The United Nations is not too big to fall.

Author:Muzawazi, Kwame

Has the United Nations outlived its usefulness? The signs are that this organisation may go the way of former behemoths that once ruled but are now history.

The cemetery of historical endeavours, be it in the private or public spheres, is full of behemoth organisations that once ran the world but died for one reason: they could not adapt to change fast enough--invariably, the leadership did not want to listen.

Do you recall 'the Kodak moment' campaign, when taking a photograph could only be done using Kodak equipment? And just over a decade ago, at least in Africa, Nokia was synonymous with mobile phones.

With this warning from history, it is perhaps time to consider the future longevity of the United Nations. The UN itself was born out of a failed organisation called the League of Nations. On the ground, and indeed on paper, the same factors that precipitated the fall of the League of Nations seem today to be abundantly present and threatening the ultimate failure of the UN.

Some think the United Nations is 'too big to fail'; yours truly warns that rather, the UN is too big-headed to succeed for much longer.

We wish there were enough space here to catalogue the UN's successes and failures year by year since 1945. But for an organisation that was created primarily to maintain peace and security, the facts at hand are as astonishing as they are disappointing.

Under the watch of the UN, there have been genocides of biblical proportions in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. It is as ironic as can be that during the time of the UN, humanity has acquired a greater capability to destroy the world in a few minutes. So much for an organisation that was formed to guarantee peace and security for all!

Voting irony of the Security Council

The UN Security Council is only good at making the United Nations look like the 'Disunited Nations'. Decisions at the Security Council have made it clear that it is ultimately the interests of the five permanent members that take precedence over anything else. And the veto power that each of those enjoys usually turns the organisation into a circus.

It is also ironic that countries such as the UK, the US and France, which have started wars elsewhere in the world on the gospel of democracy and one-person-one-vote, cannot at the Security Council, agree to one country, one vote. We accept that at the UN General Assembly, the principle of one country, one vote is tolerated...

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