International Organizations and Conflict Resolution

An international organization's effectiveness and efficiency are a reflection of the effectiveness and efficiency of the co-operation between its member states. Additionally, the quality of the agreement and whether it contains practical tools to carry out a specified purpose the organization is tasked with completing are other indicators of an IO's effectiveness. The levels of independence and centralization within an international organization are crucial for evaluating its effectiveness further.

The centralization of collective actions made possible by IOs effectively reflects and protects the interests of Member States. The IO offers more robust support for State interaction the more centralization there is. This happens because these groups are designed to be neutral venues for negotiation, the formation of political alliances, and uphold international norms, where power imbalances are eliminated. States can interact in a way that safeguards their interests.

Due to the hierarchical structure of the majority of international organizations, in which Member States supervise one another and cooperate through the creation of agreements, operational activities like the pooling of authority and resources, joint production, and norm elaboration and coordination, can be carried out effectively with a high level of centralization.

Roles of International Organizations

IOs can help with agreement drafting and implementation, support States with conflict prevention and management, and engage in operational tasks like providing technical support, developing norms, and influencing global discourse. Specifically, IOs serve as managers of enforcement and community spokespeople, according to Abbot and Snidal. IOs enforce member states' adherence to the organization's internal rules and international obligations.

A global organization's voting mechanisms must be practical and sufficiently representative of global rather than national interests if it needs to demonstrate that its right to rule has been acknowledged. Inadequate voting mechanisms can result in power imbalances and biased decision-making. This is crucial for conflict resolution and peacekeeping. One of the most obvious signs that an organization is failing is when States make biased judgments not to intervene in conflicts where human rights are being violated.

Different International Organizations involved in Conflict Resolution

The objectives and functions of international organizations vary within the global society. Some take on very narrow roles, such as the WTO, which only advocates for free and integrated trade among nations on a global level. Others, like the UN or AU, carry out several goals, one of which is conflict resolution, due to their complicated internal structures and diverse organizations. An increasing number of IOs are given missions to carry out tasks related to establishing, maintaining, and fostering peace.

World Trade Organization(WTO)

The WTO's primary goal is to settle trade disputes between nations to lower the likelihood of global conflict brought on by trade concerns. The WTO aims to reduce pressure on international relations at this logical site of stress because commerce tends to be the central area of interaction between states. The WTO generally seeks to open up commerce while offering a solid and dependable trade and dispute resolution framework.

The WTO is a multilateral trade system, in contrast to the other Bretton Woods agreements' children. The wording of the treaties is mainly left up to negotiation between the nation-state parties to the treaties, while it does prescribe guidelines for behavior during negotiation and enforcement. The need for reciprocity and the assurance that its exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other markets in exchange for similar treatment are two essential components of the WTO framework.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

One of the critical functions of NATO in terms of security is crisis management. Before, during, and after conflicts, it might incorporate military and non-military methods to address the complete spectrum of crises. As a result of expertise, tried-and-true crisis management techniques, and an integrated military command structure, it is one of NATO's strengths. One of the few multinational organizations with the expertise and resources to carry out crisis management and prevention operations is NATO. NATO can handle a variety of crises that could endanger the security of the Alliance's territory and citizens because of its strong crisis management capabilities. These crises might be political, military, or humanitarian. They can also result from natural disasters or interruptions in technology.

European Union (EU)

The EU has invested in creating early warning indicators and monitoring and analysis skills in recent years to keep a close eye on the main drivers of conflict. The EU has many tools to collaborate, fund, engage, and coordinate with outside parties to prevent conflict. The need to achieve "effective multilateralism" was heavily emphasized in the European Security Strategy. The EUGS states that "a multilateral strategy engaging all those stakeholders present in a dispute and indispensable for its resolution" must be pursued. The UN, the OSCE, and NATO are some major international organizations with which the EU has worked to deepen its relationships.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE aims to stop conflicts from starting and to help existing conflicts reach comprehensive, long-lasting political solutions. Additionally, it encourages post-conflict healing and peacebuilding. In order to achieve this, it collaborates with all relevant parties, including affiliated international and regional organizations like the United Nations. The OSCE is a crucial tool for crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation, conflict prevention and resolution, and early warning, often known as the "conflict cycle." The Conflict Prevention Center and the Organization's network of field operations are its primary tools for addressing this cycle (CPC). The CPC, for instance, serves as an OSCE-wide focal point for early warning, promotes communication, and aids in mediation and other initiatives for conflict prevention and resolution.

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

The Treaty of Versailles (1919) reinforced the international labor movement by establishing, in addition to the League of Nations, the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO was established in response to the Allied Powers' concern about social justice and industrial worker welfare, partly spurred by the October Revolution in Soviet Russia in 1917. "Poverty everywhere is a danger to prosperity everywhere," said the ILO Constitution. In 1946, the ILO was designated as a Specialised Agency of the United Nations.

It is the only international organization with a tripartite delegation composed of government, labor unions, and business representatives. It should be remembered that the ILO approved 184 Conventions and 192 Recommendations between 1919 and 2001, covering topics such as working conditions, compensation, child and forced labor, the provision of paid vacations and social security, discrimination, and trade union rights. In 1969, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting global peace and justice.

The UN Commission on Human Rights/Human Rights Council

In 1946, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was founded. It was operational until 2005. The Human Rights Council succeeded in 2006. Since its inception, the CHR has spearheaded the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the two UN Covenants on Human Rights (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights), which were subsequently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 and 1966, respectively.

The International Bill of Human Rights is made up of these three texts. Over the previous seventy years, the United Nations has adopted over 100 human rights agreements. Monitoring bodies analyze the human rights records of State Parties to nine fundamental human rights treaties. Because all states have not ratified human rights treaties, the newly established Human Rights Council introduced "Universal Periodic Reporting" - UPR in 2006, under which every UN member State submits a Human Rights report to the Council every four years documenting compliance with international human rights obligations.

India filed its first and second UPR reports in 2008 and 2012, respectively, throughout the previous decade. It is worth noting that local and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also submit alternative/shadow UPR reports to the Council, which are very critical and chronicle infractions and non-compliance. The Council frequently issues resolutions denouncing a state.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

Following the UN tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, most of the world's governments approved a treaty in 1998 to establish a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). It hears genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity from all across the world. The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened its doors in The Hague in 2003 with 18 judges. The ICC held its first trial in 2008 of a militia leader from Democratic Congo accused of enlisting minors under 15 and murdering civilians. He was found guilty in 2012.

We have persuaded many ICC member states to sign immunity deals (known as Bilateral Immunity Agreements or BIA) to protect the American military deployed in those countries from prosecution. After certain ICC members refused to sign a BIA, Congress decided to restrict foreign money to those countries in 2005. American policymakers are concerned that soldiers serving in peacekeeping operations or NATO partners will be subject to the ICC's jurisdiction rather than the American military's judicial system. The concept of universal jurisdiction, which allows the court to prosecute anyone from any country, distinguishes the ICC (and makes it problematic). This sets the ICC apart from the World Court, which exclusively has governments as complainants and defendants. Individuals can be tried under the ICC for participating in human rights breaches.


For an organization to effectively use resources in its conflict resolution methods, avoiding violence should be prioritized. The absence of a transformative peace frequently results in the recurrence of conflicts, necessitating the repeated need for IOs to intervene in the same country. The best way to accomplish this goal is to promote peace among the nation's populace. It is still true that a more inclusive approach to conflict resolution by international organizations can be more effective for the institution itself and, ultimately, for the country. This is because it can prevent further conflict by building trust between peacekeepers and the populace and increasing the likelihood that peace will last.

Updated on: 14-Mar-2023

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