How does the UN work?


How does the UN work?

In: Other

All the countries that are members of the United Nations send representatives to the council, and they have meetings, discussions, and hopefully agreements over all the subjects that are important to people all over the planet.

“The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nation.”

So the UN was developed after WWII in response to the failure of the League of Nations. The idea is to build international consensus on topics of world importance. Treaties are discussed, sanctions are imposed, etc.

It depends on the specific process, but generally, there are two main bodies that decide on UN actions: the General Assembly and the Security Council. Let’s take sanctions as an example. Sakovia (fake nation) attacks some other country. So, the General Assembly takes up a measure condemning the attack and suggests sanctions, freezing Sakovian assets in other countries and imposes an embargo on trade. The General Assembly will debate the measure the same way that legislative bodies do the world over. Each country gets one vote but can have multiple representatives attend sessions. So the point would be to get 50% + 1 vote of countries to agree with your measure. As one example, the GA might agree to the embargo but an amendment prohibiting travel to Sakovia is rejected.

Once it passes the General Assembly, it would head to the Security Council. This is where things get weird. There are five permanent members of the Security Council: USA 🇺🇸, Russia 🇷🇺, China 🇨🇳, UK 🇬🇧, and France 🇫🇷 . Then there are ten rotating members who serve two year terms. The goal in the Security Council is the same as the General Assembly; gets a majority of votes for the measure. But there’s a trick. Each PERMANENT member has the ability to veto any resolution. Temporary members do NOT get this privilege. So any resolution you send better have the support of ALL five permanent SC members before you even go to the General Assembly with it. This also applies to changing the rules of the UN, which means that this will always be the case as at least one permanent member will almost certainly block their loss of power.

This was done in the wake of WWII as a method for creating a functional world organization for resolving international disputes. But the US and USSR also didn’t want to get outvoted by blocs of smaller countries, hence the absolute veto. The distribution was settled based on desires of US and USSR. The US figured a 3-2 advantage was good for them, which is really the only reason France got a permanent seat (East vs West!). USSR figures absolute veto would give them power (which it did) and probably also figured China would be with them and maybe they could convert France, so they’d have a chance to set the UN agenda. Alterations along the way have made the permanent members switch: USSR changed to just Russia, Nationalist China (Taiwan) lost the seat to Communist China in 1971. But the dipole of Russia vs US has pretty much been the same since it’s inception.

Once a resolution has been adopted it goes to member countries for approval. In some cases, some types of resolutions are immediately adopted, if there are existing treaties that allow for that. Sanctions against a country is one example. Others like the Paris Accords for climate change require adoption by all member states which is why the Rump administration was able to pull the US out after the Obama administration put the US in.

Ultimately, the idea was to create a representative ‘government’ in which all actors had some power but is ridiculously inefficient but still EFFECTIVE when it can overcome its own inefficiencies. The permanent member nations of the Security Council have the most power but individual member nations have power too. If they are feeling ignored, they can clog up the General Assembly and prevent any resolution the P5 nations might want passed from getting through. It formalized a POLITICAL axis of confrontation between the US and USSR that helped diffuse tensions that could have lead to nuclear conflict. And it has given a forum of grievances to countries that has prevented more than a few wars in the 20th century. So as an organization that is responsible for helping countries get along it’s been fairly successful. But there’s always room to grow too.


It doesn’t. It’s a dysfunctional group of petty bureaucrats and narcissistic mediocre nobodies that accomplishes nothing of any importance due to the corruption and politicking from within. It’s serves no useful purpose other than providing a soapbox for Davos inspired virtue signalling mutton headed sycophants.
It is the epitome of a self important mutual admiration society that think they can rule the world without being elected by those they represent. They believe they know better than you what your government should be doing for you and for the rest of the world. We could eliminate them tomorrow and nothing would change but it makes some people feel better believing that there is an organization responsible for solving the worlds problems….because then it take the responsibility off the individual countries and people for developing their own policies. They simply point to the UN and say “ it was discussed and ageed upon at the UN so we need to stand by our agreements with our friends and allies”
Similar to a politician using a “send it to committee for review “ or “ the committee recommended it “ excuse . They have an organization to blame if it all goes wrong so it wasn’t their idea or their responsibility. Politicians and bureaucrats hate being known as being personally responsible for anything. It’s a non identifiable source of responsibility that can’t be held accountable. A great place to hide

All the world’s leaders are supposed to get together to argue. However, only some actually show up.