United Nations: Striving towards World Peace

193 Countries, political glitches, worsening tension and conflicts, international trade wars, climate change, mass oppression of people, devaluating economy; but one evolutionary organization, stands for development, stands for justice and humanity, stands for Peace above all. 
You ‘ve probably guessed it right, it is the United Nations. The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, social progress, economic development, human rights, and achievement of world peace. In layman language: it ensures that the world is a harmonious place to live in. The UN has a profusion of other initiatives. It strives for sustainable development and the environment, it works to reduce hunger, poverty, disease, and illiteracy among the countries. It counters terrorism and nuclear misuse while protecting refugees, providing disaster relief and economic development. It also concentrates on conserving indigenous cultures.

What led to the formation of the UN?

World War I, fought between the Central Powers and the Legal Powers in the year 1914, proved to be brutal with millions of young people suffering and dying, scarring the face of humanity forever since. As an aftermath to the seminal catastrophe, an international group of leaders felt the necessity of a body, which is above all the scrutiny and bias, which governs the actions of all the nations and stands for justice and peace. Thus, they developed the League of Nations to solve the disputes between the countries. But the initiative failed miserably due to lack of control and system. It even faltered to prevent the conflicts which erupted to cause the Second World War; bringing forth the need for a new and reformed organization that could be a pillar of Global Peace. The League of Nations ceased its activities. In August 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of U.S. and Winston Churchill, the British PM held a secret meeting to discuss the formation of a Global Peace effort and signed the Atlantic Charter. In 1942, the term United Nations was first coined by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to refer to the allies of WWII (Germany, Italy, and Japan). The Declaration of the United Nations was signed by representatives of 26 countries, which stated the war objectives of the Allied Powers. After a series of other conferences, at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, on the 21st of August till the 7th of October 1944, a diplomatic meeting of the Big Four Powers: US, UK, Soviet Union, and China took place. In the conference, the UN charter, which describes the general-purpose, role, structure and functions of the United Nations was drafted and then officially ratified on the 24th of October, 1945 by 51 member nations, marking the birth of the United Nations in all its glory. From thereon, the 24th of October is celebrated as United Nations Day.  A lot of organizations and agencies got associated with the UN to address different global issues, like the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, World Bank, IMF ( International Monetary Fund), UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF and many more.

The Vision

According to the UN Charter, the United Nations aims to:
  • Maintain international peace and security, and to take adequate steps to avert wars. 
  • To develop friendly relations amongst the nations based on equality.
  • To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character.
  • To promote human rights and fundamental freedom for the people of the world.
  • To serve as a center where all nations can harmonize together for the attainment of the objectives of the UN.
For the fulfillment of these objectives, the United Nations practice the principles of equality between all the member states, the adoption of peaceful means to settle all disputes, honest attainment of obligations to the UN and non-interference in the internal state of another nation. The UN expects even the non-member states to abide by these principles for the sake of maintaining harmony and security.

How has it impacted us?

It is non-negotiable that the United Nations is the reason that our world is not becoming a wrecked mess: since its formation, it has sent 69 peacekeeping missions to restore calm in various countries and helping them to recover from conflicts. The UN did benchmark work in empowering women, by spreading the importance of education and employment. It successfully prevented nuclear proliferation by signing the agreement to safeguard the use of nuclear materials for peaceful agenda, with 180 countries. Its measures to combat terrorism and exploitation in third world countries along with assisting more than 34 million refugees is worth appreciating. The UN has provided food to 90 million people in over 75 countries intending to remove hunger from the world and is currently working with 140 nations to fight climate change. Its efforts to protect human rights with 80 treaties and declarations created milestones. Although the UN has faced considerable criticism in the past decades, it has never failed to come out of it beautifully. In a world where each nation fights to be more powerful, executes fatal missions leading to wars while the citizens continue to be suppressed and stripped of basic necessities like food, sanitation, and education; with the UN, we cannot help but feel hopeful for a better future, a world representing global peace in the truest sense.   

UN and AIESEC

In the United Nations General Assembly, 2015, a collection of 17 global goals for the year 2030 was set, comprising of goals related to removing hunger and poverty, promoting gender equality, quality education, fighting against climate change, and conserving wildlife. These goals are called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for which the UN partners with the largest youth-run organization in the world, AIESEC. AIESEC supports the UN for the fulfillment of the 17 SDGs by empowering the youth to take action, giving them a platform to give back to society while exploring their potential. It has a beautiful vision of reaching: Peace and fulfillment of Humankind’s potential. To know more about AIESEC and its programs, click here. To sum it up, striving for World peace is a beautiful initiative, but it would require each one of us to stand up for making our world a better place. A place where there are no wars, no poverty, no illiteracy, and no pollution. While the UN is doing their part to get there, let us make sure that we do our bit too, because eventually “It’s in our hands to make a difference”.