The United Nations has been less than united lately, detracting from its mission of world domination of peace. The problem lies in its own enthusiasm to be world police, world bank, and world peace generator. It needs to get its act together before (though it seems it already has) it reverts to the League of Nations’ efficacy of a dull spoon.
First, world leaders need to stop relying on the U.N. to solve every problem. The world had never been so united before the end of the last great war, and all the nations are just so enthusiastic to actually make a difference that they eventually take on too great a task. The first situation to show this flaw in greatest clarity is Congo, where the largest U.N. operation yet has failed in many areas diplomatically and militarily. The U.N. does indeed have a greatly positive impact on world crises, through diplomacy and humanitarian works, but that becomes extremely difficult to maintain and reproduce with the sheer rampancy of problems that request or require its intervention. So far in the Gaza Strip, the U.N.’s moves have either been rejected or bombed by Israel; Israel even shelled the U.N.’s own base in Gaza, destroying a warehouse of aid for Palestinians. What the U.N. does accomplish is in economic, diplomatic, and militaristic terms. Economically, it imposes sanctions on dangerous countries, fosters trade and improvements to weakened economies, promotes higher standards of living, and helps solve international economic crises. Diplomatically, it serves as a major medium of negotiation between factions and nations alike, and it operates the International Court of Justice that tries war criminals and internationally-important cases as well as offering legal aid and advice where needed. Militarily, the U.N. uses peacekeeping when peace brokering fails or requires physical support, like escorting supplies through the Gaza Strip; the force is made up of troops, police, and observers (military authorities) committed by U.N. member states, currently totaling 91,712 personnel. The world needs to realize that the U.N. is limited by what its members contribute, but still performs as many tasks as the troubled world requires.
Second, the United Nations needs to be truly united. Any peace-loving nation that abides by the U.N.’s charter (meaning they recognize certain authorities and boundaries) may be inducted into the league. However, once all these peaceful, law-abiding nations are seated comfortably, ready to take action, one of the big dogs lobs a veto onto the table. China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France can veto any measure taken by the rest of the U.N., no matter how united everyone else may be. Apparently, every nation is equal, but some are more equal than others. These were the five founding powers of the U.N., and despite many cases to the revocation of such a power, they have kept the veto card (of course, these five nations also happen to have atomic power, so intimidation goal achieved!) Most recently, the U.S. decided to veto U.N. decisions regarding a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel as they fought in the Gaza Strip. The first major resolution reached by the U.N. was immediately vetoed by the U.S. citing Israel’s right to self-defense. Similarly, in 2006, the US did the same, laying a “disproportionate” amount of blame on Israel. In fact, since 1972 the U.S. has vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli U.N. resolutions. BFF, no matter what the world thinks.
Finally, nations allegedly united need to learn how to at least act united and reach a decision in time for it to be relevant. No conclusive decision can be practically assembled with every nation, religion, culture, moral system, and political agenda involved in the same situation. Ideally, all the nations of the world will set aside differences to decide on a problem that works to the greater good; however, when has that ever happened outside a perfect little Disney channel TV show? Naturally, ulterior agendas that permeate all major governmental bodies will disrupt the flow, and it results in what we see now. The U.N. is seen as a lame duck that can’t even decide what pens they will furnish their diplomats, because there are too many ideas for too many decisions with too little room to learn.
The League of Nations – an association for international cooperation and security – failed because it had no military power, it was mostly a scared-Europeans-club, and its members were unwilling to use sanctions. Since then, many international organizations have popped up: the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and NAFTA further key economic and diplomatic projects in major regions, but the greatest project yet is world government via the U.N.. Now that the United Nations actually has the capacity and initiative to accomplish anything, it gets a little too excited and fails from simply overheating.