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联合国的未来 The Future of UN
http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/29 11:24  英语文摘


  The invasion of Iraq destroyed the regime of Saddam Hussein as it was intended to do but did it also mark the beginning of the end for the United Nations﹖ Is the UN of any use at all in a world in which a single country towers over all others in military political and economic clout and is bent on having its own way﹖

  For some people the UN Security Council’s apparent reluctance to enforce its own resolutions against Iraq was a disgrace. For others the diplomatic armtwisting and public posturing in the council by the United States was a sordid spectacle that ended with America and Britain brushing the council aside and launching an invasion without a second resolution. However the Iraq episode is viewed the UN’s standing has taken a beating. The bombing of the organization’s Baghdad offices casts an ominous shadow over its attempts to play a useful role in Iraq though paradoxically it may also have encouraged a tentative rapprochement between America and its Security Council critics. Does the UN have a future﹖

  The UN was above all an American creation. Following the League of Nations fiasco after the first world war no other country had much enthusiasm for a second attempt at a world body. Both Stalin and Churchill were openly sceptical. But for America’s president Franklin Roosevelt establishing the United Nations was a top priority. Even while America continued to fight a world war on two fronts Roosevelt devoted large amounts of time and political capital to his pet project.

  After years of planning in Washington Roosevelt seriously ill traveled to Yalta in early 1945 to win Stalin’s agreement on postwar arrangements. The centerpiece of these would be the UN. Many of the people close to Roosevelt believed that the trip hastened his death which came two months later only 13 days before the UN’s founding conference in San Francisco was scheduled to begin. Stepping into his shoes an inexperienced and somewhat shaken Harry Truman promptly announced that the UN conference would go ahead and committed himself to its success. The American delegation arrived in San Francisco armed with detailed blueprints and negotiating strategies and then spent two intense months hammering out a final agreement with 46 other countries. In the United States the result was hailed as a triumph of American diplomacy.

  The most striking aspect of this tale is that in 1945 America’s global dominance was even greater than it is today. All other great powers lay in ruins while America itself was spared bombing or invasion. America’s factories were working at full tilt. Its armed forces were the most powerful in the world by far and it was only months from unveiling a terrible new weapon the atomic bomb which no other country possessed. America’s economic output by some estimates was half of the world’s total.

  At the peak of America’s powers in other words its leaders were determined to create a multilateral institution involving as many nations as possible as a primary mechanism for ensuring American as well as global security. In his speech before the San Francisco conference Truman was explicit about the price of doing so. “We all have to recognise—no matter how great our strength—that we must deny ourselves the licence to do always as we please.” For America itself Truman argued this was a price well worth paying. The contrast with the attitude of most subsequent American governments and especially the current one could not be more stark. Many Bush administration officials seem to view the UN either as an irrelevance or as a dangerous constraint.

  Roosevelt was one of the savviest and most hardheaded politicians ever to occupy the White House. He had no intention of repeating the mistakes of Woodrow Wilson whose League of Nations was repudiated by the American Senate and then became an impotent talking shop as the world slid towards another world war. Roosevelt’s new organization was to include as many nations large and small as possible but it was to be dominated by the great powers and when they were able to agree it was meant to have real muscle.

  The conference’s participants were also under no illusions about what was at stake. The second world war had not yet ended and frictions between the United States and the Soviet Union were already growing threatening yet another round of conflict. Participants did not dream that they were laying the foundations for world government. Their aim was a global security pact strong enough to avoid another world war.

  So has the UN worked as its founders hoped﹖ Certain features which sparked fierce debate in San Francisco and loomed large in the original design—trusteeships membership requirements a permanent military staff committee a revision conference—proved irrelevant in the long term. Others such as the growth of the UN’s agencies dealing with humanitarian aid and economic development were not anticipated. There has been no third world war but how much credit the UN can take for this is at best debatable. The truth is that the organization has had its ups and downs which have largely coincided with support or hostility to it from the great powers.

  But through all its vicissitudes two of the UN’s core features have survived. As history points out it has become a forum where all states including the great powers talk to each other on a continuous basis. And with the Bush administration now seeking yet another Security Council resolution encouraging other countries to send troops to Iraq it seems clear that the UN still retains something which even the world’s sole superpower finds it difficult to do without the ability to create broad coalitions amid an atmosphere of trust and legitimacy.

联合国的未来 The Future of UN










  但是,经历了多年的沧桑变化,联合国仍然保持了两个核心特点。正如历史所显示的,它已成为包括大国在内的所有国家进行持续不断的对话的舞台。布什政府现在正努力敦促安理会通过新的决议鼓励其他国家向伊拉克派兵,从这点可以明显看出,联合国仍然拥有一种力量,而这种力量即便是世界上惟一的超级大国都很难摒弃,这就是在信任和合法的气氛中建立广泛联盟的能力。 (高健 摘译自 The Economist Sep.13 2003)


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