5 reasons why the UN cannot be trusted to represent, let alone advance, humanity’s ideals

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The UN has long failed in its primary duty, which is safeguarding world peace and human rights. Photo by the UN-aligned design team.
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The United Nations: the devil you know

I met someone from a peculiar land with a completely messed up political system yielding a society that was plagued with poverty, oppression, corruption and strife. I commiserated until I found out that there actually was an alternative party that, given the chance, would put things right, yet nobody seemed to care about it. “Hey! What’s wrong with you people?” I asked my new acquaintance, pointing this out. “Many do not know; many do not care…” “And what about you?”  I petitioned. “Ah, better the devil you know!” They replied smugly, as a demon dragged them to hell…

More of a devil than you think

As it stands, many of us are being dragged to hell, but, irrespective, we are quite content in the knowledge that it is by a devil we know.  That devil is the United Nations. You may think such an analogy is unfair and farfetched. After all, the United Nations is the closest thing we have to an international authority working towards peace and prosperity. That is exactly the point. It has had the top job for over three quarters of a century and for a host of reasons it has made an absolute mess of it. And yet, most of us are happy to be represented by this organisation. We are happy to accept it as humanity at its best. Well, if those are the standard to which we aspire, then we are well and truly doomed:

“Per me si va nella città dolente,
per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.”
(Dante: La Divina Commedia; Inferno, Canto III: “Through me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye.”)

Indeed, the United Nations has done some great things and many of its bodies, such as UNHCR and UNESCO, ensure commitment and visibility to many of humanity’s pressing issues. However, its successes are often despite, rather than thanks to, its structure, policies and procedures. Moreover, it is failing in its primary duty, which is safeguarding world peace and human rights.

Five reasons why the UN cannot be trusted to represent, let alone advance, humanity’s ideals and aspirations and why simple reform will not resolve its inherent problems.

Luca Signorelli Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist WGA21202
Luca Signorelli: The Antichrist

1. The UN prioritises nations to the detriment of individuals and communities

Currently, the UN is made up of 193 member States. These States are the lifeblood of the organisation. They mould and steer it forward. This would work as long as the nations were committed to the founding principles of the UN’s Charter, but only a minority of countries are. According the Freedom in the World 2021 index, only 80 of those countries are classified as free, whilst The Economist’s Intelligence Unit Democracy Index 2020 lists 56 of them as led by authoritarian regimes. Moreover, many of the current world leaders have blood on their hands, both directly through extrajudicial assassinations, torture, murder and slaughter of protestors, and indirectly through oppressive policies, unfair sanctions and disregard for human life. 

Throughout its history, the UN has tolerated such abuses; in fact, it has tolerated every genocide and bloodbath from its members since its very foundation.

Is this the type of club you wish to be associated with?

Yes: Really? Well, I am sure they would love to have you: careers.un.org

No: Consider joining UN-aligned

2. Much of the decision-making process of the UN is at the mercy of the of the whims of five permanent members of the Security Council

The five permanent member States of the Security Council include the two most powerful authoritarian regimes. The remaining three, the US, the UK and France have not always been exemplary, particularly the US which has invested much of its post-war effort in undermining democracies around the world, such as Indonesia, Persia, Chili and Nicaragua and fuelling the subsequent pogroms. Today it supports Israel’s apartheid regime and a stranglehold on Cuba’s economy. Often, these superpowers use their veto for their personal geopolitical interests. We are at the mercy of their whims, morally beholden to the likes of president Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping.

Are you happy to be morally represented on the world stage by the leaders of these superpowers?

Yes: Which one, past or present, tickles you most? Mao? Stalin? Trump? Putin?

No: Consider joining UN-aligned

3. The UN spends billions of dollars on peacekeeping missions, but precious little securing lasting peace.

Barbed wire is no way to keep the peace between warring factions, especially when the buffer is actually expensive military personnel who sometimes become more of a problem than a solution. Moreover, the UN’s incompetence has exacerbated many precarious situations, indirectly contributing to massive loss of life as in the events surrounding the Rwanda and Srebrenica genocides (for the UN’s part in these atrocities refer to my book Unravelling the United Nations). The UN should broker lasting solutions founded on international law and countries that fail to comply should be penalised. To date, the UN has not even bothered to expel one nation for its crimes against humanity despite there being hundreds if not thousands of occasions that would have warranted this. The UN’s obsession with neutrality, even in the face of butchery, has left it ineffective and ineffectual as a peace broker, with all of its credibility undermined.

Do you consider aggression and violence “business as usual” matters that should not jeopardise a country’s seat at the General Assembly, or warrant a robust response from the UN? 

Yes: Does the UN’s “deep concern” for such issues do it for you then?

No: Consider joining UN-aligned

4. The United Nation’s commitment to human rights is watered down by the lack of integrity and bigotry of its members.

Let us take freedom of speech and LGBT+ rights, for instance. The Press Freedom Index 2021 only lists 13 countries as having a “good situation” regarding press freedom. Is it any wonder then that the UN is not a knight in shining armour when it comes to advocating for free speech? As for the five permanent members of the Security Council, none of them made it to that “good situation”, with the US, the UK and France described as having a “satisfactory situation”, Russia as having a “difficult situation” and China a “very serious situation”. The flouting of LBGT+ rights by UN member states is even more explicit with 69 countries still criminalising homosexual acts. The tragedy is that human rights are precisely what the United Nations should be about. If we were dealing with a job description they would come under ‘essential requirements’. Yet the UN relegates them to a footnote in the ‘desirable’ section. If the UN backs away from standing up to national governments that trample on human rights, it is standing in the way of its own commitments and betraying humanity in the process.

Do you think it is right for the United Nations to turn it back on its responsibilities regarding human rights?

Yes: Would you mind helping us take up the gauntlet then, by joining UN-aligned?

No: Consider joining UN-aligned

5. The United Nation structure is a fossil of the post WWII world and come hell or high water, nothing will induce it to change.

As my book on the United Nations makes abundantly clear, the organisation is a relic of a very different world. Whilst the issues it has to face change with time, as do some of its methods of dealing with them, it is tied to an archaic voting system that limits its options and puts ethical principles at the mercy of voting States, of which the majority are not, as we have seen, paragons of democracy. Besides this, we have the Security Council’s five permanent members who will never be inclined to relinquish their privileged position.

At best, they will allow another country or two a share of the veto power, which rather than resolve anything will in fact entrench the structural problems even more. Whilst some of the UN bodies can be, and should be, salvaged, the hub of the organisation is irredeemable. Its flawed decisions and operations are not due to ad hoc incompetence, they actually stem from the deficient structure that must be demolished.

Do you really want to stick with the devil you know?

Yes: Hold on, have we met before?

No: Consider joining UN-aligned Come on! You know you want to!

UN-aligned is different. We put individuals and principles before Nation States. We believe that the organisation that represents humanity, needs to represent what is best in humanity and work uncompromisingly for world peace, human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection.

Of course, many people will feel more comfortable with the current United Nations because it will not discourage them from slitting an animal’s throat or a boy’s penis. It will not stand up to their bigotry that may abuse another person’s human rights in areas such as sexuality or lifestyle.  Nevertheless, it will not be in its numbers that UN-aligned will be prodigious, but in its integrity, its unfettered vision for the future of humanity and its efforts in getting there.

Take ownership of UN-aligned

Unlike most organisations, UN-aligned is, primarily, its members. We are the New United Nations and though just a drop in the ocean, for now, we will carry on growing until we will become a force to be reckoned with!

The more of us there are, the more chance we have of achieving our aims. Help us by promoting membership to you friends or to people you think have similar values. If every member added another, membership would snowball and we would be unstoppable!

We also need active members: people who roll up their sleeves and contribute to the work of the organisation. Some already have, for instance, by writing articles for The Gordian, or offering to help with proofreading.

No matter what you can do, we want you. Write to us with your talents and we’ll make it work. 

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