The United Nations


The United Nations was formed fifty years ago. It's purpose
has been to preserve world peace. Throughout it's long
life, it has helped solve various disputes between nations,
reduce tensions, prevent conflicts, and put an end to
fighting. The United Nations is mainly a peace-making,
peace-keeping organization that has done more than enough
to keep peace in the world. Many examples of the UN's peace
efforts proves that it has done ample work in helping to
restore peace throughout the world. A few of the operations
the UN has helped in is the civil war in Somalia, the
conflicts in Central America, Haiti, the Middle East, the
disarmament of nuclear weapons, apartheid in South Africa,
and the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The Civil War
which broke out in Somalia in 1991 resulted in more than
300,000 dead and five million threatened by hunger. The
United Nations helped to eliminate mass starvation, stop
the killings, and bring the conflict to an end. Later it
helped to rebuild Somalia's society and economy. The UN has
helped in the conflicts in Central America. In March to
June of 1990, some 22,000 contras (Nicaraguan resistance)
turned in their weapons to the UN. In El Salvador, the UN
has helped in talks in attempting to end the 12 year
conflict. In Guatemala, the UN and the Guatemalan Nation
Revolutionary Unity set up agreements to settle the 30 year
conflict. In 1990, the UN assisted in the first democratic
elections in Haiti. In 1991, a military coup forced the
President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, into exile. Through the
help of the UN, in 1994, President Aristide returned to
power. In the Middle East, the UN has made many efforts to
find peace. In September 1993, Israel and the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the Declaration of
Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements which
brings peace after a long time to the Middle East. Under
the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
developed by the UN, signed by over 170 countries,
nuclear-weapon countries agree not to provide nuclear
weapons to other countries and to pursue nuclear
disarmament. Non-nuclear weapon countries agree not to
develop or obtain nuclear weapons. Other treaties have been
created to ban nuclear-weapon tests in the atmosphere, in
outer space and under water; ban nuclear weapons from outer
space, the sea-bed and ocean floor; prohibit the
development, prodution and stockpiling of bacteriological
and chemical weapons; and ban or restrict other classes of
weapons. The UN carried out a campaign against apartheid in
South Africa. They called it "a crime against humanity".
The UN's campaign was an important factor in bringing a
democratically elected Government. In April 1994, elections
were held and for the first time all South Africans could
vote. Nelson Mandela was elected. Lastly, the UN has sought
to solve the conflict in the Yugoslavia. To help restore
peace, the UN imposed in 1991 an arms embargo. A
peace-keeping force was deployed in 1992. They sought to
create conditions of peace and security, facilitate the
delivery of relief (food, medical supplies, etc), maintain
cease-fires, protect the population and provide
humanitarian assistance. These are just one of the numerous
peace keeping efforts the UN has undertaken in its vast
fifty year history. The UN has been defined as "the
machinery to help find solutions to disputes or problems,
and to deal with virtually any matter of concern to
humanity." I think it's out done it's duty when it comes to
humanity and peacekeeping. 


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