The United Nations in Action

The United Nations in Action

The United Nations in Action

The United Nations in Action

Excerpt

The United Nations is an effort to organize the world for the maintenance of peace and the promotion of general well-being. Many things about it are easy to condemn. But it is the current experiment, full of possibilities. It deserves our intelligent understanding, if we think that international organization is better, on the whole, than international chaos. I have tried to explain it without being too technical.

The point of view of the author is that of an individual American citizen interested and trained in international affairs and international organization. Since I served for some years as an officer of the Department of State, as one of the experts who made plans for the Charter of the United Nations and who subsequently were engaged in interpreting the Charter and adjusting United States policy to it, my point of view is inevitably influenced by the positions which I held, and by my colleagues in the Department. As a member of the Department who was lent to the international secretariat of the San Francisco Conference, I had the experience of working for all the nations represented at that conference, and my nationalism is tempered, I hope, by that experience. It should be possible to be both a good citizen of one's own country and a good citizen of the world. When I have followed American policy, as I usually have in this book, it is because I have agreed with it. When I have ventured to disagree, my disagreement is also my own.

It will be plain that, like all Americans, I have been greatly influenced by the questions that have been raised since the Charter of the United Nations went into effect. Our national habit is to demand immediate attainment of a goal. We are possessed by what Emerson called "the hunger for sudden performance." But it is too soon to lament weaknesses in the United Nations. Though the United Nations is new and experimental and will no doubt be different in the future, it already has an independent . . .

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