The United Nations is a Terrible Disappointment

Philip Kotler

The United Nations was created in 1945 to promise a world of peace. Its stated purposes are “to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.” To date, the UN has 193 member countries. Certainly 193 member countries could vote on keeping the peace when some country breaks the peace. All it would take is 2/3 of the countries plus one, about 129 countries, to vote on curbing a country that is abusing peace and dropping it from membership.

I addressed two questions to ChatGPT about the UN situation.

1. Does the United Nations have a military force? How large is it? Have efforts been made to enlarge it?

Here is the answer:

The United Nations does not have a military force of its own. However, the UN can authorize the use of military forces provided by member states in peacekeeping operations. These peacekeeping operations are carried out by military, police, and civilian personnel from various countries, and they are mandated to maintain international peace and security, protect civilians, and assist in the implementation of peace agreements. The size of a UN peacekeeping operation can vary widely, depending on the specific mandate and the situation on the ground.

Efforts have been made to strengthen the capacity of the UN to respond to crises and to enhance the effectiveness of its peacekeeping operations. For example, the UN has established a number of standing peacekeeping forces, which are trained and equipped to be deployed quickly in response to emerging conflicts. The UN also has a number of specialized units and capabilities, such as military engineering units, that can be deployed to support peacekeeping operations.

In addition to peacekeeping, the UN has also established a number of other mechanisms for the maintenance of international peace and security, including diplomatic and political efforts, sanctions, and the use of international criminal courts. These efforts are coordinated through the UN’s Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations.

Here is my second question:

2. Can the United Nations agree to drop a member country from belonging to the UN? If so, what countries have been excluded? Can the UN find a way to drop Russia given its war on Ukraine?

Here is the answer:

The United Nations Charter, which is the founding document of the organization, sets out the procedures for admitting new members to the UN and sets forth the criteria that a country must meet in order to be eligible for membership. Once a country has been admitted to the UN as a member, it is generally considered to be a full member of the organization and has the same rights and obligations as other member states.

There is no provision in the UN Charter for expelling a member state from the organization. However, the UN General Assembly can, by a two-thirds majority vote, suspend the rights and privileges of a member state if it determines that the member is in breach of its obligations under the Charter. This has happened on a few occasions, although it is rare.

As for the situation in Ukraine, the UN has not taken any action to expel Russia from the organization. The UN has, however, condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has called for the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The UN has also provided assistance to Ukraine and has supported efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

You can understand why I am disappointed that 129 UN countries can’t get together and vote Russia out of the UN and out of its position in the five member Security Council of the United Nations.

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Philip Kotler

Philip Kotler is the S.C. Johnson and Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (emeritus)