The Purpose Of The United Nations (Un)

1818 words - 8 pages

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 in order to promote international cooperation. The UN was founded by 51 nations and replaced the failed League of Nations after the Second World War. Its goals are to maintain international peace, foster friendly relations among nations and to promote social and economical progress. Since its establishment, the UN has grown to 193 total members, with only 3 nations that are excluded due to political reasons. Over the course of the last 68 years, the UN has succeeded in numerous ways such as preventing war, peacekeeping and providing humanitarian assistance. However, The UN has also failed on numerous fronts due to the political discord among its member nations, especially among the five permanent nations on the Security Council.
The Parliament of Man by Paul Kennedy is an extremely informative and comprehensive book on the United Nations. The book continually refers to the original charter of the UN to provide a historical context for the reader, reminding them of the immense challenges that were present in 1945. In the first chapter, Kennedy provides an extensive overview of the origins of the United Nations, reviewing multiple conferences between the United States and the Soviet Union and how compromises were reached before the signing the of charter in San Francisco. Afterwards, Kennedy goes in-depth on the evolution of the UN from its initial foundation to its present day organization. The next chapters are organized thematically rather than chronologically. Although this does not allow readers to have a sequential view of the entirety of the UN, it does allow readers to become engrossed in the individual agencies within the UN. According to Kennedy, the UN has two sides to it, a hard side for peacekeeping and peace enforcement and a softer side for social and economical development. Kennedy shines a light on to everything the UN has done in these areas, from the most amazing successes to the worst failures. The UN was founded 68 years ago and since then the world has changed immensely. Kennedy recognizes this fact and provides several suggestions as to how we should keep the UN as a relevant organization in the ever-changing world. Unless the UN will enact reforms to represent the shifting of power, then it will soon become antiquated.
The Parliament of Man has its fair share of supporters and critics. Kennedy is correct on multiple issues such as the inefficiency/ineffectiveness of the UN in several areas and how many non-governmental organizations have had to step in in order to pressure governments into acting. In the decades after World War 2, the United Nations set up dozens of agencies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, Commission for Social Development and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs just to name a few. The missions of these agencies are indeed noble and worthwhile, however the problem is that dozens of these agencies were created. It was only...

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