The United Nations (UN) came into existence in 1945. It was soon after the Second World War that different nations formed it for the good of the world. It was organized to prevent war and to improve the condition of all human beings.
The UN consists (is made up of two main parts, the General Assembly and the Security Council. Every member nation of the UN sends five representatives to the General Assembly. The General Assembly discusses and considers problems of war, disputes between countries, ways of helping backward or poorer countries, and so on. It passes resolutions and makes decisions after a great deal of discussion. However, it does not have the power to implement them (put them into effect).
The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Five members are permanent. These are the most powerful countries, that is, the US, Russia, the People’s Republic of China, France and Britain.
The Security Council discusses the urgent problems of war or serious political disputes. It passes resolutions on these problems. It has the power to implement them. However, each of its permanent members has the right of rejecting or of “vetoing” its decisions.
The UN has very well helped its member countries in handling some of their social, educational, scientific and other problems. It works through its own and other specialized agencies for the betterment of the world. For example, the International Labour Organization (ILO) helps solve the problems of laborers and working people all over the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) works on health and the removal of diseases. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) helps in improving education, agriculture, and health.
Despite the UN regular wars have taken place between India and Pakistan, Israel and the Arabs, Ethiopia and Somalia, Iran and Iraq, and so on. At times, however, it helped to ease a war situation – and to arrest the spread (escalation) of a war: Thus, it helped in ending the Korean War, in preventing a war between America and Russia over Cuba in the sixties, in the signing of the Afghanistan peace accord a landmark in peace negotiations or talks and in arranging a cease-fire between the warring. Iran and Iraq in 1988. It failed to check the American-British invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Overall, the UN has failed to prevent or stop wars. The UN General Assembly, where most of the countries are represented, is quite powerless. Its decisions cannot be implemented by force. The Security Council is not free to act. Any of its five permanent members can reject or “veto” its resolutions.
The UN cannot become truly powerful unless all the big powers agree to destroy their atomic weapons and decide not to make any more. The UN should be having its own armed forces, more, powerful than those of any one single country. After this, none of the five big powers should any more have the right to reject the decisions of the Security Council.