THE UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations is a World Congress in which nations can meet to discuss and resolve international differences that might lead to war. UN treaties and conventions promote respect for the Rule of Law. Many small wars as well as a major world conflict have been avoided.
In time of war, the UN negotiates peaceful settlements, disarmament, and signing of peace treaties.
After a war, the UN sends peacekeeping troops to uphold ceasefires, monitor disarmament and troop withdrawal, stop violence, create free countries and political stability, and conduct free and fair elections. Buffer zones between warring people are maintained by UN troops from neutral countries.
The UN monitors human rights violations, the use of torture, and genocide (“ethnic cleansing”) and imposes sanctions against offenders. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets standards for the world.
To control armament, UN inspectors determine if a country has nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear reactors and facilities used for generating electricity are inspected to determine that they are not being used to make nuclear weapons.
The UN gives aid to refugees in the form of food, shelter, medical aid, education, and repatriation assistance.
The UN provides medical teams to fight disease and end epidemics through the World Health Organization; children are immunized against polio, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. Smallpox has been eradicated. Health officials give advice on controlling AIDS.
The UN provides famine relief and economic credit for poor countries.
The UN provides educational programs in many nations and helps women to raise their social status and allow advancement to higher standards of living.
The UN seeks to end racial and gender discrimination and give moral weight to efforts at social equality.
The UN seeks to improve the environment by maintaining safe drinking water and clean air and protecting endangered animals and forests. Limits are set on deforestation, over-fishing, air pollution and gases that destroy the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. The Food and Agriculture Organization fights the encroaching deserts on every continent and monitors the use of pesticides.
The UN oversees international mail delivery through the Universal Postal Union.
The UN oversees international communication by telephone, telegraph, radio, television, and satellite through the International Telecommunication Union; the UN maintains a worldwide direct dialing telephone system.
The UN oversees international air travel and sets standards of safety through the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The UN protects businesses, writers, and artists by ensuring respect for trademarks and copyrights.
The UN sets standards for fair treatment and safety of working men and women through the International Labor Organization.
The UN saves lives and property by monitoring global weather and giving early disaster warnings.
The UN provides aid to disaster victims and coordinates the efforts of relief groups through the Disaster Relief Organization.
The UN provides global planning on international trade, environmental pollution, population growth, and consumption of food and products.
Winston Churchill said, “If it is possible to build a world organization of irresistable force and viable authority for the purpose of securing peace, there are no limits to the blessings which all men may enjoy and share.” And at the signing of the UN Charter in 1945, President Truman said that it was “a declaration...that war is not inevitable.” In the wake of terrible global conflicts accompanied by the threat of nuclear annihilation, enlightened leaders of the nations mapped out a strategy for saving mankind through unification. The formation of the United Nations was the result, and its advent heralds a future time of peace and untold prosperity for all.