United Nations

During the First World War several world leaders such as President of the United States(U.S.) Woodrow Wilson and South African Prime Minster Jan Smuts, advocated the need for an international organization that preserved peace and settled disputes by arbitration. When peace negotiations began in October 1918,United States president Woodrow Wilson insisted that his Fourteen Points serve as a basis for the signing of the Armistice . The Armistice included the formation of the League of Nations (here after refereed to as the League). And as the years went by the League grew to be a formidable organization. It\'s goals and objectives were precise, they were to attain and maintain world peace. By 1935 the League had declined severely. And In 1945 the League ended and the United Nations (referred to as the UN) took its place. There were a lot of similarities between the two organizations, however the differences were apparent as well. Scholars have tried to ascertain why the League failed to achieve its goals. What were declining factors? Moreover, is the UN a direct result of those factors with a few modifications to satisfy the demands of the world today. The object of this paper to analyze Whether the UN is a direct extension of the League and if so why or why not and under what circumstance?

By 1919 the idea of international co-operation was not new. There had been a few earlier attempts, for example:

The International Red Cross in Geneva 1964; International Telegraph Union in 1865; The International; Meteorological Organization in 1878 and the International Court, The Hague in 1899. However, these were all unsuccessful attempts. So, by April 1919 the constitution of the League was adopted in the Paris Peace Conference . The Aims of the organization were to a) to keep peace and b) to improve living conditions of men and women worldwide.

The League’s Council consisted of the great powers
(Britain, France, Italy and Japan) of 1920 who sat on the council permanently. There were three sanctions against a nation that the League took when any nation broke peace. The sanctions they took were i) Moral sanction which was a polite warning; ii) Economic sanction that was when the League stopped trading with the offender and iii); Military sanction As a last resort the League would impose its will by force. No sanction could be used if a nation used its veto. The idea was that collective action would produce collective security, and thereby peace. These sanctions mentioned were ineffective in cases such as Italy\'s action in Ethiopia (1935), Japan\'s attack on China (1937) and Russia invasion of Finland (1939). The League\'s headquarters was located in Geneva and its first Secretary General was Sir Eric Drummond. As a result of the decision by the US Congress not to ratify the Versailles Treaty , the United States never joined the League of Nations. Others nations such as Brazil, Japan, Germany, The former Soviet Union and Italy joined the League but later left the organization . The League declined rapidly from the mid 1930s to about 1945. After the Second World War, the responsibilities of the League were handed over to the UN.

Despite the many difficulties encountered since the end of the Second World War, the League’s Council has played a significant role in the resolution of a number of international disputes. Between its establishment in 1920 and 1 January 1935, the League’s Council examined a total of 76 questions on a verity of subjects ranging from border disputes to the status of war refugees and from reparations payments to disarmament. Of these questions, over 50 were eventually settled to the satisfaction of all parties as the result of the League’s Council action. A summary of the League’s successes in handling international disputes is too long to list, but the most salient cases included
 A 1920 settlement between Sweden and Finland over the Aaland (Åland) Islands,
 A complicated Treaty of Versailles-related border dispute between newly created Poland and Lithuania lasting from 1920-1923,
 The 1922 establishment of a joint administration between Germany and Poland over the status of the territory and peoples of the resource-rich region of Upper Silesia
 A 1930 plan assuring the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Romania,
 Resolutions of 1925 flare-ups on the Greco-Bulgarian and Greco-Turkish frontiers,
 A 1934