United Nations and multilateralism: appraising USA’s unilateralism in world affairs

  • G. S. Mmaduabuchi Okeke
  • H. Nnaemeka Nnubia


Multilateralism as symbolized by the United Nations Organization, seems to have come under threat today, and nowhere is this more evident than in the United States-United Nations relations particularly in the area of military interventions around the world. The aim of this paper is to appraise the practice of the principle of multilateralism over the years and the implications of the growing disregard of the principle by the United States as its unilateral actions in world affairs in recent times indicate. Using realist approach as the framework of analysis, and data from secondary sources, this paper argues that the U.S. unilateral actions are mainly driven by its national interest of global hegemony which it strives to consolidate by demonstrating and reinforcing its military power across every nook and cranny of the world. It concludes that these unilateral actions (like the US invasion of Iraq) are not only at variance with the Charter of the United Nations which the U.S. is signatory to, but also constitute a serious threat to global peace and security, as well as the survival of the United Nations. This is because such actions are partly responsible for the skyrocketing global arms race, the increasing aggression of strong states against weak states, and the decreasing power and influence of the United Nations in world affairs as the lingering crisis in Syria demonstrates. All these events could lead to the collapse of the United Nations, and likely another world war in foreseeable future unless urgent and proactive measures are taken by all the concerned stakeholders in the international system.

Keywords: United Nations, multilateralism, United States, unilateralism, national interest, UN Charter


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057