A Paper on The United Nations

I wrote a paper for my Grade 12 politics class that got a 91%. I don’t really see any reason to post it on this site, but it’s my site, so, I can do what I want.  In this paper I take a political stance on the United Nations. Enjoy.


The United Nations: A Harness:

It could be said that the United Nations is a completely ineffective and powerless organization that acts merely for show. I mean, really, take a moment to think about it, do you think the United States could be stopped from taking irreversible action solely on a vote by other nations condemning it? Most would like to hope so. But the US has been accused of countless war crimes, and started several wars, all against the recommendations of the United Nations. So the question must be asked: how could the UN stop the US? Well, they could kick them out, and hope for them to feel bad about it  and decide to not act out anymore. If this sounds like a parent scolding their child, it pretty much is. Kicking the US out would be the most paramount stance the UN could take; a stance which would achieve as much as taking a rabid pitbull out of its harness. And that’s just it. The United Nations acts as a harness. It’s brilliant and terrifying at the same time. Ultimately, the United Nations is mankind’s way of keeping the bullies at bay. In practice, the UN acts as a form of peer pressure against the powerhouses of the world.

Countries such as the United States, Russia, and most recently China, have all been accused of going against the wishes of the UN. Some of these instances include: The US going to war in the Middle East “against Al Qaeda” shortly after 9/11 without time for the UN to consider how to proceed on the issue, Russia’s continued support for the Assad government in Syria against nearly all UN members, and China’s continued affiliation and alliance with North Korea. Many use this as fuel to blame the UN for its ineffectiveness. However, an often overlooked discussion is how things would have been different if the UN never existed. In my view, over the course of the UN’s existence, it has created a systematic process to declare and decide on international conflict. The U.S., Russia, and China are all capable of ignoring the recommendations of the UN, but if they choose to do so they will most certainly bring it to the UN first, as a form of courtesy, you could say. And this “courtesy” is the single most important aspect of the UN; it keeps all countries connected and informed.

Canada should have a voice on the international stage; we earned that through both of the World Wars, and have made a name for ourselves through our dedicated peacekeeping contributions. Unfortunately, I believe the United Nations is holding back our potential as a world power and limiting our scope on the international stage. For our aforementioned huge role in both of the World Wars, as well as being a founding member of the UN, it is unacceptable that we are required to go to such great lengths to acquire a seat on the UN security council. The last time Canada held a position on the council was in 2000. In Justin Trudeau’s campaign for prime minister, as well as in his early days since holding office, he claimed that Canada would be aiming for a seat in the council in 2021. Since then, it has been increasingly clear that a huge (and expensive) campaign to get our bid is the only way we could even be considered. A nation such as Canada should not have to prove ourselves worthy of a seat any further. We have already showcased our expertise, impact, and effectiveness when dealing with international conflict. It is clear that the permanent members of the Council, as well as the leading members of the UN are refusing to acknowledge our vast influence. A possible option for Canada to make a bold statement to the world that we should be recognized could be leaving the UN and thus making our political decisions as an individual nation. However it wouldn’t be that easy. Leaving the United Nations would leave us with only our allies as security (mainly the US.)  and in order to remain allies with them, we would be tied down to acting only in support of them, and as a result taking our individual authority away. Unfortunately, it is evident that the only viable option for Canadian recognition is in fact the UN. Although the UN is not by any means a perfect system, however it is an established and necessary one. Our voice as a nation is most heard on the UN floor as opposed to any alternative, and this is how it should remain whether we like it or not.