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UN--What is the role of the UN in world affairs and what is its future prospects?

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Topics: United Nations
The United Nations (UN) is an international organization of 191 countries, with the central role of promoting peace and security, development as well as human rights around the world. Unfortunately, the UN seems drifting towards irrelevance because millions have died in hundreds of conflicts around the world in more than 50 years since the UN's establishment, such as the conflicts in Somalia, Bosnia and Afghanistan. However, it is too early to judge if the UN has become a failure. In world affairs, the UN still plays important roles, as "The Economist" says, 'if the UN did not exist, it would have to be invented".

In the domain of keeping peace, considering the US attack on Iraq, 2003, the US cannot do its job properly. Despite the fact that France, one of the permanent members of the UN, used its veto power, US President George W. Bush commanded the attack. In fact, George Bush has sought the UN's approval for the disarmament of Iraq, but it finally turned out that they do not need anybody's permission on their own national security and then he started the attack. This bruised the UN, making it become ineffective at the time being.

However, from another angle, the UN is very important in world affairs. We should note that there has not been a world war since the UN came into existence. It would be much worse if the world is without the UN. For example, the UN has successfully procrastinated US's attack for six months, when the weapons inspectors were sent to Iraq and the Security Council held meetings on the issue. Also, in other parts of the world, the UN can take much credit for the reason that it resisted aggression in regional conflicts in Korea and the Middle East. It helped to make peace to end the Iran-Iraq war as well. The world might have been much more violent without the UN.

Furthermore, the Security Council acts as a forum where countries can discuss world matters. In the Council, the members can make compromises and have a better understanding on each other. Examples such as what Adlai Stevenson did during the Cuban missile crisis, and what Colin Powell tried to do earlier all show that the UN is a place for deal-making and complains.

On the other hand, the United Nations also enhance developments in countries and promote human rights. To be more specific, the UN promotes higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress. It also identifies solutions to health problems and facilities international cultural and educational cooperation. For instances, the UN helps to cope with global problems like environmental depredation and AIDS. Besides, the UN has made billions of people aware of their own rights by showing them what is considered norms, and some regimes are shamed so that they improved their policies. China, which is claiming that its human rights record is better, reveals the UN's role in this aspect.

In the future, the United Nations should aim at recording its relevance. In the past, the UN seemed ineffective in decision-making. Now, its must show its importance by being able to decide foe the world on global affairs. Since the UN is our best hope for a humane and peaceful world, and under it there are international organizations like the World Health organization and UNICEF to help it implementing its agenda, what it should work on now is to help rebuilding the post-Saddam Iraq. Even Mr Bush said, "In a post Saddam Iraq, the UN will definitely need to have a role." It is also clear that the UN is important as soon as the war is over.

The USA, although seems powerful, cannot ignore other countries. It can never control everything, running the world on its own. The irrelevance of the UN this time cannot drive it to a failure. Instead, it helped to reveal how powerful the US is. We should thus keep good faith on the United Nations, believing that it will gain relevant authority in the future.

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