Since it’s inception, the United Nations (UN) has recorded some notable achievements in ensuring peace in the world. The organization also had its fair share of problems too.
Major Achievements of the UN
1. The organisation has succeeded in preventing the outbreak of a Third World War. Some of the disputes that could lead to war have been peacefully resolved by the organisation.
2. The organisation has played crucial roles in ending colonialism and apartheid in Africa.
3. The organisation is in support of respect for the fundamental rights of citizens in different parts of the world.
4. The UN has given serious attention to arms limitation and disarmament between the major powers of the world. The organisation’s efforts have reduced the level of tension between the United States and Russia.
5. The organisation provides aid through its specialised agencies to the troubled or needy areas of the world.
6. The UN helps to control dangerous diseases through the World Health Organisation.
7. It assists the economic development of member states through the financial assistance which the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank give to the countries whose economies are depressed and or stagnating.
8. The UN is involved in the solving of problems facing refugees in different parts of the world.
9. It has led all the trusteeship countries and territories to independence.
10. The organisation has given small countries the opportunity to air their views both on issues concerning them or their region and on international matters.
11. The UN has created a cadre of international professionals from all countries of the world.
12. The International Labour Organisation has enhanced the status of organised labour.
Major Problems of the UN
1. The use of veto power by the five permanent members of the Security Council undermines the operation and working of the United Nations and calls to question its commitment to democracy.
2. Some member states of the organisation have not been paying their dues to the organisation and this has prevented the organisation from discharging its functions effectively.
3. The organisation has not been able to eliminate the threat of war and insecurity in the world. There are usually several conflicts in different parts of the world.
4. The existence of regional economic, political and military bodies has reduced the influence of the organisation throughout the world. Such organisations include the OAU, ECOWAS, NATO, and OAS.
5. The non-implementation of the United Nations resolutions has weakened the ability of the organisation to maintain peace and security in the world. The organisation cannot enforce resolutions passed because it comprises sovereign states. Decisions of the International Court of Justice suffer the same fate.
6. The ideological differences of the dominant power blocs have weakened the effective implementation of UN policies. The socialist and capitalist blocs view the UN policies differently.
7. The United Nations has not been able to reduce the rate of hunger and poor living conditions in many parts of the world.
8. The United Nations does not have a standing army which could be used to maintain peace and security in the international system. This is the reason why some of the organisation’s resolutions are not enforced.
9. With mounting problems resulting in a larger bureaucracy, inefficiency and corruption have tended to undermine the organisation.
10. Due to the fact that the United Nations uses so many languages, valuable time is spent on interpretation, translation, understanding, and agreement.