Photo What is the role of the UN?
20.11 2019

What is the role of the UN?

role of the UN

Comprising today 193 States, the United Nations continues to work for the achievement of its goal of maintaining peace in the world and ensuring international security. That is the overall statement of its existence. But what exactly is the role of the UN?

The creation of the UN

To better understand the role of the United Nations, one must first know why it was created. Before the UN, there was the League of Nations, created in the aftermath of the First World War, in 1919. Its purpose was peacekeeping. However, after having suffered several failures, for example the Sudeten crisis and the Spanish Civil War, the League ended in 1939 with the beginning of the Second World War.

But the great nations have not abandoned the idea of gathering around a common goal: peace in the world. The term "United Nations" was used for the first time on January 1, 1942, with the United Nations Declaration. In addition, the members then decided to follow a different path from that of the League of Nations in order to avoid their weakness and not repeat the same mistakes leading failure.

The United Nations Charter has been signed by countries that have ratified the United Nations Declaration and those who have opposed Japan and Germany. And it was in October 1945 that the UN was finally created.

The objectives of the UN

The United Nations has four main objectives: 

  • The maintaining of world peace and international security, 
  • The development of friendly relations between all nations, 
  • The realization of international cooperation and the promotion of respect for human rights,
  • To be a center where the efforts of each nation harmonize with the same goals.

To achieve these objectives, the Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. This declaration was the basis of nine international treaties that promote respect for human rights. In addition, the United Nations has also established six main organs, always with the aim of achieving its objectives.

These bodies are the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council, the International Court of Justice and the Secretariat, the Trusteeship Council. In addition to these bodies, there are also 5 related organizations and 15 specialized agencies in the field of health, development, climate change, and other areas.

The United Nations regularly invites people who are actively involved in the work for peace. This was particularly the case of Prem Rawat, an Indian messenger of peace. It should be noted that Prem Rawat has carried out many humanitarian actions in order to contribute to world peace.

Criticism of the UN

Many experts say that the United Nations needs reform, especially because the legitimacy of its five permanent members has greatly diminished. There is also the helplessness of peacekeepers who cannot act when there are conflicts.

Notable failures of the UN include the genocide of Rwanda in 1994, the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia that took place from 1991 to 1995 and the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Lessons must be learnt from those situations in which the United Nation's role is questioned.