Past in Perspective

“I believe that the United Nations is the 

instrument for securing peace and forgiving 

people everywhere, in poorer countries as in 

richer, a real stake in that peace by promoting development and encouraging cooperation.”

-Kofi Anan

After the end of World War II, when the gruesome war devastated most of the world in one way or another, the victors put their heads together to establish an organisation to secure global peace and world order. For this purpose, the United Nations (UN) was founded on October 24, 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the UN are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its charter. The main aim behind founding the UN was to save successive generations from the scourge of wars. However, with the passage of time, the global body extended its own obligations and responses.

The UN also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the organisation has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.

But it is also a bitter fact that the body has failed in maintaining its primary goal i.e., saving the future generations from the harms and miseries of wars and conflicts. Wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and many African countries are testimonies to the UN’s failures in fulfilling its foundational job — protection of future generations from the disastrous effects of wars.

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