The UN is Better at Resolving Conflicts between States than Conflicts within States

The approaches in the conflict resolutions have been rapidly changing globally since the collapse of the Cold War. The old system in the world has evolved, but it is not clear the whether the new system has kicked off. The old system of colonialism was unstuck, but the new emerging patterns have clearly been elaborate with conflicts between nations as well as internal conflicts in the nations. The end of the previous system was marked by epoch-making evolutions and the end of bipolarity (Fukuyama, 1211). A new wave of democratization has grasped the world, which has seen increasing globalization of economic power and information, frequent efforts of international coordination in the security policies and violent expressions of cultural identity.

The transformations in the world have seen new shapes of organized violence with some governments setting limits over others. The transformations have been marked by the noteworthy decline in the frequency of international wars and the death tolls. The regional ethnic and religious dissensions have been very vigorous after the decade of the Cold war, which is signified by the deadly disputed in the advent of weapons (Snyder, Herald, and Diesing, 312). It is difficult to make predictions on whether the shift is a lethal warfare that will bring the change. The continuous presence of the contested borders between the potential nations gives the uncertain prediction of the conflicts in the world due to outbreaks in hotspots which take separate forms on the global stage.  

            The complete shift in world politics has been a de facto explanation of global conflict. International conflict entails the violent confrontations and archaic wars which between nations or states. In almost all instances, the nation act through their armed forces or proxies against another nation beyond its borders. The confrontations are conceptualized as threats to the international tranquility and security for more than one state which is involved in fighting (Moore 36). The internal confrontations involve the violation of universal norms including human rights, liberty, concerted international actions as well as the democratic governance. The internal conflicts involve the use of force or posing threats, which involve prevention, conclusion or prevention of the old-fashioned version of the conflict. It is notable that some conflicts fall within a nation’s borders, though they are considered as international.

            The most common and recent illustrations include delayed military responses to the Rwandan genocide, the repression in Timor, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia as well as the unprecedented military response in Kosovo. Other examples include the use of economic authorization against Yugoslavia and South Africa as well as the establishment of the administration of the no-fly zones in Iraq (Wallensteen, 234). The threats of violence in the dissolution of states have raised international concern in countries such as Somalia, Bosnia, and Albania. Moreover, the Coup de’ tat against established governments, for instance, Haiti have been considered as international conflicts. The most important aspect of such developments is the intervention mechanisms and the bodies or support from other governments in dealing with the internal and international conflicts. What matters in such developments is the difference left when international efforts inputs their efforts in managing the wars or the new aspects (Therése, and Wallensteen 535). The old and new methods used and ways of approaching the conflicts play a major role in dealing with the conflict.

            Conflict resolution is broadly explained as the efforts attempt to mitigate or prevent confrontations from an intergroup or interstate situation and reducing the underlying disagreements. The main assumption in conflict resolution is that the social groups are inevitable in recurring since the main objective of conflict resolution is to counter the conflicts facing a particular set of universal norms (Fukuyama, 1213). Conflict resolution seeks t settling disputes through proscribing violence, fostering of peaceful discussion of the differences and the formation of limited forms of violence which can be tolerated. The world conditions have validated the previous conflict resolution practices and have brought uniformity in some techniques which were previously not carried seriously by the past regimes. It is considerable to note the impacts of the new development of the practices in resolving conflicts. The knowledge background has initiated conflict resolution personnel who can be globally relied on in the world for the overall accumulation of their experience (Omi and Winant 245). The careful examination of the historical experience gives the insights in conflict resolution between states more than within states.

The judicious examination of the empirical evidence in conflict resolution and the limitation from the past experiences sets the conflict resolution techniques which are best applicable in the world conditions currently. The most common practices in resolving international conflict in the Cold War era used the traditional diplomacy approach, which was a reflection of the dominant system of politics. The approach treated the international conflict taking place between nations in a unitary fashion on the basis of stable national interest depending on the availability of natural resources, geopolitical aspects and the enduring components of states (Coomaraswamy n.p). In case the behavior of nations was made with similar interests, it, therefore, led to the conflict between states was a reflection of the conflicting interests. The conflicting interests were considered as zero-sum, whereby, the more a state achieved, the more it adversely lost.

Over the years, the United Nations has helped in ending several conflicts through the security council, a body whose main role is to maintain international peace and security under the United Nations Charter. In instances when a complaint is placed illustrating some threat to calmness, the council takes the first step of recommending the parties to reach agreement through peaceful means (Herbst, 280). The UN council is actively involved in the investigation of the situation and mediation. It appoints special representatives who are involved in setting principles for a peaceful settlement.

The first concern of a dispute that leads to fighting is ending it the soonest possible. In some occasions, the council has given directives which have been instrumental in preventing wider hostilities. Such conditions require United Nations peacekeeping operations which are deployed in the prone areas to help in reducing the tension and keep the opposing forces apart (Miller 80). The step is used in creating sustainable peace in reaching the settlement. The council decides the enforcement measures, collective military operations or the economic sanctions which will help in fostering peace.

Preventing wars and the violation of human rights requires an approach that incorporates the perspective of advocacy for human rights as well as conflict resolution expertise. In a world filled with national engrossment, the main criteria of international conflict management employed include the economic, military and diplomatic impact until the and including the use of threat or force. The power of politics are the same tools which are employed in the power of politics in international conflict, where the primary initiatives are used in the efforts of addressing conflict (Salem n.p). Hence the states or coalitions of states try in preventing or mitigating violence through the use of threats for the armed forces. The states are also alert to the use of nuclear tools, which is very delicate and could alter the kind of coercive diplomacy. Hence, such states seek security regimes, which provide norms developed in reducing the risk of spreading. The implicit understanding of conflict management and prevention is gained through the extensive use of arms control negotiations, which help to reduce the probability of superpower military confrontations.

The negotiations used by the United Nations in the world of engrossments requires a balance of competing interests between nations. The negotiation process aims at finding a common interest that will be the basis of agreement for the conflicting parties even in the middle of conflicting engrossments. The search for balance in interest was a component in the Cold War negotiations, with the aim of preventing military conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union (Fukuyama, 1218). When two or more states are in conflict, the UN develops confidence and builds the measures for the common interests which reduces the confrontations using the military initiatives. This type of negotiations helps in identifying the shared interests which overwrite the conflicting ones and hence help to strike a common balance. The United Nations is better placed in solving interstate conflict due to the support of other governments with similar interests to the states in conflict.

The traditional diplomatic strategies were elaborate and refined during the Cold War regime. They were relevant since they deployed a threatening force which helped to address them and resolve conflicts. States have been increasingly looking at the regional international institutions to meet the conflict resolution objectives. In instances where the common state action may lead to new forms of arising confrontations, international organizations, for instance, the UN, help to strengthen their regions and their institutions. The intervention of the international organizations attracts the interest of the other states and hence the peacekeeping initiative spreads across a broad region, without necessarily using force. The use of military interventions has increasingly been used in the process of conflict resolution and peacekeeping. The armed forces use direct intervention in the regional organizations where they are very strong (Salem n.p).  The UN peacekeeping council employ peacekeeping missions who at times physically separate the adversaries in the interstate borders in combating violence. They also provide the humanitarian relief, rebuilding infrastructure and resettling the refugees.

The new development does not condone associations and states as actors in techniques, unlike the traditional diplomacy. For instance, the transnational organizations piled pressure through negative publicity of their investments in the 1980’s even before the Cold War. The local authorities galvanized their economic potential to pressure against apartheid rule in South Africa. The UN may at times threaten the interests of the state for the prospects of international assistance through human rights report in internal conflicts in nations (Miller 95). The UN may also threaten to leave a state due to the humanitarian struggles which are dissolved in internal conflicts of a state. A striking development was the emergence of a relative obscurity for the least used approaches for internal conflict resolution. The approaches may shift from the zero-sum logic to the confrontation of interests in internal conflicts.

The conflict transformation approach is a strategy used by the UN and other peacekeeping NGO’s to reach an accommodation for the conflicting parties through the interactive processes. The approach is used to reconcile tensions especially in conflicts taking place within a state as well as redefining the interests by striking a common ground. The strategy makes the assumption that the conflict of interest is socially constructed and malleable in the efforts to reduce the intergroup tension in the state as well as making peaceful settlements. At times, the intergroup conflicts especially those concerned with political identity within states are seen to have emotional and perceptual aspects which can be transformed through recognition of new probabilities in search for an answer. The approach in conflict transformation is seen as the purest form of techniques used by most NGO’s, including the United Nations through the approach of interstate conflict resolution, problem-solving workshops and citizen diplomacy (Herbst, 288). The approach allows meetings to the groups in conflict as they try to understand each other and create an environment that is more productive for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In the past few years, conflict transformation strategies have promoted the peacekeeping organizations, amongst them, the UN in spreading ideas for alternative dispute resolution in the emerging democracies or states in the world. The truth commissions in Latin American nations and South Africa adopted the conflict transformation approach as they worked in developing a shared understanding of history on the basis of emotional reconciliation, reducing tension and providing a more cooperative political environment (Fukuyama, 1225). The noninterference of the internal affairs of the sovereign states provides the respective governments the authority to influence conflicts within their jurisdiction without the outside control (Snyder, Herald, and Diesing, 315). Though it was a norm that was broken by the superior authorities that were acting on their own interests in the sphere of influence. They have rarely shifted the attention with the interest of the global regulations that held the nations liable for common standards.

The situation started to change after the Cold War when the powers such as democratic control, self-determination and the human rights of the people who were solicited by the nations which oppressed their citizens. For instance, the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 became a historic illustration with this regard, which allowed an oversight of 35 signatories of the human rights conditions for every territory. The efforts of the Helsinki Watch groups in the previous Soviet administration, the destructive movement was against the apartheid rule and the democracy revolution (Therése, and Wallensteen 542). Moreover, the indigenous movement by the American people signified the ability of the global norms of galvanizing the world position for resolving the conflict.

The world is far from what is good for the human race, with the consistent outweigh of the prerogative states. Nevertheless, there are indicators of the universal norm listed in the United Nations Charter as well as other international documentation, which are contained in the transnational entities that pile pressure on the states (Coomaraswamy n.p). For instance, the regulations on human rights through the initiation of the CSCE and the OSCE have resulted in an increased grasp for the international community to counter the organized state conflicts against the minority associations. The negotiations on the tension raised through the international law between the noninterference norm, the human rights and the self-determination of the people. The tension leads to a new consensus that offers assistance to the minority groups whose rights have been violated (Omi and Winant 248).  Within the OSCE, the norms emerged through specific conditions in favor of the working cohesive arrangements with preference to succession or the dissolution of the minority groups in the states. The increasing international integration of the rules of the populist decision-making process make it more legal for the nations, the sponsors and the NGO’s to help the structural institutions for the weaker states and act against the interests of the actors of coup de ’tat.

The increased popularity of the approached in international conflict resolution is a persistent component in the new world governance. There are however forces which have made the strategies more attractive for their own interest. The interstate conflicts have continuously posed a big threat to the global wellbeing since the nonstate interest is important. When the global integration makes the foreign policies, it becomes increasingly difficult to mobilize the UN council and peacekeeping institutions on the logical and uniform notions of national engrossment. Conflict resolution within states was most reliable in the previous regimes due to the transnational actions of the non-state players and the methodologies which were not dependent on the archaic definition of national engrossment. Nations are critical players in international cohesiveness with the likelihood of interstate confrontations being a critical concern (Herbst, 285). The current occurrences have built a more diverse multidimensional stage for international conflict, with interest on both states interests and the nonstate players as part of dealing with the problem. NGO’s, for instance, the UN and other humanitarian conflict resolution missions have a better chance of striking a balance in interstate conflicts in the world politics.

Work cited

Coomaraswamy, Radhika. Preventing conflict, transforming justice, securing the peace: A global study on the implementation of United Nations security council resolution 1325. UN Women, 2015.

Fukuyama, Francis. State building: Governance and world order in the 21st century. Profile Books, 2017.

Herbst, Jeffrey. States and power in Africa: Comparative lessons in authority and control. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Miller, Linda B. World order and local disorder: The United Nations and internal conflicts. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Moore, Christopher W. The mediation process: Practical strategies for resolving the conflict. John Wiley " Sons, 2014.

Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial formation in the United States. Routledge, 2014.

Pettersson, Therése, and Peter Wallensteen. "Armed conflicts, 1946–2014." Journal of Peace Research 52.4 (2015): 536-550.

Salem, Norma. Cyprus: a regional conflict and its resolution. Springer, 2016.

Snyder, Glenn Herald, and Paul Diesing. Conflict among nations: Bargaining, decision making, and system structure in international crises. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Wallensteen, Peter. Understanding conflict resolution. Sage, 2015.

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