Tag Archives: world peace

A better world still starts with ourselves

23 Oct

‘We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war..’

This week, it’s exactly seventy years ago since the United Nations were officially established in the town of Lake Success, USA. The world’s most optimist political experiment to date.
Do you think these nations would have been so determined to unite when deep down inside they did not believe it was possible to create world peace, even though many scaremongers liked and still like us to believe differently?

Nowadays, not a lot of that original optimism seems left. People seem to mostly complain about the UN. That it’s a huge talking machine. That bureaucracy is slowing things down. That the organisational structure is not up to date. That in the end, it’s all about the money, or the arms industry, or the G7. That the Security Council is paralysed by its veto system. That the Milennium Goals have not been met. That the UN have not succeeded in preventing war in Syria. Or Sudan. Or Mali. Or former Yugoslavia. That it’s ridiculous that the UN Human Rights Council is chaired by someone from Saudi Arabia. That Ban Ki Moon has the charisma of a goldfish.

All true.

But the biggest problem is not the lack of trust of others. It’s a lack of trust of the UN in itself. Do they still believe in it, in their power to save us from the scourge of war? Or have they settled for the status quo? Seventy years on, not a lot seems left from the orginal optimism of those determined peoples.

The PR machine likes us to believe differently. If you wouldn’t know any better, the UN look like an international music venue, where stars and heads of state can lay their humanitarian eggs. Plenty of volunteers: Agenlina Jolie, Emma Watson, Leonardo di Caprio, Stevie Wonder, all are eager to drop by for the good cause. A speech, a nice photo op with Mister Ban, and bam, another press release is sent. But this ‘Malalisation’ of the UN, with all its good intentions, is not helping them at all. The last thing the world needs now is another speech with another selfie with another star.

Far from the spotlights and red carpets those same UN are struggling with huge deficits. Lots of donors are not stepping up to the plate when it comes to the cold hard cash. Recently, researchers at the Global Policy Forum warned about the growing gap between the world’s problems and the UN’s capacity solve them. Furthermore, there seems to be an increasing financial dependance on big multinational companies, who by sponsoring the UN are buying more and more influence.

Rather than putting themselves on sale, the UN should believe in themselves again. In the feasability of that radical idea of seventy years ago: that it’s in fact possible to create a better world. The world nees that kind of optimism now more than ever. But all of that starts with ourselves. The UN is just as strong as its member states make her. We, the peoples of the United Nations.

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