#76 - The United Nations - Watt Thoughts
The United Nations has come under a lot of attack from all sides in recent years. From groups wanting it to be a world government to groups feeling that it accomplishes nothing. Does the United Nations fill a special need, what is it there for and is it worth America investing in?
The United nations was not formed to be a world government. It is there to serve as a method to get nations to work together and to ultimately as its goal is to bring world peace. Although the ultimate goal is not achievable in the current world, it is possible to make it a more peaceful world. The premise behind the United Nations is that countries can talk there, and that they can work together on common problems. It should never sponsor armies, but peacekeeping forces from its members.
Does the United Nations do its job? In my opinion, yes. Although spokespersons from various nations may speak on various sides of issues, allows them to. This has probably helped diffuse some situations. Remember the UN was created after World War II to prevent future World wars. In 55 + years it is successful. It has moved from just being membership basically of first world nations to basically all nations belonging. The powers of the world after World War II hold veto power in the Security Council. Those nations are the US, Russia, China, Britain and France. Ten other nations rotate on the Security Council but have no veto power. During the Cold War the USSR continuously used their veto to prevent UN from bothering communists. Generally the western countries held the majority as the other countries were Western Europe or recent colonies of West. So no veto needed. Until 1972, China was the government on Taiwan, so USSR was only communist nation. Now we all use vetoes occasionally. With the UN we basically passed through the Cold War with just regional scraps.
The UN is used many times to form Peacekeeping forces form many nations. They can work in areas where one nation would be considered trying to dominate. Afghanistan is a good example. Once bin Ladan is caught and Taliban overthrown, then the US needs to back out and send UN in. That way people will not see us as trying to run country.
The dues structure is not the best in my opinion. Many of the third world nations use the UN as a platform to attack injustices they perceive of the US, but we are expected to pay 25% of the dues. We also host the UN and provide much of manpower. As the world has changed since the 1940's I think our amount for dues should reduce. Yes, we are a major consuming country, but other nations have risen also. A method should be determined that re-determines the ratios each year.
The name has the sound of a central government, but it is only able to do things that nations allow it to. I personally have always believed the UN is good and has the capabilities to do wonderful things. I do not want it to be a world government, but a place nations can talk, and work together for mankind's improvement. As we have learned since September 11, we can not hide in the US, but are p[art of the world. I would suggest that the UN try to avoid taking positions that offend many people, such as developing radical environmental treaties, that are not workable, and meeting that promote one group over another as ways of correcting past wrongs, as they have done with racism conferences. It may be good to have these conferences, but ways must be better found to find balance in their outcome. We must learn ways to grow and to let certain things die. Through the work of WHO and other groups working with it, we have eradicated certain diseases. UNICEF has achieved ways of helping children, but then they sometimes forget their purpose.
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