UN celebrates 75th anniversary

It’s been 75 years since the United Nations was founded. This anniversary comes as the international community faces perhaps its biggest public health crisis in a century. To mark the anniversary, the World Body is hosting an event titled: ‘The Future We Want, the UN We Need.’  It’s an opportunity to take stock of what's been achieved over the past seven and a half decades. William Denselow reports from New York. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - It's been 75 years since the United Nations was founded.

This anniversary comes as the international community faces perhaps its biggest public health crisis in a century.

To mark the anniversary, the World Body is hosting an event titled: The Future We Want, the UN We Need.'

It's an opportunity to take stock of what's been achieved over the past seven and a half decades.

The UN is an institution formed in the wake of World War Two. Its key objective is to never allow such atrocities to occur again. 

The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945.

Since then the UN has grown dramatically with multiple agencies working across the globe.

"While the founders of the UN were visionaries who understood that the organization would not just deal with war but also with economic issues and health issues, they would be shocked at the sheer scale of the international system that has developed over the last 75-years," said Richard Gowan, UN Director, International Crisis Group.

READ: UN says pandemic will widen gender poverty gap

Critics say this system doesn't always work. 

Gridlock over the war in Syria has been a consistent reminder of the UN's limitations and the issue of Iranian sanctions and the nuclear deal recently brought long-simmering divisions in the Security Council to the surface.

UN analysts say there have been plenty of success stories too. 

Particularly on the African continent.

"Basically the UN has been a midwife for decolonisation. I would also point to, I think, various kinds of efforts to monitor what goes on in terms of economic and social development," said Thomas Weiss, Professor of Political Science, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

READ: UN chief calls for end to 'stupid' gender inequality

The World Body now hopes to use the 75th anniversary and the upcoming United Nations General Assembly to build on some of those successes.

However, UN watchers aren't expecting any major policy announcements to come out of the event.

"It's been very difficult for diplomats at the UN to settle on any big radical reform proposals for the 75th anniversary year partially because they have been focused on COVID, but partially because you have a US administration that doesn't really want to invest in UN reform," Gowan said.

But flag-bearers for the UN hope to use the anniversary as an opportunity to show the international community why it deserves its full support.

Source
eNCA