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Making the United Nations representative

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan - posted Tuesday, 13 March 2007

The unbearable loss caused by World War II compelled the international community to dissolve the ineffective League of Nations and create another international platform to prevent global conflicts, maintain peace and security and uphold the justice and respect of international treaties and laws.

Hence, the United Nations (UN) was established. Yet, the supremacy of the superpowers still continues with their Veto power in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A resolution on any global issue cannot be passed in the UNSC if it doesn’t suit one of the big five countries (China, France, Russia, UK and USA).

Undoubtedly, since its creation the United Nations and its affiliated bodies have delivered many benefits in humanitarian, economical and social development areas and it has also acted adequately in times of natural or man-made disasters.


The UN has helped in bringing peace and democracy to some parts of the world. For example, it has played a vital role in delivering peace to Guatemala and Mozambique and has promoted democracy in Nicaragua and Cambodia. However, the UN has failed to resolve many long standing geo-political disputes between nations, like Palestine and Israel dispute and the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir.

The UN has been found incapable of committing all nations, strong or weak, to treating other nations equally and fairly. Technologically, militarily or economically strong nations enjoy dominance both within the jurisdiction of the UN and without, while weak nations consider superpowers as threat.

The superpowers have created a fear of suppression among weak nations which has encouraged them to build dangerous weapons of mass destruction. As long as the threat of wars and terrorism continues peace and stability around the world is unlikely. The imbalance of power between nations creates conflicts of interest. These conflicts provoke wars. The torment of wars in turn creates terrorists.

The United Nations Charter says: “All the members of United Nations shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means and war can be used but only as a last resort and only under the direction of the UN Security Council”.

Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin, addressed the participants of a security conference held last month in Munich, and said that the use of force could never be more than a last resort in politics and needed to be legitimised by UN resolutions. But, history tells us that Russia violated international boundaries and invaded its neighbours.

Similarly, the unilateral actions of United States in recent times have sabotaged the respect and value of the UN.


Militarily weak countries are found disregarding international rules and regulations and equip themselves with modern day technological power and weapons of mass destruction - Pakistan, Iran, North Korea are the perfect examples.

Addressing a closed-door meeting of the General Assembly last month the newly elected Secretary General of United Nations, Mr Kim-moon Ban, stressed the need for restructuring to enhance UN efforts aimed at overcoming many global issues. He especially highlighted vital areas such as increasing terrorism, violence, poverty and climate change.

According to Mr Ban, the new plans are to split the current Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) into a Department of Peace Operations and a Department of Field Support, both of which will be headed by an Under-Secretary-General. The new Department of Peace Operations would consolidate all factors dealing with strategy, planning and deployment while the Department of Field Support would take on the responsibility of the current “impossibly overstretched” management.

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About the Author

Syed Atiq ul Hassan, is senior journalist, writer, media analyst and foreign correspondent for foreign media agencies in Australia. His email is

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