International Organizations, Constitutional Law, and Human Rights

International Organizations, Constitutional Law, and Human Rights

International Organizations, Constitutional Law, and Human Rights

International Organizations, Constitutional Law, and Human Rights

Synopsis

This study offers a broad overview of how international organizations evolved to serve the goals of their members, how the constitutional charters of organizations provide a coherent statement of these goals, and how these organizations are assuming increasing authority in the international system. Gibson traces the history of international organizations, including the United Nations, and describes the prime goals of organizations and legal-political processes. The book also includes a case study of the progression of international human rights law, focusing on the efforts of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Excerpt

With each passing year, international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization become more essential to serving the vital requirements of states and state goals of security and well-being for their central interests, especially their people. Organizations at one level serve the needs of their members and at a higher level "harmonize the action of nations" in the pursuit of common goals in the finely crafted words of Article I of the U.N. Charter and constitution. Beyond, organizations have been given authority by their members to function as independent legal actors in the pursuit of shared security and shared and progressive well-being as set forth in the goals of the organizations in their constitutions. We still reside on this small planet in a interactive system of sovereign states. Increasingly, however, the state, whether large or small, powerful or weak, is confronted with problems and challenges and with requirements for its goals of security and well-being that are incapable of solution by proud sovereign policy.

Down through the ages, political communities--now states--have had to shape rules and then organizations to facilitate the necessary relations and transactions between and among each other in a positive manner to enhance cooperation and on the other side of the coin to prevent collisions, confrontation, and conflict. There have always been states that see in confrontation and conflict the desirable option for enhanced security and well-being, however defined. But the march has been toward more effective international laws and organizations to reduce options for confrontation and conflict and, in a more positive sense, to enhance through law any organization the pursuit of security and well-being. That march has made remarkable progress since the end of World War ii and, in spite of sideshows and detours, it remains a vital progression toward international con-

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