Conversations With America: Addressing Global Challenges at the United Nations – YouTube

Ignoring the goofy intro music, overly formal set, and awkward overall tone–this short includes an a-Team of panelists making the case for how the UN supports US interests and worth watching.

 

via Conversations With America: Addressing Global Challenges at the United Nations – YouTube.

 

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3 thoughts on “Conversations With America: Addressing Global Challenges at the United Nations – YouTube

  1. A lot of what I’ve learned about the United Nations has been from a more third-party stance, so it was interesting to hear first-hand some of the thoughts regarding the UN the US has as a member-state. These panelists who work closely with the UN and its bodies all admitted (some more than once) that the UN is flawed and far from perfectly, but they emphasized its importance in not only international affairs but in the world, and how the US will continue being heavily involved. Looking into UN reform, particularly within the outdated Security Council, I found this article, “The UN’s Fossilized Security Council”, which discussed the various proposed reforms and how it would affect the Security Council, and particularly the P5 (http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2012/06/06/uns-fossilized-security-council). The author describes the history of Security Council reform as fossilized; being the “winners” of World War II, the US, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom rewarded themselves with leadership positions and veto power, and allowed for other non-permanent nations to be included. However, there is an obvious effort for these nations to preserved their veto, even though France and Britain has obviously not maintained their standing in modern times as they did in the mid twentieth century.
    The panelists talked about, almost with a tone of disdain, Russia and China’s use of the veto and effectively blocking what the US sees as much-needed action in Syria. However, their contempt isn’t really placed in the veto. Scanning through the US’s goals for UN reform (found on the United States Mission to the United Nations page here: http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/182296.htm), there is really little mention of structural reform, nothing outside cutting “outdated mandates” and reducing the bureaucracy, and no mention of reform within the Security Council. The US obviously favors the veto, as they likely should, being a worldwide superpower, and dislike attempts to evaluate and redistribute power within the SC. As was said in the video, though the US has every right and capability to go out and solve issues like Syria on their own, they are likely to fail on their own. One of them pointed out that the UN needs all the countries resources and information, but the US also needs others to lead and share ideas with, to support their global power and ideals. After all, the UN belongs to all of us.

  2. emilylheath says:

    Although this video shows the UN very much from the perspective of America, it’s amazing how many facets there are to the UN and how involved they are in international communities and not just global crises. It was interesting to learn how the UN monitors mail and money transfers, as well as organizations that monitor the spreading of disease, predict coming famines, and provide information about the world’s people. Despite its shortcomings in solving international conflict. It’s good to see the UN as more than just an international government. It does the nit picky work and provides countries like the US with the information, resources, and connections it needs to accomplish its objectives.

    Without the UN, not only would the US constantly have to maintain international organizations and balance relations with other countries, but it would have to be the bearer of the monetary costs of gathering information and providing aid. As a member of the SC the US can use its veto power along with the influence of its donations and international standing to swan other states and really use the UN framework to accomplish its objectives. I have never before seen just how much the UN does for the US in terms of providing the means necessary to retain balance in the international community.

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