Is the United Nations a great hope for the long-term future of international politics, or is it an naive, over-optimistic waste of time?
(Or is it a sinister, covert false-flag operation by a tight-lipped, super-elite cabal who control absolutely everything and are planning a one-world government to enslave you forever? :-)
The United Nations provides a forum for communication and discussion - an opportunity for nations to attempt to find common ground and create unified efforts to address areas of concern in our common world. It is not foolproof, it is not guaranteed, it is not perfect, but it is better than nations refusing to consider other points of view and fighting instead of talking about conflicts.
Given the changes in the political, economic and social structures of the world's nations since the UN was created, it is probably time to review how the Security Council members are chosen and how the General Assembly conducts its affairs. However, I think the UN fulfills a critical function in bringing nations together for peaceful purposes and for peaceful discussion of concerns that are not peaceful.
Great postscript! :-) I don't believe the UN is the conspiracy some believe it to be. They are simply not powerful or effective enough to ever accomplish anything so grand, and can often times barely even pay their bills.
I don't think the UN itself is naive, although they do pursue ideals which are largely unachievable in my mind. They are necessary, and offer opportunities for negotiation, communication and cooperation between the world's nations that would not exist if the UN was not around anymore.
I strongly agree with frizzyperm that the UN is immensely useful, but has not yet reached its full potential. It was created by the Allied Powers at the end of World War II, and was modeled to a large extent after the defunct League of Nations. It has some flaws, such as the five permanent members of the Security Council with absolute veto power (obviously a relic of the war) but at a time when the world we know is changing daily, it has the potential to resolve many major disputes without the necessity of useless wars. Let us all hope that it lives up to that potential.
I agree with #4 in saying it is neither. While it may once have served as an important entity in the world, it seems to have become a non-entity. The list of accomplishments by the United nations may be substantive, but its contributions during the last couple of decades are nominal given the expense of maintaining the organization. That is not to discount its value in areas such as world poverty and world health; however, private efforts are often able to offer the same services more efficiently--and generally more cost-effectively.
I don't think it's either. I don't think the UN will lead to any great changes in the world. It's not going to do away with conflict (it sure hasn't so far) or bring about a world government. However, it's not naive and overoptimistic unless you expect it to do those things.
Instead, the UN is a useful organziation in a limited way. It can do things to alleviate and reduce some of the world's problems. However, it (like just about everything else) is not a panacea that will deliver us from all of our worries.
This article depicts many atrocities done at the hands of our "peace keeping troops" of the UN.
"Beasts in Blue Berets" by William Norman Grigg, 1997, THE NEW AMERICAN - Copyright 1997, American Opinion Publishing, Incorporated
Excerpt taken from above article:
Gould described the UN as "a bizarre universe of intrigue and outrage, where diplomats from 185 countries -- stuffed suits simmering with regional, religious, and class-bred hatreds -- try to promote world peace."
I believe it is neither. The propaganda which supported the formation of the UN promoted a dream, which if believed, was definitely a naive dream. And while I believe there was and is a vision for the UN, it is not a democratic one at all.
Conspiracy? Certainly, but it is only a tool used by conspirators.
The United Nations is a long-term hope for the future.
Sure at the moment it is flawed and half-cocked, but in a nutshell, it's only a baby. We live in an rapidly shrinking world full of discord and confusion. The UN is a place where we can resolve issues. Currently the UN is a bit toothless and haphazard, but in the future it could be a place where countries can seek judgement and support in moments of crisis. It is a place for international resolution.
"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional." That is the long-term goal of The UN. There is nothing more destructive or more pointless than war, it is the ambition of the UN to find a way to avoid war as often as possible.