Do We Really Need a United Nations?
What is world peace? Why is it of interest to us? Who benefits from world peace? When did world peace become of interest?
All of these questions seem rudimentary that any elementary student could answer. However, when the questions are really examined and thought about more deeply, they become more complex. First off, taken simply, world peace is the concept or idea that there is universal happiness, freedom, and peace amongst all people and nations of the world. When viewed in that way, it would seem like it is of interest to us because one of the major principles of the United States is freedom and the pursuit of happiness. IT also ties into just about every mainstream religious belief of loving your neighbor and the belief of treating others the way you wish to be treated. It would seem that everyone would benefit from world peace, so why is it so hard to achieve? The main obstacle of world peace is self-interest. Peoples’ own greed and desire to be on top clouds judgment on what is truly best for everyone. Even so, the vast majority of people around the world are vested in world peace and strive for a world where one day, there is truly peace everywhere. In an attempt to achieve this goal of world peace, nations around the world came together and formed the United Nations.
Interest in world peace is nothing new. Since the beginning of human history, people have been trying to create utopian societies; a place where everything is ideal and there is no conflict. Even though world peace is nothing new, it has taken on a new meaning in recent centuries. Originally, you just would have to get along with the people in your own society because there was very little global interaction. This has drastically changed however with the improvement of technology which has lead to globalization. In our current age, the whole world is connected and conflict is no longer on a local scale, but rater an international one. This became ever apparent in the 20th century when not one, but two world wars broke out. With such a major outbreak of global confrontation, it became apparent that a solution was needed. After the first world war, president of the U.S. at the time, Woodrow Willison, suggested a program called the league of nations. The intention of it was to have a place where nations come together to discuss issues and seek resolutions. Unfortunately, it never gained enough traction and eventually failed. Which is pretty evident when looked at in context because some years later, the world was entrenched in another world war. Thankfully, we started to learn from our mistakes and realized the importance of an organization where all nations can come together with common goals and resolve conflict. This sparked the created of the United Nations at the conclusion of WWII.
The United Nations stands as a symbol for peace. It has stood the test of times thus far and continues to be an advocate for the world to work together. Many people often forget about the importance of the UN because, in most peoples’ days and lives, it has very little apparent relevance. The United Nations is one of those things that you take for granted when it is there but would greatly miss if it didn’t exist. With that being said, the UN is of great importance to the world. The United Nations is an important civic artifact because it is a tool for world peace through its resolution of global conflict, attention to human rights, and its upholding of international law.
The major goal of the United Nations is to ‘save future generations from the scourge of war’. To this end, a good portion of the structure and proceedings of the UN is dedicated to preventing future conflict. The Security Council is dedicated to keeping world peace. There are different ways the council uses it authority to keep waring nations at bay. They first explore a peaceful resolution to the conflict and even implement international peacekeeping forces to keep disputing parties apart for further negotiations. If need be, they will call upon members of the UN to place sanctions on the offending country. The very last measure the Security Council can take is taking military action against the country that did an act of aggression. The role of the Security Council should not be taken lightly and thusly the member nations of it are controlled. There are five permanent members and ten members that are elected by the General assembly on a two-year rotation. The continuity allows for a standard to be established and upheld while the rotating nations allow for a different view to be heard and different nations to have their opinion heard. This is an important thing because as we know, people from different backgrounds will have different opinions and viewpoints on issues. This inclusion gives the Security Council more credibility because there are viewed as inclusive. This also gives the impression that they have greater knowledge and thereby have the authority to make peace keeping decisions because they know what is best. There are still those out there who believe that the Security Council does not always function the best or doesn’t always act when they should. There is some validity to this argument because the five permanent members have veto power and also with so many differing nations with different special interest, there is bound to be disagreements and stalemates. However, the council often executes its duties of upholding peace to the best of its ability, which can be seen in the decrease in war and conflict between nations since the creation of the UN. Our civic lives would not be what they are today without the United Nations and their efforts to resolve global conflicts.
The United is not just focused on nations not warring with other nations, but also on ensuring nations uphold their citizens’ human rights. This duty rests mainly on the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC). How can there truly be world peace if individual people are not treated fairly? Many think of world peace as just there being no wars between nations, however, I do not hold that same view. To me, world peace includes basic human rights for everyone, no matter where they live. The UN holds this same belief and thus the ECOSOC created commissions to deal with human rights around the world. They ultimately created an international bill of rights which focuses on two parts; civil and political rights and then economic and cultural rights. Interestingly enough, there has been a trend on which countries adopted which aspects of the human rights charter. Western, more developed countries tend to adopted the civil and political rights aspect and less developed nations tend to adopt the economic and cultural rights. If looked at in context, this trend makes sense because the countries really focus on and accept aspects of human rights that are most important at the time in their societies. The Kairos of human rights changes from nation to nation because countries have different interests in what they want their societies to look like. There are nations around the world, however, that don’t uphold any human rights and unfortunately, there is not too much the UN can do about it. An example would be North Korea, a notorious offender of human rights. The UN has tried time and again to get the nation to follow international standards of human rights but their attempts by implementing sanctions have proven ineffective because of the stubbornness of the isolationist nation. Never the less, the efforts by the UN has greatly expanded human rights around the world and advanced the opportunities afforded to people who wouldn’t have had the opportunity before. If nothing else, the UN calls attention to human right infractions around the world, which then puts public pressure on that nation to right their wrongs.
An aspect of the UN that many people often overlook is its role in upholding international law. To this extent, the International Law Commission was established to create international laws dealing with war, peace, terror, human rights, and other international matters. Another aspect of the UN is that it tries people for crimes dealing with international law. The International Criminal Court deals with such cases where international law was broken. This functions as a way to hold countries and people accountable for crimes against humanity. This is where the importance of the UN really becomes apparent because there is no other system in place that has authority over so many different countries. A country or person cannot be held accountable to laws that don’t govern them because they are that of another country. Without the United Nations, misdeeds done across international lines or waters would never be tried because no nation would have jurisdiction. This role of international peacekeeper is one the UN assumes for the benefit of all of mankind.
There are many additional roles the United Nations assumes that I did not discuss that factor into it being a tool for world peace. A notable one is the UN’s mission to control arms sales and strive for disarmament. The realize the harmful nature of not monitoring and controlling arms sales across international lines and also the devastating effect nuclear warheads have on the world. All that the UN does is of importance and it can not be stated enough how valuable it is to have such an organization in our world today. They advance world peace allowing for economic and political prosperity for men, women, children, and people in fringe society. Without the United Nations maintaining world peace through the resolution of global conflict, attention to human rights, and its upholding of international law, the world would not be what it is today.
Included audience and where it is published
English class debate site or news article op. ed.
Thesis Statement: The United Nations is an important civic artifact because it is a tool for world peace through its resolution of global conflict, attention to human rights, and its upholding of international law.