Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why The United Nations is failing.

The very name of the organization signifies the problem.  The United Nations is trying to promote peaceful coexistence among countries, while what we should be trying to do is unite people. The status quo they try so hard to maintain is not working. They are spending large amounts of money and energy propping up artificial boundaries of the inanimate organizations called countries or states. It does not matter if the leaders of those countries are corrupt and abusing their own people. They believe in the right of the State over the rights of individual people.

Although the United Nations spends a large percentage of their budget on peacekeeping, they have failed to stop several incidents of genocide and other atrocities throughout the world. The few times the UN has acted, it tended to act more out of interest in protecting assets and resources that were important to the countries in power, than in saving the most lives possible. Throughout the history of the United Nations, millions of people have been murdered as the world sat by and watched. One only needs to look at the statistics of what happened in Cambodia in the 1970’s, Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990’s, and Darfur in the first decade of this century. If a vote was taken by the people of the world, I am certain they would have overwhelmingly supported doing whatever it took to stop those atrocities. But the United Nations was completely ineffective when it came to saving millions of human lives.

The United Nations is not even a true democratic organization. It represents the interests of the governments of the nations who form it, and not necessarily the individuals within those nations. Even with that understanding, it is not a true democracy among the member states. The five permanent members of the Security Council can veto any important matter.  That means less that one percent of the membership can stop them from doing what is right.

The way the five permanent members gained their status was not even democratic. They simply happened to be the victors at the end of World War II. China’s seat is actually held by a different faction now as opposed to when the UN started, and Russia got to take over the seat formerly held by the Soviet Union. Other than that, there have been no changes as to who holds that awesome veto power. I am not sure why the original powers have been able to hold onto their positions for so long, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with democracy. The five permanent members of the Security Council certainly were not elected by a majority of the people in the world, and if there was an election held today it is unlikely any of them would maintain their positions.

Even the General Assembly is in no way a democracy of the world. If anything it is a Democracy of Nations. But nations are simply inanimate political structures with artificial geographical borders. Some Nations are more democratic than others, but even in the most democratic nations their citizens have very little knowledge of, or say in, what goes on at the U.N.  How can anyone call the United Nations a world democracy when the UN’s one state, one vote power structure theoretically allows states comprising just eight percent of the world population to pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote?

Political leaders are intent on protecting their artificial geographical borders, and making decisions based on what is best for their own inanimate political structure and economy. People are tired of that kind of thinking. If we want the human race to survive we must all come together. By having one country we can cut out a lot of the bureaucracy and cross border rivalries that hurt our efficiency. By uniting and working together we can save lives.