Time to reform the UN

United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Photo credit: Arnold Jr, ID: 228688357, via Shutterstock
United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Photo credit: Arnold Jr, ID: 228688357, via Shutterstock

The United Nations has been around since the end of the second world war. An organization whose principal aim is to bring the international community together. It has done a lot of good over the years, however, in recent times, it has descended into problematic chaos. We need to recognize what has happened if we are to both improve the UN and address global issues positively.

To highlight the ineffectiveness at the helm of the organization, I want to first draw attention to the five permanent members of the UN security council: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. China is accused currently of “crimes against humanity against the Turkic Muslim population”. Within this, their actions against Uighur Muslims have been recognised as a genocide by UK MPs, the US State Department and the Canadian Parliament. Before we even begin an in-depth discussion, one of the principal members of one of the key facets of the UN is currently committing crimes against humanity. It is frankly concerning that the international community is allowing this.

A further absurdity was recently reported when Iran was elected to the United Nation’s commission on women’s rights. A country that is so well known for its treatment of women as effectively second-class citizens is in no position to judge how to create a more equal world for women. A country that imprisons women for not wearing a hijab or bans them from singing is hardly the beacon of women’s rights. This situation further proves the inability of the UN to act in accordance with reasonable moral values and principles. In situations like this, the UN is being used as an international playground by sovereign nations rather than a serious political organization with actual relevance.

Now for the next problematic feature of the UN: the disproportionate obsession with the State of Israel. Israel is always a topic of conversation and always attacked, often baselessly, and the constant barrage of attacks against the tiny state causes it to neglect mass murder and war crimes (such as in China or Syria). This paints a worrying picture and goes against the ideals and original purpose of the organization, specifically Article I of the Charter. Whilst a conflict of the significance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict warrants discussion, it certainly does not warrant war crimes around the world being ignored at its expense. The people in the countries affected by those war crimes deserve more.

On a related note, the UN has become little more than a playground for hypocrites and a speaking platform for nonsense, especially attacks against the Jewish state. There is an underlying tone of antisemitism and the desire to rewrite and flat-out ignore Jewish history. Take the example of the UN blatantly ignoring the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and referring to it solely as Haram al-Sharif. It is the site of the second temple of Jerusalem and, therefore, the holiest location for Jews and ignoring this is plain revisionist history. This lack of academic integrity and this nonsense talk is really indictive of a wider issue within the UN.

The UN is, in its current state, a little more than a waste of money and resources. Whilst the good done by the UN should not be ignored, we must face up to the fact that without major reform and actionable change, it is nothing more than a hunting ground for Israel and a breeding ground for hypocrisy. It is a shame to see an organization with so much potential to descend into such chaos and madness.

It does not look like anyone intends on making proper change to the UN any time soon. With such a corrupted system of practices and hypocrisy embedded deep down (of which China’s permanent membership of the UN security council as a prime example), it will continue being little more than an expensive formality. The UN needs an overhaul and to ensure accountability from its members and to refocus on upholding its original agenda to “maintain international peace and security” and “achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character”.

Daniel Sacks is a Policy Fellow of The Pinsker Centre, a campus-based think tank that facilitates discussion on global affairs and free speech. All the views in Daniel’s articles are his own.

About the Author
Daniel Sacks is a Policy Fellow of The Pinsker Centre, a campus-based think tank which facilitates discussion on global affairs and free speech. Daniel is currently a Mechanical and Materials Engineering student in his final year. He is also currently the Chair of the UJS National Council and previously was the Birmingham Jewish Society President. All the views in Daniel's articles are his own.
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