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24.10.2008 General News

THE UN AT 60

By newtimesonline.com

Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations. On that fateful day, October 24, 1945, when government representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco to draw up the UN Charter, the dream was a world without war, a better place for all.

Today, the UN is made up of 192 countries, while the organisation's responsibilities have increased beyond the prevention of wars to include issues pertaining to the environment, combating hunger, poverty, global warming resulting from climate change, nuclear activities, terrorism, renewable energy, communication and economic development, among others.

Today, in Ghana, even the non-literate has heard about the world body, what with a son of the soil, Busumru Kofi Annan, as a one time Secretary General.

As the world takes stock of its activities today, special mention must be made of its peace-building efforts throughout the world.

Today's endless conflicts have stretched the UN's resources in dealing with war and threats of war as nations continue to pile up arms and multiply their arsenals of war.  

The so-called Permanent Members of the Security Council have so misused the veto for selfish ends that it no longer serves as a deterrent so that any nation can now afford to conduct itself  well knowing that one of the Permanent Members would cast a veto in its defence not because the nation is in the right but because in a world of permanent interest (and not permanent friends), the veto is determined by who happens to be a friend at any moment in time.

These notwithstanding, the United Nations can be commended for other numerous achievements.

Continuous efforts by the UN to encourage its member states to enhance their international cooperation and to promote understanding and friendliness deserve commendation.

Over the years, it can be said that the UN has brought smiles to the faces of all peace-long people of the world. In many countries of the world, there would have  been a decimation of whole populations but for the timely arrival of the UN.

Hunger in many countries have been averted or been reduced because the UN arrived just on time.

Even if the UN has not been able to stop all wars, it is evident that this inability is due, more to the greed and selfishness of member-countries, particularly the bigger brothers.

Current trends have posed a lot of challenges such as globalization, migration, intercontinental trade and even threats of nuclear war. If the world body is to succeed, it will if all parties, big and small, are prepared to play fair.

A lot still remains to be done to end seemingly unending conflicts, unfair international trade practices, unjust treatment of the poor and marginalized nations of the world to make the world a better place for all.

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