World & Nation in focus: downsizing world peace

Tonya Barham

In 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name “united nations” to describe the pledge of solidarity among 26 allied nations fighting against the Axis powers during World War II.
After the war, delegates from 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization. The historic gathering produced the United Nations charter. Signed on June 26th, 1945, the charter cemented the 50-member organization’s mandate to ensure world peace and security.
More than 50 years and 150 nations since its humble beginnings, the United Nations’ mission remains — to many — as ambiguous as some of the concepts it has spawned.
Over the years the effort to secure world peace mushroomed beyond simply deterring hostility — even as its budget and personnel dwindled.
The organization’s responsibilities incorporated economic and social development, international law, human rights, environmental and humanitarian affairs, into its fold as cornerstones to international stability.
The U.N. organization continues to struggle with its image in the face of shrinking financial contributions, apathy and highly publicized peacekeeping failures.
Today’s World and Nation In Focus takes a glimpse into the workings of the United Nations and considers some of the obstacles between the organization and its mandate.