The politics essay below has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Back to Politics Index

United States Should Belong To The United Nations Politics Essay

The United Nations is a venerable organization with roots in the mid 20th century. America has been a member since the inception. The 50 nations represented at San Francisco signed the Charter of the United Nations on June 26, 1945. Poland, which was not represented at the conference but for which a place among the original signatories had been reserved, added its name later, bringing the total of original signatories to 51 (Background). Since this point, many new nations have been added to the UN rosters. The US is still a member as well. The basic assumption of this report is that the US should remain a member of the UN, because it is a very powerful country working in an international setting, where isolationism no longer makes economically or socially feasible sense in a global market.

to maintain peace and cooperation, but also to enforce this peace. The United Nations exists, what it does, and what it symbolizes “ the ideal of an international society rooted in human solidarity, based in law and ruled by reason. Therefore the world will be a better and safer place for all of us if the indispensable superpower and the indispensable international organization work in tandem, not at cross-purposes (Thakur). The US was one of the original members.

During the Cold War the UN acted as an agent of stability, but it was still

concerned with essentially military matters through the extension of its most important

aspect, all of the main five nations in the UN had to agree to make a decision. And the former Soviet Union used its veto power to the point of abuse. As time went on, the membership in the United Nations increased as new nations became decolonized and joined the organization. Emerging nations did not have a whole lot of power in the UN compared to the founders and the five main nations, who had special powers because of their might and size.

With these new nations entering into the equation, things became more complicated as the number of nations increased from fifty to almost two-hundred. The UN accordingly turned to issues like the environment and human rights as important issues to tackle and began to try to legislate internationally. This proved difficult to do, since the UN was from its onset supposed to be so different from the League of Nations that it suffered from a lack of definitive structure: it was almost like it couldn™t cohere because it was afraid that if it did so, some country or another would be offended somehow. The UN wanted to make peace, and therefore was well-suited for problems like human rights and the environment, which became an increasing problem as time progressed. Still, even through all of this, the main and most powerful function of the UN remained the Security Council, of which the US is a member. If the members agreed, the Security Council could be called upon to enforce peace where conditions were rough. But this only happened if the governments chose to use the UN: the organization itself did not have its own power, as it sort of revolved around the powers of its members, who had to agree for anything to happen. In some cases, the many catch-22s in this situation have caused nations to go off on their own policies with the UN having its hands tied.


Even though it has its disadvantages, slow bureaucracy, limits, and red tape, the UN is a very useful organization. It also is all about global aid and communication. Other countries depend on each other for food and often this means countries where there is lack or famine have new opportunities and access to more resources. Food security has improved over the past four decades. Total food availability in developing countries was 27 percent higher at the end of the 1990s than in the 1960s, even though the world population almost doubled during that time. The number of malnourished children under five declined between the 1970s and the mid-1990s by about 37 million (America). Without global food trade, these numbers and statistics would not be as dramatic and there would still be more problems. Of course there is still hunger and poverty internationally because food trade does not always mean giving food out for free, and there are still disagreements between free trade and protectionism. Over the course of the last two centuries, the idea of an international community bound together by shared values, benefits and responsibilities, and common rules and procedures, took hold of peoples' imagination. The United Nations is the institutional embodiment of that development (Thakur) . The UN, in other words, has been able to change with the times.


The world is not a place in which free and unrestricted trade is universally recognized by all nations, as evinced by the bitter battles currently raging between protectionist and free-trade advocates over globalization. Opponents of free trade represent one key problem faced by global trade deregulation, and they have many arguments, many of which are quite possibly valid. The solution is for the US to stay in the UN, and for the UN to focus more on the environment, along with the US, which remains one of the world™s major polluters. Global warming is something that raises national and international consciousness to areas of concern like air and ocean pollution and the possibility of a greenhouse effect in the upper atmosphere of the earth; global warming may be responsible for glacier melts, and represents a problem that is primarily seen as an effect of air pollution due to controllable human factors. In this sense it is the repository of international idealism, the belief that human beings belong to one family, inhabit the same planet and have joint custodial responsibility to preserve the peace, promote human rights, husband resources and protect the environment. The global public good of peace and prosperity cannot be achieved by any country acting on its own. Under conditions of modern civilization, no country is an island sufficient unto itself anymore (Thakur).

A common criticism of globalization is that profit, rather than social justice and ecological as well as environmental accountability and responsibility, is the bottom line. But others strike back saying that global warming may be just a natural process of climate change. People care about global warming more today than they may have in the past, because it is an issue that has gone recently from counterculture to mainstream cultural awareness. The United Nations is the preeminent institution of multilateralism. It provides a forum where sovereign states can come together to share burdens, address common problems, and seize common opportunities. The UN helps establish the norms that many countries -- including the United States -- would like everyone to live by (America).


America should remain a vital part of the UN. UN membership is open to all "peace-loving states" that accept the obligations of the UN Charter and, in the judgment of the organization, are able and willing to fulfill these obligations. Admission to membership is determined by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Security Council (Background, 2010). It is not an indication that the organization is ineffective. Saying that an organization is limited does not mean that it is ineffective or flawed. While it is true that the UN could be more powerful in some of its military functions, it remains a vital and effective international organization dedicated to the propagation of peace. Although the UN is more of a peacekeeping organization than a military one, it is still dynamic and effective at conflict resolution. Throughout its history, the United States has seen the advantages of living in a world organized according to laws, values, and principles; in fact, the republic was not yet 30 years old when it first went to war in defense of international law (America)

Opposing view

Questions of free trade and protectionism impact the US and international as well as the state levels, and there is an equal variety of points of view, some supporting free trade and some supporting protectionism. Kurlantzick™s article is critical of international expansion. The author posits that a more global atmosphere is facing many challenges in the present, despite a high point in the latter part of the twentieth century. Synchronized economic slowdowns in Asia, Europe and the United States, the three engines of global commerce, have decimated international trade (Kurlantzick, 72).


Kurlantzick, J. Stay home? If the great global future of business is here, so far it's not much to look at. Entrepreneur. 10 June 2003: 72. Print

Thakur, Ramesh. U.N., U.S. should not work at cross-purposes. Web. 04 June 2010

America still needs the UN Foreign Affairs (2010). Web. 04 June 2010

Office of Public Communication. Background”UN. Bureau of Public Affairs. 1992. Web. 05 June 2010

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay

More from UK Essays