UN obsolescence

UN Headquarters/ Telegram Reproduction
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By ANDRÉ MÁRCIO NEVES SOARES*

The UN as an extraterritorial organization is no longer capable of keeping the world in suitable conditions for life to thrive

If the UN, dear reader, cannot find a way to stop this massacre by Israel against the Palestinians, I fear that it will have become obsolete once and for all. The issue is not that there are no efforts to stop the genocide and Israel's plan to expel the Palestinians from the region. The problem lies in the model adopted since the end of the Second World War in which there are only five countries in the world with the power to unilaterally veto any issue that requires their unanimous approval.

It is more than clear that in the current multipolar world, with new actors on the rise and a serious humanitarian crisis that is spreading across the globe, it is no longer possible for just five countries to have the lock on the most important decisions that most affect all living beings. of our planet. In this sense, war is just one of the many controversial topics that are plaguing us.

We can also mention here the climate issue, the endless drama of refugees and migrants around the world, the unbridled acceleration of technology and its harmful effects on the world of work, the potential for new pandemics due to the destruction of the environment, among others.

With this in mind, we will correlate in this brief text only the issue of the war conflict between Israel and Hamas for the sake of space. Before that, a brief digression: if we go back in time a little, exactly to the so-called “Gulf War”, “Bosnian War” and “Kosovo War”, throughout the 1990s, it is possible to verify the fragility of this model of five “gun lord” countries.

Even before, as in the invasion of Hungary by the then Soviet Union or in the infamous Vietnam War – not to mention the regional wars at the time of African and Asian decolonization – when one of these five countries wanted to enter into conflict, the others remained silent, supported or they simply vetoed some more humanitarian measure, but this veto never in practice prevented military intervention, if that was the will of these countries.

In this vein, the world today is witnessing a thousand times disproportionate reaction from Israel to Hamas' (almost) suicidal attack on some cities bordering the Gaza strip. It is true that some rockets were launched further, as far as Tel Aviv, but few reached their destination. The truth is that Hamas took the bait set by Israel.

In fact, since the most conservative wing of Zionists returned to power in Israel in recent years, the narrative of Jewish domination over the region once occupied by Palestinians has intensified, as has the increase in settlements of Jewish settlers in lands that should not be occupied by them. Without a military force comparable to Israel, nor a political voice on the international stage that can stop these reprehensible actions, what is left for the Palestinians? Was anyone who even minimally follows world events caught off guard by Hamas' actions? Honestly, I don't think so. Perhaps the surprise was the initial success and the atrocities committed by the members of this organization that the UN itself does not characterize as terrorist.

Thousands of Palestinian children have died due to Israel's incessant bombing of the Gaza Strip. It's hard to see such a genocide and still have to swallow the mainstream media's speech that Israel has the “right to defend itself”. Israel is not defending itself. He's attacking, that's what. It is killing people who, for the most part, are just struggling to survive on a tiny piece of inhospitable land. Similarly, more than 10 buildings have already been attacked by bombs from the sky, without (almost) any anti-aircraft artillery, leaving hundreds of people under rubble.

But what about the UN? At the very moment that Israel is preparing to launch a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, with the potential to quintuple the number of deaths already recorded, why is the UN limiting itself to just trying to establish humanitarian corridors? Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. It is enough to see that the UN was created, primarily, to prevent a third world war. But not just for that. The UN has many other objectives besides maintaining security and world peace, such as stimulating human rights, helping with economic development and social progress, defending the environment, as well as other more marginal actions to protect against natural disasters, trying to avoid armed conflicts and helping those most in need against endemic hunger in the poorest countries in the world.

When reading this list of responsibilities that countries have delegated to this intergovernmental body, it is possible to ask how all these objectives have actually been achieved. The truth is that we have not yet had a third world war. But greater credit must be given to the power of destroying the planet by the atomic bombs that the world's main powers possess, than to the UN's ability to maintain security and world peace.

In this circumstance, where are the human rights of migrants around the world, in unsanitary refugee camps caused by wars promoted, directly or indirectly, by the same countries that have veto power in the UN Security Council itself? In the same way, where is the economic development and social progress of the most needy countries, especially on the African continent, over the last 80 years, since the UN was created? And what about global warming and the increase in environmental destruction, with the expansion of monoculture commodities and the increase in exploitation by the oil industry, and now the race for lithium, the basic component for vehicles powered by electricity?

The list is long, dear reader. Hunger is growing in a world full of superfluous products, just as we have at this very moment more than a dozen armed conflicts around the planet, the main ones being the War between Israel and Hamas, the conflict between Azerbaijan x Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh (already completed), the Russia v Ukraine War, the Syrian War and the civil war in Yemen.

Given the above, is there still anyone who is betting on the temporary extension of the UN as an extraterritorial organization capable of keeping the world in adequate conditions for life to prosper? Or will we be able to imagine another, more effective alternative society to stop the annihilation of all life on the planet in the not-too-distant future? Just remember that one in ten species could become extinct by the end of this century. The main cause? The man!

Therefore, I insist because this issue is imperative for the future of the planet, namely, a new supranational body that encompasses all peoples with their cultures, economies, religions and, above all, a policy of general well-being. The current UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has presented some interesting proposals, although they are still shy of the greater objective mentioned above. Indeed, an entity like the UN based, in essence, on the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 is no longer conceivable.

We are in the XNUMXst century. There are no more continents to be discovered, much less territorial isolation. Human Pangea has been a fact for centuries. The advancement of technology increasingly reduces and brutalizes a world that was once beautiful due to its long distances, the idiosyncrasies of each people and untouched nature. All this is over! Perhaps the most subjective thing we have today is the screen of each human being's cell phone. If all this is not taken into account when establishing a new global agreement between nations, we run the risk of ultimately falling into the hands of the Orwellian “Big Brother”. And if that happens, Palestine will no longer exist!

* André Márcio Neves Soares is a doctoral student in Social Policies and Citizenship at the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL).


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