Impact of Global Organisations on Managing Global Issues and Conflicts

Global Organisations

  • The United Nations was the first post-war IGO to be established and has grown in importance since. It has a role in global governance and peacekeeping, but members of the Security Council have different geopolitical visions.
  • The UN tries to ensure human rights and freedom from discrimination and abuse by supporting international justice. The UN also have a role in managing global environmental, socio-economic and political problems.
  • Interventions by the UN involve economic sanctions and direct military intervention which is made to defend human rights. These interventions have a mixed record of success.
  • For example, the UN forces in Congo have been accused of not providing aid after peacekeepers failed to provide assistance in Mavivi after attacks.
  • In a report of 2014, Human Rights Watch accused peacekeepers of failing to respond to repeated calls for help during an attack which killed 30 people. The peacekeepers were only 9km away but arrived two day later.
  • It is however reported that the UN has placed the toughest sanctions in the world on Iran which has been beneficial in driving forward peace.
  • Some member states, such as the US and Russia, have worked independently from the UN in intervening in ‘failed states’ which impacts geopolitical relations and global stability.


The Role of IGOs

  • The IMF, WB and WTO were created by world war two allied nations and have been vital in maintaining the dominance of western capitalism, global economic management and trade policy (free trade).
  • Global borrowing rules and trade policies have been effective in delivering growth to the developed world, but the impact of Structural Adjustment and HIPC policies on the developing world’s economies and economic sovereignty is disputed.
  • Jamaica, for example, is under massive debts and loans from the IMF and World Bank exacerbate the situation whilst preventing the nation from growing efficiently.
  • Jamaica spends twice as much on debt repayments as it does on education and health combined. Structural adjustment programmes have not been beneficial in Jamaica.
  • During the 1980s, the number of registered nurses fell by 60% whilst food prices increased whilst the IMF held down wages.
  • Membership of global trade and financial IGOs is almost universal but regional groups have also emerged, such as NAFTA and SEATO.


IGOs Managing Environmental Problems

  • Some IGOs aim to improve environmental issues such as the quality of the atmosphere and biosphere. IGOs have been involved in developing laws for managing oceans, such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and international rivers, such as the Helsinki Rules. These agreements promote security, sustainability and peace.
  • IGO responsibility also includes management of Antarctica as a continent of peace and security. The Antarctic Treaty System was created to prevent nations from exploiting resources and spoiling the pristine Antarctica. This helps promote biodiversity and sustainability.