What are the achievements of the United Nations Organization?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The United Nations (UN) has had a long and somewhat controversial history. Its supporters laud its accomplishments. Its detractors, including the United States, have sometimes excoriated it. Nevertheless, the UN has achieved quite a lot over the past seventy years, and it has been a positive influence.

One achievement of the UN is that it has endured since 1945. Its predecessor, the League of Nations, failed within two decades. But the creators of the UN learned from the League's unhappy experience and created a more robust and effective institution.

The Cold War was an impediment to the UN's effectiveness for its first half century. The world was divided into East and West, and agreement on any issue was problematic. The Soviet Union frequently used its veto in the Security Council. After the Cold War ended around 1990, the UN became more assertive and active.

In spite of East-West divisions, the UN took an active role in both the Korean War and the Suez Crisis (1956). Soldiers from many nations fought under the UN flag in Korea. The UN mediated the crisis that resulted from the Anglo-French attack on Egypt in 1956.

The UN has been active in peacekeeping operations, especially since the 1990s. The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize for its peacekeeping efforts in 1988.

A UN climate conference in 2015 produced the Paris Agreement. Signed by nearly two hundred nations, the accord seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Donald Trump took the United States out of the Paris Agreement in 2017.

Today, it is hard to conceive of a world without the UN.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Since its inception back in 1945, the United Nations (UN) has accomplished innumerable successes across the world, especially through coordination with its agencies and other similar organizations. Some of its notable achievements include:

Maintaining Peace and Security

Through peacekeeping and conflict resolution initiatives across the world, UN has managed to restore peace and stability as well as reduce the casualties of war. One such case is that of Sierra Leone where UN peacekeepers between 1999 and 2005 contributed greatly to the end of the decade-long civil war.

Global Food Security and Aid

In addition to changing climate and weather patterns that affect food production, an ever-increasing global population faces the threat of food shortage. The World Food Program (WFP) has however been on the forefront with global food security initiatives. It is estimated that the UN feeds approximately 104 million people from 80 nations annually due to natural disasters, war, poverty, or health emergencies.

Fight against AIDS

Even though it cannot receive full credit for the strides made in the fight against this epidemic, the UN has played a critical role in the achievements made. The World Health Organization, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, and UNAIDS have initiated awareness, prevention, and treatment programs which have significantly reduced the number of deaths from AIDS and related opportunistic diseases. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of new infections in adults and children reduced by 11% and 47% respectively. Also, the number of HIV related deaths since the peak of the epidemic in 2005 had reduced by 48% by 2016.

UN’s achievements span across all the facets of humanity whether politics, economy, health, environment, protection of children, women empowerment or human rights.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are several successes of the United Nations. One success was keeping South Korea independent after North Korea attacked them without provocation in 1950. The United Nations put together a fighting force of soldiers from several countries, led by the United States, to force North Korea out of South Korea. South Korea remains independent today.

The United Nations helped save the pyramids in Egypt. When there was a proposal to build a highway that would endanger the pyramids, the United Nations acted to divert the building of the highway so the pyramids would remain safe.

The United Nations has worked to eliminate some diseases and to protect the environment. The United Nations worked to wipe out smallpox with a vast immunization campaign. The United Nations also worked to get countries to work together to protect the ozone layer by getting countries to sign an agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

The United Nations has also worked to help children. The Children’s fund of the United Nations works to protect the rights of kids.

The United Nations has had many successes.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial