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The United Nations is an extremely deficient organization with flaws in almost all of its councils, the most corrupt being the security council and the human rights council both coming up with ineffective solutions while being run by a weak secretary-general.
The UN Security Council created to maintain world peace is, in reality bursting with many flaws like mismanagement, corruption and lack of discipline that make it nearly useless. The UNSC discusses conflicts and comes up with resolutions rarely has the countries or groups it discusses present. The council frequently discussуі Syria, Libya and Somalia but they hardly ever have them present in these discussions. Even when the UNSC does, the conflict involves non-states like different religious groups. Very rarely does the UN allow an audience of non-states and when it does it’s only allows those it approves of. It should be a regular practice to consult representatives of parties, so their views and concerns can be known before the UN can take a decision about their future because they know their countries and conflicts better than anyone else. One of the most well known and discussed flaws is the veto power of the P5. With the veto power, any of the P5 (China, Russia, Britain, France, United States) can call a veto and stop any operation that is not in favour with them. The selfishness of these powerful nations is paralyzing the progression of peace. This is almost like how in the League of Nations, when Britain and France were pursuing their own self interests. Russia’s numerous vetoes have completely halted the council’s response to the Syrian war1. Even when the response to maintaining peace isn’t instantly vetoed, the so-called “peacekeepers” just rape the defenseless women and children and traffic them revealed by an Associated Press investigation in 2017. In Congo UN personnel from Nepal, Morocco, Tunisia, Uruguay, South Africa, Pakistan and France face more than 150 major human rights violations. In Haiti, Sri Lankan peacekeepers raped girls and boys as young as 12 and at least 134 exploited nine children in a sex ring according to an internal U.N. report. One victim was sexually assaulted nearly 50 times over the course of 3 years from when she was 12 to 15. Over the course of 12 years, around 2000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation were discovered around the world. Most of these peacekeepers are not in jail. These people looked up to the U.N. as their only hope to end the war but instead, they were just taken advantage of.
The U.N. Human Rights Council is also deeply flawed and corrupt. First, their members are some of the worst human rights violators like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Libya, Algeria, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Burma, etc. These countries do not care about human rights and are only members for their own personal benefit. Currently members serving their terms beginning January 1st, 2019 and having a terrible record of human rights violations are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay3. Their council being this crooked, has failed to prevent multiple genocides. In 1994, the council failed to prevent the genocide thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica and only a year later they failed to stop the Rwandan genocide. Today, they are repeating their past failures in Darfur, Sudan. Initially the U.N. refused to categorize it as a genocide even though over 200 000 people lost their lives to the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese Government. Arguably, one of the worst things the U.N has ever done was the Oil for Food Scandal which was their biggest scandal and one of the world’s largest financial frauds. It was created in the 1990s to provide aid to Iraqi people but was manipulated by Saddam Hussein’s regime who was allegedly working with U.N. officials to instead use that money to keep the dictator in power. Rather than preventing the Saddam regime from getting access to weapons, it let him earn $11 billion while he was under sanctions.5 This happened because of the poor judgement of the secretary general, careless oversight by the UN Security Council, bribery to those who supported the lifting if U.N. sanctions and internal corruption.
When it comes to coming up with solutions to the world’s problems, the U.N. does a shoddy job because it is in dire need of a bold, tough, independent, non-aligned secretary general. The UN comes up with vague solutions that officials cannot understand. The UN’s solutions are becoming longer and increasingly unintelligible. Carne Ross, a former British diplomat, talked about instances when heads of UN missions told him that they can’t understand the confusing commands given to their peacekeepers. He says governments he has advised tell him they have no idea of the meanings of the solutions sent to them. This kind of secretary general would have commanded a ceasefire within Syria and clearly stated the consequences such as forceful sanctions. In the General Assembly, it is clear that the UN is at a crossroads of either dividing it by the rich and poor nations, with the rich having a more powerful vote than the poor or have a “one country, one vote” policy. Currently, the partial solution is to need unanimous support for a something to be passed but the best solution is the “one country, one vote.” For this solution to be effective, the secretary-general must neither fear nor favour the P5 for the true concept of the UN, “the nations of the world working together for one common goal” to be fulfilled. The secretary general must also have utmost transparency within the UN and with the public. Currently, UN reports are edited by permanent members before they are delivered to the Security Council. Examples of this filtering are issues in the South China Sea and Chechnya which are banned from the council’s agenda because it is understood without being explicitly stated that certain powerful countries forbid their discussion. This ideal secretary general would not crop out ideas because a powerful country denies them. He would also give televised speeches to make their decisions more understandable and transparent. Televised speeches would also engage the public and make them care more about what happens in the UN.
In conclusion, the United Nations is ineffective in solving the world’s problems. The Security Council and Human Rights Council are both filled with corruption and failures. On top of this the secretary-general cannot keep them in check. The UN is the only organisation capable of achieving world peace, so we should try our best to make it work.
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