Reforming the United Nations: Problems and Solutions

For the sole purpose of simplicity, I have decided to talk about the problems within the organization and then list the straightforward and simple solutions that should take action in order to solve the issues that prevent the UN from performing as well as it should.

The United Nations is a relatively powerless and pacifist organization. I’m not saying it should go out and attack countries whenever they step out of the line, but the UN is not an organization that functions as the president, king, or emperor of the World. It is an organization by the people, for the people, and all it can do is give sanctions (which can also take a long time to be processed and approved by the members of the United Nations). Another point in support of the powerlessness of the UN is that representatives sent to the United Nations have no real power and are only spokespeople for their people; they can’t really change anything.

For an organization to work and everyone to be heard, there must be equality and democracy amongst all the members. The UN has lacked this basic point since its creation; there are five members that can choose to veto any resolution they please, these members are: United States of America, Russian Federation (former Soviet Union), United Kingdom & Northern Ireland, People’s Republic of China, and the French Republic. These founding countries of the United Nations can not only veto whatever they please, but they are also permanent members in the most important branch of the United Nations, the Security Council. In the Security Council there are 5 members which were mentioned above and do not rotate, and 10 other members that rotate every two years (188 member states seek to get these 10 rotating seats).

How can the United Nations allow countries that are currently at War to vote on the peace resolution of another country? How can countries such as China which do not respect the human rights of people within their country be a part of the United Nations Human Rights Council? These are questionable practices which make it seem as if this organization is fighting against policies with countries that maybe not promote, but have these same policies.  “This appalling situation has seriously eroded the credibility and effectiveness of the UN’s human rights system, and of the UN as a whole.” (UN Watch) How come every criminal head of state in the world can go to the meetings with complete immunity?

How much power does the United Nations really have? When the United States and the United Kingdom wanted to go to war with Iraq, France and other countries vetoed the move, but they went ahead with it anyways. The 5 main countries within the United Nations have lots of power, but the organization itself proves to have no power whatsoever.  The United Nations is only as strong as its members wish it to be; since there are some countries with more power, some get to control most decisions and that’s how it has always operated. (This is only within the Security Council which discusses and decides what will happen with past, current, and future conflicts.) The powerful can not only go to war without being disturbed, but they can also impose sanctions on the weak countries if they want to. This last point will be a great influence towards the poverty, hunger, and great loss within the nation in which the sanction has been imposed. Hypothetically: if the United States and the United Kingdom want to go to war with any country in the world, what can the United Nations do? Absolutely nothing; the United Nations is not a body that can operate on its own and therefore has no power to do anything against its strongest members.

Conclusion:

Who is to be blamed for this? The Secretary General and/or the way everything works? Which body of the United Nations is the one that makes everything else fail and not function properly? The United Nations is not to blame; “farmers cannot blame a piece of land for not growing fruits and vegetables; it is the farmers themselves who are not working together and are not cooperating with each other in order to ensure that the land is growing what it should and in the volume that it should.”

Solutions:

The 5 countries that can veto: United States of America, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, People’s Republic of China, French Republic, and the Russian Federation should give up their right to veto and should also become rotating members in the Security Council. In order for other countries around the globe to believe that the United Nations can function properly and that there is total equality amongst nations, these 5 delegations need to renounce their privileges and continue discussing in a democratic way within the Security Council.

The United Nations needs a person, organization, or separate branch within the United Nations that makes sure that all the members comply with the principles of each commission and council.

The countries within the United Nations need to consider their roles and think of what they really need in this world which is peace; countries need to stop competing with each other and start cooperating in order to ensure security throughout the world. Each country should leave its own interests behind when entering the United Nations building and understand that they are not discussing way to make their own country richer or more prosperous; they should ensure that the rights of people around the world are enforced. This goes especially for the stronger nations in the world that should help the weaker nations to develop so everyone can be given a chance in life regardless of where they were born.

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