chapter  13
20 Pages

Universality, the UN and the Organization of the Islamic Conference: single, complementary or competing legal orders?: Katja Samuel

The focus of this chapter is on the concept of universality which lies at the heart of the UN’s existence and the achievement of its primary Charter purposes and principles. This includes the development of its legal norms, as well as their ultimate acceptance, implementation and enforcement within the UN’s membership. However, the attainment of universality can be difficult to achieve in practice because some elements of the UN’s membership and core business are, and are likely to remain, multipolar. This may explain why some entities, both states and organizations, may be unwilling or even unable to endorse fully some UN norms which are developing or have been established, such as in the field of human rights. It is important to identify and better comprehend these multipolar tensions, not least as they may require that alternative methods and solutions be developed for approaching traditional law and policy-making issues within the UN system if the UN is to achieve effectively its primary objectives in practice.