The United Nations is one institute of global governance which was established on the 24th of October 1951 with the aim of keeping peace throughout the world, developing friendly relations between nations and working with member states to help people "live better lives" by eliminating poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world and encouraging respect for each other's rights and freedoms. The UN was set up to reflect the power structures that emerged out of the second world war, hence the permanent members of the security council are the USA, UK, Russia, France and China. Each of these nations has power of veto over the decisions of the Security Council and in recent years this has greatly reduced the power of the UN to fulfill its own goals.
One of the UN's main aims is the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the UN charter, and this is mainly the field of the security council. As such the ability of the UN to successfully fulfill this goal has been largely overshadowed by members of the big five applying the power of veto in accordance with there national interests. When these members of the big 5 use there power of veto in such a way it undermines the power of the UN to maintain international peace and security as the UN cannot act on issues it should be called upon to resolve. One example of this is the civil war in Syria. As Russia, one of the members of the big 5, is closely allied with the Assad regime, and it's only Mediterranean naval base is situated in Syria, it has used its power of veto to block any UN involvement in Syria. This is regardless of the fact that the civil war does pose threats to international peace and security, such as becoming a breeding ground for terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda. As such the UN should have used some form of intervention to help resolve the issue and hasn't. Another example is the civil unrest in Ukraine. The Russian government stands to gain land and resources by annexing Crimea as well as gaining access to the port of Crimea where they have many of there naval ships stationed free of taxes from the Ukrainian government. As Russia is a member of the big 5 the UN remains powerless to do anything about the Russian occupation of Crimea as any proposed action is vetoed by the Russian government.
However when the UN has been able to get the big five to agree upon action it has often seen many positive results such as the implementation of no fly zones in Syria which went along way to helping overthrow the corrupt Gaddafi regime.
Another of the UN's main aims is to help people "live better lives". The UN has had a lot more success achieving this goal although it generally goes unnoticed by the international community. One of the UN's greatest successes was their eradication of polio in Africa. This went along way to bettering the health and living conditions of many of the worlds poorest people. The UN has also...