The internationally empowered community known as the United Nations is our last and only appeal for peace and civilized progress.
The United Nations was established, in the aftermath of a devastating war, to help stabilize international relations and give peace a more secure foundation.
Amid the threat of nuclear war and seemingly endless regional conflicts, peacekeeping has become an overriding concern of the United Nations, and the activities of the blue-helmeted peacekeepers have emerged as among the most visible.
But the United Nations is much more than a peacekeeper and a forum for conflict resolution. Often without attracting attention, the UN and its family of agencies are engaged in a vast array of work that seeks to improve people’s lives around the world.
The United Nations is not a world government, and it does not make laws. It does, however, provide the means to help resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters affecting all of us.
The United Nations has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. Cooperating in this effort are more than 30 affiliated organizations, known together as the UN system.
Only independent countries with international recognition can become members of the UN. However, individuals can support the work of the United Nations through international and local non-governmental organizations. Some of them collaborate with the UN Department of Public Information and provide the UN with valuable links to people around the world.
Human rights are those rights which are essential for us to live as human beings. Without human rights, we cannot fully develop and use our human qualities, our intelligence, our talent and our spirituality.
The United Nations set a common standard on human rights for all nations when, in 1948, it adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By this Declaration, Governments accepted the obligation to ensure that all human beings, rich and poor, strong and weak, male and female, of all races and religions, are treated equally. The Declaration is not part of binding international law, but due to widespread acceptance by countries in the world, it has gained great moral weight.
The UN has also adopted many international human rights treaties, legally binding nations to guarantee their citizens’ social, economic and political rights. The most important of these treaties are two International Covenants – one on economic, social and cultural rights and the other on civil and political rights. These treaties, together with Optional Protocols, are known as the International Bill of Human Rights.
If each poor person on the planet had the same energy-rich lifestyle as an average person in Germany or the United Kingdom, four planets would be needed to safely cope with the pollution. That figure rises to nine planets when compared with the average of the United States or Canada. If each poor person on the planet had the same energy-rich lifestyle as an average person in Germany or the United Kingdom, four planets would be needed to safely cope with the pollution. That figure rises to nine planets when compared with the average of the United States or Canada.
Since 1945, the UN has assisted in negotiating more than 170 peace settlements that have ended regional conflicts.
It played a role in bringing about independence in more than 80 countries that are now sovereign nations.
Over 500 multinational treaties – on human rights, terrorism, international crime, refugees, disarmament, commodities and the oceans – have been enacted through the efforts of the United Nations.
The United Nations is a rich, talented and dedicated community. By lending your support to even only one of it’s many arms we can together, by a proven workable system of compromise make agreements and policies that will benefit us all.
All includes all of our children for all time.