A few short months after the conclusion of the Second World War, the United Nations was formed on 24 October, the anniversary of today.
Do anniversaries really mean anything to anyone anymore?
What about the United Nations? A colossal failure and bureaucratic mess? Or is it a critical international place of important convening?
I have had my own first hand experience working with the United Nations in many different capacities, but perhaps most significantly was as the Lead Operations and Plans Officer for the Australian Defence Force while deployed into East Timor.
Certainly, it is not a perfect organisation, but would the world be better off without it? I think not.
Far beyond an instrument of global security, the United Nations focuses across a broad range touching every aspect of the human experience.
The one area this blog focuses on is the eight Millennium Development Goals signed by all 192 Member States in 2000 to reduce extreme poverty levels to two-thirds of the recorded levels in 1990 by 2015. It has been one area where there has been some success. It is not a perfect story: child mortality remains improved, but only reduced to half of the recorded levels of 1990, and so the aspiration to achieve a two-thirds reduction by 2015 might be unobtainable.
Work remains to be done. And it is not for us to sit back and criticise the United Nations. We must put our shoulder to the wheel also.
Ban Ki-moon’s words today in his United Nations Day Message for 2013 was fitting:
We continue to show what collective action can do. We can do even more.
In a world that is more connected, we must be more united.
This is the sentiment of the 10 City Bridge Run. To build a human bridge between ourselves to help address the problems we face. Together we can make a difference.