As the world gets more globalized and interconnected via technology and free trade, the problems we once thought were literally a world away are now encroaching ever closer to home. Through the progression of media we get our news faster and our reactions to global events as a result are quicker than they used to be. With a more globalized community comes new responsibilities and challenges. In the past, what injustices occurred in other countries did not always concern the world, they were labeled internal matters. With the world inching together closer and closer, international bodies have been set up to deal with issues that light the way towards a more just and humane global community. The pinnacle of these organizations is of course, The United Nations. Set up as a successor to the largely ineffectual League of Nations by the victorious allies of WWII in 1945, the U.N. has been at the forefront of mediating in and if needed, exerting force to end conflicts and injustices around the globe. In this article the subject will be various examples of U.N. sanctions placed on pariah states and the outcomes of such actions.
The white minority regime in South Africa was known for its violent and repressive policies against the black majority population that often shocked the world. While images of Nelson Mandela being freed from jail and reconciling the two sides to work for a united South Africa are very well known, what is not is the effort taken by the world to condemn and eventually punish the Apartheid state via sanctions. Established in 1948, the Apartheid state of South Africa initially enjoyed unheard of standards of living in the continent of Africa, for the white minority at least. Beginning in the 1960’s, the world started to pay more attention to the racist policies of the regime. The first international act of sanctions was to bar South African athletes from competing in the Olympics. As time wore on, despite resistance from right wing governments and groups in Western nations, the sanctions were increased, so that by the 1980’s the disinvestment campaigns against the country were starting to take a toll on its economy. Capital flight was starting to make imports more costly for the government and thus spiking inflation. Eventually a reformist government under F.W. De Klerk took power and negotiated with Civil Rights activist Nelson Mandela to end Apartheid and create a multi-inclusive government.