United Nations Successes And Failures Essay Research

United Nations- Successes And Failures Essay, Research Paper

The United Nations: Successes and Failures The United Nations is an organization that works to maintain international peace and security. A further goal of the UN is to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of people. They also strive to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems. Countries from every part of the world belong to the United Nations. The United Nations has achieved both success and failure in its work. It has been involved in resolving many small conflicts that may have developed into major wars. It has also been instrumental in helping people all over the world to gain freedom and a better way of life. But disagreements within its members and also financial problems limits the major goal of peacekeeping. By understanding what the United Nations was set up to do and looking at how it was designed to do it one can see that despite its noble efforts it has numerous problems. Even before the end of World War 11 the need for the United Nations was recognized by the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, he made the bold statement “This time we shall not make the mistake of waiting until the end of the war to set up the machinery of peace.” Together with the leaders of Britain, the Soviet Union and China the basic plans for the United Nations were started. The world was weary after two world wars and all could agree that such a war could never happen again. With that ambition, the United Nations was formed on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco, when 51 nations signed the UN Charter. The UN Charter sets forth the principles of the organization and the rules by which it is run. The United Nations was officially established on October 24, 1945. Its headquarters were and still is in New York City. The United Nations has been set up with two separate divisions. The purpose of the two separate parts is so that both the larger and smaller powers major issues could be addressed. One division is the General Assembly , where each country has a vote. The General Assembly meets annually in September, but they can assemble at any time for emergency debates. It is at the Assembly that nations can voice their opinions on numerous issues. It has been called “the town meeting of the world.” Decisions can be made by a majority vote, but on more important issues a two-thirds vote is needed. The other division is the Security Council which is controlled by the major powers. It’s primary responsibility is the maintenance of world peace and security. The Council is made up of five permanent members, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China. Each has veto power over any decision made by the UN. This gives these Super Powers the larger role in the United Nations. The Council also has ten nonpermanent members which are elected to a two year term. The General Assembly and the Security Council are just two branches of the six major branches that were set up by the UN Charter. The other branches are the Secretariat, which helps all the other branches to do their work efficiently. The Economic and Social council has many duties including promoting human rights, and helping people gain a better way of life. The International Court of Justice handles international legal disputes. The Trustee Council is in force to protect the interest of territories that are not self-governing, until they are independent. The United Nations had an impressive start. Many world issues have been discussed. In 1948 an outstanding Universal Declaration of Human rights was adopted. Valuable humanitarian work was initiated to alleviate poverty, hunger, sickness, and the plight of refugees. International standards were established, such as safety standards for ships and aircraft, health certificates for travellers to some

regions, uniform postal rates and the assignment of space and broadcast bands. The United Nations was closely involved in the efforts to make peace in the conflict between India and Pakistan from 1947-49. The United Nations also showed it’s military muscle when soldiers under its flag went into Korea in 1950, and into the Congo (now Zaire) in 1960. Presently the United Nations peace keeping forces are in Central America, Iraq, Cambodia, and Bosnia to name just a few. In the last 54 years the United Nations has made its mark. Along with the United Nations many success have been the obvious failure to live up to its mandate to “maintain international peace and security .” While the United Nations has preformed many valuable services it has in many ways failed to maintain peace and security for many important reasons. The core issue is the UN’s unfairness in how the five permanent Security Council states use the UN as a tool. These Superpower states use their veto power to clear themselves in the UN whenever they are seen as aggressors. The reality of trying to accommodate all nations large and small was much harder to do than originally anticipated. The United Nations is a organization that promotes democracy, yet at times it can be very undemocratic. When the United Nations was first established, a concept of a system based on compromise, negotiation and co-operation for maintaining international peace and security under the provisions of the Charter was envisioned. That vision was soon clouded over by the differences of the major powers. These major powers often exert the importance of their problems over the problems of the world. International goals must take precedent over goals of individual countries. Besides the pressures the United Nations feels from the Superpowers there are also other reason to be critical of the United Nations. First, for the most part the United Nations can make decisions but it cannot enforce them. Serious world problems are regularly discussed in great detail, resolutions are passed, and then often ignored or forgotten. And finally ,the efforts of peacekeeping is extremely expensive, and can continue for years. For example Cyprus has had peacekeeping operations for over 35 years. Sadly, most countries despite the United Nations efforts return to fighting. The UN has been involved in peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia, but still there were terrible atrocities committed against the people of Kosovo, so much so that NATO has been bombing Serbian troops for over three months. The task of bringing complete peace is just too complex and difficult for the United Nations. Nevertheless, it is still a valid organization that does much good. The United Nations has grown from the original 51 members in 1945 to 185 members today. It remains a strong organization, that has been instrumental in economic development, international law, human rights, health, the environment and it has played an important role of peacekeeper. Without the UN there would undoubtably been many more and longer lasting invasions of other states. Also, it may have helped to prevent a third world war. It is also clear that it has at times been manipulated by the Superpowers for their own gain. Ideally there needs to be a redistribution of power to make the UN a much more efficient peacekeeping organization. The United Nations has had successes and failures, but it is needed to negotiate between disputing nations and as a developer of human rights for all. by Colton


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