SAN JOSE, October 24, 2015 – October 24th, is recognized around the world as United Nations Day because on this day in 1945, the U.N. charter was signed and that officially established the worldwide organization. Yet, as much of the world recognizes the 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.
With the advent of global terrorism threatening innocent people’s safety and well-being in 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 also promote freedom for humankind throughout the world. This concept came to fruition after the most disastrous global war in history, and being the second global war of the twentieth century, most of humanity welcomed the ideal of such an organization in light of the failure of the former attempt at world peace – the League of Nations.
The principles of the Atlantic Charter declared that peace was an essential foundational goal of the United Nations. The two leaders 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…” Sadly, this noble dream is not sincerely shared today by the leaders and representatives that occupy the meeting rooms of the U.N. a noble dream.
The degree of degradation of this original vision was quite apparent most recently when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addressed the U.N. General Assembly on October 1. He pleaded for the distinguished representatives to break their silence regarding the threat that the nation of Iran poses to the stability and security of Israel and to the entire region of the Middle East in general. Ultimately, in defiance, he boldly expressed: ‘If Israel is forced to stand alone, it will.’ Sadly, even the United States government seems somewhat indifferent to the threat posed by the government of Iran or the problems faced by the nation of Israel in an increasingly hostile region of the world.
Netanyahu spoke at the U.N. just twenty days before his 66th birthday and although somewhat defiant, he appeared as a man of desperation, yet determined to help his nation survive, to help his people survive. This desperation burst out again just yesterday, in the aftermath of Palestinian violence within Jerusalem, as the Prime Minister of Israel accused the World War II-era Palestinian leader, Amin al-Husseini, of instigating Hitler to exterminate the Jewish people in Germany. Such a misrepresentation of history may be equaled by the Palestinian claim to the Western Wall in Jerusalem as they sought to perpetrate a conspiracy theory at the beginning of the week that Israel was seeking to completely take control of the wall and exclude Muslim access to it.
The recent exchange of verbiage and violence in Israel is something that the United Nations is today incapable of dealing with. The recent sweep of violence throughout Iraq and Syria 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 as nations in Europe and Imperial Japan started to make serious noises of war prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Surprisingly, in recent years, the powers that be in Saudi Arabia have, to a degree, broken their silence on what they deem international double standards on the Middle East, and seemingly contradictory views the Security Council, which is chartered to maintain international security and peace throughout the world, as failing to fulfill their mission specifically with regard to current turbulence in Syria. Specific grievances also zeroed in on the Council’s failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian problem and nuclear capabilities from states in the region, notably Iran. The Saudi’s have even complained that the Security Council, the most powerful body of the U.N., had actually perpetuated conflicts and grievances in the region.
What is currently happening in the world at this point in time is nothing new. In the broad sweep of historical events, humanity cannot seem to extract itself from the age-old conflict and struggle for freedom from tyranny. In the dark time in history that swirled with uncertainty in the great and deadly wars of the twentieth century, a vision emerged from two great leaders for world peace. In that time, after the dust of marching troops had settled and the smoke of burning buildings dispersed, the United Nations emerged as a spark of hope for the future. Has it been a false hope, or is it possible that the better days of the U.N. lie in the future?’
Now the world is a much different place from where humanity was in 1945, and there is so much criticism of the United Nations for not being able to fulfill its fundamental purpose of promoting and maintaining peace in the world. That original vision of Roosevelt and Churchill to create an international organization to promote and maintain peace, but also freedom for humankind throughout the world, may be a long time in coming, but there is still hope for humanity; mankind is still here. Such a vision of hope, however, has always come from free people and not from tyrants.