Over the last decade I’ve watched a world that hasn’t been at peace. When I first signed up (the first time, but that’s a story for the future) it was August 2001 when I was attested into the Royal Signals. At a time, in my life, where peace was starting to come around. Then September 2001 occurred and the world changed. Since then, nothing has been the same, but I want to look at an organisation that was funded a massive £4,412 billion ($7.54 billion) by the governments of the world. Is this organisation fit for purpose?
UN Charter, Article 1
The Purposes of the United Nations are:
1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
The United Nations is not fit for purpose. For the last decade is has failed globally to commit, follow through with and accomplish any part of Article 1. Since Bosnia the United Nations has struggled to make itself impact on the global scene. Civil Wars, threats to peace within smaller nations from “Big” nations or humanitarian crimes/war crimes, the UN hasn’t been there.
Obviously the worlds media will not want to show this, they won’t want such a global, money making organisation out to be nothing more than what it is; a waste of time. The massacre of Bosnians during the Bosnian War and the slow reaction of the UN was the precursor to what has become the standard format of UN reaction. The fact that the actual military force that led the war was NATO organised, it was sadly trapped beneath the blue helmet of peace keeping. Still the slow reaction caused more deaths than it prevented and we can see the same for any conflict that has occurred since, where the UN COULD have prevented loss of life by being more vocal and aggressive regarding the stance of the world. Instead they hid behind paperwork, walls of policies and debates, within fortresses of absence.
The next major, media covered conflict, where the United Nations flashed its kitten claws was Ukraine and Russia. Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has expanded and fought to regain lost territory after the fall of the Soviet Union. It has often failed to defeat such small nations, or sat down and agreed to certain “Requirements”. Where was the United Nations? How did they stop this hyper-aggressive attempt to retake territory that is no longer theirs? How would the world react if England invaded India again? After Russia annexed Crimea and the Ukraine asked for support where was that support? When did the UN actively step in and say “Wait a minute, get your troops out now.”? It didn’t, instead relying on the combination of the EU and NATO to put a clear and simple warning shot across the bow of the Russian War Machine. It sort of worked, I imagine that the Crimea was the test bed for the rest of the Ukraine, so it worked per se. Also look at MH17, a clear breach of human rights, a direct breach of Article 1, yet nothing has been done. It took the Dutch and Malaysians to sort it out themselves, without the help of the United Nations. When the evidence is presented I can, within a certain realm of assurance, put money that the United Nations won’t attempt to find those guilty, it will let the EU take care of that.
Finally we cover Gaza. The Gaza strip is currently the hot bed of one of the worst conflicts of the modern age. Without going into political/propaganda details, civilians are caught in the crossfire, dying in droves. Neither side will step down, neither side will sit at a table and talk. Despite United Nations workers and buildings being caught in the shelling and gunfire, they have done absolutely nought. Nothing. Nada. People are dying and the United Nations sits on its hands.
Now with nearly £4 billion pounds in your budget, which is probably the same yearly budget most small/average nations get, you would think the United Nations could/would do something. Instead they host meetings about actions, actions that create more meetings, that eventually fall into a final meeting where one of two things happen: “Nothing” or “Veto”. The United Nations isn’t fit for purpose, in anyway shape or form. It hasn’t managed to stop or hinder a serious civilian loss of life since its creation, instead it creates rules and regulations that bind it further into a web of inaction and lack of purpose. What my question is, to any member of the UN, is where is that money going?
Now the easy answer is: Foreign Aid. If that IS the case, then why do most nations pay extra for foreign aid? Surely we can just give it to the UN, let them spend it on food/water for those who need it. The second is: Education. Okay, that’s a fair comment, but what else? The WHO is struggling to find help with the recent outbreak of Ebola within Africa, where’s the UN? The Palestinians need a knight in shining armour, where’s the UN? The Ukrainians need to stop the Russians giving Rebels weapons and arms, where’s the UN? No-where. Its too busy tied up in meetings, discussions and debates. I would even go as far to say that their inaction has caused more deaths.
Maybe it is time for the United Nations to go through a serious shake up, change its policies and how it operates. Palestinians are dying, NATO is gearing up for another Cold War with Russia and Africa is about to become the birth place of the worst modern epidemic. Where is our UN to save us? No-where, and no-where it shall remain.
As we enter this darker period of humanity, I pray we all survive long enough to remember: We’re all humans.