The United Nations
Humanity will not enjoy security without development, it will not enjoy development without security and it will not enjoy either, without respect for human rights.”
UN World Summit Outcome Document 2005
Towards the end of World War 2 President Roosevelt coined the term ‘United Nations’ following the failure of the League of Nations. The term was first used in the ‘Declaration by the United Nations’ signed in 1942 by 26 nations. From 1941 – 1946 over nine conferences, meetings, summits were held to develop an international instrument to prevent war and sustain peace and security. The members of the 1945 San Francisco Conference, including Deputy Prime Minister Mr FM Forde and Minister for External Affairs Dr HV Evatt and others, drafted the final 111 articles and the UN Charter was adopted in 1945.
The Declaration of Human Rights Committee was chaired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was, after three years of intense committee meetings the Declaration was finalised and adopted in 1948.
The Responsibility to Protect.
The question, when does the international community intervene for the sake of protecting populations? As a response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and following the Canadian International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty report “Responsibility to Protect” tabled in 2000, the African Union welcomed RtoP in 2005 as a means to prevent mass atrocities. Continuing discussion occurred until the RtoP was adopted in 2011 as resolutions No A/RES/63/308 and No 1973 it states:
» Principle 1. Stresses that States have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity (mass atrocities).
» Principle 2. Addresses the commitment of the international community to provide assistance to States in building capacity to protect their populations from mass atrocities and to assisting those, which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out.
» Principle 3. Focuses on the responsibility of international community to take timely and decisive action to prevent and halt mass atrocities when a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations.
At the core of the policy and institutional reforms endorsed in the Millennium Declaration is a commitment to ensuring that the United Nations serves the needs and hopes of people everywhere – giving new life to the opening words of the UN Charter – ”We the Peoples”. Through this Declaration, the United Nations has made “putting people at the center of everything we do” its guiding motto for the 21st Century.
United Nations Associations – UNA
World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) was created in 1946 in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, by 22 United Nations Associations. Today over 100 countries operate throughout the world, WFUNA has offices in New York and Geneva and has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and with consultative or liaison links with many other UN organizations and agencies.
United Nations Associations serve as a vital link between the United Nations and its member. Activities and programs of National UNAs are carried out at national, regional and local level.
When First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a member of the association’s board of directors, completed her term as a US representative to the UN General Assembly in late 1951, she walked into the association’s offices and asked for something to do. Her offer was gratefully accepted, and in early 1953, she established an office at the association’s headquarters.
The UNA in Autralia was established in 1945, having previously operated under the title of the ‘League of Nations Union’. The close involvement by prominent Australian Dr H V Evatt QC in the formation of the United Nations, and his subsequent election to President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, resulted in a large increase in interest and membership in the UNAA.
The UN Associations are the only non-government-organisation which devote resources exclusively to promoting the aims and ideals of the UN, and is the only NGO authorised to use the UN logo. Most UNAs have as their member’s representatives from many non-government-organisations.
The United Nations Association of Australia operates to promote the UN throughout Australia through state divisions. UNAA Queensland organises a variety of activities, events, newsletters award programs and conferences that promote the aims and ideals of the UN.
United Nations Youth Association – UNYA
United Nations Youth Associations (UNYAs) are youth-led NGOs with a particular focus on secondary school students. UNYAs are a great way to learn about the United Nations, and get other youth involved in understanding and sharing the ideals enshrined in the UN Charter and other universal principles. UNYAs also provide fertile ground for youth empowerment, education, networking, and generating public opinion to support the work of the United Nations to build a better world for all.
Some of the core aims of UNYAs are to:
» Educate young people and the community about the work of the United Nations;
» Empower young people to get involved in international affairs and civil society;
» Represent the views of young people at a local, national and international level; and,
» Act as forum for young people to network and socialize.
UNYAs conduct a variety of activities, some of which are:
» Model United Nation’s Conferences, a simulation of a Security Council process
» Special UN meetings for High School students (similar to a competitive debate);
» Programmes run for secondary school students, informing them about the work of the United Nations;
» Speakers events and panel discussions;
» UN Youth Delegate programmes.
» The Evatt Trophy Competition, largest secondary schools’ debating competition.
» UNYA Conferences
UNITED NATIONS STUDENT ASSOCIATION – UNSA
The United Nations Student Associations, usually based in universities, are leading international relations and public affairs societies. UNSA is a student society that actively promotes awareness of the international issues and public affairs at the University of Queensland. UNSA also facilitates opening doors to internship, volunteer and career opportunities.
UNSA’s education program is a platform for students to engage in creative thought and meaningful dialogue about significant issues concerning the international world. Through casual roundtable discussions, intellectual debates between industry professionals, and interactive model United Nations Model UN Conferences and debates , UNSA provides a relaxed and informative environment for those who are deeply passionate about global humanitarian, strategic, and political issues, all the while learning about the importance of the United Nations and its many activities.
The UN Students Association (UNYSA) is the youth wing of UNAA, UNSAbrings together young people (university and college students) from across the state who are passionate about the need for a strong, credible and effective United Nations. Our aim is to build a better understanding of the UN and its work, and to equip young people to play a prominent role in international affairs.