The United Nations (UN) is marking its 75th Anniversary in preserving peace, dignity, and equality for the future we want and the world we need.
The UN has progressively been creating safe spaces around the world and has pushed Humanitarian Operations in order to bring greater freedoms. This coincides with the ideas of Amartya Sen on using freedom as a scale of development. The UN continues to encourage different nations to bring forward development that is inclusive and sustainable. By the rubrics of Sen, development should concern all aspects of an individual. And this is what the UN has been pushing through since they have started measuring Human Development within this framework in 1991.
However, some operations are not that successful with regard to the weakening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), failure to reach an inclusive agreement on tackling climate change, and so forth (Wright 2009). These failures have been outrightly given negative feedback by other nations. Yet, Thomas Wright presented four implications in establishing a more cooperative atmosphere within different nations, such as including important nation-states within a certain agreement, understanding the context of the regions’ conflict, not going ahead of one’s self when it comes to analyzing the situation, and fostering participation instead of universal compliance.
According to the study of Calder and Fukuyama, the East Asian Multilateralism, including the Philippines, has been successful in creating regional stability by negotiations and crafting multilateral agreements between nations. These agreements should be the best practice that the UN should consider when it comes to regional stability.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s critical reflexivity in the 75th UN General Assembly should be embodied by the nations: “We need to ask ourselves whether or not we have remained true and faithful to the United Nations’ principles and ideals.” For so many generations, the Philippines persistently support the goals of the UN which are to maintain international peace and security, protect human rights, deliver humanitarian aid, promote sustainable development, and uphold the international law leading to the world we want.
The 75-year milestone of the UN is a crystallization of how member-states are upholding and transforming it into a more fundamental body that would uplift and push-forward socially progressive policies for a larger freedom. But steps must be taken into precaution, they must align with the successful efforts of some regional organizations such as the ASEAN in fostering cooperation and building regional peace with one another. The UN cannot make nations comply with their advocacies, but they must foster participation – Thomas Wright.
The global health crisis faced by the world this year is just one of the tests that will polish the UN towards its brilliance. Just like a diamond, the most precious gem of all, the UN’s journey from dream to the realization of a better world for future generations, is a treasure. Shine bright like a diamond!
Inspired from the Webinar entitled In Larger Freedom: 75 Years of the Philippines and the Charter of the United Nations, October 22, 2020.
Thomas Wright (2009) Toward Effective Multilateralism: Why Bigger May Not Be Better, The Washington Quarterly, 32:3, 163-180, DOI: 10.1080/01636600903035753
Sen, Amartya (1999). Development as freedom. The globalization and development reader: Perspectives on development and global change.
Calder, K., Calder, K.F., & Fukuyama, F. (Eds.) (2008). East Asian Multilateralism: Prospects for regional Stability. JHU Press.