Responses to a Student’s Question Via Email

I just had a couple of questions from yesterday’s class:

 Q.1) On the graphs it looked like USA give the UN the most amount of money as a percentage of the UN’s whole budget but if it was put down as percentage of GDP contributed would America still come out on top?

United States is the largest contributor to the UN budget (which is budgeted every two years). Approximately, the United States gives out 23 percent of the total UN budget. The UN Budget last year was approximately 3.8 billion dollars. So, you do the math here.

The United States has the largest economy in the world. In 2006 it was the number one economy with a GDP of over 13 trillion dollars.  I don’t think the UN wants that sort of money nor will the US Congress give such money.

Q.2) How does increasing the size of donation lead to increasing power over decisions? Wouldn’t the other countries object to this immoral political stance?

Size of the donation allows the United States to sway UN policies to its favor, however how successful the US is in this matter is subject to debate. Invariably, they end up influencing abortion policies or condom distribution or something like that. I am not sure that it really makes a dash on the foreign policy sector because other states have countervailing veto power. Well, money always influences world power. Other states are well aware of it and many of them have come to accept the American hegemony or at least they have no choice. Power Matters!

Q.3) So an international organization such as ASEAN is allowed to ask for advise from the ICJ but not Amnesty International since they are an NGO?

Yes, see my earlier post on this on the website. Some IO’s have international legal standing, not all of them though, I am not sure if ASEAN has the necessary IR legal standing or not, these things are decided on a subjective basis, besides ASEAN is a regional organization and not an IO.

NGOs are non-governmental organizations, whereas IO or IGO’s are categorized as Inter-Governmental Organizations, organizations composed of members who are states. NGOs are private organizations; hence they don’t have the same legal standing of the states. Imagine, NGO’s running around suing everybody and creating confusion and chaos for every little cause they believe in. Note: IR Law (that is public International Law) is about states, and it favors the states and not any other non-state entities.   

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3 Responses to “Responses to a Student’s Question Via Email”

  1. Kristine Resendes Says:

    I have a small question.

    If India, Germany, etc. nations are going up for possible revisions to becoming some type of (non-veto) power in the Sec. Council. (I know it is only a future idea with much confusion surrounding the possibility) However, the members of the current council are technically, by the U.N. law, the only nations allowed to hold nuclear weapons. How now is India looked upon for a perspective Sec. Council status, as it is obvious that they technically should not have the weapons like the Sec. Council powers do. Maybe it is not a big deal?

    -Kristine

  2. srinisitaraman Says:

    There is nothing in the UN Charter that says only the UNSC P5 should hold nuclear members. The nuclear weapons possession is determined via a separate treaty, which came into force in 1968–the NPT or the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. This treaty reinforces the power configurations of the P5, but India, Pakistan are not part of the treaty, and have weapons. North Korea has since withdrawn from the treaty and has weapons, Israel is an opaque power, and Iran is in process of getting them.

  3. Kristine Resendes Says:

    A-ha! I understand now! Thank you!


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