You have most likely heard of the United Nations, but what exactly do they do? The United Nations was founded in 1945, after the devastating effects of the Second World War. It was founded with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. With every country on board as a ‘party’ member, the organization works to prevent conflict by assisting parties in peace making and in creating the right conditions to allow peace to hold and flourish. Along with the maintenance of International Peace and Security, the UN also has the following aims:
Protect Human Rights
Human rights is a big priority for the United Nations. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was introduced into international law. This Declaration proclaims the fundamental rights of all peoples in all nations and these rights are universally protected by the United Nations. This protection is enforced through legal action and on-the-ground activities. You can find more information on this declaration here. As an example of what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, here is Article 1:
‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’
Deliver Humanitarian Aid
Another focus of the United Nations, as mentioned in its Charter is: "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character." The first great accomplishment of this kind, was the UN’s efforts to deal with the aftermath of the Second World War which devasted Europe and to which they indeed, helped rebuild.
Promote Sustainable Development
As mentioned above: ‘international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character’, involves the well-being of people and which thus involves the well-being of the natural environment. Over the years, we have seen many changes in the way in which we develop as a race, and this has grown into the understanding of sustainable development – development that promotes economic opportunity, greater well-being and the protection of the environment.
Uphold International Law
The United Nations has set the objective: “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained". In other words, the development and respect for international law has been a key focus for the work of this organization. How do they achieve it? Through courts, tribunals, multilateral treaties; and through the Security Council, which has the authorization to impose sanctions or authorize the use of force when there is a threat to international peace and security. The UN Member States are bound by this law and most importantly, prohibits the use of force in international relations.
The UN represents one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Through its continued work in securing the safety, security and freedom of every individual in the world, it is inspiring to say the least. Indeed, there is still plenty more work to be done, but the fact that we have made great strides in achieving these types of goals, should give us hope and faith in the goodness of mankind and in our possibilities. Endless Love proudly supports the United Nations and everything they stand for.
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