By Franck Felix Gutenberg, US Africa News. Updated 2015-11-14


Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General introduced the commemorative event of the end of World War II.



Seventy years of the United Nations (UN): in figures this has meant eight Secretaries-General, 193 member countries, peacekeepers deployed around the world to resolve conflicts, dozens of campaigns for the defense of human rights; but also a number of critics of the institution’s sluggishness and impotence. It is this balance that the Secretary General of the global organization defended before the world to mark the event.


The seventieth anniversary provided Ban-Ki Moon the opportunity to offer a snapshot of the world geopolitical scene. “The world faces many crises, and the limits of collective international action are painfully clear. Yet no single country or organization can address today’s challenges alone." While acknowledging "setbacks," including the wars still ongoing or instability in some countries, the current UN Secretary General noted that 70 years after its creation following the bloody Second World War, the organization he heads has managed to play a big role in the progress of humanity.



According to Ban Ki-Moon, the 193 member states of the UN in New York have officially set seventeen goals of sustainable development: an ambitious program promising a better world in the next fifteen years in all areas (education, poverty, health, environment), at incalculable cost and without guarantee of success. These sustainable development goals (SDGs), broken down into 169 "targets," must be realized by the end of 2030.  This ambitious plan follows the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), launched in 2000 and recently ended with mixed results. The roadmap of SDG is in any case very ambitious. It marks the transition from goals for others (the MDGs for developing countries) to goals for all (SDGs).




Has the UN always managed to meet its original missions and maintain peace? The head of the United Nations stressed the need for States to consider alternatives to criminalization and incarceration of drug users, with particular emphasis on public health, prevention, treatment and care.


In shortcut


The UN consists of:


- The General Assembly where each of the 193 members has a voice, and which issues "recommendations".


-The Security Council, which consists of five permanent members (USA, Russia, UK, France, and China) and 10 elected non-permanent members for two years. The Board may issue binding resolutions: sending peacekeepers or sanctions against particular states. 


- The Secretariat, which ensures the daily management of the organization through its some 9000 officials and representatives.


- The International Court of Justice, at The Hague, which is responsible for settling disputes between states that agree to use its jurisdiction.


- The Economic and Social Council, which supports the promotion of economic and social cooperation and development.


- The Trusteeship Council, which is responsible for administering the territories under UN trusteeship but whose activity is completely suspended at this time.


In addition to its six bodies, the UN has established many agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO, UNICEF, the Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), the UNHCR, etc.


About ten years ago, the former secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, proposed in a report to "completely recast the entire Secretariat, its rules, its structure and workings, to make it better adapted to today's realities "and" rely entirely on new "the whole organization. But reforms are still pending.