Global crises and the UN efficiency crisis

The growth of science and technology and the achievements of artificial intelligence promise a better life together with peace and peaceful coexistence.
27 November 2023
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Ali Beman Eghbali Zarch

The growth of science and technology and the achievements of artificial intelligence promise a better life together with peace and peaceful coexistence. Still, in the third millennium, international and regional developments have been accompanied by increased violence and crimes while speeding up. In such a way that if in the 20th century, we witnessed a dangerous crisis every decade, this trend has reached a crisis in a year in the 21st century. In the meantime, the international system and the world's leading politicians are facing a vacuum and a lack of significant achievements in preventing crises, especially in resolving bloody conflicts.

In this regard, the United Nations, as the largest international organization, is going through a process of stagnation in important global issues and has reached a dead end in important international issues. These days, the international arena is experiencing diverse and complex developments, from the genocide in Palestine to the differences in the Euro-Atlantic axis and a kind of conflict in the Australian, United States, and the United Kingdom triangle, together with their European strategic partners, especially France, along with the crisis in Ukraine. But there is less talk about the role of the United Nations as the largest international organization in the field of peace and stability, a matter that has apparently been accepted as a reality and norm by statesmen and global public opinion. Indeed, why has the United Nations distanced itself from its most important mission and ideal and is more preoccupied with some second-hand issues, dealing with the affairs of refugees and issuing a number of statements?

Even the role of the Secretary-General in the crises of recent years has been limited to non-influential comments. Meanwhile, the position of Secretary General is the highest international job and the most important management position of the United Nations, which is responsible for coordinating the organization's activities, along with providing constructive initiatives to promote international peace and security and general growth and development. In his activities, along with his specialized features, the Secretary-General should maintain independence, impartiality, and comprehensiveness and should declare the possibility of any crisis and jeopardy of international peace and security, as well as prevention and exit strategies in the form of a draft resolution to the Security Council and other organizations affiliated to the United Nations. More than seven decades have passed since the creation of the United Nations, and the most common evaluation of this organization is summarized in the following sentences:

The United Nations is the most important international organization, known less precisely and professionally, which has acted as the best tool for the great powers, especially the veto holders, and for other countries and other nations, it is the center for verbal disputes until solving global problems. The right of veto, which is indirectly addressed in Article 27 of the charter, is considered to be one of the important factors of the organization's inefficiency. It has been used many times during the organization's activity, and the most used cases belong to the former Soviet Union with 130, America with 90, and England with 40 vetoes. The lowest rights of veto were China with 11, France with 22, and Russia in the new period with 20. Of course, after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the right of veto has been used the most by the United States, and, interestingly, the United States has vetoed only in more than 40 cases the resolutions related to the condemnation of the Zionist regime.

The fact is that in addition to the global consensus on the necessity of change in the international order, different countries believe that international assemblies, especially the United Nations, also need fundamental changes and up-to-date mechanisms in order to be able to respond to the new global conditions and have an effective and efficient performance. Many analysts condemn the right of veto and believe that a fundamental revision is necessary in the formula of how much and how to use this instrumental right because this issue has caused the Americans to resort to unilateralism and use the principle of military intervention as a tool to prevent war and insecurity. In recent years, the right of veto has been protested by many countries, and at least the countries of Japan, Germany, and India insistently demand this right. At the same time, Islamic countries also demanded such a right in the form of Article 22 of the statement of the summit in Tehran.

The issues of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine can be mentioned among the crisis centers of the world. At the same time, in the last two decades, Iran's peaceful nuclear program has been on the agenda of the UN Security Council with the dubious efforts of great powers. Although the great world powers, especially America, intervened in the first three countries with a unilateral and so-called preventive method under the banner of fighting terrorism and dangerous weapons, the United Nations has not been able to show an active and effective approach in playing its role.

It should also be acknowledged that the record of the organization in another very important goal of the organization, that is, the fight against poverty and hunger, is not very bright because millions of Africans still live in absolute poverty, and the famine and hunger of the Somali people is one of its problems. Interestingly, according to the reporters of the organization, having a liter of purified drinking water per day is still the wish of more than half of the world's population, who live on less than two dollars to five dollars a day per capita. In a general summary, considering the increasing trend of regional and global crises that have caused genocide and widespread crimes against humanity, the performance of the United Nations, especially in the Ukraine crisis and the recent war in Gaza, and the continuation of the massacre of thousands of innocent women and children by the Zionist regime, is not acceptable to the world public opinion. It must be admitted that, on the other hand, the current wide and long structure has lost its efficiency. Due to the lack of success in the third millennium, there is an urgent need for fundamental transformation and reform of the structure with a prismatic and justice-oriented approach. On the other hand, the decline of the role and position of this organization and other regional and international structures, such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, etc., is accepted by many countries and international political leaders. According to their performance in diplomatic equations and the resolution of the current distressing crises, they do not consider a high-capacity container for it.

Ali Bemaneqbali Zarch, a senior expert in Eurasia

 (The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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