The UN is now out of date
Contrary to its original premise, the United Nations is also increasingly interfering in the internal affairs of a state when human life is threatened. They follow the ethical norm of "responsibility to protect": They see themselves as responsible for protecting lives, preventing violence, intervening in an emergency and providing help to rebuild a country after a military intervention.
According to the United Nations, 14 peace missions were running on four continents in mid-2018. From 1945 to 2007 UN forces carried out more than 60 peacekeeping missions.
Together with the General Assembly and the office, both of which have predominantly recommending powers, the Security Council is the head of the UN system. In addition to the permanent members of the USA, Great Britain, China, France and Russia, there are also ten non-permanent members on the Security Council.
The five great powers have had a right of veto on all decisions since 1945, even when politicians and academics are discussing reform of these outdated structures. The other three main organs are the International Court of Justice, the Trustee Council and the Economic and Social Council.
The "family" of the United Nations
The United Nations has a comprehensive understanding of peace. Not only the absence of violence is important, but also the economic, social and cultural well-being of the people. The world organization has therefore spun a huge network of organizations for its mission world peace, the system is also called "UN family".
In a large number of programs and special organizations, the world organization takes care of upbringing, education and nutrition as well as refugees and the world economy.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is just as much a part of it as the World Bank, the UNICEF children's aid organization and the World Health Agency (WHO). The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) has helped more than 50 million people start new lives since it was founded in 1951.
Last but not least, the UN is also a major economic power with an annual budget of around one and a half billion US dollars. The secretariats, programs and sub-organizations are distributed all over the world, there are branches of the UN headquarters in Vienna and Nairobi.
Germany - from enemy state to full member
The relationship between Germany and the United Nations began in 1945 with declared enmity: the state, "which during the Second World War was the enemy of a signatory to the Charter", should not be able to become a member, says the "hostility clause" in the Charter of the United Nations. Although this clause still exists today, Germany has meanwhile blossomed from a former enemy state into a respected member.
Germans were denied entry for almost three decades. In 1973 both German states were admitted to the UN with "minor status" after they had long been involved in various specialized agencies of the United Nations. "Minor status" meant that the FRG and the GDR could not refer to the "sovereign equality of all their members" enshrined in the charter.
Germany has been a full member since October 3, 1990, is also the third largest contributor and is involved in every third UN peacekeeping mission. In addition, Germany is the "host state" - this means that numerous United Nations institutions are located in Germany.
18 secretariats and offices are located in Bonn. Outside Bonn there are seven other UN institutions, including the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg.
The United Nations must change
Ever since the UN has existed, it has tried again and again to adapt to changes in order to remain capable of acting: In the 1970s, for example, the UN system was expanded and a budget reform took place in the 1980s. General Secretary Boutros-Ghali started a modernization of the management and work structures, through which around 2000 posts were cut.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan worked on reforming the Secretariat during his tenure. The goal: more transparency in the individual organizations and areas of activity. Because corruption has not stopped at the world organization either.
Peace operations, too, have to be constantly adapted to reality, especially since the global political upheaval in 1990 and changes in wars: As a rule, they are no longer conducted internationally, but rather within states.
The reform of the Security Council has also been discussed for a long time: The outdated structure, which still reflects the distribution of power after the Second World War, is to give way to a balanced and comprehensive representation of all continents. This is intended to make the Security Council and the UN as a whole more representative and meet with greater international acceptance.
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