Browsing by Subject "United Nations"

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  • Hiltunen, Iris (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The purpose of this thesis is to examine the Cyprus conflict, the role of United Nations (UN) in the conflict resolution and the gender perspective adopted by the UN in the peace process. The interest for this study arises from the extensive role of the UN on the island and from the fact that the peace negotiations failed again, after decades of mediation, in July 2017. The research question of the thesis is divided into two parts. The first research question is: “How could the observations of Security Council and Secretary-General on the Cyprus question be illuminated?” and the second question is: “What could be the implications of these observations for the resolution of the conflict?” The theoretical framework of the thesis builds on Feminist International Relations and Feminist Security Studies. More specifically, this thesis focuses on Poststructuralist Feminism, which examines language, discourses and power relations embedded in language. Drawing from these approaches, central to this thesis is the concept of hegemonic masculinity. It refers to practices that legitimize the position of the hegemonic group in the society and enforces the subordination of other groups. The concept has been formulated into four analytical tools that are used in the analysis. They are the Greek citizen-warrior model, the patriarchal Judeo-Christian model, the honour/patronage model and the Protestant bourgeois-rationalist model of masculinity. The data of this thesis consists of the reports of the Secretary-General and Resolutions of the Security Council from May 2015 to July 2017. The analysis is conducted through a qualitative content analysis. As results, this thesis proposes that the observations of the UN can be illuminated mostly through the bourgeois-rationalist model of masculinity. Some observations can be highlighted with the citizen-warrior model. Some hints of the patriarchal Judeo-Christian and the honour/patronage model are also present in the data. The analysis suggests that the gender perspective of the UN in Cyprus is limited by nature. It is a mix of bourgeois-rationalist egalitarian values and patriarchal values from the other masculinity models. The peace process imposed by the UN is argued for with rationality and is technical by nature. The actions encouraged by the UN on the island focus on technical aspects of the peace process but they lack in building trust between the communities. The actions of the UN on the island are also argued for with traditional security values such as hard security and survival and hints of superiority and paternalism. The results suggest that power relations exist in the UN that result in gender hierarchies. This implies that the peace process and peacekeeping operation of the United Nations in Cyprus lacks a genuine gender perspective. The lack of genuine gender perspective has negative effects on the peace process, its chances of succeeding and a solution to be found and implemented successfully. Women have not been equally included in the peace negotiations and this sets limits to the possibilities of the peace process resulting in a successful solution.
  • Hokkanen, Saana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The earth and all of its inhabitants are currently on a trajectory of multiple cascading global crises, which threaten the existence of all beings and the complex relations, which enable the functioning of all societies. In addition to posing a physical threat to human and non-human existence, the climate emergency also poses a conceptual and an ontological challenge. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the institutionalized and globalized ontological assumptions (or imaginaries) at the core of the current world-system (/ecology) characterized by capitalism. One of the main arguments in this thesis is that the perpetuation of the core imaginaries (namely those of Society and Nature’s dualism, mechanistic image of the world and hierarchical existence) at the root of current global structures, as well as the international climate responses, has led to inadequate and misinformed responses to the emergency. The methodological approach of this thesis is an incorporated synchronic and diachronic analysis which combines the world-ecological theory with the analytical tool of social imaginaries (referring to representations of individual and social existence; the ‘truths’ according to which people live and the shared understandings of ‘what is’ and ‘how it is’). The data consists of United Nations’ policy documents, which include the Paris climate agreement, the Katowice Climate package and reports from related Conference of the Parties (COP –meetings). This thesis shows how the dominant climate responses of the UN (as the main international climate actor), are built on and framed by the imaginaries at the root of capitalism as a world-system, thus continuing the global and institutional enactment of the distorted imaginaries powering the extractive, othering and exploitative practices which constitute the foundation of the capitalist world-ecology. By examining the current responses to the climate emergency within the wider world-ecological context, this thesis takes part in the increasing critical scholarly work tackling concurrent global crises from radical, alternative and multidisciplinary perspectives. It also offers a new contribution for developing the world-ecological theory further, by incorporating a new analytical tool of social imaginaries, which equips the theory better in studying complex agency within the existing conversation. This thesis is thus a new contribution to the world-ecological conversation, which with the notion of all beings being part of the same co-constitutive existence, can be extremely useful in mapping out the currently dominant global practices and structures, and the (onto)logics at the foundation of these, while simultaneously addressing the a-symmetrical psycho-social aspects of life and environment-making.
  • Sutton, David (2003)
    Peacekeeping operations have grown in scope and frequency over the decades since the establishment of the Unite Nations (UN). In particular, the optimism attending the UN’s prospects of greater leadership in conflict resolution in a new season of openness following the end of the Cold War saw increasing UN involvement in varied and complex conflicts – many involving ethnic rivalries that have surfaced amid the turbulence of the formation of new states and the spread of democracy in the last decade. Unfortunately, few of these operations have been widely regarded as successful, and some have ended in absolute disaster. There is a continuing need to search for the factors which hinder success and to evaluate the compatibility of current peacekeeping methods and assumptions with conflicts in which those factors play a significant role. Thus, this paper begins by examining the design, function and doctrine of traditional peacekeeping missions, from which a definition of success is also established. The nature and particular difficulties of ethnicity and ethnic conflict are delineated and a key interaction between these and the current broad UN approach to conflict is explored. From this understanding, two UN missions – the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) – are compared to determine whether a substantial ethnic component to a conflict may in fact emerge as a significant hindrance to successful peacekeeping operations given current methods and assumptions. The conclusion drawn is that the success of UN peacekeeping missions, which are designed to facilitate negotiated settlements with the consent of the parties involved, is seriously challenged when the conflict in question is characterized by significant ethnic animosity. It is suggested that UN planners should therefore intervene in ethnic conflict more circumspectly, and that more serious consideration should be given to more robust measures if a peacekeeping mission is undertaken.
  • Halme-Tuomisaari, Miia Marika (2020)
    In the 1940s activists lobbied for the creation of a binding international bill of rights backed up by an interna- tional human rights court as the backbone of the postWorld War II order. Together, so the activists believed, these would guarantee peace and harmony to all mankind. Seven decades later this vision has been transformed into a cluster of UN human rights treaties and expert committees known as treaty bodies to monitor them. In practice treaty bodies process documents in ongoing bureaucratic cycles, which are located somewhere between an audit ritual and a court session. This duality is a source of strength as well as vulnerability and frustration, embodying an endless navigation between the ‘utopia’ of a robust and binding legal framework and an ‘apology’ for actual state conduct. This paper explores how this duality manifests itself in the practices of the most authoritative and ‘courtlike’ treaty body of the UN, namely the Human Rights Committee monitoring state compliance over the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), simulta- neously exploring how the vision is kept alive.
  • Halme-Tuomisaari, Miia Marika (2018)
    How can anthropologists negotiate access in high‐profile, bureaucratic apparatuses, such as a UN human rights monitoring mechanism – and what can a detailed account of these negotiations tell us of such apparatuses, their operational dynamics and the processes through which they exert an impact, broadly construed? This article addresses these questions through the notion of tactical subjectivity by anchoring its discussion on the category of the intern and detailing how this category became informative of the ‘fuzzy logic’ of the UN apparatus. The article outlines three techniques mobilised in the process – name‐dropping, ‘playing blonde’ and opportunism – all embedded in a tactical matrix of exaggerated transparency. The article further shares attempts to flesh out relations and thus form ‘liaisons’ between my interlocutors and myself at sessions of the UN Human Rights Committee, the most influential of all the UN treaty bodies overseeing how states comply with their covenant‐bound obligations. The ultimate aim was to become a conspicuous ethnographer with constant access – a volatile goal in the unpredictable microstructures of this awesome global apparatus.
  • Harvala, Anna (2006)
    The UN sanctions against Al-Qaida and Taliban represent one among the many globally ongoing efforts of countering international terrorism. They were put in place to undermine the ability of Al-Qaida and Taliban to raise and transfer money, to cross borders and to purchase arms. While the ultimate responsibility for implementing UN Security Council resolutions rests with states, they need to be provided with relevant information to enable them to carry out the task. Effective counterterrorism action seems to demand strong multilateral cooperation and information-sharing in many critical areas. However, counterterrorism is also highly sensitive to states as it is linked to their security concerns and thereby to their very raison d'être. Therefore attaining states' cooperation and compliance at the UN level to support the sanctions effort may also face several problems. The focus of the thesis is on the cooperation of UN member states' with the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. It studies in what manner states indicate their support to the sanctions case by cooperating and sharing information, and how they comply in regard to two procedures of the sanctions case: the UN list of the sanctions targets as well as the states' reporting tasks. In order for sanctions to be targeted accurately, the list relies on the submission of names and on getting additional information to facilitate the identification of the targets. Reporting is one of the procedures set up by the sanctions resolutions and represents a crucial means for the Committee to receive information on the status of implementation on the ground, and thus is also crucial to monitoring the sanctions. The study looks at how states' threat assessments affect in the case. The cooperation of states is here understood in a rather broad way, meaning information-sharing, compliance and engagement of states. The view is on the different supportive and impeding elements of cooperation that are present and have impact in the procedures of the sanctions case in the context of international counterterrorism action. It links to the question of the possibilities and limits of the UN in managing sanctions against international terrorism. The data of the study consisted primarily of UN documents, those being the reports of two successive independent UN group of experts set to monitor, report and give recommendations to the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. The reports gave an overview on implementation, introduced relevant themes and summed up information on different aspects of the sanctions case. The analysis confirmed the essential role of information-sharing to the sanctions effort. There are different factors present that affect states' cooperation and compliance in the case. These mostly link to the characteristics of counterterrorism as well as the procedures in place.
  • Eskelinen, Roy (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis studies the discussion over the Estonian citizenship issue in the United Nations (UN) and in Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) from 1993 to 1997. The citizenship question refers to a case, where Estonia, according to its state-continuum paradigm, restored its pre-Soviet citizenship legislation. As a consequence, all people residing in its territory, besides people eligible for citizenship according to the pre-Soviet law, became stateless. The case of Estonian citizenship is part of the bigger paradigm change in minority questions in post-Cold War world. The thesis’ primary sources are gathered from public online archives of the aforementioned organisations. The sources consist of correspondences and other relevant documents related to the topic. The sources are analysed by small-state realism and strategic culture theories, which help to analyse the internal factors, i.e., the long-term ambition of politically allying with the West and the trauma of Soviet occupation, that had an effect Estonia’s use of language in diplomatic arenas. This framework is then combined with speech-act theory and new rhetoric’s audience centricity, which reveal the external factors that determined the factors that had to be considered in manifesting the national-strategy. Comparing the speech-acts from two separate forums reveals how a big state affects the use of language of a small-state. In the UN, Estonia mainly defends its citizenship policy against Russia’s torrent of human rights accusations related to mainly Russian speaking non-citizens in Estonia – even though the UN found no signs of arbitrary deprivation of citizenship nor human rights infringements. In the OSCE the lack of contestation results in mutually cooperative relationship aiming to integrate non-citizens via the framework provided by Estonia. In the end, Estonia is able to defend its citizenship policy on both fronts.
  • Lehtimäki, Tomi Henrik (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This master’s thesis study examines the participation of Finnish civil society actors in the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly referred to as Rio+20. The summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. The study is situated in the discussions about the limits and carrying capacity of the global environment and their relation to societal development and economic growth. These so-called 'pillars' of sustainable development (ecological, social and economic) have been a central focus of both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the United Nations from the 1970s onwards. Civil society has been posited as a crucial part of reaching sustainability. From these starting points, this study asks (1) who were the participants of the preparatory process, (2) what agendas did they promote and (3) how did it turn out in the context of the outcomes of the summit. Four different sets of data were used in this study. First, record and memos of the Environment and development group (Ympäristö ja kehitys työryhmä), which was a central working group for NGO cooperation, were used to analyze the structuring of the Finnish NGO group. The records span from 2011 to September 2012. Second, the Earth Negotiation Bulletins, a daily coverage of the negotiations, published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IIISD), were used to gain knowledge about the official inter-state negotiations. Third, five semi-structured interviews with key civil society actors representing Finnish NGOs were used. And last, notes and recording on six Rio+20 themed seminars were used to gain knowledge about the agendas of the NGOs as well as Finnish government officials, as well as the progression of the preparations. The theoretical framework is Laurent Thévenot´s sociology of engagements which focuses on disputes and the construction of commonality. The theory, combined with means of content analysis, is used to answer the above-mentioned research questions. The preparatory process mobilized a group of key actives from established Finnish associations, which were focused on developmental and environmental issues. The discussions on green economy and agendas the NGOs promoted continued from the division between the countries of the global north and the global south, and from the opposition of environmental limits and development. The NGOs constructed their agenda on the dual basis of both ecological limits and a human right-based approach to global inequality, which was then used to criticize economic growth. Analysis of the outcomes of the summit suggests a rejection of these claims. The results support a strong agenda geared towards poverty eradication, development and growth in the global south. The issue of green economy was tied to them. The findings of this study therefore present both continuations of old disputes as well as new developments. Debates in the summit preparations were locked in familiar settings, most clearly in the north-south divide, but the outcomes of the summit on the other hand suggest changes in the status of different actors situated in this division. The study concludes that for the actors engaged in sustainable development, and more specifically on global environmental problems, need to reconsider their agendas in accordance to this new constellation of actors, which emphasize the role of the developing countries.
  • Sukselainen, Silja Johanna (2003)
    The study examines the disintegration of political authority following the civil war in Somalia in the beginning of the 1990s and the United Nations peace operation in the country during the years 1992-95. On a more general level, the study is concerned with the phenomenon of "state collapse" in Africa, the international peace operations in these conflicts and the general failure of these operations to achieve peace. The aim is to understand why the international response to state collapse in Somalia has been the reconstruction of this state, and why this has been problematic for achieving peace given the reasons why it collapsed in the first place. At a theoretical level, the study aims to connect these phenomena with the idea of the state which defines the international institutional context. A social constructivist approach is adopted to gain insight into the way ideas and power are involved in institutional structures. The legitimacy of the state institution has long historical roots, which have not been considered when the model was transposed to post-colonial Somalia and this process is reproduced with the reconstruction of the Somali state following the civil war. The study finds that the UN aimed to reconstruct the state because of its interest in upholding the state system, but also because it was natural, as Somalia presented itself as an "anomaly" in the "state culture" and called for this response. The focus on the state was legitimated by the need to reconstruct it, but the specific features of the Somali conflict and its root causes were neglected. Hence, why the operation failed. The sources used in the study include research on the Somali political culture and the civil war, research and UN documents on the peace operation in Somalia as well as evaluations of the operation mostly in the form of conference reports. The theoretical sources used are conceptual developments on African statehood and conflicts, the state sovereignty institution and a number of constructivist works in International Relations theory, sociology, social theory and the philosophy of knowledge.
  • Myllylä, Martti (2001)
    This study examines the reform of the United Nations' Security Council in the light of Immanuel Kant's political theory. The present constitutional structures of the international law with their basis in the United Nations' Charter are compared with Kantian political ideas. Normatively, the present United Nations does not meet the Kantian requirements of international right, because the United Nations is only a 'federation of states', not a 'federation of free states'. Before a federation of free states could be established, the states should become states that respect human rights and have government that genuinely represent the people. The principles of the United Nations' Security Council reform should be based on the strengthening role of the international law. The Kantian way of reforming the Security Council is to establish an international federation of free states. The rights-respecting nations, i.e. the liberal democracies, should enter into a contract with each other and subject themselves to the international law. Specifically, the principle of human rights should be lifted above the principle of state sovereignty. Ultimately, this means that such difficult questions as national self-determination, the borders of individual states and the use of international force should be subjected to the rule of law. The role and authority of the Security Council should be revised to constitute only executive power. The executive power should be given to those willing to be responsible for world security and those respected by the other states. The limits of the executive power, and the international use of force, can be rightfully set only by an independent court. In view of history, applying the Kantian principles of international right in all their ramifications could be a dangerous undertaking today. But on the other hand, there are indications that at least limited reform measures resembling the Kantian ideas are becoming inevitable. In addition, in order to promote international justice, states should make their opinions on the reform of the Security Council public.