Does the UN Effectively Fulfill its Mission?

Posted by Frederick Jones
October 23, 2007
United Nations Headquarters

By Presidential Proclamation, the United States celebrated October 24th as "United Nations Day." Many today question the relevance of the United Nations. Founded to maintain international security and help solve economic, social, and humanitarian problems...

Does the United Nations continue to effectively fulfill its mission?

Comments

Comments

Mary T.
|
Illinois, USA
October 25, 2007

Mary in Illinois writes:

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore together won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to educate the world on catastrophic climate change. This is the third time in the past seven years that a UN entity has been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Aided by the UN's work in Afghanistan, more children are attending school than ever before in the country's history, most especially girls. This is turning the tide for the educational future of an entire generation of young Afghans. This is also occurring elsewhere. Education is a key component in world peace.

In the past year, more than 110 countries sent troops to serve in 18 UN peacekeeping missions in places like Liberia, Sudan, Lebanon, and Haiti, contributing to the largest deployment of UN peacekeepers in history.

The Measles Initiative, which includes the World Health Organization, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Foundation, has helped vaccinate over 372 million children -- reducing measles deaths in Africa by 75% (compared to 1999). By partnering with campaigns like Nothing But Nets, they also distribute life saving mosquito nets that protect children from malaria.

In partnership with the UN's disaster relief organization (OCHA), the UN's Children Fund (UNICEF) and other UN agencies, the NGO Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF), also known as Telecoms Without Borders, deployed seven times this year to support emergency relief efforts in places like Darfur's refugee camps, and coastal areas of Peru devastated by the 8.1 magnitude earthquake this summer.
The UN is doing more to end poverty and war than the US, which could do so much more, especially in the U.S.
I believe the UN is doing a great job, and I would like to see the US do its fair share, and a bit more.

C.S.
|
Massachusetts, USA
October 25, 2007

C.S. in Massachusetts writes:

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore together won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to educate the world on catastrophic climate change. This is the third time in the past seven years that a UN entity has been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the past year, more than 110 countries sent troops to serve in 18 UN peacekeeping missions in places like Liberia, Sudan, Lebanon, and Haiti, contributing to the largest deployment of UN peacekeepers in history.

Millions of Children Protected Against Preventable Disease
The Measles Initiative, which includes the World Health Organization, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Foundation, has helped vaccinate over 372 million children

New Technology Enables Disaster Relief to Arrive Faster in Humanitarian Crises
In partnership with the UN's disaster relief organization (OCHA), the UN's Children Fund (UNICEF) and other UN agencies, the NGO Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF), also known as Telecoms Without Borders, deployed seven times this year to support emergency relief efforts .

Mary J.
|
Missouri, USA
October 25, 2007

Mary Jane in Missouri writes:

The U.S. State Department would be better off sending money to the United Nations and its many agencies than wasting it on private security contracts, which only antagonize people in other countries rather than portray the compassionate face of US citizens. The US would be better served also by working with and through the United Nations than its current rambo, go-it-alone, always-right foreign policies. We have lost face and standing around the world because of these stubborn, wrong-headed, might-is-right actions.

Jimy
|
California, USA
October 25, 2007

Jimy in California writes:

The UN does a lot of good work. It would do even more if it were allowed to instead of being bullied by superpowers like us. Indeed, most of the world's problems would be solved if the city-state-federal hierarchy of authority were extended to having the UN as the final authority, with no national militaries, just the UN military which could then enforce fundamental rights and justice everywhere. As John Lennon said: "Imagine no countries". Imagine one world. No "we-they". It's about time we evolved to this.

Robert
|
United States
October 25, 2007

Robert in U.S.A. writes:

Given the uphill battle the UN has faced from an aggressively anti-UN United States, the UN has done an outstanding job.

B T.
|
Illinois, USA
October 25, 2007

Thiele in Illinois writes:

We need the UN to oversee how countries respond to things like global warming, famine, war, human rights and so many sub-categories. I actually think it needs to be strengthened and given the power to sanction and reprimand countries like the US, when they misbehave, as we are clearly doing under this administration's rules.

Nicolas S.
|
Florida, USA
October 25, 2007

Nicholas in Florida writes:

In spite of unprecedented challenges to the UN's authority and the rule of international law, principally from the government of the United States of America, the UN continues to be the best hope of the people of the world for peace and security. The protections guaranteed to all of us by the UN Charter and international human rights laws are the cornerstone of human society in the 21st century.

And please insist that the U.S. Department of Defense comply with UNAMI's request for full disclosure and investigation of all civilian killings by U.S. occupation forces in Iraq.

John S.
|
United States
October 25, 2007

John in U.S. writes:

I believe the UN fulfills its mission to the extent allowed by the member states. I believe that more cooperation and agreement on issues are needed. A toothless tiger is prey for those in the jungle. The UN should have teeth which can only be supplied by the support of the member states. A higher degree of governance seems required.

C E.
|
California, USA
October 25, 2007

CE in California writes:

The UN performs much needed activities dedicated to enhancing humanitarian missions throughout the world. Many governments, including the US Government, are unable to achieve cooperation with member nations at the levels the UN is capable of. Areas of success include peacekeeping, preventing disease transmission and extending technology. Please continue to support this extremely important organization.

Don
|
California, USA
October 25, 2007

Don in California writes:

The UN is very effective and needed.

Jane
|
Pennsylvania, USA
October 25, 2007

Jane in Pennsylvania writes:

I believe that the UN does effectively fulfill its mission. I am most impressed with the peace keeping missions that the UN does. I witnessed this in Haiti in 2004. Their work was very positive and life-giving.

I think the U.S. should be more supportive of the UN and its mission.

Joyce
|
Florida, USA
October 25, 2007

Joyce in Florida writes:

We need the UN more than ever and the U.S. ought to support it to the fullest extent.

Badri
|
Nepal
October 25, 2007

Badri in Nepal writes:

Try to reach the targeted group. In undeveloped countries, there is no human rights at all. Do not see the problems with political eyes. UN activities should be free from political pressure, but now it is totally biased with political pressure.

Steven C.
|
United States
October 25, 2007

Steven in U.S.A. writes:

Yes, to the extent the member nations allow, and fund the UN; it does fulfill it's mission. The problems caused by nations unilateral actions, have never been more clear; nor, has the need for the a world wide body to mediate the foibles of individual nations and leaders.

Frances T.
|
Massachusetts, USA
October 25, 2007

Frances in Massachusetts writes:

The UN recently won the Nobel Prize for Peace for it's work on climate change. They have saved children's lives all over the world, and are involved in peacekeeping.

I think it's important that the U.S. starts paying its share of expenses for running the UN.

Patrick
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 25, 2007

Patrick in Washington, DC writes:

The UN is the most effective format for bringing together nations to choose the course of human existence. I firmly believe that if the United States supported the UN, financially, politically and ideologically, there would be zero doubt about the UN's effectiveness. It is time that the U.S. fulfills our dues to UN and our debt to UN Peacekeeping. This year's record number of Peacekeeping missions (18) is indication enough that the world deserves our support. Furthermore, how many Nobel Peace prizes will be awarded to UN entities before Americans realize the value of peace?

irv s.
|
California, USA
October 25, 2007

Irv in California writes:

More visible and financial support from U.S. would help the UN be more effective --- most Americans have no idea about what the UN actually does.

Joyce
|
Florida, USA
October 25, 2007

Joyce in Florida writes:

We need to empower it to the fullest.

Ralph M.
|
Maryland, USA
October 25, 2007

Ralph in Maryland writes:

Yes, I think the United Nations tries to fulfill its missions as best it can, in an uncertain world!

Barbara
|
Arkansas, USA
October 25, 2007

Barbara in Arkansas writes:

Absolutely the UN effectively fulfills its mission. It would fulfill it even better if we (the U.S.) regularly paid its dues in full. For all the rhetoric about World Wars III or IV or V, the UN is the reason why we haven't really had them, and I want to keep it that way.

Lorna
|
Minnesota, USA
October 25, 2007

Lorna in Minnesota writes:

The world very much needs what the UN offers, provides, and stands for. However, it is my strong belief that the voting structure needs to be overhauled. At present, only a few powerful nations hold veto power over the opinions and desires of the rest of the world's peoples. That is probably the greatest obstacle to effectiveness that the UN faces today.

Richard
|
Indiana, USA
October 25, 2007

Richard in Indiana writes:

Yes I believe the UN has been the best they can to fulfill their mission. The U.S. should be more supportive of the agencies of the UN that assist others throughout the world.

Lee
|
California, USA
October 25, 2007

Lee in California writes:

Yes. The UN effectively fulfills its mission. The work of the UN is vital in so many areas of world need, including the establishment of schools in Afghanistan, food aid to countries in Africa and in the area of global climate change. The U.S. should fully support the work of the UN.

Virginia
|
North Carolina, USA
October 25, 2007

Virginia in North Carolina writes:

I not only support the past work of the UN, but would like to see its role expanded. We can't avoid the fact that what we do affects each other globally. We are One World now and need to act in unison.

Anne
|
North Carolina, USA
October 25, 2007

Anne in North Carolina writes:

The UN provides our best opportunity for peace on this earth.

Marti
|
Texas, USA
October 25, 2007

Marti in Texas writes:

The United Nations is as effective as it's member states will allow. It will take leadership and true commitment on the part of the United States to bring about the collaboration needed between nations to bring better effectiveness in the areas where it is needed. Otherwise, the United Nations is doing a tremendous amount of incredible work against all obstacles.

kevin
|
United States
October 25, 2007

Kevin in U.S. writes:

The UN is of course, effective - as effective as it could be with full funding and support from countries like the US? Well, of course not. It is a chicken and egg scenario: US chokes and questions it, the fast changing world forces it to enlarge its own mandate, and everyone expects it to cure all that ails us, so clearly it will not reach expectations, whatever they may be in a given year. So, really, there is no real answer to this question. Its systems need to be strengthened and streamlined. It needs reform especially at headquarter level. Its entire incentive structure needs an overhaul. But how can it do this when countries constantly use the UN to help it reach their own goals and when those counties that need the UN mismanage resources and don't deliver on their sovereign promises. Does the UN do what it sets out to do - even without unconditional support from countries around the world - it does all that it can in pursuit of these goals.

Erin
|
New York, USA
October 25, 2007

Erin in New York writes:

The UN continues to effectively fulfill its mission to the extent that any international or governmental organization can. Is it perfect? No. But I think that it will continue to work towards its goals as long as people will allow it to work. Those who claim it is useless organization, primarily Americans, should remember when they board at plane that it is thanks to UN regulations that all air traffic controllers speak the same language.

Caroline D.
|
New Mexico, USA
October 25, 2007

Caroline in New Mexico writes:

The UN work is vital to human kind.

Naomi
|
Michigan, USA
October 25, 2007

Naomi in Michigan writes:

Yes, the UN is fulfilling its mission. Look at how immunizations have curtailed childhood diseases, how impoverished nations are receiving help through the World Bank and the issue of climate change is finally getting the recognition necessary to move forward towards repairing the earth.

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