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United Nations - Essay Example

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Therefore, its main aim was and still is to maintain worldwide peace by ensuring friendly coexistence between nations. On its formation it had 51 members…
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The United Nations The United Nations (UN) was formed immediately after the Second World War with the aim of preventing another such incidence. Therefore, its main aim was and still is to maintain worldwide peace by ensuring friendly coexistence between nations. On its formation it had 51 members but as the years advanced the members increased and it now has 193 members. Other UN functions include environmental protection, enforcing human rights, social and economic development among others. These functions are specialized to the various UN organs that include the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice (Banerjee and Sharma 2007 p.35).
The UN fulfils its role of peace keeping by sending its troops to keep peace in areas of antagonism. ECOSOC is responsible for ensuring social and economic development among UN’s member states. In a bid to fulfil its objectives, ECOSOC has formed several agencies such as UN Development Program (UNDP) the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNDP’s functions include publishing the UN Human Development Index and offering grant based technical assistance. Through the UN Human Development Index, much has been done in eradicating poverty, illiteracy and improving development in some of the badly hit countries. One of FAO’s tasks is promoting agriculture and in doing so, some of the food problems in developing countries have been solved. UN has also played an important role in preventing child abuse and fighting for children’s rights across the globe through UNICEF.
UN has other agencies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through the World Bank many countries have accessed development loans thereby reducing the levels of under development especially in the developing countries. In times of disaster and emergencies the UN has been on the forefront of resolving the crisis by offering funds via the IMF. WHO is responsible for eradicating diseases and offering solutions for international health problems. For instance, WHO was responsible for eradication of smallpox, polio, leprosy and just recently almost came up with a cure for the Ebola pandemic. WHO is also responsible for distributing vaccines across the world such as the tetanus vaccine. UN is on the forefront of fighting the AIDS epidemic through the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). In addition, UN’s WFP provides 26 % of world’s food aid (United Nations. Department of Public Information. 1999 p.161). WFP has in conjunction with other organizations such as the Red Cross helped some countries, especially in Africa, overcome food problems in times famine by offering relief food.
However, amid all these good deeds and rewards such as the Nobel peace prize, UN has faced criticisms from individuals and states. For instance, after the Second World War France was not convinced that UN was capable of handling world peace. During the cold war the US and USSR constantly accused the UN of taking sides. In addition, despite the many functions of ECOSOC, some critics have been calling for its disbandment (Krasno 2004, p.8). Despite these critics, it is evident that the UN has done more good than harm in improving the relations between countries thereby maintaining peace. Furthermore, the UN has aided in development and given solutions to many other world problems hence it has significantly made the world a better place.
Works Cited
Krasno, Jean. The United Nations: Confronting the Challenges of a Global Society. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004. Print.
Banerjee, Ajit, and Murari Sharma. Reinventing the United Nations. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India, 2007. Print.
United Nations. Department of Public Information. Basic Facts about the United Nations. Collingdale, Pa.: DIANE Pub. Co., 1999. Print. Read More
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