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The United Nations: Why It Is Suffering And How It Can Be Improved.

2011 words - 8 pages

In 1945 the United Nations was founded with the hopes of averting another world war by "Promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all"1. Fifty-seven years later this organization still exists, but not without a seemingly constant barrage of turmoil. In recent years, the UN has faced dwindling finances, criticism of its peacekeeping forces and the indifference of several prominent nations, just to mention a handful of its notable predicaments. Most of the UN's problems seem to stem from a general lack of respect for its endeavours. In the age of a new targets of terrorism and an impending war with Iraq, true power does not seem to reside in the peaceful hands of the UN but rather within the hands of the behemoths of the world, primarily the United States of America. If the UN is ever to fully achieve the goals which they put forth in 1945, they must struggle to reach the same level of influence as the most prominent G8 nations, and use it to accomplish their target of world peace.When questioned about its inability to achieve the aims and principles of its peacekeeping platform, the UN often brings up its lack of cash flow, caused by several countries' outstanding dues. Surprisingly, this debt is not only held by less prosperous countries, but also by nations who rank amongst the worlds most wealthy. As of December 1999, the US alone owed 1.7 billion dollars in outstanding dues to the UN. They have since paid this debt off, but of course now the US desires the support of the UN in the campaign against Saddam Hussein. The United States continues to play a prominent role within the organization, most notably with its permanent seat on Security Council and the substantial veto powers that come with it. In early 1997, the US used its veto power to prevent secretary general Boutros Boutros-Gali from retaining power for a second term. David Malone and Simon Chesterman noted about the US's current attitude toward the UN "The Bush administration regards them, (UN) tactically as either supporting or constraining U.S. policy" 2. It is this type of attitude, which causes leaders of many other countries to believe that the UN is nothing more than the G8 countries tool for further global domination.Despite the persistent recalcitrance of the US, the UN continues to pander to their needs, often risking greater good. Several other nations, such as France, believed that Boutros Boutros-Ghali was a highly effective leader, but thanks in large part to the US belief that he was having a negative effect on their best interests; he was replaced by Kofi Annan. One Canadian UN insider was quoted as saying "We go to the security council every 10 years and then we wonder, Why do we do this?, because the US makes all the decisions anyway" 3. If the United States expects to continue to play such a prominent role at the UN, it should at least be expected to pay its full dues on time, because other countries across the globe do so,...

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