United Nations Achieves, Yet Far From Realizing Potential.

Posted on August 16, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

ocean33If the United Nations (UN) had reached the full potential it’s capable of before Colin Powell presented false allegations resulting in the Iraq War, the effort to fully confirm his assertions would have been undertaken and proven Mr. Powell’s claims false, and the Iraq War would have never occurred. The United Nations organization has great potential, chiefly its yet-to-become realized capacity for bringing all member states to the table of absolute truth.

In order for the UN to reach that great potential by building a global “table of absolute truth”, the focus of the organization should be on creating conditions where dialogue/discussion of issues become organized in ways that go a great deal further, and much more in-depth, than has been the case. Historically, United Nations dialogue and communications between member states have fallen short of achieving the qualities of completeness, full exposure of all relevant facts, views, and circumstances, and resulted in less-than-ideal understanding; less-than-ideal proposals and actions becoming implemented and taken.

The word truncated comes to mind when stressing UN potential, precisely descriptive of member states ambassadors’ discussions which become “shortened by cutting”, thereby preventing, at times, the “going all the way” to practical, fact-based, reasonable solutions. The recent UN Security Council (UNSC) passage of Resolution 2170, calling for condemnation of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its acts of terrorism, presents an excellent example of the UN’s at times truncated status.

In an interview after UNSC Resolution 2170 passed, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari shared his perceptions about the meeting. He spoke to the Security Council during that meeting, and asked why his nation’s continuous warnings about the same terrorist groups attacking Syria over the last 3 1/2 years became ignored, when taking those warnings seriously years ago would have made the recent meeting and ISIL resolution unnecessary. While Israel’s massacre of over 1,900 Palestinian people has led to worldwide opposition and calls for Israel’s leaders to face war crimes prosecution, in Syria over the last 3 1/2 years an estimated 160-200,000 have lost their lives.

Mr. Ja’afari believes the UNSC reacts to terrorism on a selective basis, once again noting the non-reaction to Syria’s repeated concerns about terrorism over the past 3 1/2 years. He sees Resolution 2170 as certain member states’ addressing Western/European public opinion, instead of concern for the people of Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East. He points out that Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Western/European governments have trained, supplied, and paid mercenaries from over 80 countries to fight in Syria to overthrow the government. He connects former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s use of the phrase “creative chaos” to the past 3 1/2 years of “creative terrorism” – which certain UN member states are today trying to “wash their hands of”.

Mr. Ja’afari points out that during the UNSC meeting he asked about ISIL’s selling of captured Syrian oil and gas through Turkish mediators and European buyers, specifically who was purchasing those stolen-by-ISIL resources. He notes that, at that very moment, the UNSC acting President – the British UN Ambassador – interrupted him and “truncated”/stopped the line of inquiry. Mr. Ja’afari believes the British ambassador doesn’t want citizens of Western/European nations to hear, then know, what has occurred for nearly four years related to ISIL. He reiterates his belief that Resolution 2170 has more to do with solving problems related to Western/European popular public opinion.

During a short UN press conference with the media after the UNSC meeting, Bashar Ja’afari told reporters that Britain failed to consult with either Iraq or Syria on the language of the resolution, and that neither nation’s UN ambassador was given an opportunity to share concerns with the Security Council. This treatment of Iraq’s and Syria’s UN ambassadors, in effect cutting them out of discussions and negotiations directly affecting their nations, provides an example of how the United Nations has not yet reached its promising, powerful potential.

The United Nations can improve its peacekeeping mission through recognizing the limitations of discussions which fail to place all facts, circumstances, viewpoints, and solution-focused ideas “on the table”. This suggests the need for much lengthier meetings and discussions which are intent on achieving the greatest degree possible of inclusion from every member having concerns on the issue(s) at hand. A spirit of problem-solving with the paramount quality being willingness to exhaust every effort in coming to mutually satisfactory agreement – a “whatever it takes” commonly held attitude – will place the United Nations firmly on the road leading to its highest peacekeeping potential.

When comparing protracted wars fought with bullets, bombs, and their destructive consequences to lengthy wars fought with words, facts, and ideas, reasonable men and women immediately see the wisdom in choosing the latter.

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(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)

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4 thoughts on “United Nations Achieves, Yet Far From Realizing Potential.

  1. You seem to make the assumption here that the UN was designed to work for world peace. I don’t believe it was. I think the UN was designed to force US and European foreign policy objectives on weaker nations.

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    1. Stuart,
      To be honest, my lack of research into the founding of the UN doesn’t allow making any assumption on what went through the minds of those who brought it about. Looking at history since the UN’s beginning, your view could be on target. With reforms, the UN has the potential to become a very effective organization. Reforms such as making it mandatory for member states to sign on to the International Criminal Court (Israel and the U.S. do not recognize ICC jurisdiction), new rules for the Security Council (or discontinuance), votes by all member states on resolutions, member states’ direct election of UN ambassadors instead of by appointment (or establishment of a “people’s parliament” elected by the citizens of each member state, with equal power/voice to appointed ambassadors), and other creative reforms which improve the democratic nature of the organization. Imagine a world military/police department with men and women from every nation serving together. There’d be nobody to fight! 🙂
      Thanks,
      Jerry

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  2. “…the table of absolute truth.” Whew, that’s a hard nut to crack Jerry. Way too many people, groups, nations, etc, claim that ability but is it always achievable in all cases? Nevertheless, this was a great post; thank you! The UN — having been co-founded by Western colonial nations after WW1 and in particular the U.S. — often finds itself in ‘other negotiating’ or ‘other exclusive dialogue’ rooms far apart from non-Western cultures and nations due to the UN’s origins. Does that mean stop attempting or striving for world peace and verifying information and events? Certainly not, but being less rigid with “absolute truths” perceived by groups of men in the West is great place to start. 🙂

    Another excellent post Jerry. Thanks!

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    1. Professor,
      Unfortunately, those who strive/advocate for absolute truth historically have their lives shortened. Some feel Dag Hammarskjold was the best UN Secretary General, then he dies young in an African plane crash – most likely an assassination. John Kennedy would’ve been in Hammarskjold’s league, but we all know what happened to him. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Paul Wellstone… all murdered for speaking truth. Thanks to the internet, truth’s victory – and peace – are becoming goals more clearly within humanity’s grasp.
      Thanks again,
      Jerry

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