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Distinctiveness of 70th UN General Assembly

Monday, September 28, 2015

Abdolreza Ghofrani
Former Senior Diplomat and International Analyst

In early September, the 70th United Nations General Assembly opened with the presence of the heads of states, foreign ministers of the member states and the representatives of global groups and institutions from all across the world; this forum is being held when there have been rapid international developments over the past year and undeniable emerging crises in different parts of the globe. So an international organization such as the United Nations and making it a robust global one on the part of its members, being big or small, developed or developing, is pretty unavoidable and sensed more than ever.

This world body, now nearly seven decades old, is considered the best venue for the leaders to voice their viewpoints and stances to the existing world problems and albeit putting forth the proposals for the solutions.

More important, in the course of the some couple weeks of those sessions of the Assembly are going on, the inhabitants in the remotest parts of the world, given the high speed broadcasting, will be aware of the real global developments.

It is now quite obvious that many existing problems between the countries of the world, being bilateral, as well as the international dilemmas can be resolved more efficiently and sometimes quickly within the United Nations.

Attaining this objective, however, cannot but be feasible through the collective assistance and cooperation of all members. All member states, being big or small, rich or poor, powerful or weak, can, in their own capacity, have a fair and efficient share in these collective endeavors. All the great member states of UN, particularly the permanent members of Security Council, having the power of "veto", should now have been convinced that though the problems and the drawbacks the world body may have, it has a great and invaluable source of experiences and manpower that can be efficiently determinant for resolving many global issues. There are many analogies that cannot be listed in this brief paper. It is, however, worthy to note that, as mentioned before, the prevailing UN system needs to be reinforced and naturally the unilateral policies and as well as individualistic approaches have to be avoided. At large, win –lose game, being now actually obsolete and unacceptable in present international situation, no longer can reign the relations between the states. This is a fact many a time has been proved in international crises and dilemmas over the past couple of decades. Certainly it should be replaced by win – win game or principle.It is quite right that this year's general assembly has naturally many differences from the previous ones that give it distinctiveness. Certainly, given the rapid developments in international arena, this is something quite normal and natural. Other authors in insightful essays on Iranian mass media have given realistic and clear explanations on this that I need not to repeat. But the said differences have been simultaneous with invaluable experiences, so it is for all UN member states to take stock of those experiences and consider it a good terms of references.

These experiences are all the results of activities during the tenure of office of brilliant politicians and diplomats as UN Secretary Generals such as Dag Hammarskjöld (Swedish who even gave his life in the process of resolving the Congo dilemma), Mr. U Thant (Myanmar), Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (Peru) and finally Kofi Anan (Ghana). There is no doubt others who did hold this prestigious job have done useful services that have enriched more the above said invaluable source of this world body.

This author, however, is at the conviction that one of the distinct era of UN that did bring about more achievements, is the time span in which Javier Pérez de Cuéllar held this high office in UN. A brief study proves this. His Italian senior advisor, Giandomenico Picco, in his good book of memoirs titled "Man without a Gun" explained thoroughly the endeavors and good offices made by Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar in the course of eight years of his office in the world body. Cyprus crisis, hostages in Lebanon, Iran –Iraq war and …. are among the issues that the role and viable role and efforts of United Nations (and of course that of the secretary general)  have been much more discernible.

No one, of course, can overlook the influence of other conditions on resolving these issues, but the role of this UN Secretary General has been more remarkable. In his book, as the senior adviser to UN SC, Mr. Picco recalls that he did encourage Secretary General that the duties of United Nations should not be limited to merely "peace keeping" but it needs to grow to "peace making". Naturally this vision requires a stronger body with more efficacies. Undoubtedly, unless there is a collective cooperation on the part of all member states this goal may not be achieved.

We may conclude by quoting the viewpoint of brilliant historian Dr. Paul Michel Kennedy in his prized book "The Parliament of the Man" as saying that," notwithstanding of its problems and deficiencies, if the United Nation did not exist, the world was not now a safe place to live". This is a fact no one can deny and it is absolutely true.

More By Abdolreza Ghofrani:

*Why Does Saudi Arabia Avoid Negotiations?: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Why-Does-Saudi-Arabia-Avoid-Negotiations-.htm

*The Repetition of Old Sarcastic Story of Three Islands: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/The-Repetition-of-Old-Sarcastic-Story-of-Three-Islands.htm

*Iran Seeks Peace and Stability in Persian Gulf: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-Seeks-Peace-and-Stability-in-Persian-Gulf.htm

*Photo Credit: UNESCO

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.

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