The Un Today

The Un Today

The Un Today

The Un Today

Excerpt

The United Nations is a far-flung organization with a big job. Keeping the world's peace, or attempting to restore it when it is broken, is the UN's business. And this is a very difficult business, indeed, in the present age of East-West tension, hot and cold wars, hydrogen bombs, and jet planes. Therefore, it is not surprising that the United Nations has a great many critics--both hostile critics who regard it as a futile and harmful organization and friendly ones who look upon it as a hopeful beginning, but not much more than that, in man's quest for peace.

Assessing the United Nations, attempting to see how well it does its job, is not easy. It is not even easy to describe the organization itself. The six principal organs established when the United Nations Charter was signed at San Francisco in 1945 now have a bewildering number of subsidiary commissions, committees, agencies, and offshoots. In addition to these, there are also the "specialized agencies," closely related to the UN but still organizations with charters of their own and varying rosters of membership, dealing with labor, food, health, education, and so on.

When all these main organs, subsidiaries, and affiliates are put down on paper, they can be arranged in an elaborate structural chart, but this in itself is only the beginning of any explanation of the UN. For the living organization consists of the Soviet Union's Andrei Vishinsky voting Nyet in the Security Council, of debates in five languages at its New York headquarters. It also consists of a German technician teaching modern forestry methods in a Burmese teak logging camp, of Africans seeking unification of the Ewe people of Togoland, of American GI's fighting beside Turkish infantrymen in Korea, and of innumerable conferences on trade, science, international loans, nutrition, civil aviation, and postal rates in Geneva, Paris, Washington, Rome, Montreal, and Berne.

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