"You have a decent forehead"--JulieWortman
"I really like frosh chem right now."--ElizabethKadison (The comment for which I honor showered myself. I must concede, I deserved it. No kidding. I mean, the morning of the final exam? Yarrrgh. --JulieWortman)
Humanities 2, Section G
February 15, 2002
Paper 1 Rough Draft
The United Nations was founded in 1945, in a world recently torn apart by World War II. The nations of the world were eager for peace, and eager for an end to the terror they had just faced. The organization had itís work cut out for it; prior to WWII, the League of Nations had attempted and failed to bring collective security. Thus, the United Nations was created with a stronger charter, and more power so that it could succeed where the League had fallen short of its goal. The United Nations began itís journey to ease the inherent tension of international relations, and for a large part, it has succeeded in both tangible and intangible ways.
The most major example of how international organizations help to release some of the implicit tension of international relations is the success of the United Nations. As noted in World Politics, the United Nations was only partially successful during the Cold War, due to the intense rivalry, if not outright competition, between the United States and the United Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Both nations, as superpowers, held a veto in the Security Council, and thus, if any topic was discussed in which there was any dispute whatsoever, the committee would be deadlocked, and crippled by the lack of ability to come to an agreement. Thus, the United Nations had an anticlimactic start, in that it could not take any major action until it had thrown off the bitter rivalry that paralyzed it. However, even though the two nations had major diplomatic battles in the Security Council, the United Nations was not without effect. Though the Security Council was hopelessly caught in the middle of a power struggle, other committees in the United Nations were quite effective. After the USSR broke up, and the two nations were not longer the bitter enemies they once were, even the Security Council began to show its true colors. The problems of the world are far from solved, but the overall state of diplomatic relations is calmer and less high-strung. The organizationís reactions to international emergencies has grown more refined.
A primary, and somewhat more tangible, example of how international organizations improve the world's living conditions is the World Health Organization's elimination of smallpox, and planned elimination of polio. In 1967, the World Health Organization began a World Eradication Program, the immediate goal being to eradicate smallpox. In 1967, this might have seemed impossible, if not impractically difficult. However, this was a reasonable goal, considering that smallpox is a single virus, easy to isolate, and only humans can carry it. Sure enough, the last reported case of smallpox was in 1977, and the disease is, for all intents and purposes, eradicated. The United States and Russia still hold small samples of the disease in secure locations, so that if the disease were to break out again, a vaccine could be easily made and distributed. In addition, the World Health Organization is attempting to eradicate polio, leprosy, and guinea-worm disease. The work of the organization hugely improves the living conditions in poorer nations, where health care is significantly less common and safe, and diseases are rarely treated, often ignored. Diseases such as smallpox are free to run rampant, and those who catch the disease have little to no chance of recovering. The World Health Organization helps to curb this deadly cycle, and keep diseases from spreading out of control by providing health care to the nations that cannot provide it themselves. If a nation finds its people with an epidemic, that nation can ask the World Health Organization for help, and they shall receive it. This helps to provide a feeling of unity among the nations, because no nation is immune to disease, and all nations can turn to each other to help eradicate sickness amidst its people.
The United Nations has been successful in itís attempt to relieve the frictional tendency of international relations. The political effects, along with tangible effects such as the World Health Organizationís eradication of smallpox, and other tangible matters such as deforestation, malnutrition, and child labor. The mere existence of such a forum in which to discuss these international issues in itself relieves some of the anxiety of international relations.