Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon delineated the role and purpose of the United Nations when he succinctly stated, “The United Nations works for the entire human family of seven billion people, and cares for the earth, our one and only home.” Today, 24th October, 2015, the United Nations family celebrates 70 years of this relentless commitment to the progressive development of Mother Earth and its inhabitants.
For 70 years, the United Nations has been the embodiment of hope and has stood as an indomitable pillar in this global village of ours, fostering international peace and security, promoting sustainable development, protecting human rights, upholding international law, delivering humanitarian aid and fighting climate change. It will do us well to have regard to the genesis of the United Nations. “In 1945 nations were in ruins. World War II was over and the world wanted peace.” Out of this maelstrom, the United Nations was born as a beacon of hope for healing among nations.
Today, the United Nations represents more than a healer of post-war wounds and wounded relations among Member States. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have since paved the way for the present 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mandated by the United Nations on 25 September 2015 to its Member States. These goals are critical and strategic targets set by the UN to assist countries to developed nation status girthed with social and human imperatives. The citizenry of the world must always engage these 17 Developmental Goals as the benchmark for true national, regional and international development.
Our community of nations has been a better, more secure and structured unit because the United Nations exists, not as a philosophical ideal, but as a functioning conduit of dialogue, negotiations and disaster relief among nations. The world’s problems are myriad and the job of the United Nations shall continue, unabated, until the last war is fought; until the last soldier withdraws; until justice and peace rule nations; until all children of Mother Earth are able to access food, water and education under the umbrella of inclusive and just governance; and until basic human rights are secured.
Amidst it all, the United Nations has been in the vanguard of securing world peace in a world burdened by strife and conflict. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon further stated, “The world is over-armed and peace is underfunded.” Through their peacekeepers, the United Nations has made great strides, against seemingly insurmountable odds, in protecting the weak, the marginalised and the displaced from the ravages of nepotism, dictatorship and poor governance. Its mighty efforts in the sphere of world peace have not gone unnoticed. For example, in 1954 and 1981, the Office of the UN High Commissioners for Refugees was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, as was the UN Peacekeeping Forces in 1988. In 2001, the United Nations, as the umbrella organisation, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Kofi Annan “for their work for a better, more organised and peaceful world”.
The UN’s presence in Trinidad and Tobago since 1962 has taken the form of numerous developmental programs in the areas of health, economic empowerment, security aid, disability and gender rights, poverty eradication, environmental management and disaster risk reduction. Trinidad and Tobago shall continue to work and partner with the United Nations in its internal affairs and in realising the principles, aims and objectives of the UN, and as well, in lending aid to fellow Member Nations when required. We, as a Nation, must feel proud that our great son, the late President ANR Robinson, has indelibly left the mark of Trinidad and Tobago in the UN and on the world stage by being recognised as the father of the International Criminal Court- a Court with jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
In celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, it will do us all well to reflect on the international persona and utility of the United Nations by referencing the words of its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “National flags are a mark of pride and patriotism in every country around the world. But there is only one flag that belongs to all of us. That blue flag of the United Nations was a banner of hope for me growing up in wartime Korea. Seven decades after its founding, the United Nations remains a beacon for all humanity.”
We, in Trinidad and Tobago, salute 70 years of humanitarian service of the United Nations and wish this noble organisation all success in its global outreach.Share