World peace can be ensured only on the basis of the independence, sovereignty and equality of all states
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN). On 24 October, 1945, the United Nations Charter was ratified by a majority of eligible states at that time and the UN officially came into being.
The UN came into existence just as the bloodiest war known to mankind until that time, World War II, came to an end. It was envisioned as an organization consisting of all the nation states of the world, whose primary mission would be to ensure an end to all war and suffering of the peoples.
Over the decades since then, the UN has faced many challenges. As various former colonies and dependent countries gained independence from their colonial rulers and joined the organization, the UN expanded greatly in size. The end of the Cold War and the breakup of multinational states like the Soviet Union, the Yugoslav Federation and Czechoslovakia further added to its membership. From 51 member states in 1945, it has increased to 193 member states today. However, though no world war has broken out since the UN was founded, countries and peoples around the world continue to be ravaged by armed conflict unleashed by the imperialist powers. They face grave threats to their sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.
Demands for the reform of the UN have been gathering pace for many years. The majority of member states feel excluded from crucial decision-making in the UN. These states have been demanding major restructuring of the UN and its agencies.
The biggest hurdle to the functioning of the UN as it was envisaged, is the continued existence of the imperialist system on a world scale, headed by US imperialism. It is the drive of the imperialist powers for global domination that is the main source of aggressive wars and the violation of the independence and sovereignty of states. In blatant violation of the UN Charter, US imperialism and its allies launch wars of aggression and try to block all criticism of their actions in the UN and its affiliated organisations. They even use the UN as an instrument to further their hegemonic aims.
Despite this, the continued existence of the United Nations as the only body consisting of all the countries of the world is important for humankind. Its platform can be, and has been, effectively used by member countries to expose and denounce aggression. It has facilitated joint efforts by member countries to tackle crucial issues such as poverty, hunger, disease, environmental destruction and other problems on a world scale. At the same time, the great majority of countries represented in the UN must come together as one to demand strict and consistent adherence to the principles of the UN Charter as well as reform of the UN’s structure, to prevent its domination by big powers.
Next Part II: How and why did the United Nations come into being?