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Essay on the United Nations

The United Nations (UN) relevance is a question actively doubted during the last several years. The doubts of the relevance of this organization reached their peak after U.S. starting the war in Iraq despite the protests of the UN. Statistics has shown big drop of UN popularity after the events mentioned above. Later events, such as signing up an agreement about the UN help to Iraq after the war have changed the situation and the rating of the UN but haven’t cancelled the questions of its relevance.

In my paper I would like to prove that the UN is an important political power no country can ignore and that its influence on the political, cultural, economical and social life of the world reflects strong positions of this organization. I believe that the United Nations provides a unique opportunity to achieve multilateral co-operation in the crucially important areas.

I will start with the argument put forward by those who believe that the UN has exhausted its potentials and became powerless. Those, who support this argument compare UN to the League of Nations – prototype of the UN founded after the WW I. The League of Nations didn’t accomplish its functions and couldn’t avert the WW II. Very significant prove of its disability became the fact the League of Nation discussed the prices for railway gauges at the time when Hitler’s army started its conquering the world. I can not agree with those, who compare League of the Nations to the UN. Let’s remember that the US and Germany, two most influential counties of that time were not even the members of the League, which couldn’t influence the policies of these countries. The situation is completely different with the UN as it unites all powerful countries of the world and keeps the title of the most influential international organization for many years. All newly created states seek for the participation in the UN and this becomes one of the most important governmental tasks for the most countries of the world.

Let’s turn back to history of the UN in order to get a better understanding of the role of this organization in the world politics. It was created after the WW II at the time when the world was under the threat of another war. Economical situation was frightening as endless wars and conflicts exhausted the economical systems of the countries. Frightening words, such as fascism, wars, nuclear bombing and genocide were the part of terrible reality of those times (Childers, Urquhart). It’s quite natural that people, who wanted to stop this nightmare joined their forces and created the organization, which could create and support the balance in the world and would care about the interests of each separate country, each separate individual in a way, which would not break this fragile balance. We may be not satisfied with the situation in the modern world we face now but it’s necessary to remember about he bigger evil we escaped and I think we must be thankful to the UN for this. “Both the League of Nations, and its successor the United Nations, were created on the heels of terrible international crises, namely, WWI and WWII respectively. The U.N. has played an important and undisputed role in preventing, so far, another world war. In that sense it has mostly lived up to the prime goal enshrined within its charter, namely, to ensure “international peace and security”. Though it is very imperfect and has often been bitterly disappointing, yet the world manifests by its repeated return to the U.N. in times of crisis that it cannot do without the U.N”(Stroupe).The UN became that organization and the change in the world situation in the second half of the twenties century can be a good proof of the effectiveness of the UN. We can not close eyes to conflicts and confrontations presented on the modern geopolitical map of the world, but we can find stable tendency to the improvements and I think that UN has played an important role here. It didn’t cease all world conflicts and unfairness of course, but it did an important thing – it showed the way of their peaceful resolving. The UN creates a unique opportunity for the representative of different counties, political systems and regimes to be heard and to listed to their opponents. In other way it gave the world fundamentally new model of treating the moot points and conflicts and the progress achieved in this field is evident. Centuries of wars and the power of authoritarian approach are not so easy to extirpate and the UN is comparatively young if we think about the history of the mankind but the success achieved by the UN can not be underestimated.

“People and nations around the globe have tried through these last six decades to strengthen the foundations of stability and to unite around common values and in the process the UN has brought humanitarian relief to millions in need, it has helped people to rebuild their countries from the ruins of armed conflict, it has challenged poverty, it has fought apartheid, it has protected the rights of children, it has promoted de-colonization and its placed environmental and gender issues at the top the world’s agenda. “(Tharoor).

Those, who predict the decline of the UN power on the world scene often, turn to Iraq crises as one of the arguments of their hypothesis. “Since America went to war on Iraq without the support of the UN, the position of this international body has been hotly debated by the world’s media” (Rawle). It’s a historical truth that UN failed to stop American intervention to Iraq and it can be regarded as a failure in its actions. But those, who pay attention only to failures, will never notice positive moments. The UN comes to work not only in the situations of global crisis and catastrophes. There are many aspects of the UN work all over the world. Every day it deals with thousands of problems, which need immediate solutions and saves thousands of lives. The UN puts an enormous effort in strengthening the ideals of democracy and human rights all over the world. It helped a lot in ending the colonization and assisted to many countries in their transition to independence and democracy. Every day the UN helps regions, affected by wars and devastation, natural disasters, catastrophes, etc. The UN joins efforts of different countries when dealing with such international and universal problems as healthcare, ecology, deprivation and chronic poverty. There is no better way to share positive experience and to escape dangerous mistakes than to work together. UNESCO is one of the organizations, created by the UN and its input in the saving of cultural monuments all over the world is immense. The UN initiates the work of many international organizations giving them the opportunities for growth and development. This is only small part of the practical activities performed by the UN daily. Unfortunately, mass media pay attention to loud failures more than modest and persistent everyday work and very often the people are badly informed about the real activities performed by the UN.

Along with everyday practical activities, the UN performs another important function. It gives space and creates opportunities for the dialog between different countries. The UN is much more than mediator, which helps to resolve an international conflicts. It has more important meaning for the world community. It confirms new ideology of peaceful problem solving and cooperation. I think that the UN can become that device, which persuade the world in the wrongfulness of wars and conflicts and set up the principles of humanism, democracy and cooperation.

So, I think those who start disputes about the UN relevance are wrong even posting such questions. At the moment, there is no other alternative to this organization and the use it brings to the world is indisputable. The only question to be asked by those, who are not satisfied with the work of the UN should be about the possible improvements in the work of this organization.

“Today, the U.N. is more important than ever — not only for the vast majority of the world’s peoples, but also for the totality of the world’s states — including its most powerful. Indeed, as it has matured over 50 years; the U.N. has become — unevenly, imperfectly, but unmistakably — the only place where the world can come together to pool strengths and share burdens” (Lute).


  • W. Joseph Stroupe, The United Nations – Relevant or Not? Notable Developments are Placing the U.N. Increasingly into the Spotlight ( )
  • Alison Rawle. (August 2003 ).How relevant is the UN?/ Asia Pacific Model United Nations Conference
  • Jane Holl Lute. Why beleaguered U.N. is more relevant than ever? //Toronto Star. March 31, 2003
  • Childers Erskine , Urquhart Brian , Third Generation World Organization, 1989. Towards a More Effective United Nations, (Development Dialogue, 1991: 1–2), Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Uppsala, 1991
  • Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations, Hong Kong, June 14, 2004 ( Can Write an Essay on the United Nations for You!

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