Tuesday, June 07, 2022

United Nations Without Borders.


The United Nations, which has failed to help resolve some of the world’s ongoing and longstanding civil wars and military conflicts—including Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Western Sahara, Myanmar, Syria, and Ukraine. The UN has remained helpless with a divided Security Council in virtual paralysis.  The veto is being misused for political purposes. This is not in line with the purpose of the UN and the spirit of its Charter. The UN has a declining role in geo-politics. The UN is becoming a giant humanitarian relief organization, …and it’s sort of really retreating from big-time geopolitics simply because this formula of the UN, the format of it and the way its checks and balances work, aren’t sharp or effective enough in the world as it is.

However, the UN holds an increasingly significant performance as a massive humanitarian relief organization.

Kul Gautam, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General and ex-Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF, told IPS the UN system has not been as effective as its founders had hoped in preventing wars and maintaining peace and security. It has also been less effective than what many developing countries had hoped for in helping them tackle the challenges of economic development and social progress.

Its saving grace has, therefore, been largely in the area of humanitarian relief and rehabilitation – an area which is now heavily populated by UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and faith-based charities.

These efforts are led by multiple UN agencies such as the World Food Program, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN children’s fund UNICEF, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), among others. These agencies, which have saved millions of lives, continue to provide food, medical care and shelter, to those trapped in war-ravaged countries, mostly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while following closely in the footsteps of international relief organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), CARE International, Action Against Hunger, World Vision and Relief Without Borders, among others.

Last month, the Executive Director of WFP David Beasley said the World Food Programme has fed about 130 million people, mostly in conflict zones, last year. This year, that number is expected to rise to be about 150 million. In the Horn of Africa, the UN and its partners have provided about 4.9 million people with food while more than two million livestock have been treated or vaccinated, and over 3.3 million people have received water assistance.

 Dr Alon Ben-Meir, a retired professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University (NYU), said although the UN has lagged greatly in its intended purpose to maintain international peace and security, it has over the years established many agencies that provide significant humanitarian assistance in many fields.

“In this respect, the UN has become a massive relief organization,” he declared.

Has the UN Transformed itself into a Vast Humanitarian Relief Organization? | Inter Press Service (ipsnews.net)

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