The United Nations is going to initiate the ever biggest global conversation and coordination among the member countries in order to build up a peaceful world with a strong global future while celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020.
With a view to supporting collective action to attain global peace, prosperity and establish human rights for all, the UN was founded on 24 October, 1945 and subsequently the 1st meeting was held on the 1 January, 1946. Since 1947, 24 October has been being observed as "United Nations Day".
Through the upcoming dialogues to be held in 2020, the UN aims to build a global vision for the year 2045 (the UN's centenary) in order to increase the understanding of the roots and the causes of threats as well as resentments from different countries and communities all over the world. The views and suggestions of experts will be put forward to the world leaders and senior UN officials at a high profile event during the 75th session of General Assembly in 2020.
Apropos the documents, the UN was founded on the 4 pillars. These are: (1) Maintain international peace and security, (2) Develop friendly relations among the nations, (3) Seek international cooperation to solve international problems, and (4)Work to reduce causalities of war.
Ever since its inception in 1945, the UN has appreciatively displayed innumerable successes across the world, especially through the coordination with its agencies. Some of the notable achievements are discussed below:
Peace and security: In this connection the instance of Sieraleone can be cited. During the period 1999- 2005, the UN greatly contributed to the end of decade long civil war and was successful to reduce causalities and restore peace and stability.
Aid and global food supply: The ever increasing world population often faces food scarcity, occasionally aggravated by the climatic whims and caprices resulting in natural calamities in different shapes in addition to war that largely causes damage of food crops. It is estimated that the UN feeds about 104 million people every year in food scarcity areas all over the world.
Health and education: The World Health Organization initiated awareness, prevention as well as treatment programs which have significantly reduced the death rates caused by a number of malignant diseases including AIDS. For instance,during the period 2010-16, the number of new infections in adults and the children have been reduced by 11% and 47% respectively.
Over and above, the number of HIV related deaths , since the peak of the epidemic in 2005, had reduced by 48% in 2016. As regards education sector, the UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific Cultural Organization)-the only UN agency for education, has been entrusted to lead the global education agenda through Sustainable Development Goal, 2030. The goal asserts that all boys and girls get the opportunity to complete free primary and secondary education by 2030.
Commendably enough, there has also been dramatic increase in literacy rates and many more girl students in the school are now found than ever before. These are undoubtedly remarkable successes. But deplorably, the utter failures of the UN as a peace keeper in the disputed areas all over the world, notably the Israeli occupied territories in the Middle East, cannot be lost sight of.
The UN has failed to perform the responsibilities as peace keeper by preventing war and skirmishes many times throughout the history. Millions of innocent people have been killed, wounded, raped and displaced from their home of origin since its birth in 1945. There are many instances of contemptible, highly damning indictments against the UN's ineffectiveness. Only 3 out of them are stated in brief.
Israeli occupation and illegal settlement (1948- till date)
Ever since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, the displaced and the repressed Palestinians have been fighting tooth and nail against the Israeli atrocities. During the period of only 2 years (1947- 49), at least 15000 Palestinians were killed and 750000 were driven and displaced from their home of origin.
Between 2000-2014, more than 7000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflicts and skirmishes. Today, Israel controls 85% of historic Palestine imposing crippling blockade on Gaza.
Further, in a sarcastic fashion, it continues making illegal settlements on the occupied Arab land in utter defiance of repeated UN Resolutions calling for an end to those excesses. But USA always applied its veto power to counter UN resolutions only to give indulgence to Israelto be more ferocious and aggressive.
Iraq invasion (2003-2011)
In the wake of an unjust US led invasion wrought want only in 2003, more than one million innocent Iraqis have been killed. The invasion was carried under the false and fabricated assertion that "Saddam regime was in possession of weapons of mass destruction". The UN could do nothing, rather displayed a flabbergasting ineptitude in defending the sovereignty of an innocent and independent nation.
Rohingya cleansing and genocide by Myanmar govt (2012- till date)
The UN was built on 3 core principles: peace and security, development, and human rights. The Rohingya crisis is a burning issue where the 3 core principles have been threatened and undermined by the Myanmar military hordes that killed more than ten thousand innocent people and raped and displaced millions of Rohingya Muslims from their country of origin.
Since 2012 till now, more than one million Rohingya Muslims took shelter in Bangladesh territory to escape genocide, rape and torture. The Bangladesh government has been still hosting them with food, shelter and health care facilities which captured attention and earned appreciation from different international communities including the "Human Right Organizations".
On the other hand, the human rights violation perpetrated by the Myanmar government. heinously extends even up to the denial of food and health care services to those Rohingyas lying languished in Myanmar. Sadly, in case of Rohingya crisis , the role of the UN has been anything but satisfactory. Earlier, also in case of Bangladesh's liberation war, the UN was found conspicuously incapacitated by the opposing stances of the most powerful nation USA.
Because of this, the UN could not even stop the genocide in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). To conclude, if the trend of sad events proving the UN failures goes on rising one after another, then there is every reason to believe that the UN will meet with the same fate as the League of Nations which collapsed prior to the outbreak of the 2nd World War in 1939.
The writer is a former general manager of Credit Information Bureau, Bangladesh Bank
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