City of Roses
The answer is simple, really.
Because America has trusted the United Nations for almost sixty years now. The U.S has been like a mother to this organization. And though others may argue, much of the world believes it has done more good for the world than wrong. Look at Africa for instance. Leaders of all 54 nations support and thank the United Nations for what they've accomplished, even appreciate their valiant efforts in times they regret haven't done more like in Rwanda, and leaders of all 54 nations even voiced their support of Kofi Annan during this time of the investigated scandal. That should be considered and count for something in though we may have our criticism of their progress, the world feels comfortably at large.
I never denied myself the U.N is imperfect and still has some kinks to work out. Every single other large organization or entity with their hands full has their problems. I just believe the concern here is critics of the U.N just aren't giving them enough credit.
The entire U.N yearly budget runs on about $10 billion, which two-thirds of the funds are voluntary contributions. You've got the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN's Children's FUND (UNICEF). Plenty of others. And when you sum it all up, you would feel overwhelmed that to keep all this network afloat would require trillions.
But look. In 1999, for example, Vermont and South Dakota had the two smallest budgets that year, which were still each at about $2 billion. The entire U.N budget is about equal to that of the New York police department, the budget for UN worldwide human rights activities is smaller than that of the Zürich Opera House, and the cost of UN peacekeeping, below $1 billion in 1998, is less than two-tenth of one percent of world military spending (probably much lower than that now)
I can't imagine how no one could be impressed by that. In real terms, $10 billion isn't a lot at all to fund all these programs. And when you see the progress made on a soft budget, it's there. Smallpox is virtually eradicated from the planet, basically only existing now in laboratories. Under the goals established by the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" in 1989, child mortality was reduced by one-third, child malnutrition was reduced by almost 20%, access to safe drinking water improved, and the gender gap in schools was cut in half. And then, you have those moments of peacekeeping success and international community building efforts stories like in Indonesia, Cyprus, and, most recently, East Timor, that have paid off.
I'm impressed with what they do on a soft budget. But moreover, it's not the money that drives dedicated individuals to devote themselves in changing the world for the greater good, it's the simple acts and gestures of human compassion. And I have nothing but respect for the many U.N peacekeepers in what they do in lesser-advantaged communities worldwide.
I recommended "Hotel Rwanda" just now as a viewing because though, of course, the film focuses primarily on Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu who managed the upscale Hotel des Milles Collines in Kigali and saved over 1,200 lives during the genocide, it's about more than just his actions of compassion and love, multiple scenes show Colonel Oliver's frustration, played by Nick Nolte, who is based on a real life U.N peacekeeper character in Rwanda, who sees all the tragedy before his very eyes, informs his superiors of the need for help and intervention, but just can't get through. Some may see that as negligence in part of the U.N, right?
See, I don't believe that. Nick Nolte, who played Col. North, did an excellent job in pointing out under such spontaneous conditions as this, the ideal thing to do is ignore your orders and do what you can do, right now, right here, to save lives. And that's exactly the moral fiber the U.N believes in and stands up for. Do what you can do in hoping to stabilize conditions, but you must also expect the struggles or worst-case scenarios and then on the spot you just have to save what you can save.
Those acts of compassion are exactly why the U.N are as relevant as ever and why we and the world need the U.N. It's a community network, and it most often works to me.
Some suggest also that the U.N should still be embraced, but as a humanitarian agency rather than a political global research group. That's not necessarily a bad idea, as long as the network remains as intricate and relevant. Then maybe rather some won't think of an organization "policing" the world anymore but more "monitoring" it and noting the issues that surface for each world government to then take note of.
If I ever have the opportunity, I personally would love to volunteer for UNICEF. That's the organization I admire the most and would love to work to help children in third-world countries.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"