The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

Is the UN actually doing its job?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 966 times Debate No: 60180
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Dear opponent,
Thanks for participating in the debate. Just to make my stand clear, I am speaking against the topic, which means UN is NOT doing what it should be.

I would like to start off with the history of UN.(I am sorry for any factual error, if any!)
After WW I, an organisation called the League of Nations was formed to bring peace in the world. It is usually considered as the UN's predecessor. The fact that WW II occurred tells about this organisation's failure. The United Nations Organisation or UN, was formed after the second world war with almost the same aim as the league of nations.
The only difference is, the UN has survived all along and exists today.

The sole purpose of the UN is to achieve world peace. However, it has formed other agencies to do works for world health, recognizing heritage sites, etc.,
Textbooks and other sources tell us about the might and achievements of the UN .

Of course, it has done many things like successfully eradicating smallpox, stopping wars or bringing ceasefire.However, it has failed to do that in all cases or I must say most cases.
There are numerous cases to support that . The Vietnam War , the Indo-Pak wars, The Syrian civil war, etc. The list is quite long.
Maybe the UN has eradicated some disease or illness, but it has, on the whole, failed in its main mission, I. e., to bring peace .
With such a background, do you think that the UN can stop the Gaza Conflict or the Ukraine crisis? I definitely don't think so.
The question that arises not maybe, why has WW lll not occurred if UN is a failure as it happened in the case of WW ll. The reason is that the countries themselves are afraid of the consequences of a nuclear war. It is known that such a war will be suicide for mankind.
So , fellow opponent and readers , these are my views. I have many more arguments, but I will keep that for the 2nd round . l would like to conclude with a proverb
"Fact is stronger than fiction", so believe in the fact not some half-knowledge about the UN.


I want to congratulate you on a well-thought presentation of your idea, which is very valid, consider the problems the UN and the international community are tackling right now: Russia, Ukraine Crisis, Iraq, Palestine/Israel conflict, Ebola outbreak - which are hot topics and breaking news these day; however, they are hot, because they are unresolved - for now - or at least you can said: "The situation is very tense, at the moment".
I mentioned the phenomena above, cause I want to present to you the problems that the UN has resolved in this passage: (Since you've mentioned Vietnam, Syria, I will start with violent conflict) Korean War Armistice 1953, cease fire in 1948 between Israel and Arabs' world, Pakistan and India 1949, 1956 Suez Crisis, intervention in Cambodia under Pol Pot's regime,... Like the list of failure, this list of success can carry on. Sometime UN's contributions are forgot; in addition, history is past, and nothing good can be borne if one keep hold on to the hatred of a gory past.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned
- Buddha

Let's talk about present. Now - talking about conflicts - as we are debating, UN peace keepers are fighting in Central African Republic to resolve the dispute between Seleka and Anti-Balaka (a conflict based on religious ideal), Pakistan and India in Kashmir conflict, South Sudan, Congo, Liberia ,....

You are right that UN has made some fatal mistake in their past; for instance, 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Rwanda genocide,... ; however, in your very first step as a child, did you fall - don't tell me you didn't, friend. But what did you do? I am 100% sure that you didn't just give up there, but you stand up take your steps; now, you are running, hopping. Just like you, League of Nations was an infant who cannot resolve Sudetenland incident that open the era of Germany Nazi, and just like you, it stood up and accomplished the achievement I listed above. And still learning.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill

I am glad that you mentioned UN's contributions in some other field: humanitarian, health, children, human rights, culture, education, ...etc. And these contribution made changes. NASA may not be very useful for most of the global community, but its spin-off technologies gave us prosthetic limbs, ventricular assist device, LEDs, ... etc. And just like that, United Nations' actions keep inspiring more acts of altruism, more organization that improve the human's life, more philanthropists and the most important, students. So my friends, UN did hell of a job to create peace by providing Earth inhabitants with other necessity for a peaceful life.

Final thought for this argument, just like when China turn communist and the Korean War start, not many thoughts thing will ever be solved; however, not entirely, they did, and I believe the same thing will happen with our current situation - they will be resolved.

Hope to share with you more on the next round

These are my links for preference:
Debate Round No. 1


Dear friend,Thanks for your participation.
I'll start off immediately.

As you said, the UN has succeeded in bringing peace in some cases, however it has as many failures in its bag. The following point that I am going to make is pure common sense. As you might know, the UN's administrative system is highly criticised .
The reason is as follows:

There has been criticism that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear club whose powers are unchecked. Unlike the General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council does not have true international representation. This has led to accusations that the UNSC only addresses the strategic interests and political motives of the permanent members, especially in humanitarian interventions: for example, protecting the oil-rich Kuwaitis in 1991 but poorly protecting resource-poor Rwandans in 1997.[7]

Membership in the UN Security Council
Any nation may be elected to serve a temporary term on the Security Council, but critics have suggested that this is inadequate. Rather, they argue, the number of permanent members should be expanded to include non-nuclear powers, which would democratize the organization.[8] Still other nations have advocated abolishing the concept of permanency altogether; under the government of Paul Martin, Canada advocated this approach.[9]

Veto power
Another criticism of the Security Council involves the veto power of the five permanent nations. As it stands, a veto from any of the permanent members can halt any possible action the Council may take. One nation's objection, rather than the opinions of a majority of nations, may cripple any possible UN armed or diplomatic response to a crisis. For instance, John J. Mearsheimer claimed that "since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members."[10] Since candidates for the Security Council are proposed by regional blocs, the Arab League and its allies are usually included but Israel, which joined the UN in 1949, has never been elected to the Security Council. The Council has repeatedly condemned Israel. On the other hand, critics contend that, while Israel has the United States to rely on to veto any pertinent legislation against it, the Palestinians lack any such power. Apart from the US, several resolutions have been vetoed by Russia, notably attempts to impose sanctions on Syria during the Syrian Civil War and to condemn Russia's own annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. As part of the Soviet Union, Russia also vetoed a UN resolution condemning the USSR's shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983.

The problem of this veto power is that it divides the UN into the BIG BULLIES and the other smaller nations.
Even objectives and treaties like the CTBT(comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty) and NNPT(Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty) are partial towards the "big powers" as they restrict only the other countries from having nuclear weapons.

Oil-for-Food Programme scandal
In addition to criticism of the basic approach, the Oil-for-Food Programme suffered from widespread corruption and abuse. Throughout its existence, the programme was dogged by accusations that some of its profits were unlawfully diverted to the government of Iraq and to UN officials.[52]

Peacekeeping child sexual abuse scandal
Main article: Child sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers
Reporters witnessed a rapid increase in prostitution in Cambodia, Mozambique, Bosnia, and Kosovo after UN and, in the case of the latter two, NATO peacekeeping forces moved in. In the 1996 UN study The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, former first lady of Mozambique Gra"a Machel documented: "In 6 out of 12 country studies on sexual exploitation of children in situations of armed conflict prepared for the present report, the arrival of peacekeeping troops has been associated with a rapid rise in child prostitution." [53]

In 2011, a United Nations spokesman confirmed 16 Beninese peacekeepers were barred from serving with them following a year-long probe. Of the 16 soldiers involved, 10 were commanders. They failed to maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse. Sexual misconduct by United Nations troops had earlier been reported in Congo, Cambodia and Haiti, as well as in an earlier incident involving Moroccan peacekeepers in C"te d'Ivoire.[54]

In regards to criticism of corruption within the UN system by its employees, James Wasserstrom was dismissed from his field job for reporting kickbacks taken by UN employees. Upon appeal, the UN was directed to compensate him with US$65,000 for the wrongful dismissal.

In such cases the UN is losing money contributed by many countries or countries already in debt.It is not very good to have corruption charges in such organisations.

So my worthy opponent and readers, you see all these weaknesses of the UN. Though there can be an argument that almost all organisations have some scams against them, it is not right because the UN is an organisation that aims to work against these things.
Well thats all for now.Waiting for your argument friend.......


Dear Friend!

I want to congratulate you on a excellent presentation of your idea; however, due to the reason of further preference of my (or your latter debater) and our reader, I want to recommended you on citing your source. And I want to say thank you, for you had given me some new perspectives, and I hope that I can give you the same.

I will start off with the Rwanda genocide in 1994.

Rwanda genocide, which 500,000 to 1,000,000 victims were killed (targets were the Tutsi population), was caused by the Hutu-led government, the Interahamwe militia and the Impuzamugambi militia - further information about this event can be found in the cited source section. The United Nation launched program, UNAMIR - short for United Nation Assistance Mission for Rwanda, has been in the country since 1994 has been criticized by the international community as a failure.

At some degree, they are right. As a defendant, I must admit that having the number of innocent victim at 6 to 7 digits large is quite unacceptable. But responsibility cannot be solely held on UNSC, but also must be hold on the RPF and the Hutu-led government, for the inadequate military system of the former and the latter's ethnic discrimination on their countrymen created the genocide. Also, the Belgian government must held a piece of responsibility on their retreat at their defensive posts at "cole Technique Officielle - sheltering about 2000 Rwandans.

However, you cannot blame Belgian or the UN for futile actions, for it is hard to fight a war without any incentive. You compared Rwanda and Kuwait, and you were right about the status of the nations. Rwanda is poor on resource; on the other hand, their counterpart is blessed with oil. It is true that UN mission was to help maintain and create peace, but it is hard to win a war, if the soldiers have no personal motivation to fight. The thing I just say may sound crude and inhumane, but if you believe that human are becoming better (less torturing, less slaving, more democratic,...), you must believe they have improved their managing skill and become better as human and leader by learning for past mistakes: UNAMSIL (Sierra Leone civil war), MINURCAT (Darfur conflict), UNMIT (2006 East Timor Crisis), UNSMIS (Syrian Civil War) - the one UN had won in bringing democracy and protect their host's civilian.

A few note on Rwanda, UNAMIR was mandated with the Chapter VI of the UN Charter which limited its intervention to negotiation, mediate and conciliation in order to stop the dispute.

Second, I want to talk about the veto power and the P-5.

Kofi Annan once said at the Hudson Union Society: "There are two things when given is hard to take: privileges and subsidies". As you recognize, the P-5 are the power houses in the international card game, and it is going to be hard acting against them by cancel the permanence membership (this may limited the UN's power in humanitarian provision, ideas and troops; hence, the United Nation is expanding the permanent membership in lieu of canceling it. Quote from Ban Ki-Moon: " The UN Security Council reform, being debated since two decades is too long overdue and the necessary expansion must be made considering how much the world has changed."

About the veto power of the permanent member, it is a method for the vetoed country to protect its benefit; however, a veto cannot extinguish a discussion, and no matter if the resolution passed or not, the other country sometime pressure the veto state in other sectors. However, I agree with you on evoking the veto powers of all of the countries, but due to the unbalance distribution of power and wealth at the moment, this thing is still not possible

About UN's violation on the Oil-for-food program, this too cannot be blamed on the UN entirely, because the majority of the violators are the buyer and the Iraqi government. It is true that, Benon Sevan of Cyprus - head of the program - was corrupted, and this fall under UN's responsibility. However, the corruption in Iraqi government is the thing that made UN's aid insignificant.

I don't want to play the blame game, but this failure cannot be placed entirely under UN's responsibility. And this is the only humanitarian fraud included the UN we have ever encountered.

UN peacekeeper's violations in their tour are simply outrageous. Most of their missions and duties are to enforce human rights, democracy and to protect the weak, but they help aid human trafficking and slavery instead.

And the UN has three following tools to resolve this problem: naming and shaming states that fail to investigate and prosecute, actively working with states to bridge gaps in domestic legislation and refraining from accepting troop contingents from countries that repeatedly fail to live up to written assurances to investigate and prosecute. You might find that these methods are inadequate and done little effects, but those three methods (plus penalize the violators) may harm the country's reputation and force it to perform better.

That is how I interpreted your argument. Like I said in my first one, I want to make my list (the list of good deeds) as long as your:
World Humanitarian Day (upcoming this 19th) set to honor personnel who dedicate to serve the humanitarian cause, which inspire people to act to the cause of humanity and raise awareness around the world
UNICEF: improve the life of millions of children - the future owner of this world
UNESCO: raise awareness on culture legacy and help improve tourism in some area
WHO: create a conduit between knowledge between different nations to create medicine (they are doing their best with HIV and Ebola at the moment)
UN Women: raise awareness about sexual discrimination and injustice around the world
UNEP: they promote protecting the environment.
.... Et cetera....

Cited source:

I hope ya'll enjoy this debate. Good luck to you my friend!

P.S: Preference for my friend's second argument can be found on
Debate Round No. 2


LOLdebater forfeited this round.


Nerocross forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by AdamKG 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: While I generally agree with my friend, Seeginomikata, on most issues, this is apparently different. After some research I found that Con is guilty of plagiarism by copying and pasting text directly from Wikipedia without crediting it. He also forfeits losing points on conduct. Ultimately I find Pro's arguments more convincing. Pro cites sources that appear legitimate.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Since I've actually read parts of the UN constitution, and many scholarly analyses of it, it of my opinion that the UN is fundamentally not designed to actually resolve conflicts. However, the pro never addressed this and instead made excuses like "oh but others are to blame too". Con made solid arguments, put forward what he/she thought the UN was suppost to do and showed concrete examples of how it was specifically not doing those jobs. The win clearly goes to con.