International Organizations: A Comparative Approach to the Management of Cooperation

By Robert S. Jordan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE

Universal International Organizations as Practical Necessities

The basic predisposition for the establishment of the United Nations, as well as its predecessor the League of Nations, was to avoid the devastating loss of life and property caused by two catastrophic world wars. The United States's failure to join the League, which contributed to that organization's ineffectiveness in the maintenance of peace during the 1930s, was a prime stimulus for the United States to become a charter member of the United Nations.

The assumption was that if the goal of settling international disputes peacefully could be attained, the security of all states would be enhanced. This notion gave credence to the notion of collective security—or the deterrent to aggression of “all against one.” Indeed, it had become obvious to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from the outset of World War II that even the most powerful state on earth might not be able to assure the security of its citizens and the integrity of its territory without the aid of some kind of postwar international security organization. 1


UNIVERSAL IGOs: THE U.N. FAMILY

The need for such a universal IGO was inferentially recognized as early as 1941 in the famous Atlantic Charter, which was announced by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This document aimed at the creation of a permanent IGO which would provide for the disarmament of the defeated aggressor states “pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security.” 2

Following deliberations by the State Department's Advisory Committee on Post-War Foreign Policy and consultations between the president and congressional leaders, proposals were drafted for a permanent

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