International Institution Effectiveness is Imperative for World Survival
Written by Jackson Arnold
Editor: Akani Ngobeni
June 10, 2022
International institutions like the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO), European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) are meant to be guiding forces for global unity. However, with economic collapses, the COVID-19 pandemic and international warfare, understanding the effectiveness and impact of international institutions are imperative for global survival.
According to John Duffield, “International institutions are a central focus of international relations scholarship as well as of policymaking efforts around the world.” After World War II, the world had seen enough killing to last a lifetime, so they decided to place protective groups in power to combat these types of disasters. With the goals of a prosperous, peaceful and protected world, the world has followed the guidelines of these different organizations. Since then, there has not been another world war among the major nations of the globe.
On the other hand, how effective have the international institutions indeed been? On the one hand, alliances like NATO have been vital in protecting world peace. For example, when al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the countries in the NATO backed America as if their own country were being harmed. On the other hand, however, NATO and America’s fight in Afghanistan was one of its biggest failures, allowing the Taliban to take over as if nothing had happened when the U.S. removed itself.
Furthermore, the EU is one of the mainstays of the world trade route, acting as the biggest export of manufactured goods for over a decade. The EU has also provided great consumer benefits and even created a positive environmental agenda. However, even the EU finds itself in a challenging position with the UK leaving in the widely known breakup, nicknamed “Brexit.” They also have started to display economic inequality between members and non-members, something of concern for the people of Europe.
Finally, with the raging COVID-19 pandemic taking over much of 2020-2021, the WHO helped guide many countries through the disease, especially those who don’t have the luxury of the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Moreover, they continue to work on research to treat the virus. Even with those two strengths, the WHO finds itself with a significant weakness in the area of funding and being forced to follow the directions of donors. That leaves room for change on specific projects or the entire organization altogether. The WHO has also found itself in the crossfires of certain leaders, such as former U.S. President Donald Trump, for their involvement with different countries.
With so many strengths and weaknesses, it is up to the people to either speak up for or against these international institutions, which are meant to protect a world that may already be too far gone.
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