How Relevant The United Nations is Today

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The United Nations was formed in 1945 just after the Second World War. The precise date of the establishment of the United Nations is 24th October 1945. The meeting of the first members of the United Nations was in San Francisco and it had 51 members at that time.

One of the main objectives of the United Nations is to promote world peace and internationals security and to prevent another world war from happening. Noble leaders like Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin built this organization and made it so that there wouldn’t be another Nazi Germany and there would be no more Auschwitz.

This body, was to be more effective and powerful than its predecessor, the League of Nations. Eventually, this organization had failed and its failure led to the Second World War.

When the leaders made the UN in 1945, it was supposed to meet the demands of the time. Of course, they did try to inculcate some long-term objectives and some ways in which the UN would function effectively over a long period. It was supposed to be at least more effective than the league of nations.

Of course, when the mechanisms were built then, it was very effective. It was built to suit the needs of that time. In fact, the mechanisms used then is even used today.

But the scope of change for the United Nations and its mechanisms of working is little. And that is one of the focal points of criticism of the United Nations today.

There used to be a time when few would criticize the working of the United Nations and question its relevance. Critics would perhaps question the composition of the Security Council and its very controversial veto system where 5 members of the Security Council are permanent and they have all the rights to cancel any resolution at their will. Other than that, perhaps there is little criticism of the United Nations.

However, as time passed, the number of critics of the United Nations has multiplied and the United Nations finds itself in a situation where more and more people refuse to give them support and instead, questions them, their relevance and their effectiveness.

It is not very surprising to be very frank. Everything has a use by date. And the United Nations is nearing that. Unless there is a major overhaul, the United Nations has no reason to exist.

The mechanisms that were built in 1945 cannot be of significance today. It must be noted that the world has changed since then; the existing composition of the United Nations is no longer a mere 51 countries but 192. Even mean, despotic countries like North Korea, Libya and Iran have a voice in the United Nations now.

When the UN started, the Permanent 5 in the security council were major powers and therefore were granted a veto. However, now that is not the case. Many countries have become big, powerful and too significant to be ignored in the world sphere. You cannot ignore countries who have risen through the ashes. Countries like Brazil, Germany, India and Japan are very significant in the world arena. These countries have a major role to play in the world and it is absolutely unfair to have just 5 countries dominate world affairs when there are other countries who not only play a major role in world affairs, but has also gives enough competition to the countries which have a permanent seat and potentially seeks to be much better than them.

In my opinion, one of the best things the United Nations have done is the establishment of the Trusteeship Council. Liberation of so many colonies was possible due to the trusteeship council. It is very heartening to know that many colonies were given the right to self-determination thanks to this council that ensured its ensured its administrative soundness and its independence.

However, the council is dissolved now. There is no more colonies which are left to be liberated.

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One of the goals of the UN was to stop wars. It has failed miserably in its task. Maybe there hasn’t been a war on the scale of a world war, but there has been several other conflicts.

Has the United Nations stopped the war in Iraq? Did it prevent the war in Bosnia? Did it prevent the Russian incursion into Georgia?

In fact, UN resolutions have become so pointless and it has become an excuse for the permanent 5 to insult the other countries all around the world.

The invasion of Iraq was not sanctioned by the United Nations. Yet, the United States of America and its allies invaded Iraq without any sanction. In fact, they did try and get sanction by sending Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council, but the Pentagon lost its patience and they went forward with the invasion of Iraq.

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Did the United Nations stop it? No, they couldn’t.

What is the point of passing so many resolutions when they cannot be enforced? Truth is, that national law always takes precedence over international law. You can never enforce a resolution on a country. Of course, if you do enforce your resolutions in the national level, the respect for you in the world increases. That will positively affect your country when your country pursues bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Peacekeeping missions, especially now, are turning out to be failures. Congo is one of the best examples. Women and children are still being raped and killed on a massive scale when peacekeeping troops are present. Citizens of Congo are not safe even with the peacekeepers around. That in itself is the ultimate failure of the peacekeeping mission and the United Nations itself.

The United Nations does not have its own army, it relies on donations from the member countries not only in money but also in peacekeeping troops. It is in no position to enforce anything on countries.

Nevertheless, the need for the United Nations is realized every time there is an international crisis.

One of the main reasons why the relevance of the United Nations is undermined, is primarily because of the United Nations Security Council. The UNSC is the executive branch of the United Nations and its composition is a very unfair one. 5 countries out of 15 wield power to thrash any resolution that comes in the way. And this was the composition that was maintained during the inception of the United Nations.

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The power has been abused unfairly by these nations to keep other nations and their growth in check. Countries oppose this biased distribution of power and therefore disagree with the UN and try to undermine the relevance of the UN.

The UNSC must undergo a major overhaul. After that happens, the UN will be more fair and more effective. When that happens, the world opinion about the United Nations will change and people will respect the United Nations. People will find more reason to believe in the United Nations and their faith in the United Nations will help the United Nations solve the world’s problems better and the world can be a better place to live in.

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Copyright © 2011 AshwathKomath

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