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The Search for Security

Unfortunately, both the old League of Nations and United Nations Organisation included in their Charters the idea of Collective Security ( a misnomer because what is really meant is collective military Security), an idea that has proved a sure recipe for Collective Insecurity.

For instance, the League of Nations failed because it proved unable to enforce economic sanctions against Italy in its war against Ethiopia in the 1920's with the result that the green light was given to Hitler to wage war over most of Western Europe.

The United Nations also threatens to destroy itself by giving its blessing to war, as in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf when it should be concentrating its energies on international co-operation and the true basis of international law.

Dr James Avery Joyce, referring to Mrs H. M. Swanwick's remarkable book, "Collective Insecurity" says - "Her book is a rationale against a world order which rested on armaments, collective or otherwise. Armaments could never be stopped by making them collective". There is, it seems, an inherent contradiction in the theory of Collective Security: you cannot have a peace that is based on fear, because fear destroys trust and confidence, without which there can be no peace, security, and good law.

The reality is that far from deterring war, the belief in collective security (as popularly understood to mean collective military security) has actually encouraged war by endowing the UN with a false image of itself, giving war its moral blessing.

The tragic result is that war is now waged in the name of the United Nations, thus enabling the nations of the world to feel justified in spending vast sums on armaments.

Unfortunately this philosophy has proved a disaster. Not only has it failed to achieve its objective of common security but it has also effectively deprived us of; the means and the political will of removing the causes of war; building the institutions of peace; creating a true basis international law and initiating effective international criminal courts of law.

The concept of collective security, based on a philosophy of violence, is the major obstacle preventing us looking for the alternative to war; it is also a sure recipe for collective insecurity.



United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation was established on 4th November 1946 to further peace and security by promoting collaboration on education, science and culture in order to increase "Universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the Human Rights and fundamental freedoms" enumerated in the U.N. Charter.

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