I’m a big fan of the United Nations. They do so much to keep our world running the way that it runs. Today, I want to share with you three reasons why it is unthinkable that we might stop supporting this organization. I want you to be convinced that the United Nations really is as essential as it claims to be.
Reason One: The UN Gets So Much Done
Whether sending aid convoys, maintaining peacekeeping missions, or urging dialogue, the UN is very effective. Take aid convoys as an example. Potentially, the UN saves thousands of lives through the food supplies that it sends to starving war zones. Now, never mind that these convoys are sometimes looted by soldiers who benefit from the supplies. Never mind that one large convoy was looted by armed soldiers in Syria – the very place where we don’t want supplies to fall into the wrong hands. Or, in Nigeria, don’t worry about these supplies falling into the hands of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. True, emergency supplies won’t get to people if the armed groups don’t want them to. But still – think how many lives are saved!
Peacekeeping missions are one of the most important works of the UN. Groups of UN peacekeepers are located in war-torn countries, ensuring that civilians are protected and the peace is kept. Unfortunately, these peace-keeping missions never create peace. They just try to keep people from shooting each other. The governments remain in shambles. In fact, episodes of deadly violence still occur routinely in these nations. All too often, the peacekeepers don’t do anything to stop the violence. There are many reports of peacekeepers standing idly by as civilians are massacred. In fact, sometimes the peacekeepers themselves are accused of crimes and abuse. But don’t believe that – it is very rare for peacekeepers to be found guilty.
By the way, the largest UN peacekeeping mission is MONUSCA. It patrols the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and it has done so for about 19 years. The DRC is still in shambles, one of the poorest nations in the world. A recent report indicates that the humanitarian situation is now worsening. Maybe they need to send some new troops in? Right now the largest group of MONUSCA troops comes from Pakistan, a nation riddled by Al-Qaida. Don’t you want Pakistani soldiers to patrol your streets to keep the peace?
Let’s not forget that the UN urges dialogue, and promotes wonderful ideas. In 2017, they signed a nuclear weapons ban treaty, with 122 nations in favor! Don’t worry that “nuclear-armed States and most of their allies stayed out of the negotiations,” meaning that not one nuclear weapon will be destroyed as a result of this treaty. At least it was signed, and now we can sleep securely tonight!
Reason Two: The UN Operates on a Shoestring Budget
When you think about all the money in the world, the UN really doesn’t cost that much. I mean, a request for an annual budget of $22.5 billion dollars for humanitarian aid shouldn’t make us worry, should it? Over its 70+ years of existence, the UN has spent more than half a trillion dollars. (Would you like me to spell that out? 500,000,000,000, pronounced ‘five hundred billion dollars’). The MONUSCA mission to the Congo, that I mentioned earlier – the one that hasn’t brought true peace in 19 years – costs about a billion dollars a year. It’s a good thing that the Pakistani peacekeepers get some of that money rather than a children’s hospital!
Of course America should pay for much of this. We give about 3.3 billion dollars a year to the UN, more than 176 other countries combined. We only get one vote, just like each of the other 176 each gets one vote, but that is only fair – we make a lot more money! And our tax dollars are going to a good cause. We can let our children deal with the national debt, after we bring stability to the world.
Reason Three: The UN is against Self-Determination
Remember the MONUSCA mission that patrols the Democratic Republic of the Congo? In 1961, the new nation of Congo faced a crisis. Congo received it independence hastily, and its government was falling apart. Facing corrupt politicians, mutinies, and chaos, the province of Katanga decided to secede as an independent nation. At that time, Katanga was a rich province. It contained many foreign businesses, and Katanga knew that if it remained part of the chaotic new nation of Congo, it would lose these investors. Katanga seceded, but they didn’t know what they were in for.
The United Nations decided this was wrong. Of course Katanga was part of the Congo, and how dare they secede? ‘Self-Determination’ means that a region can decide its own political future. The UN is against self-determination, meaning that every region must stay in the country that they are in. So, the UN used their peacekeepers to launch Operation Grandslam. They routed the Katangan forces, and Katanga once again became part of the Congo.
I’ve been within 200 miles of Katanga. While in Zambia, I heard about the old secessionist province. Now, it is considered a dangerous, poverty stricken place, brimming with corrupt soldiers who make life miserable for the rest of the population. Too bad. But – at least Katanga is part of the Congo!
By the way, this policy means that if the UN had existed in 1776, they probably would have opposed the efforts of the colonists to secede from Great Britain. They might have sent ‘peacekeepers’ to fight George Washington. Oh well. That is a small side effect to endure for an organization that brings so many benefits, right?
Conclusion – Support the UN!
You may have heard some of the outlandish ideas that others have suggested. Some say that the US government could spend far less money, and be much more effective, if they spent American dollars to fund American missions, rather than giving that money to the UN. Others claim that we could give out much more aid, and do so in a way that promotes our values and interests, if we gave the aid ourselves, rather than funding the UN. Don’t believe any of that. Without the United Nations, the world we know would be nothing like it is. And that’s a good thing, right?