U.N: much more than meets the eye
Every year at around this time, the air waves are filled with U.N malcontents arguing for the abandonment of the U.N. These folks argue that the U.N. is ineffective (Rwanda, Darfur, Oil for Food are the typical examples given), does not serve U.S. interest and therefore, America should abandon the organization.
Having had the opportunity to live in the third world and America, I have had the wonderful opportunity to see the U.N. in action. In America, the emphasis is on the political side of the organization: the secretary general, Security Council, and the general assembly. In America, the U.N does not necessarily have a significant influence; in our day-to-day lives. However, in the third world, the U.N. plays a much more pronounced role. May it be UNHCR taking care of Somali refugees, UNAIDS building an AIDS clinic, UN – HABITAT building permanent homes in a slum, the UNEP cleaning a polluted river or the WHO helping nations develop responses to SARS or BIRD FLU.
It is quite unfortunate that Americans do not get to see this more noble side of the U.N. Americans need to realize that there is much more to the U.N. than meets the eye. The U.N. may have its political side, but there is a more practical and noble side to the U.N. and we need to consider this substantive side before we decide to abandon the organization.