As the sculpture of Benjamin Victor: “Where cultures meet”, United Nations structure is the perfect place to build a “meeting point” for all cultures under a global governance strategy that goes beyond the current intricate and controversial relationship of country members. A stage in which different ideologies, contradictory political-economic perspectives and bilateral conflicts have left UN as an organization moved by ineffectiveness and passivity-based action without a real impact of their actions.
The Charter of the UN enumerates the purposes and principles as the following:
- Maintain international peace and security,
- Develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people,
- Achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.
- To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations
Just to have a look at these goals we are able to conclude how ineffective the system has been since its constitution in 1945 and how important it would be to fulfill the requirements of the Charter, especially purpose number 4, in where it is defined the real mission of the UN as a “center for harmonizing the actions of nations”.
Nowadays UN is an organization dominated by political and religious ideologies at odds, powerful financial interests and mismanagement of crisis that block any attempt to build a model of global governance that brings confidence and inclusiveness. Those are the basic principles to create a structure enough solid to be considered an axis for solving international complex conflicts and establish a global governance system that allow countries to design their policies around a global order of interconnected interests and values. Is that purpose what marks the difference between the concept of “United Nations” or just “Nations United” around an organization (not a system) with a widely probed low impact on current conflicts and even lower for building resilience for future uncertainties and shocks.
Effective global governance is what is needed in the process to democratize and harmonize policies on an international context.
In order to search for conciliation, UN left behind a real negotiation and abandoned the role of controller that demand accountability to each country member. A growing number of international conflicts follow by financial global shocks, migration and climate change crisis shows the lack of an action plan and the lost of the original strategic focus within their constitution, making a system far away from being democratic and open that integrates countries on its full extension: political, economical, cultural and religious.
As Kofi Annan highlighted “We have the UN that is a secretariat led by the secretary general and we have a UN made up of member states who give us our mandate”. The predominance of the Security Council is not only a factor that is making negotiations being slow and heavy but also an old-fashioned structure that not responds to an equal distribution of power. Emerging economies, developed countries with unsustainable growth and small powerless countries but with stable and consistent policies for their development, reshape the map of the world and are pushing for changes.
This is the reason of the importance of restructuring and redistributing power in the Security Council on their voting system and enlargement of its membership. Although in itself, the integration of new permanent members do no represent the last solution to avoid the supremacy and rivalry among leading countries, it suppose and exercise of accepting a new reality and a new balance of power. As a prelude of any big change this essential step is strongly needed for a progressively successful process of transformation of UN organizational culture.
Moving beyond ideological positions are the big challenge that polarize the international community and prevents them from a real change. An uncompromising defense of sovereignty is another big boundary to overcome by a strong political will able to combine national and global interests. Palestine & Israel conflict is just one of the big examples that represent the sluggishness of this process. After all this time, Palestine is still not a full member and could only achieved a recognition by flag rising in UN headquarters, even with the vote against of a minority of 8 countries including US, Israel, Canada, Australia among others. Is obvious that this step has raised awareness in the international community but also has left in evidence the unsolved conflict among Israel and Palestine, the lack of political will and the inability of UN on finding solutions.
A structure that make history in 1945, now, in 2015 its seems not able to respond to current and future challenges. The Security Council an organism meant to build the principles of a global governance system is loosing its opportunity by misusing its mission of “executive” body and being just a “deliberate” body with low impact and a poor sense of inclusiveness and accountability. Indeed the integration of new members is what could help on the process of lifting up an intercultural organization that serves to build the roots for a global governance system of counterweights, and thereby shape a new map of the world and an organization “where cultures meet”.
*Sculpture“Where cultures meet”, Benjamin Victor. L.A.2010