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The United Nations (UN) was founded with the foremost objective of mitigating the hardship of war and promoting human rights regardless of class or race. However, looking at the world as it is today - a world still wracked by conflict and poverty and gross human rights violations - many would say that the UN has not fulfilled its mandate…
The lack of transparency in its procedures and the tendency for some or all of the permanent five to caucus in private are cause for concern. A more serious concern is the composition of the Council. It is not reasonable to suggest that the five winners of the Second World War, with the assistance of ten additional rotating member states, comprise a representative, legitimate or authoritative voice for a UN membership of 185.
While certainly it would be good to have more representation where decision-making and policy-crafting in the UN is concerned, so as to accommodate the interests of developing countries, such moves might smack of tokenism if the single biggest roadblock is removed: the veto power. Historically, the veto power has been wielded to promote the partisan interests of superpower nations. It is obsolete and should be phased out.
Second, more political will is needed on this issue of human rights. When the United Nations was created in 1948 by a world still reeling from the ravages of the Second World War and intent on healing the wounds wrought by it, it was tasked to become the primary agency in defining and advancing human rights. From then on, various other agencies were created, addressing specific human rights concerns. Notable examples of this are the International Labor Organization and the UNICEF.
However, despite the complex structure and wo ...
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