SAN JOSE, October 24, 2016 – On the 70th anniversary of United Nations Day, intelligent people may truly question the value or relevance of the U.N. as a “peacekeeping” organization. Unfortunately, since the U.N. charter was signed on October 24th, 1945, the Security Council, the brain of the world organization, has only fulfilled its intended purpose three times as outlined under its charter. Specifically, Chapter VII of the U.N. charter provides stronger power of authority for the Security Council via its mandate to identify threats to world peace, decide what measures to take in situations when “threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, or acts of aggression” occur anywhere in the world, and then upon mutual agreement, take dedicated steps to implement such measures as an action plan to mitigate or solve the problems even by use of armed force “to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
When the human brain does not function properly, the body cannot function properly, and this has been the problem at the core of the U.N. Since October 24th, 1945, the Security Council has only used its legal authority under Chapter VII to use armed force to mitigate or eliminate serious threats in order to “maintain or restore international peace and security” in 1950 in Korea, in 1991 in Kuwait, and in 2011 in Libya. On June 27, 1950, the Council condemned the North Korean invasion of South Korea, and passed Resolution 82, which requested troops from member nations to assist the Republic of Korea in defending their freedom; the Council voted to use coalition forces in 1991 to solve the problem of Iraq invading Kuwait, and recently in Libya in 2011.
On the flip side, the United Nations Security Council has seen more failures than successes, and most nations of the world recognize this systemic failure of the original intent or purpose that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill envisioned for the international body. Sadly, not all nations view that as a problem for concern. Fortunately, there may be enough intelligent people and insightful leaders to realize that there is a multi-faceted dysfunctionality inherent within the core of the U.N. Yet, it is not totally clear whether those who care about the original vision and purpose of the U.N. would care enough to attempt to restore it — or even believe that the U.N. could be reformed.
As much of the world recognizes the 70th birthday of the U.N., there are many people living within or very near dangerous trouble spots across the planet that may be losing the hope that the U.N. or any organization, can promote and perpetuate safety, security, and peace throughout the world. Especially now, during the 2016 presidential election year, the thoughts of nuclear war are revived in the minds of people viewing the disagreement between Russia and the United States over the horrendous violence in Syria. And the thoughts originate within the U.S. – not as fear tactics of the Russian government.
Additionally, with the advent of global terrorism threatening innocent people’s safety and the well-being of several nations, it is definitely a dark time within world history. It is even darker when one considers that many nations within the United Nations do not engage their representatives that express serious concern about threats to world peace. Such a present day state of reality can cause concerned observers to wonder whether the U.N. is relevant in any manner of peacekeeping capability in such a world.
The original intent of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill for the UN was to create an international organization that could promote and maintain peace, but would also promote freedom for humankind throughout the world. During the height of one of the world’s most horrendous periods, in the midst of World War II, the principles of the Atlantic Charter declared that peace was an essential foundational goal of the United Nations fighting against the Nazi tyranny. Churchill and Roosevelt declared then: “… they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want…”
The degree of degradation of the original vision is more than apparent in the failures of the Security Council in the turbulent Middle East. Tragically, the recent sweep of violence within Iraq and Syria and and throughout the region is not a situation that the United Nations is capable of dealing with. Ironically, the U.N. is appearing to resemble more and more the impotent League of Nations in dealing (or not dealing with) the nations in Europe and Imperial Japan as they started to make outrageous overtures of war prior to the outbreak of World War II. At this point in human history, it is obvious that the noble dream of Roosevelt and Churchill is not sincerely shared today by the leaders and representatives that occupy the meeting rooms of the U.N.
If it matters however, the very origins of the U.N. holds answers to solving the initial corruption and degradation of the original vision for the creation of a peacekeeping organization. For the Soviet Union to have been accepted and trusted as a member nation in the U.N. was similar to trusting the proverbial wolf to protect the hen house. Having a permanent seat on the Security Council enabled “Uncle Joe” Stalin to do whatever he wanted in his quest for world domination through the embodiment of the goals of International Communism. Originally, Stalin appeared to the world as the victim, and only after his secretive and disastrous efforts to unite and work with Hitler through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact), did “Uncle Joe” eventually joined the Allies to fight the Nazis.
Today, there are many of the world’s nations who have their own ulterior motives for becoming members within the United Nations, just as Joseph Stalin had his own sinister motives for joint efforts against Hitler and the Axis Powers during World War II. However, sharing the core goals of peace and freedom for the creation of the United Nations did not exist in Stalin’s purposes behind participating in the U.N. Only after WWII, the world came to know what Russians knew of Stalin’s repressive dictatorship. Yet, it was too good to be true for the dictator Stalin. His intent was not in alignment with the vision of Roosevelt and Churchill. This is true today, as many member nations do not share the original vision of freedom being the foundation for peace, and an insidious charade passes for a pathway toward peace.
In 2004, Dore Gold, a former U.N. ambassador, published Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos. In his book, Gold criticized the modern United Nations as a diluted and counterproductive body that represented dictatorships more than free nations. At the time of the book’s publication, Gold pointed out that according to Freedom House, only 75 of the 184 member states “were free democracies.” In reality, the name “Republic” in a nation’s name does not cover the crimes of the government, yet many nations masquerade as freedom- loving countries, while their governments do not truly value even basic human rights. In truth, the old Soviet Union’s example of deceit and manipulation has spread like a cancer among many of the member nations, and the vision has been totally tainted and this is what is left in 2016.
While it is possible that the United Nations could make a tremendous contribution to the global community of nations, as there are some valuable sub-organizations that at times do great work for developing nations.
However, the U.N. today is obviously not fulfilling its original purpose for existence.
It is time to clean out the hen house, or to remove any and all of the member nations who do not live up to the fundamental vision of peace between nations based upon freedom and willingness to govern people within the scope of guaranteeing the rights of life, liberty, and freedom from fear, oppression, and destruction.
The U.N. has helped to maintain peace for 70 years, but more by accident rather than purposefully.
It is now time to examine whether the U.N. will continue on the same pathway, or whether the body is too old to re-establish based upon the original vision and purpose.