OP/ED: Time to Move On From The United Nations

OP/ED: Time to Move On From The United Nations

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has once again highlighted the ineffectiveness of the United Nations in preventing major conflicts. 

Time after time, we see the headlines that the UN is having an emergency meeting to discuss a “very concerning development” someplace on earth. It follows the same script every time. 

They meet. They talk. They condemn. Country A attacks Country B. They are stunned and ask them to stop. 

It is utterly powerless with purely symbolic gestures based on idealistic intentions. These “sanctions” mean nothing to the forces who want to harm the world. 

Those intentions behind the UN are noble, and in a perfect world would be the exact organization we need. However, this is the real world, and it’s time the world as a whole accepts that. 

When diving deeper into the purpose of the UN and its history, you see just how bad it is at its goal. Let’s first begin with the Charter of the United Nations. 

The Purposes of the United Nations are: To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace; To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace; To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

— Article 1

In the 77 years since its founding, the world has seen major conflicts in places like Israel, Korea, Vietnam, Ireland, Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Kosovo and Ukraine. It has seen genocide occur in China, Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Iraq and many more places where it’s either not well known or has been totally suppressed by an oppressive government. 

Was the UN not founded in order to prevent disasters like these from happening following World War II and Holocaust? 

If a business was this bad at doing its job, it would have closed up decades ago and declared a failure. 

Let’s not forget this was the result of the predecessor of the UN in the League of Nations, which was created following World War I. It was as successful at preventing conflicts as the United Nations. 

That is what the UN fails to properly accept and address. Countries that seek to do harm and wage deadly conflicts will do it no matter what. They have no regard for life on earth and consequences for their actions. 

If one wants more proof of how the UN is completely useless, there is no better example than the recent Security Council Meetings leading up to the Russian invasion. 

For February, the Russian Federation is the President of the Council. This alone should suffice. The president of the council meant to ensure security and peace in the world represents the nation preventing security and peace. 

That would be as bad as if China, which is committing genocide on Muslim minorities, were sitting on the UN Human Rights Council. But of course, this is the UN, so China is a member of the Human Rights Council. 

It’s a joke you’d expect from a weekend update on Saturday Night Live, but it’s the reality of the organization, which is meant to bring peace and harmony throughout the world. 

During the night of the invasion, the security council met to, “urge de-escalation of the conflict.” During that meeting, Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine and missiles began destroying people’s lives. 

It wasn’t until the representative of Ukraine’s turn to speak that he informed the other representatives of the invasion. It’s a moment worth watching for sure. 

Let me try and simplify the efforts of the UN in deterring Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

If I, as Managing Editor of The Impact, were to state now how the publication condemns the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Army then my efforts to stop the invasion and end the war would equal if not better than the United Nations. 

At least people actually read The Impact and gain information from it that they can use throughout the Mercy and the local community. Please hold your applause for this brave effort by The Impact.

This example shows exactly the issue with the UN. They lack any real power for change in the world. 

This presents the question before us. So what do we do instead? 

We need to accept that the dominant powers in the world are the ones who will call the shots. We can stop pretending they care about what the UN says. 

If a major player like Russia is causing a crisis like it is now, then the rest of the major players need to take a stand against it. It doesn’t take a fancy meeting place in New York to decide this. 

I’m not saying these means send in the troops but through all social, political, and financial means to prevent or end any conflicts that arise. 

Just look now over four days into the war in Ukraine. There are calls for countries to act as mediators between Ukraine and Russia. I don’t see anyone calling up the UN to settle this. 

That is because they know they will do nothing for them. 

It takes nations like the United States, Poland, and others to provide lethal and non-lethal aid to support Ukraine. These same nations are the ones applying the sanctions that in the coming weeks, will look to cripple the Russian economy. 

These are real actions by real nations. The United Nations will never be able to do this because they have no real force behind them. 

Once we accept that it is time to move past the concept of the United Nations, we can finally take realistic steps to prevent future wars and not just symbolic ones.