Editorial -- A True Reform Needed at the UN

Since 1945, as of its inauguration after the end of World War II, the United Nations Organization has been struggling to stop wars, discrepancies among members, world hunger, health crisis, human rights violations, and the destruction of the environment.

Critics of the UN have mentioned the adsurdity of having only five permanent members at the Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States) enjoying the privilege of veto power. Many of the critics also accuse the US of not paying its debt to the UN of nearly one billion dollars and of launching wars without the approval of the Security Council.

But the UN needs much more than such criticism. To understand those needs you should read at least the preamble of the UN Charter, which begins with these words:

"We the peoples of the United Nations determined

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,..."

When this preamble is read, you cannot imagine that such words pertain to the United Nations, an organization with a membership of 191 states. Political common sense of our times indicates that a legitimate government is one that has been seriously elected among multiple choices by the people of any specific country. This is not the case for more than 100 UN member states ruled by authoritarian regimes, dictatorships and absolute monarchies. Those states violate human rights every day, promote wars, and poorly understand equal rights of men and women, justice, social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. Some of those authoritarian regimes have even presided over UN human rights bodies in the present and in the past. How can the UN achieve the general recognition it deserves with most its members violating the UN Charter by the own nature of such member states?

That is the real problem affecting the heart of the UN. Mankind has not known wars among democratic states. Democracy allows the free course of ideas to bring peace, human rights, and social progress. A true reform of the UN is not possible if member states do not become nations governed by democratic elected officials with a sense of public service, accountability and respect for human dignity. Then, we will enjoy world peace.


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