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International Relations

In this topic, we shall define international relations and discuss the formation, organisation and perfomance of the UN. International relations refers to the cooperation of independent nations from different parts of the world politically, socially and economically. We shall also discuss the cold War.

United Nations Headquarters in New York.


Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to;


1. Define the term international relations


2. Analyze the reasons for the formation of the UN


3. Discuss the organization of the UN


4. Analyze the performance and the challenges of the UN


United Nations

In this lesson, you will learn about the United Nations. The United Nations is an association of sovereign states formed after World War 2

United Nations Logo

Reasons for Formation of UN

There are several facotors that led to the formation of the UN.


1. To maintain international peace and security


2. To replace the league of nations which had collapsed


3. To promote social progress and better living standards of the people


4. To promote respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms


5. To promote economic growth as the member states work to reconstruct the world economy

6. Cooperate in solving international social cultural and humanitarian problems


Reasons for Formation of UN

There are several facotors that led to the formation of the UN.


1. To maintain international peace and security


2. To replace the league of nations which had collapsed


3. To promote social progress and better living standards of the people


4. To promote respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms


5. To promote economic growth as the member states work to reconstruct the world economy

6. Cooperate in solving international social cultural and humanitarian problems


Reasons for Formation of UN



Organisation of UN

Organisation of UN

How does the UN achieve its objectives? To achieve its objective and purposes, the UN established six principal organs contained in its charter. These are:

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Comprises all member states and occupies a key position in the functions of the UN.

THE MEMBER STATES
Since its inception in 1945, the UN has seen its membership steadly increase. By 1970, the membership had risen to 127. By year 2000, membership had risen to 187 which included African Nations that had attained their Independence. The table provided shows the countries that joined the UN and the years that they joined.

SECURITY COUNCIL
This is composed of 15 nations which consist of five permanent states/nations which include:
-USA
-Russia
-France
-China
-United Kingdom
-Ten others are elected by the general assembly

THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
This is the organ responsible for all the legal matters and disputes between member states. It is based at the Hague, Netherlands

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
It deals with matters pertaining to economic development, health and education. It works through various specialized UN agencies eg ILO, the WHO.


THE SECRETARIAT
This is the chief administrative organ of the UN headed by a Secretary General. So far, UN has 8 Secretaries General. These are: Trygve Lie from Norway from 1946-1953, Dag Hammarskjold from Sweden 1953-1961, U Thant, from Burma from 1961-1971, Kurt Waldheim, from Austria, from 1971-1981, Javier Perez de Cuellar, from Peru, 1982-1992, Boutros Boutros Ghali, Egypt, 1992-1997, Kofi Annan, Ghana, from 1997-2006, Ban Ki-Moon from South Korea, from 2007 to present.

THE TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL
It is in charge of territories which are governed by member states of the UN on behalf of the UN itself
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
In December 1948, Un General Assembly adopted universal declaration of Human Rights that spells out the universal rights and freedoms entitilled to an individual. There are several bodies or organisations affiliated to the UN that are involved in the fight for human rights. These include;


1. Transparency Internatioanl (TI)


2. Amnesty International


3. United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR)


4. United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR)


5. United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF)

6. International labour Organisation (ILO)

7. Convention on Rights of Children

All the above bodies fight against race, gender, cultural, economic and religious discriminations though out the world which include the rights of the child.


Organisation of UN

How does the UN achieve its objectives? To achieve its objective and purposes, the UN established six principal organs contained in its charter. These are:

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Comprises all member states and occupies a key position in the functions of the UN.

THE MEMBER STATES
Since its inception in 1945, the UN has seen its membership steadly increase. By 1970, the membership had risen to 127. By year 2000, membership had risen to 187 which included African Nations that had attained their Independence. The table provided shows the countries that joined the UN and the years that they joined.

SECURITY COUNCIL
This is composed of 15 nations which consist of five permanent states/nations which include:
-USA
-Russia
-France
-China
-United Kingdom
-Ten others are elected by the general assembly

THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
This is the organ responsible for all the legal matters and disputes between member states. It is based at the Hague, Netherlands

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
It deals with matters pertaining to economic development, health and education. It works through various specialized UN agencies eg ILO, the WHO.


THE SECRETARIAT
This is the chief administrative organ of the UN headed by a Secretary General. So far, UN has 8 Secretaries General. These are: Trygve Lie from Norway from 1946-1953, Dag Hammarskjold from Sweden 1953-1961, U Thant, from Burma from 1961-1971, Kurt Waldheim, from Austria, from 1971-1981, Javier Perez de Cuellar, from Peru, 1982-1992, Boutros Boutros Ghali, Egypt, 1992-1997, Kofi Annan, Ghana, from 1997-2006, Ban Ki-Moon from South Korea, from 2007 to present.

THE TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL
It is in charge of territories which are governed by member states of the UN on behalf of the UN itself
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
In December 1948, Un General Assembly adopted universal declaration of Human Rights that spells out the universal rights and freedoms entitilled to an individual. There are several bodies or organisations affiliated to the UN that are involved in the fight for human rights. These include;


1. Transparency Internatioanl (TI)


2. Amnesty International


3. United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR)


4. United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR)


5. United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF)

6. International labour Organisation (ILO)

7. Convention on Rights of Children

All the above bodies fight against race, gender, cultural, economic and religious discriminations though out the world which include the rights of the child.


Performance of UN

The United Nations has had tremendous achievements since its inception. Some of them include;


1.Solved disputes between Nations eg India and Pakistan in 1949


2. Decolonization of the third world eg Tanzania and Togo


3. Championed the rights of all people world wide


4. Combating diseases and training medical personnel through WHO


5.Assisting refugees and other displaced people worldwide

6. Initiated successful development programs in the third world countries through UNDP

7.Helped to improve working conditions through ILO

8.The World Food Program (WFP) has been involved in the distribution of relief food supplies to disaster victims

Distribution of relief food

Challenges Facing the UN

The UN has faced various challenges since its inception. Some of these challenges are;

i. Ideological differences eg. Communism and capitalism.

ii. Shortage of funds: member states fail to remit their contributions.

iii. Lack of military machinery to enforce peace.

iv. Deep rooted regional conflicts such as Arab-Israel conflicts.

v. Derailment of decision making by the VETO powers

vi. Lack of commitment among member states due to their interest in other organizations

vii. Member states acting contrary to the decision of the UNO.

UN Peace keeping force

Prior Knowledge

In the previous lesson, we discussed the reasons that led to the formation of the United Nations. The UN has managed to promote peace and security in the world. We also learnt the organization, performance and challenges facing the UN.

UN Headquaters in Nairobi

Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to;


1. Define the term cold war


2. Discuss the causes of the cold war


3. Describe the course of the cold war


4. Discuss the effects of the cold war


The Cold War

The cold war refers to the rivalry that developed between USA and her allies on one hand, and the USSR and her allies on the other hand after the end of the second world war.

President Ronald Reagan


President Mikhall Gorbachev


Methods Used in the Cold war

Previously we discussed the topic on World War 2. in this lesson we shall discuss the Cold war. What were some of the methods of the cold war? Some of the methods used during the war include:


1. Words


2. Propaganda


3. Economic sanctions


4. Financing of political parties


5. New inventions in weapons

Causes of the Cold war

The cold war was caused by several factors:


1. Mistrust and suspicion based on ideological differences between the capitalist west and the communist soviet bloc


2. The disagreement between the USA and USSR over the issue of disarmament caused tension between them


3. The policy adopted by the USSR to seal Eastern Europe from the west


4. Conflicts in Europe in 1940's, for example the civil war in Greece increased tension between the two super powers


5. The formation of military alliances by the two power blocs

6. The Marshall plan of 1947 which was initiated by the USA intensified the cold war

The Berlin Wall

Course of the Cold war

Place the cursor on each continent for more.



Course of the Cold war

The cold war started after the end of the second world war. It affected Europe, Asia, America and Africa

EUROPE


1. The cold war was felt in Europe in 1947 when the USA issued the Truman Doctrine to check the spread of communism in Greece and Turkey


2. The Marshall plan was initiated by the USA to help the post war Europe to recover economically from the effects of the second world war


3. USSR rejected the Marshall plan and sealed off Berlin


4. As a result, German was divided into two: East Germany controlled by the USSR and West Germany under the allied powers.


5. Later the war intensified with the formation of military alliances namely North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw pact for the communist powers

6. In 1961, the Berlin wall was constructed by USSR to separate the West from the East.



THE COLD WAR IN ASIA


1. In Asia, the USSR helped to install a communist government in china in 1949


2. Both powers, USA and USSR clashed over Vietnam. This led to the division of Vietnam into to two:

-The north controlled by the USSR

- The south controlled by the USA

THE COLD WAR IN CENTRAL AMERICA


1. Cuba became a communist state in 1959 under Fidel Castrol


2. USSR supported Cuba by arming her with dangerous missiles


3. In 1962, USA ordered a blockade of Cuba and demanded USSR to stop military build up in Cuba.

Factors that Led to the end of the Cold war

Several factors led to the end of the cold war. These include:


1. The coming to power of Khrushchev in USSR in 1956 who favored a policy of peaceful co-existent


2. Convening of disarmament conferences for example Strategic Arms limitation treaty of 1986 and 1991


3. Establishment of Western democracies in former USSR's controlled states in Eastern Europe


4. US president Ronald Reagan policy helped to diffuse tension during the cold war.


5. Accession to power of Mikhail Gorbachev in the soviet union in 1985 who adopted a liberal policy

6. Cancellation of Warsaw pact in 1991controlled areas in Eastern Europe.

7. Disintegration of the USSR into separate republics in 1991

Effects of the Cold war

The cold war affected the world in various ways. These included:


1. It led to splitting up of countries for example Korea onto North and South


2. It caused suspicion and mistrust between nations


3. It led to international insecurity and disruption of world peace


4. It led to space race between USA and USSR


5. It led to real war in certain situations, for example Korea and Vietnam
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