Dear the United Nations

Matthew Hanzel Avatar

Dear the United Nations,

Let me begin by saying a happy seventieth anniversary to you.

Seventy years ago to the day, 51 countries set their foot on a journey, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” when the United Nations Charter entered into force. I have to thank the United Nations for attempting to achieve that for the past seventy years, and managing to do it most of the time. We all realize today that no matter what problem that you face, the world is better off with you, and will get worse without you. To that, I thank you.

Indeed, succeeding generations have been doing exactly that through various political, economical, or socio-cultural attempts to prevent human suffering, preserve humanity and human dignity, and at the very least, try to make the world a better place for all.

You try to keep the world from having a global-scale the world (in which, thank God, still works to this very moment). You try to alleviate global poverty (yes, to a certain extent). You try to create a peaceful world (sometimes it works, some other times it does not). You try to save the environment (mixed results). You try to protect human rights (works for some).

The world has never seen anything like you, and will never see anything like you in the future. Sometimes I think, thank God the League of Nations (your predecessor) failed, for without its failure the world would not taken some very important lessons on international cooperation.

As a student of international relations and an enthusiast of Model United Nations (yes, this model is anything but United Nations in style), I learn a lot of things about you. I like your ideals, I cherish your present. Yet, I don’t know how to react with your ‘jack-of-all-trades’ thing. You are trying to do too many things, yet you make yourself constrained to various tug-of-war, especially politically. And yes, I am especially looking at that ‘cabal’ group of the Russians, Chinese, French, British, and Americans.

Your Charter, thankfully, is much more than sweet talks. I like your ideals, the values that you represent, and every embodiment of those ideals. Printed then in those tiny little book (hopefully it does not make people remember of any other tiny little book covered with a certain color, God forbid), and now saved in my smartphone, tablet, and e-book reader, we should all feel glad for all the values that the United Nations enshrine.

And not to forget, the Charter is still the best representation of, “We, the peoples of the United Nations.”

I cannot say what should be changed from the United Nations. Accepting more staffs? (me included, hopefully) Refrain from doing too many things? Refrain from constant tugging? Change those exclusive ‘cabal’ group? Welcome Palestine unconditionally? Too many things that can be changed, I know. One thing I know for sure, you are hardly a failure. You should be proud to the fact that you even still exist until today. When people are sounding the death knell of you, you stand tall and show the world that there are people that still believe in the best of human beings, and that the world can change for the better.

Dag Hammarskjöld, one of your former secretaries-general (1953-1961) once said that the United Nations was not made to take mankind to heaven, but to save them from hell. I cannot find a better quote that in one sentence summarizes what you are. And I am grateful that his excellency reminded us all of what you truly are. Yes, you are great. Yes, you are awesome. Yes, you are loved (and hated by some). Yet, you are not deus ex machina. You did not fall from heaven to be our master and savior. Yet you at least try to pull us away from falling into oblivion.

Finally, I thank you, dear United Nations. I am here today, in part, thanks to your hard work, efforts, and most importantly, ideals, and goals. Here’s to many, many more great years to come!

Sincerely yours,

A people of the United Nations.

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