UN bashing needs to stop.
The recent years have seen various nations, political leaders, commentators and everyone else in between critique and shame the United Nations for various reasons. It has almost become a trend in recent years to bash the UN and to speak negatively about the UN. Every positive statement about the UN is always followed with a warning statement. Political commentators have turned the UN into a punching bag- have an issue with world politics? Let’s just blame the UN and move on.
The problem with UN bashing is that it dangerously reduces the legitimacy of the UN, the world unfortunately is structured in such a way that the UN is the only institution where all the nations come in direct contact with each other. It is the only platform where Governments, however hostile they are to each other, can have some form of dialogue with each other. When we delegitimize and reduce this body to a pile of bones, we are invariably reducing the importance of this platform. The UN was not formed to take humanity to heaven but was formed to save us from hell. It is not a perfect organization nor is it a super structure that can boss over nations. On the other hand, it is a body created for and by the nations of the world. It belongs to each and every one of us.
The fashionable opinion pieces which have nothing good to say about the UN need to stop, we don’t need a world where the countries don’t trust the UN, we need a world in which the UN plays a larger role than it does today. And for this to happen, we need to stop looking at the UN as a body which is defunct, the UN is alive and kicking, more so than ever. Let us be absolutely clear that world peace will never be a reality without the UN. The UN is the only way towards world peace, even if political commentators disagree in their op-eds.
The UNGA is the only event where leaders from every country come to talk about issues that are close to their nation. It is the only platform where this happens, the staunchest foes are made to hear the views of each other, it is on the floor of the General Assembly that Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, George Bush and a host of other world leaders, who had opposing ideologies and beliefs came together and had dialog with nations with diametrically opposing views, we must never forget the importance of this. Dialog is the most powerful weapon on the road to world peace. When we turn our guns towards the UN, we are inevitably undermining the role that dialog and discussion plays. Would you rather have these world leaders use tanks and guns to make their points? World diplomacy and international relations depends on the UN.
The more nations move away from the UN, the harder it will get to foster cooperation and understanding among them, the UN plays a vital role in fostering cordial relations among nations, UN bashing underplays the role that the UN plays in promoting a world where jaw jaw overrules war war.
UN bashing is popular, it is also loud and has a lot of international support. I mean it’s very easy to say that the UN is the root cause of issues. Civil War in some country? Ah! The UN has failed. Pandemic? Ah! What is the UN doing? Governments have also used UN bashing to remove responsibility from their hands, it is much easier to blame issues on the UN than to actually do work to tackle these issues. The problem with this is that the UN is actually nothing but a coalition of countries. When you blame the UN, you are actually blaming yourself.
Let it be clear that I’m not going to ignore the fact that the UN needs reforms like every other organization but what sort of criticism should we be giving to the UN? Should we be baselessly targeting the UN and it’s bodies or should we be giving positive statements and ideas on how to reform the UN? This is food for thought, especially for the International media. If the COVID-19 Pandemic is of any lesson to us, it is that world bodies like the UN are more important than they were 70 years ago. Imagine the world trying to solve issues like climate change without cooperation. It would not only be impossible but would also be foolish. The bottom line is very clear, stop bashing the UN for no reason. Let’s work towards making the UN more dynamic but let’s not undermine the role that the UN plays. The very fact that there has not been a war as deadly as the second world war is proof of the pudding that the UN has been successful, let’s keep it that way.