Believing in the United Nations

September 27th, 2011
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So we have
skeptics, the Cynics. And me. I am a believer in the United Nations.  My internship at the United Nations this summer enabled me to understand why it is important,  relevant, and why it matters in our world today.

Problems  do not have borders:  Global Warming. Terrorism. Violence Against Women. Human Trafficking. These problems are not confined to borders. Global problems do not have passports. They have a global reach and the United Nations provides a forum for countries to discuss these important issues on a daily basis.  As our world becomes more and more global, the United Nations increases its relevance as a place for countries to negotiate on important issues affecting lives all over the world. Global problems require global solutions.

One Step At A Time:  Conversations about global issues are better than nothing happening at all.   My definition of progress has changed as a result of this experience. I have come to the belief that baby steps forwards better than nothing at all.  A weak compromise is better than nothing at all. When you have 193 countries trying to come to a consensus about global issues , baby steps are needed because so many interests are at play. The United Nations provides a space for small steps to be taken towards creating solutions.

Indispensable but Imperfect:  While I believe in the United Nations and the role it plays in global politics, I know that it is not perfect. It is imperfect.  There are challenges when national interests have priority over the common good as states must stick to their countries national agenda.  But I do believe that it is indispensable because   the United Nations has an incredible pool of resources that continues to be used to save lives all over the world.

Pieces to the Whole Picture:   The United Nations is huge and there are pieces that make up its parts. It is composed of different entities and when looking at the organization it is important to consider the various involved.  It is more than just member states and “The United Nations.” Check out this organizational chart of the United Nations to learn more about it is structured: http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/structure/org_chart.shtml

Not a World Government but a Global Forum: The United Nations is not a global government and therefore it is important to have REALISTIC expectations of what it can achieve.  The United Nations does not have the power to do anything unless its member states provide it with the authority to do so.  The United Nations cannot simply dictate what should be but instead is at the whim of member states national interests.

So I am a Believer. United Nations,  you are indepensible and imperfect. Our  WORLD needs you now  more than ever.

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