The relevance of the United Nations on its 76th anniversary

United Nation Day

October 24, 2021

The United Nations is an international body promoting world peace was brought into force on 24th October 1945 by governments of 51 nations to avoid another war like the previously devastating World War I and World War II. The world organisation marks the 21st year of the 21st century as its seventy-sixth-year anniversary. However, the anniversary comes at a time when the organisation is being called into question, with a beleaguered stain on its reputation. While many people undermine its relevance in today’s world and call it obsolete, we have a different take on the situation presented before the UN.

Today, after almost 75 years we can say that the United Nations has been very much successful in maintaining world peace on a large scale except for some unfortunate incidents. It has successfully prevented many calamitous wars from breaking out. There have been many tasks at which the UN has proved successful and competent, however many other tasks at which it is still lacking miserably also co-exist.

The fact is that the UN is a 76-year-old organization that still functions on the guidelines written back in 1945, creates an alarming situation. Today, the powerful ecumenical organisation is beset by plenty of challenges such as risking the governance at the hands of bloated bureaucracies, poor credibility of the organisation in the absence of reforms and lack of funds to implement them, geographical antagonism among the members, instability due to only 5 permanent members etc. Some of the other major problems the United Nations is posed with today are given below.

  • The original five permanent members of the Security Council hold veto power, and although they are committed to world peace like most of the world’s countries, this has led to resentment amongst other members. There is a need for an overhaul in rules and regulations regarding the number of nations that have been granted permanent membership.
  • As observed during the covid-19 pandemic, the WHO needs serious reforms. Information sharing among members should be promoted, so as to better tackle upcoming pandemics and help the members in taking proper preventive measures against viruses/pandemics.
  • Many nations are coming to the front now and influencing world politics. Many nations are now deemphasizing the role of the UN in solving their problems, and some are narrowing their interests such as China using the UN to pass its Belt and Road initiative which India is opposing. If these issues are not addressed soon, India may look towards other options for safeguarding its interests and the UN may keep losing its already waning influence.
  • There is also a need to refresh its approach to climate change. Poor countries are getting hit harder. There is a need to form a dedicated agency by the UN which treats climate change as a particular problem, not one among many.
  • There is also a need to prevent the U.S. – China cold war, which can have impairing consequences for World trade.

All of these challenges need to be tackled by the UN promptly, as nations are losing their trust in the UN. The UN can still be relevant if it shows its competence once more, as it has done in the past. In the absence of any global body, this world would be following the laws of the jungle. The need of the hour is not to question the existence of the international body but to focus our attention on the need to make reforms and create the required solutions to international issues. Only via a genuine, meaningful political discussion among nations about the organization’s rightful function can it be truly rejuvenated. Member nations need to discover their competitive advantages by analysing the UN’s strengths and flaws and focus their resources in the direction of a better world.

Therefore, it can be concluded that a world body like the UN is important. But the way it functions must be changed as per the current global need and requirements.

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