UN me

Last week an odd occurrence happened. Hundreds of people in Russia where injured when an Asteroid broke through Earths atmosphere (apparently most burn up on entry) and struck the Ural mountains in Russia. 900 people where injured in the strike and we must spare a moment for those who are affected.

The United Nations convened an emergency summit to talk about what would happen if this where to occur again. The incident brought into sharp focus the fact that we are effectively on a big rock flying around in space which is also filled with other rocks flying around as well and so though this occurrence is rare it does happen. In fact, this sort of thing happens all the time, asteroids hit the earth regularly but few are usually big enough to be news worthy. What if a big one where to hit somewhere? Who would clean up the mess, treat the wounded and establish order in the chaos.

If the asteroid was big enough it would have to be a job for the UN. Or Bruce Willis.

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization or gathering of sovereign states, founded in the closing days of the Second World War. Its Charter was adopted and signed on 26 June 1945 by 51 founding members. Of these, 4 were from Africa (Ethiopia, Egypt, Liberia and South Africa). Membership to the United Nations is open to all peace-loving nations that accept the principles and obligations set out in its Charter. With the surge in decolonization, many states gained their independence and admission to the UN; and as a result membership rose from 51 in 1945 to 185 in 1997. Keep in mind there are only 197.

Many believe the UN to be essentially toothless, having no Army of its own or direct political power it can only advise and offer help through funding where needed. But the truth is it is so much more. There has not for example been any more World Wars since its inception. In 1948 it agreed upon the International Declaration of Human Rights which gives a minimum standard of treatment that we can all expect from one another. When these rules are broken it is The International Court of Justice which you would need to answer to.

It is not without its failures as any large organization is and came under fire for such tragedies as failing to prevent the genocide in Uganda in 1993 and the number of nuclear powers in the world does continue to climb.

It is at its core a meeting place of many different cultures where those who have grievances can meet and discuss peaceful outcomes to conflict. WellFound gathers much of its research and information from the UN when doing research in the countries which we operate. They are an invaluable fountain of local information for NGOs as they are often staffed by local employees and have a wider reach than most.

Unless we can get Bruce Willis to save us.



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