The UN, in my experience, is an organisation which excites one of three emotions amongst the British people. The vast majority are indifferent to and ignorant of the UN. Those who are conscious of its existence are usually either passionately opposed to it, or equally passionately devoted to it. The former category regard it as a collection of more-or-less harmless, but overpaid, international windbags, nattering on endlessly about their pet obsessions with no regard for what is happening in the real world outside: at best, an expensive waste of time and effort, at worst a vehicle for the benefit of the Soviet Union and its allies to the detriment of the Western world. The devotees of the UN take the view that it should be the saviour of mankind and that it has failed to realise this potential only because of the lack of effort put into it by member states, particularly those of the Western world. I am, of course, speaking of the UN in its capacity as a factor in the maintenance of international peace and security. I do not think that there is any argument of principle about the value of many of its other functions, for example, the provision of aid and technical assistance, the care and protection of refugees, etc.
KeywordsEurope Syria Explosive Egypt Iraq
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