As the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, one global institution has been conspicuously absent from the effort to combat the virus. Despite the impact the Coronavirus is having on populations all over the world, the United Nations has not played much of a role in remedying the situation.
As more and more people question the necessity of globalism amid the crisis, the lack of response on the part of the international entity has raised more than a few eyebrows. Could this pandemic be the event that finally proves the United Nations’ impotence in the face of global catastrophes?
What’s Going On With the U.N.?
Politico recently published an article noting the apparent lack of action from the United Nations in response to the global threat. As the author pointed out:
“It took more than three months, a death toll above 87,000 and cases in over 180 countries, repeated pleas from smaller nations, and a growing sense of shame among senior diplomats — but the United Nations Security Council is finally going to meet to discuss the coronavirus.”
The United Nations was created to arbitrate disputes among its member nations and to facilitate a unified response to global crises like widespread pandemics, among other worldwide calamities. But in this case, the organization has been notably slow to react.
Most of the member nations have not stressed the importance of working together to address the outbreak. Instead, the world seems to embrace an every-nation-for-itself approach. In essence, the response to the virus has not been global – it has been nationalistic.
This trend is in sharp contrast to the outbreak of the Ebola virus. The United Nations declared that pandemic a threat to world peace, and members banded together to address the problem. However, it now seems the plot has changed on the world stage, and the characters have been replaced.
In fact, the only reason the U.N. Security Council is expected to meet on April 16 is that nine non-permanent members demanded a response. The delay may be explained by the fact that relationships among the significant players — including the United States, Russia, and China — have become increasingly antagonistic.
The Chinese government, in particular, could be concerned about participating in such a meeting because it has suffered disdain for its handling of the virus. A senior European diplomat told Politico, “China doesn’t want to discuss COVID at the Security Council.” But he also indicated that U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres does not wish to assign blame. “He will raise it one way or another, but he wants to avoid a blame game,” the diplomat explained.
Is the United Nations Going Broke?
There is also the problem of the United Nations’ financial situation, which has been in dire straits for years. In October 2019, CBS News reported that the organization was “running a deficit of $230 million.” At the time, it was expected that it would run out of money in the near future.
The reason for the organization’s fiscal woes is that member states are not fully paying their annual dues. In a letter to employees, the secretary general explained that “Member States have paid only 70 percent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019.”
The organization has been cutting costs and minimizing expenses. Other than that, it is not clear how it has managed to stay afloat. But now, the Coronavirus pandemic threatens to make its outlook even more dismal. The organization’s peacekeeping operations are treading water and may not even have enough funding to last through June.
A U.N. memo obtained by Politico revealed that some officials expect the pandemic to have a debilitating impact on its finances. “Contributions for regular budget assessments have sharply declined in the first quarter of 2020 relative to earlier years; the payment of assessments by Member States currently stands at 42 percent compared to 50 percent by this time in earlier years,” the memo said.
Is This the Beginning of the End?
As the world’s nations continue to develop their own solutions to the Coronavirus outbreak, the United Nations fades into the background. A rise in nationalistic fervor seems to have usurped the globalist ideal worldwide.
Progressive pundits and politicians in the West have long feared that this day would come. It is the reason they have launched full-on smear campaigns at those who express favor for nationalism. However, the weak global response to the COVID-19 spread is a clear indicator that these people are losing ground.
Without member states making their usual contributions, it is difficult to see how the United Nations can continue to function. It appears that the organization is on borrowed time. However, it’s worth noting that the lack of funding isn’t just a financial issue; it represents a worldwide paradigm shift.
If the organization’s member states truly believed the United Nations was still relevant, they would find a way to make their full contributions. The fact that they have not done so is telling. Their refusal to pay their dues is more than just a financial decision; it is a vote of “no confidence” in the organization. If the geopolitical environment created by the virus is any indication, the United Nations exists on borrowed time.
Read more from Jeff Charles.
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