The United Nations: A Planetary View
by Rene Wadlow
26 June is the anniversary date of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. While "UN Day" is usually celebrated on 24 October when the U.N. Charter came into force after the ratification by States and especially the needed ratification by the five permanent members of the proposed Security Council, it was on 26 June that the Charter was presented to the World. As a friend once said "I prefer to celebrate the birth and not the baptism."
Thus, this 26 June we can look at the challenges facing the world society and the ways in which the U.N. tries to create a planetary view leading to world-wide action.
In 1993, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali wrote “From the outset of my mandate, I have been convinced that the structure of the Organization must mirror, as closely as possible, the tasks it is assigned to undertake. An institution must reflect the objectives it pursues.” He went on to stress the vast challenges of famine, drought, AIDS, civil wars, uprooted and displaced populations and human misery in many parts of the world. Thus Boutros-Ghali proposed measures to promote coordination and greater cooperation with non-governmental organizations.
All major problems and preoccupations concerning our planet are reflected in the discussions and studies of the United Nations. Such important challenges as preserving our environment, our cultural diversity, and our heritage of our past are under consideration in different parts of the UN system. All of us can take courage and hope in these efforts of the human community to solve environmental and social problems.
Through the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies, governments and people can obtain a planetary view of the human environment. Within the UN system, we can evaluate progress in issues of health, food, industry, and housing.
World cooperation has become a powerful asset, brought about by the deep forces which are at work in the present phase of evolution. To hold the human family together, to permit the further ascent, to prevent it from losing ground and falling into the abyss of despair, we must have a constant vision, a dream for the human family. The development of peace, justice, and cooperation rests largely in the hands of the people whop make up the 193 member States and the over 2000 non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the UN such as the Association of World Citizens. The goal of the Association of World Citizens is the creation of a harmonious world society in which the rich diversity of cultures exists together in an atmosphere marked by understanding, appreciation and solidarity.
Through the UN, bridges are being built. We are learning from each other. We are making constant progress in human relations. We are entering one of the most fascinating and challenging eras of human evolution. The old structures of oppression and domination are crumbling - those of class, caste, gender, and narrow nationalism. We are now crossing the threshold between our past awareness, largely limited to the local and the national levels toward a world consciousness. We need to respond to these new currents of life with a cultural rejuvenation, with new visions and new ventures. The United Nations is a key institution in such a world-wide cultural rejuvenation.
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens
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