Different types of international governmental organizations are available in the light of global cooperation and unified action: United Nations Organisation and its many organs, such as UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNDP, UN Security Council, etc. Although the UN is seen as the prime global governance body, there are also other specialized and technical organizations like International Telecommunication Organisation (ITO), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), World Metallurgical Organisation (WMO), World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), etc. Besides the above, there are also intergovernmental organizations that are specially instituted to handle specific problems among countries like food issues, safety, etc.
UNO: The role of the UNO as a global peace mediator and authority is well documented. The UNO was established with only 5 founder members in 1945 including the UK, USA, France, Russia, and China. However, currently, it has 192 member nations, and through mutual trust, co-operation and dialogue it is actively engaged in resolving conflicts and brokering peace accords through mediation and dialogue on an international basis. “Founded to introduce new principles into international relations in 1945, the UN has succeeded better in some areas than others.” (New century new challenge, n.d.).
Through its various organs and agencies, the UN is also rendering specialized public and intragovernmental services in the major area of public accountability and discharging different roles as are demanded of this world body from time to time. The role of the UNO has been indeed laudable and it has been able to achieve success, especially in the matter of negotiating peace and settlement among warring nations, or even during internal strife within nations.
The Security Council of the United Nations is specifically empowered to deal with warlike situations especially during the Arab-Israel conflict, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, during the Middle East Crisis in 1991, and many other instances of war in Africa. However, one of the major limitations that could thwart total peace negotiations could be the fact that the UNO could only interfere when all other avenues of peace accords have failed.
Another aspect is that an institutional approach fostered by a world body like the UNO would lack the alacrity, decisiveness, and capability with which decision should be implemented in situations like war among different countries or internal strife within a country. This is because the consensus among member nations would be necessary for the agency to institute and implement decisions.
Thus, it is possible for powerful nations, using their veto powers, to take stands that could substantively thwart peace and progress in the decision-making process of the United Nations. Moreover, coming to critical current issues like global terrorism, nuclear armaments, and human rights issues, the United Nations may not be able to make decisions that could be agreeable to all parties concerned. According to the current Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation, Ban Ki-Moon, “The challenges we face today are many, and my resolve is strong. I am determined to make progress on the pressing issues of our time, step by step, by building on achievements along the way, working with the Member States and civil society.” (Secretary- General Ban Ki- moon, n.d.).
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges that the UN faces today is the eradication of poverty and it is indeed a mammoth task because, with current estimates of “some 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty, it is the most widespread violation of human rights in the world.” (Evans, 2000, We the people- from the preamble of the UN charter, para.4). During their ambitious World Millennium summit, 150 heads of states pledged their support, to eradicate poverty levels by 50% by the year 2015. How far they would be able to achieve these targets, only history could tell.
Evans, K. (2000). We the people- from the preamble of the UN charter, 1945. Suite 101.com: The Genuine Article. Literally. Web.
New century new challenge. (n.d.). We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations. Web.
Secretary- General Ban Ki- moon: My priorities as a secretary general: A stronger united nations for a better world. (n.d.). United Nations. Web.