More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations – Kofi Annan
The United Nations (UN) an organization established on 24 October 1945 to promote international co-operation. It was created after the Second World War to prevent another such conflict on the face of earth. Maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict are the goals UN has been striving to achieve. It’s the focal point of 193 nations, bringing millions of people together with more than tens of organizations spread across the globe.
We know first-hand that the United Nations has all the problems you would expect a 70-year-old institution to have, and more. At a time when our security is seemingly under threat from every side-terrorists, disease, climate change, population growth, natural disasters, weapons of mass destruction, short-sighted foreign policies-the UN remains a vital instrument of international governance. In an interdependent world, engagement and cooperation, not isolation or unilateralism, are the keys to security.
Going down memory lane:
And, bloody as the world has been in the last 70 years, it would have been a much worse place without the UN.The UN has initiated numerous conflict prevention initiatives and has been much more ready to authorize its members to use force to stop internal conflicts.
Through the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN has helped East and West avoid a nuclear Armageddon. The UN has served as mid-wife in the births of more than 100 countries since 1945, the great majority of which came into being peacefully. It has also helped many with their transitions to democracy; over two-thirds of the UN member countries are full or partial democracies, according to Freedom House.
The passage of a half dozen core human rights treaties and the creation of a Human Rights High Commissioner to monitor them have been signal steps in the process. An extensive international criminal justice system has developed under UN auspices.
More broadly, the UN has helped the world to feed its hungry, shelter its dispossessed, minister to its sick and educate its children. Most fundamentally, the UN has been unable to fashion a consensus on some of the most pressing issues-terrorism, climate change and, increasingly, arms control.
A world without the United Nations would have been a world without any of these crucial changes and the existence of nations at peace and integrity would have been a dream far from achieving.
THE HILL TIMES AND PAUL HEINBECKER,