The United Nations is an international organization whose aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and the achieving of world peace. The United Nations was founded in 1945 after World War II to stop wars and to provide a platform for dialogue. It consists of multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
Currently there are 192 member states, including nearly every sovereign state in the world. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year.
The organization has five main branches namely the General Assembly which is the main assembly; the Security Council which decides resolutions for peace and security; the Economic and Social Council for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development; the Secretariat which provides studies, information, and facilities and the International Court of Justice which is the primary judicial. There are also United Nations System agencies which include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The organization receives its finance from voluntary contributions from its member states. United Nations has six official languages mainly Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Currently the United Nation's Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who held the post since 2007.
Since the formation of the United Nation, it has been overloaded with security issues from other nation states. Security issues can be defined as issues concerning lack of essential resources such as electricity supply, water and food, and etc. Due to the lack of these resources, a national state can dissent into anarchy to get obtain these resources by any means necessary including violence which is a threat to national security. The lack of these resources also makes nation state vulnerable to foreign invaders such as the failure of a national power grid can render local military forces inefficient.
However, is it true that the United Nations is only overloaded with security issues or is it also overloaded with other issues concerning natural disasters as well?
Overloading Of Security Issues in United Nations
The role of the United Nations is to maintain national peace, develop friendly relations between nations and to create a center for harmonizing. Because of this, many smaller nations such as Somalia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Sri Lanka have joined the United Nations to enjoy such privileges.
However, when these smaller nations joined the United Nations, they brought along their own security issues with them. For example, when Somalia joined the United Nations, it was obligated to help them with their security issue like the incident involving UNOSOM I and UNOSOM II from 1991 to 1995.
Relief efforts to help the Somalian people were not only a failure but it also caused a lot of dissent of from the Somalian people towards the United Nations. The United Nations was basically given problems and issues they could not handle and after their expected failure, they still left the problem unattended to in which they are committed to see to the end.
This essentially means that to the eyes of many Third World States, the United Nations is seen as a problem solving agent. If the whole world sees the United Nations under that light, it would be almost certain that the United Nations is overburdened with many trivial and massive problems.
Besides that, the United Nations is also burdened with the interests of foreign superpowers such as VETO members, the United States and China. Even though the United Nations is supposed to be neutral, the control and interests of the superpowers causes them to be biased.
Due to this problem, the United Nations has to factor in foreign superpower interest when making critical decisions sometimes. For example, during the American Iraq invasion, the United Nations would not dare to oppose against the decision made by the United States.
Moving on from that, the United Nations is also under the constant threat from terrorists attacks. Due to extremist terrorist groups, many attacks are launched against nation states which send them into disarray. When this happens, another unnecessary security issue emerges for the United Nations to resolve, either in relief effort for attack victims or in terms of military assistance.
As an example, due to the September 11th incident, the United Nations had to invest a lot of manpower into investigations and relief efforts. The United Nations had to invest in a lot of resources into dealing with these unnecessary issues.
Another factor which causes the United Nations to be ineffective is their failure to get consent or support from the governments within the state itself. When this happens, the United Nations is seen as an organization that does not respect the sovereignty of the state and also as a foreign force that is manipulating people.
The United Nation instead, needs to get support from the governing party within the state so that it can provide assistance in path finding, logistics and military force. This also helps to convince people that the United Nations is there to provide aid. If this happens, the people would cooperate better with the United Nations and the problems could be solved more effectively.
When providing aid to the needy nations during disasters, the United Nations faces all types of hindrances such as attack from rebel forces, bad weather and transportation. Besides that, the United Nations is also often accidentally attacked by governmental military forces in cross fires such as in Somalia.
Thus, with all these factors, the United Nations fails to solve a lot of security issues which causes all the problems to be unresolved and stacked up. As a result, the United Nations is very much overloaded with security issues.
Other Contributions of United Nations
Today, the United Nations is a major provider of emergency relief and longer-term assistance, a catalyst for action by governments and relief agencies, and an advocate on behalf of people struck by emergencies.
When disaster strikes, the United Nations rush to deliver humanitarian assistance. For example, in 2006, the World Food Programme (WFP) fed nearly 88 million people in 78 countries, including most of the world's refugees. In the recent earthquake disaster in Haiti a $10 million was released from the Central Emergency Response Fund of United Nations to kick-start the $1.5 billion appeal to assist three million Haitians, making it the largest-ever humanitarian appeal launched in the wake of a natural disaster. Previously, the largest appeal issued after a natural disaster was in 2005 following the Indian Ocean tsunami, when the UN and its partners sought $1.41 billion.
United Nations with one of its branch, UNAIDS takes the lead in coordinating action by other UN agencies, disseminating knowledge that is fundamental to combating AIDS, and gathering and publicizing information on the evolving epidemic.
A Global Fund is created to address not only the HIV/AIDS crisis, but also other critical health problems affecting developing countries, such as malaria and tuberculosis. These diseases cause over six million deaths a year, about a tenth of all deaths worldwide. Since 2001, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved a total of US$10.8 billion to more than 550 grants in 136 countries, of which US$5.5 billion has been given out. More than 60 percent of these resources are directed to HIV/AIDS.
In January 1999, a "Global Compact" between the United Nations and the world business community was formed. The Compact is aimed at enabling the entire world's people to share the benefits of globalization and embedding the global market in values and practices that are fundamental to meeting socio-economic needs. The Compact is based on nine key principles drawn from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization fundamental principles on rights at work, and the Rio Principles on environment and development, which enjoy universal consensus among the world's governments.
Although the United Nations is overload with security issues, it is still an effective and fruitful system that promote human rights, economic progress, individual health, and world peace - the last, most importantly, coming from nations standing firm on principle and joining together to deal with threats before they become ruinous.