most markable achievement of the United Nation was the development of
International Law which moved into a new dimension not only to protect “states’
rights but also individuals’ personal rights.” The concept of International
Law governing state alone changed and resulted in the establishment of
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg for charges against the Nazis for
crimes against war, peace and humanity. The same in the Far East was known as
Tokyo war Crimes Trial. The UN propounded four goals with 192 member state – to
maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations, achieve
cooperation and harmonize the actions of nations. Despite their disparities, each
member state carries one vote in the UN General Assembly. The Anti- Personnel
Mine ban convention or the Ottawa Treaty is an instrument of International Law.
158 countries have signed the treaty while 37 states including countries like
US, India, Russia and China are not party to the convention. Diana, The
Princess of Wales and Former Canadian foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy
who also sponsored the treaty and nominee for Nobel Peace Prize (1997) created
public interest in the banning of antipersonnel mines.
Since International Law is a
network of treaties and agreement and application of treaty to certain dispute
was vague, in 1945 The International Court of Justice was formed which served
as the Principal Judicial organ of the UN. In the end of World War II and cold
war, treaties for controlling and limiting nuclear weapons emerged. But by the
end of 2002, with the agreement between the US and Russia nuclear warheads
reduced. In 1948 The Universal Declaration on Human Rights was adopted by the
UN due to Nuremberg Trials which was held for bringing Nazi war criminals to
Justice. . International law has turned its dimensions to focus on terrorism
and crimes where conventions against torture and Genocide applies in times of
war and peace while conventions against Geneva applies only in times of armed conflicts.
When looked back, Saddam Hussein was charged under Genocide trials by the Iraq
court. The UN has aided nations to get equal legal status whilst it still faces
enforcement problems for some of its programs. But with growing globalization
the need for uniform law continues.