Updated: Why the United Nations still matters

Now more than ever, we are global in our ideals of a democracy that gives everyone a voice, a vote, and perhaps even a vaccine. Have we yet realized the irony of this alliteration? A bit reminiscent of the “vini, vidi, vici” attributed to Julius Caesar. Yet here we are, braced and even buckled into the stirrups of a world at battle with chaos and shifting power, while the earth continues a set revolution around our own star, escorted by the local influence of our one moon.

Nature has renewed itself since long before our history and has proven resilient to negligence and abuse at the hand of mankind. Earth maintains steady state according to laws of nature. Yet we have fire, flooding, and famine at startling frequency.

Human migrations which seek to escape poverty, hunger, and governments pose a human crisis with difficult decisions about the settling and housing of the “dispossessed”.

Reduced ground and river water threatens populations across broad swathes of a nation, while coastlines are lost to rising sea levels and fierce storm systems.

We the people of the world still listen, 76 years later, and look up to the United Nations for a higher, wider view. We note best practices as we watch and witness; when we see relief, and observe planning and distribution. We take heart to see that people at risk are acknowledged. We honor a venue to which we may petition as a recognized part of the body of the people, by the mechanisms of an accessible system of governance.

Who is this ‘we’? It is the I of everyman; every human, without respect to gender or cultural milieu.

We reach to share some ointment of human kindness with a hand back into the world. It helps us to feel we are all on the same page when we view broadcasts of the United Nations General Assembly and follow public documents and video of the proceedings.

The immediacy of broadcast allows the viewer to consider the views of various parties to an issue, without undue filtering and framing by media.

Etta B Dickerson

Updated: 29 September 2021


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