The incredible cost of our imports and exports numbers in the trillions.[https://www.statista.com/statistics/218255/total-value-of-us-trade-in-goods-worldwide-since-2004/] A few billion dollars a year is a drop in the bucket compared to that. The fact that we have this kind of control over our international trade is indispensible, and well worth this cost.

    The UN is not perfect by any means, but we can't ignore just how essential it is to global stability, nor can we ignore the realities of its importance to its member nations, particularly the US. To say that it's not needed simply ignores the realities of the world we live in.
    walterba
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