We have recently received intelligence, not that it is top secret of course, on the reasons behind the mismanagement of almost every crisis known to Man these last few years.. It seems that the UN is the cause of all problems. The world knew this long before and it hasn’t been easy understanding how the international community has become such a palarva. On the other hand, it is quite simply an era of clashing geopolitical dwarfs. Let us explain later on.
First, ARTE, the Franco-German television station, had worked on a report on the Commission in charge of resolving and managing the Syrian war, more specifically, the humanitarian crisis. It was, to resume in one word, a failure. Not only did the “Commission” succeed in nothing, it seemed to be lacking in substance of drive. It is one thing to be in power; another to be persistent enough. The ARTE report was considered good journalism, effectively showing the cracks. However, what cracks?
Let us come back to geopolitical dwarfs. In French, there is an expression, which unfortunately never survives after translation: “les grands hommes”. It refers to the great figures of History, whether in politics (mostly in politics), society, or religion. The World Wars are said to have produced the last of this “class”. Some even rank men like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr among them. There are also, we feel, a long list of women, who are part of this class, one of whom died in 2017 (Simone Veil). Today, the giants of the world are not really giants. They are dwarfs, compared to what existed before. Yet, they still want to act like giants.
Take the UN Security Council for example. The veto has been used more often than not and the dwarfs are taking their squabbles to the next level. A blockade of sorts has been ongoing, the first sign of cracks within the framework. Bureaucracy, which, in any country around the world, is too much to handle, has probably seen better days by far. The UN seems to no longer be in capacity to manage effectively. In the aftermath of WWII, it had been able, due to the enormous US effort, to resolve the humanitarian crisis. However, the 1990’s East Europe civil unrest dragged on and on, with NATO taking the helm. UN task forces, although present, did not constitute the larger actor in the peacekeeping. Then again, the EU has been widely criticized in some circles for not doing enough. The difference is that the latter had almost no experience in military and defense strategies at the time, while the former had been involved in far more situations involving security questions worldwide.
Bureaucracy has become complex over the years and quite saturated within UN ranks. As many national administrations are coming under fire because slow pacing and mediocre ethics, is it surprising that international organizations are getting similar treatment? The EU, with too many directives, is criticized for not going more toward the citizens, thus the rising populism. Like the UN, it continues to face the migrant-refugee crisis, more so than the former, given that the framework concerning this situation is, by this time, so broken down, the cracks are more visible than the advantages. Then again, the cracks are the dwindling funds, the fact that few investments are made in order to be turned back into a budget and crisis management. The UN is in dire need of funds.
Not to mention that the cracks are also a few States, who just do not want to listen. The Palestinian-Israeli situation is not just geopolitical, State sovereignty, or territorial. It is also a matter of stubbornness, central intelligence and being the bigger dwarf. Neither side is innocent, both are provocative to the last millisecond. Both are ready to smile and shake hands within the public domain all the while staying one step ahead of each other, international organizations, their geographic entourage and the entire international community. Think intelligence. Think Israeli reaction when Interpol swore in Palestine as its newest member in late 2017. Israel has a lot to protect, or more to the point, a lot to keep away hidden. The interests do not even seem to be those of the majority but those of a faction in particular. That faction is the deadlock, as is the case in many parts of the world.
Economic interests are one cause-and-effect of this: free trade is highly prized until the markets crash. Or is it? The cracks are also this: there are some throughout the international community, who take advantage of the free fall of markets. Hence, the 1% and the 99%. Globalization has been contested in specific terms: the fact that less regulation has led to more problems over the years is a centerpiece argument. It has especially laid open doors to wider communication between crime groups and violence. The UN, having become more a paperwork center and having less of an efficient “budget”, has had difficulties getting back into shape. Reform is paramount; the infrastructure, as we explained a while back in 2017, cannot simply be propped up. There needs to be an overhaul of the system. Any other way breaks the entire framework into an nonnegotiable puzzle. With conflicts gaining “power” and terror now utilizing trade more than ever to the point of control, the fact that a veto inside the UN Security Council locks down the entire procedure and infrastructure is alarming.
Is management still possible in that case? Institutions like the UN are driven by principles, a vision, and a mission. This is the case of the EU as well. The ancient dictat that two States are necessary to start a war is true. The fact that two States are needed to end a war is also true. A deal breaker is often discussed regarding peace but it is also present just before the catalyst of a war. In other words, we have an international community, an international organization, a globeful of States, a globeful of potential elements. However, we also have a globeful of individuals, all of whom each have certain visions of the international future. Management is inter-dependency; it is still possible. In that case, a globeful of conflict situations is possible but also a globeful of peace negotiations. That’s quite a number of “globefuls” in one paragraph. The idea is that, despite our conclusion that globalization is a major disadvantage with potential good elements, an international crisis can still be handled. The UN would still be a key player in it, although the problem is that it is not a powerful one. It is dwarfed by the clashing dwarfs, who still believe themselves giants. The best solution would be to isolate the more problematic dwarfs; unfortunately, at this stage, we doubt that they can be isolated just because of the sheer range their vocal cords can reach. Squabbling ducks, who move in a big huge pack from the pond to the fence comes to mind. The next best solution? Let a third party or smaller entities in. Place a well constructed vacuum to do the work, the kind of vacuum, which sweeps through bureaucratic and memorandum cobwebs.
If that gets done properly, then treat the institution like a business template: a boss, a team of professionals, each with a skill, a spiderweb plan with a center-point, and a budget. A conflict resolution is only made possible when that exists. A conflict resolution is only made possible when the vacuum has done its job cleaning up. A conflict resolution is only made possible when those two States either reach a definite agreement without backstabbing or the deal breaker has the ultimate majority. Not only does this concern international conflicts but also trade, and inner bickering. It is not a matter of shelving it as one would paperwork or a book but a veritable chip off the architectural column of the monument. Essentially, how a relationship works: management control, transparency, disagreements (or “agree to disagree”), resolution, come full circle.