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The United Nations and its real power - Looking forward to its 75th Anniversary

The United Nations does not have power by itself as a World organization, but borrow its power from the will of Member States when voting on a resolution or decision. Each one of the Member States has one vote no matter how big or small or how much population it has. Therefore, it functions in similar fashion as a Senate does. However, most of the decisions and resolutions are not mandatory. They are recommendations that may or may not be taken into account, although they carry quite a heavy weight in public opinion. The exception to these basic rules lies with the Security Council. Its resolutions carry mandatory authority and could authorize in certain cases military intervention. Nevertheless, the five biggest powers emerging victorious from the II World War, China, France, Russia, United States and United Kingdom, have veto power and their single negative vote is enough to abort any draft resolution presented to this UN body.

The UN at 75: Time to Give Citizens a Voice

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 14 2019 (IPS).– Next year the United Nations will commemorate its 75th anniversary. The General Assembly determined that all the UN’s activities in 2020 shall be guided by the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.

In January the Secretariat plans1 to launch “the biggest-ever global conversation” on the role of global cooperation and to build a “global vision of 2045.”

The UN Charter begins with the words: “We the Peoples”. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights clearly states in article 21.1. that everyone has the right to take part in the government of their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

Thus, it should not come as a surprise that this right to participation will now also extend to the forthcoming “global conversation”, as the UN has stated that anybody who wishes to, will be able to join.

At the same time, this is a bold statement in times of deep divides on not just the role of the UN but even more so about the role of citizens and civil society in shaping its affairs ...

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