International Relations Assignments

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The United Nations Security Council is the world’s primary body for maintaining international peace and security through a multilateral institution. It is the only organization within the United Nations system that has the authority to make binding decisions and to enforce those decisions through the use of force. Yet the Security Council has long been criticized for its ineffectiveness and outdated membership structure.

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Recall that the structure of the United Nations Security Council reflects the distribution of political power at the end of World War II. The Security Council has five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and ten non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly on a geographic basis for a two year term. Security Council resolutions must be approved by 9 of the 15 members, and a no vote by any of the permanent members automatically defeats any resolution (the veto power).

Suppose you were asked to recommend changes in the structure of the Security Council—particularly with respect to its membership composition and voting structure—intended to make the organization more effective. What changes would you propose? What obstacles to your proposed reform might you anticipate?

( 500 – 700 word)

assignment 2

Although international norms concerning human rights are becoming stronger, China and many other states continue to consider human rights an internal affair over which the state has sovereignty within its territory. Do you think human rights issues are a legitimate subject for one state to raise with another? If so, how do you reconcile the tensions between state autonomy and universal rights? What practical steps could be taken to get sovereign states to acknowledge universal human rights?

minimum 150 words

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