Oct 23, 2008, 6:27 AM
The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on 24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.
Member states of the United Nations have to understand that the main reason for establishing the UN is to maintain peace in the world, and to avoid war.
Sixty-five years ago, since the founding charter of the United Nations entered into force, the world has been struggling with unresolved conflicts, although at the level of the United Nations, through mediation efforts and peace-keeping operations, some of the conflicts around the world have, to some extent, been resolved.
The celebration of this year’s United Nations Day should be seen as a stocktaking period, for every country to measure its achievements and shortcomings in fulfilling its obligations under the UN charter agreed by member states.
The universal values of tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity have to be respected by all member states. Peace and justice should also be ensured.
As the UNESCO constitution says: “Wars begin in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men that we must begin to erect ramparts of peace.”
One of the shortcomings of some countries is that they are far from reaching the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which means that countries are not at the same level in achieving the targets of the MDGs by 2015.
It is high time that countries forgot their individual political differences and strove for world peace and for the betterment of the world. Africa, for instance, has been the boiling point of war for decades. We should, therefore, give heed to the call for peace.
Mohamed Sahoun, one-time special adviser to the UN Secretary General, said this about Africa: “In all the debates on Africa, one issue stands out above the others – the issue of conflict, its root causes and its self-destructive impact. Numerous African states suffer from conflict situations and often the destabilizing consequences of civil war in one country will spill across borders and affect whole regions of the continent.”
Therefore, UN Day is a day on which we should resolve to do more to protect those caught up in armed conflicts, to check climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe.
The UN should always make sure that countries live up to expectations, and by example.