Student asking a question
Around 35 students from the O.P. Jindal School of International Affairs gathered at the UN House to learn more about the United Nations, its relevance, its substantial work on the ground, and also the challenges it faces. UNIC New Delhi’s Assistant Information Officer Rineeta Naik presented a quick overview of the UN and its work, and then opened the floor for a wide-ranging discussion.
Stalemates in the Security Council, the implications for countries and regions affected by conflict, and the necessity of ‘global’ responses versus the primacy of national interest, the increasing role of regional groups – many students questioned the relevance of the UN in view of these gaps between pledges and implementation.
“The challenges are real, but there is reason to hope,” Ms. Naik said. “Countries realize that most problems transcend national borders, and it is almost impossible to arrive at solutions without the engagement of the international community.”
The UN is not just about what goes on at the high table, although it is a significant part of the Organization’s work, she observed. There is an enormous amount of work that takes place on the ground – on issues such as healthcare, climate change, the protection of refugees, peacekeeping, disaster management, humanitarian relief, water and sanitation, food security, and the regulation of trade, among others. The UN also provides technical assistance and policy guidance on a range of issues, working in concert with governments, she added.
The UN is called upon to do more and more, and the available resources are often inadequate. However, “it is the enduring belief in, and commitment to, the UN’s founding ideals – that keep the organization going.”
The UN also considers young people to be an important constituency, Ms. Naik said, and “we invite you to get involved – support our campaigns, send us your views and suggestions, and participate in the global effort to achieve peace, development and human rights for all.”