Our Opinion: Not much
Like the grim joke that was its predecessor, the League of Nations, the United Nations was supposed to be a decisive mechanism to keep the peace. It has failed dismally.
Perhaps the most serious non-nuclear crisis in the world today is the civil war gripping Yemen. During the past several days, violence there has escalated. But U.N. leaders are taking action. On Monday, The Associated Press reported that, “The United Nations is urging an immediate halt to fighting in Yemen’s capital …”
We can only wonder what the reaction of the warring parties, some of them militias backed by Iran, was to that. It probably was not to lay down their weapons as they quaked in their boots over the thought of disobeying the U.N.
Even when the U.N. does take what, by its standards, is decisive action, the results usually are less than desirable. Blue-helmeted U.N. “peacekeepers” seem to frighten no one. And, on occasion, “peacekeeping” forces from some nations have terrorized local populations more than the warring parties they were sent in to counteract.
The U.N. has become a gigantic empire unto itself, wasting enormous amounts of money even on programs such as those intended to improve public health.
In terms of its core mission, keeping the peace, the U.N. has been a dismal failure. It can be debated whether, under the organization’s current model, anything can be done to improve the situation.
Its defenders often argue that, at least, the U.N. is better than nothing. Not much, however.