The failure of the League of Nations and the outbreak of two dreaded World Wars that killed millions and left countries in turmoil led the nations of the world to come together once again for a united world to maintain International peace and Security. Was this aim achieved? The answer is more complicated that we could ever imagine. It is but a long drawn journey for the UN since 1945 which marks the 75 years of existence this year. The cold war period itself has been a troublesome eras for the UN to cope with because of the emergence of Newly independent countries as well as the development of intra-state conflicts that started towards the end of cold war and still continuing.
Indeed, the objectives and purposes of the United Nations was met with ups and downs over the decades but at the end of the day this largest world body is still standing at the headquarters in New York and elsewhere across the globe and doing works from humanitarian to climate change to every aspects of our daily endeavours. At a time when the world is at its worst it is indeed a time to also reflects what happen way back 100 years back when the influenza hit the world real hard that also coincided with the world war at that time. History itself never repeat, we repeat history. It is about time that the developed world making more room for the countries that needed the most especially in terms of decision making. If at all the UN should be revisioned and renewed, the smaller and developing world should be getting more spaces and voices in the decision making and bureaucratic process as well as positions in various agencies and missions and programmes of the UN. No one should arbitrarily decide without the actual representation of these small countries problems.
The task ahead of United Nations at this juncture is to ensure that poor countries get due attention plagued by the pandemic as well as other existing problems. China may try to outsmart in the UN system and the world in general, the point is to ensure that the world should live together in harmony. It is matter of fact that at the moment the UN is focussing more in terms of tackling the pandemic and its impact on world economy and the countries. The other aspects of UN endeavour is halted, various peacekeeping missions of the UN across the globe especially in North Africa and West Asian region is halted due to the pandemic, thanks to the relatively relaxed conflicting situation in the intra-state conflicts.
The UN has been actively engaging with the present issue of pandemic ever since its outbreak either through its specialised agency the World Health Organisation or otherwise, recently the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “COVID-19 has shown that Universal Health Coverage, strong public health systems and emergency preparedness are essential for economies, for justice, for everyone”. With regards to how countries responded he said that because of the”huge gap in health coverage is one of the reasons why COVID-19 has caused so much pain and suffering, he further says that Public health programmes must be inclusive & equitable, without financial barriers”. This is significant at a time when the world is dying a slow death, such statement from world leaders deemed importance set aside the political theatrics.
On the other hand when it comes to non-conventional security threats, the countries has hardly been taken so seriously whereas showcasing military mights and major technological knowhow has been a daily scenes, it is about time that the UN should further expand its horizon in ensuring that the world is safer place to live in the near future, let this 75th year of UN existence be a year that low optics becomes much more important issue because sustainability is the way forward whatsoever, what is unfolding in the past few months is definitely lessons learned from the top to the lower strata of the society.
Rebuilding countries needs a lot of material and strategic expertise how to go about but there is little hope that we may overcome soon as the US, UK and other major countries today who are the major UN donors are also facing financial constraints because of the pandemic that also led to the lost of millions of jobs. The already deficit UN budget especially in the realms of peace and security and other important areas is alarming and the world of security issues might be a new turn especially at a time when wants to come forward who will find the vaccine first.
The task ahead for this world body is to help rebuild economy of those countries that is being highly affected and help the health infrastructure of these countries. Although health has been kept as low politics but after the outbreak of the COVID-19 it has instead become a major part of the discussions domestically and internationally. The World Health Organisation has indeed been at the crossroads of the pandemic of chaos however its consistent engagement with the people across the globe deemed acknowledged. The key to ensure that public health is in safe hands is investment and more concentration.
The third world problems needs to be given more attention and less of a patronising attitudes, these countries going to be needed a lot of assistance from this world body due to the pandemic because without pandemic also there has been a major need and assistances especially countries in the African continent as well as some countries in Asia and South America.
The natural disaster that hit countries around the world is another major problems that countries continue to face, closer home is Nepal and Bangladesh not to mention the recent Amphan cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. Alongside the issues of gender justice needs to take serious considerations with the rising crimes against women especially in a large population like India where domestic abuse apart from the sexual harassment and rape is rising during the course of lockdown. Human Rights should continue to be a grave issue to respond at a faster rate so that humanity shall thrive even if development continue to hider countries.
We would like to see this world body to be more engaging and more of a bottom-up approach whenever it bring programmes and projects for the people at large. The latest News about the UN’s agency, the World Food Programme (WFP) conferred the Prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Award for its humanitarian aids across the globe from the Sub Saharan region of Africa plagued by poverty and epidemics to the Asia-Pacific, WFP has been relentlessly helping the people met with extreme poverty that further escalated by the catastrophic turn of events because of pandemic. As the years is unfolding the collective efforts and voices is needed and for that the representatives at the Security Council needs to be revamped so that more countries from the Global South can have major voices in the decision making process unlike in the last seven decades wheret countries from the Global South were able to present their agenda at the UNSC table only as Non-permanent Members only.
In a nutshell, the UN needs a moment of reflection what went wrong in the past seven decades of its existence and what actually needs to be done for a better world community according to the need of time and situation, the most important assignments for the UN is to start rebuilding the organisation from within which itself should be a reflection of its works through various agencies and organs.