International law is the term commonly used to refer to the system of implicit and explicit agreements that connect nation states engaged in recognizing values and norms that differ from other legal systems; where we are talking about nations rather than citizens.
International law can refer to three different legal disciplines: public international law, private international law and supranational law.The most interesting is public international law or “law of nations” because it concerns the United Nations (International Court of Justice and Security Council), International Criminal Law, the Geneva Conventions, the Vienna Conventions and the. World Health Organization, International Labor Organization, International Monetary Fund, among others.
Public international law refers to the structure and conduct of States and intergovernmental organizations. In its most general sense, public international law consists of rules and principles of general application relating to the conduct of States and intergovernmental organizations and their relations, as well as to certain relations with individuals, natural and legal. Public international law establishes the framework and criteria for identifying States as key actors in the international legal system.
With regard to the devastating international political scene, the main organs of public international law are: the United Nations (International Court of Justice and Security Council) and international criminal law. Coming back to the evolution and practice of these organizations, it is worth recalling the handbook that guides the conduct of modern international law.
The First World War was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” And the League of Nations and the United Nations that followed were designed to keep countries in peace. But unfortunately, wars are still part of the international scene, including the emerging threat of cyber warfare.
The League of Nations was founded in 1920 at the Paris Peace Conference at the end of the First World War. It was the first international organization whose main mission was to maintain peace in the world. In fact, its main objectives, as established in its pact, include the prevention of wars through collective security and disarmament, as well as the resolution of international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. At its height, the League had 58 Member States in 1934-1935.
The League of Nations did not have its own armed forces and depended on world powers to implement its resolutions. Unfortunately, the great powers were often reluctant to intervene. In the end, the League could not avoid the aggression of the Axis powers in the 1930s. And Germany withdrew from the League, as did Italy, Japan, Spain and others.
It is interesting to note that the United States never joined the League of Nations despite the heroic efforts of President Woodrow Wilson, for whom he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. Wilson faced insurmountable opposition politicians, who called for assistance to members who suffer external aggression.
The beginning of World War II essentially proves that the League of Nations has not achieved its main objective of preventing future wars. The League lasted only 26 years and was then replaced by the United Nations at the end of World War II.
The United Nations was created with the hope of creating international cooperation and preventing another conflict such as the Second World War. When it was created, the UN had 51 member states; today, the UN has 193 member states. The UN does not maintain its own armed forces, and United Nations peacekeepers come from volunteers provided by member states.
The mission of the UN to preserve world peace has been challenged and complicated in its beginnings by the cold war. At the end of the cold war, the United Nations carried out military and peacekeeping missions around the world with varying degrees of success (or not).
In fact, although the Charter of the United Nations was drafted primarily to prevent aggression from one state to another, in the early 1990s, the United Nations faced several simultaneous crises in countries such as Mozambique, the United States and the United States former Yugoslavia, Haiti and Somalia.
More recently, United Nations peacekeepers have intervened in crises such as the war in Darfur (Sudan) and the conflict in Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. United Nations peacekeepers were deployed in 15 different missions around the world.
Although the UN certainly has not prevented wars around the world, this has certainly been beneficial in terms of various humanitarian efforts through agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations. United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).
The United Nations, like the League of Nations that preceded it, of course did not stop the war. The UN has sometimes been strongly criticized in this regard, including the inability to prevent genocide in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Rwanda, and the subsequent massacre in Srebrenica. And peacekeepers have been accused of rape and other forms of sexual abuse during peacekeeping missions in several countries.
Unfortunately, war is still a fact in international life. But the goal of peace is still very important and, although the UN and the previous League were not perfect, they had positive effects, especially with respect to humanitarian efforts.
The writer is an Advocate High Court Islamabad and teaches at the Best Law College, Rawalpindi.