76 years of the UN: Its triumph and failures

On the 24th of Oct 1945, a charter was implemented. It was historical because first time in the history of human beings majority of the powers were committed to maintaining international peace and security, upholding international law, achieving “higher standards of living” for their citizens, addressing “economic, social, health, and related problems”. But has the UN remained successful to fulfill its pledges, the answer is quite controversial.

The journey of the UN has never been easy. In its 76th year, the UN is in more hot waters as the world facing a climate crisis, a global pandemic, great power competition, trade wars, economic depression, and a wider breakdown in international cooperation.

We could say that the UN remained failed many times; on the other hand, it has a lot of achievements. UN is not here to take humankind to heaven but to save it from hell. We can’t neglect its services for humanitarian aid.

One of the recognized is the World food program. It is the World’s largest humanitarian agency, every year it provides food to 80 million people of 75 different countries which are affected by civil war, natural disasters, famine.

Another prominent achievement of the UN is the creation of a peacekeeping force. This mission involves the use of impartial and armed UN forces, drawn from member states, to stabilize fragile situations. “The essence of peacekeeping is the use of soldiers as a catalyst for peace rather than as the instruments of war,” said then UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. Pakistan has much more contribution in peacekeeping force from the rest of the countries. The UN secretary-general acknowledged many times the significant role of Pakistan.

But if you look at the UN as a political entity things get murky. UN has remained drastically failed to play a vital role in major issues like the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, civil conflict in Syria, Iraq Invasion, and the failure of the Security Council to adopt a COVID-19 resolution, calling for ceasefires in conflict zones and co-operative international response to the pandemic.

The major reason behind these failures is the political influence of great powers. In my opinion ‘Veto’ power is like a poison that seeps through the entire system of the UN, which just not affects the Security Council judgments but also Nobel causes.

In simple means only 5 countries (P5) are ruling the world, they have the right to reject the decisions which are acceptable by the majority of the countries without mentioning the rationale of rejecting. The solution to protecting the world is the expansion of the Security Council members because the global power infrastructure is changing and the P5 cannot hold longer the representation of the rest countries. And there should be an amendment in the infrastructure that P5 should be accountable to mention the reason for using ‘Veto’ power. If they are not able to portray the suitable reason. They should be penalized.

P5 has found ways of playing off the rest of the world against each other so that they cannot come up with a coherent plan. So, it is time to rethink the United Nations.

Written by Wajid Ali | Lahore