“The UN was not created to take humanity to heaven but to save it from hell.”
– Former United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.
1. Deploying more than 35 peace-keeping missions. There are presently 16 active peace-keeping forces in operation.
2. Credited with negotiating 172 peaceful settlements that have ended regional conflicts
3. The UN has enabled people in over 45 countries to participate in free and fair elections
4. Development – The system’s annual disbursements, including loans and grants, amount to more than $10 billion.
5. UNICEF spends more than $800 million a year, primarily on immunization, health care, nutrition and basic education in 138 countries.
6. UN Human Rights Commission has focused world attention on cases of torture, disappearance, and arbitrary detention and has generated international pressure.
7. UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, resulted in treaties on bio-diversity and climate change.
8. Has helped minimize the threat of a nuclear war by inspecting nuclear reactors in 90.
9. Over 300 international treaties, on topics as varied as human rights conventions to agreements on the use of outer space and seabed.
10. The International Court of Justice has helped settle international disputes involving territorial issues, diplomatic relations, hostage-taking, and economic rights.
11. The UN was a major factor in bringing about the downfall of the apartheid system.
12. More than 30 million refugees fleeing war, famine or persecution have received aid from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
13. Aiding Palestinian Refugees with free schooling, essential health care, relief assistance and key social services virtually without interruption. There are 2.9 million refugees in the Middle East served by UNRWA.
14. Alleviating Chronic Hunger and Rural Poverty in Developing Countries, providing credit that has benefited over 230 million people in nearly 100 developing countries.
15. The Africa Project Development Facility has helped entrepreneurs in 25 countries to find financing for new enterprises. The Facility has completed 130 projects which represent investments of $233 million and the creation of 13,000 new jobs, saving some $131 million in foreign exchange annually.
16. Promoting Women’s Rights have supported programs and projects to improve the quality of life for women in over 100 countries, including credit and training, marketing opportunities, etc.
17. Providing Safe Drinking Water Available to 1.3 billion people in rural areas during the last decade.
18. Eradicating Smallpox through vaccinations and monitoring. Helped wipe out polio from the Western Hemisphere, with global eradication expected soon.
19. Pressing for Universal Immunization of polio, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tuberculosis has a 80% immunization rate, saving the lives of more than 3 million children each year.
20. Reducing child mortality rates, halved since 1960, increasing the average life expectancy from 37 to 67 years.
21. Fighting parasitic diseases, such as saving the lives of 7 million children from going blind from the river blindness and rescued many others from guinea worm and other tropical diseases.
22. Promoting investment in developing countries promoting entrepreneurship and self-reliance, industrial cooperation and technology transfer and cost-effective, ecologically-sensitive industry.
23. Reducing the effects of natural disasters early warning system, which utilizes thousands of surface monitors as well as satellites, has provided information for the dispersal of oil spills and has predicted long-term droughts.
24. Providing food to victims of emergencies Over two million tons of food each year. 30 million people facing acute food shortages in 36 countries benefited from this assistance last year.
25. Clearing land mines – The United Nations is leading an international effort to clear land minds from Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Rwanda and Somalia.
26. Protecting the ozone layer & global warming, highlighting the damage caused to the earth’s ozone layer. As a result there has been a global effort to reduce chemical emissions of substances that have caused the depletion of the ozone.
27. Preventing over-fishing
28. Limiting deforestation and promoting sustainable forestry development in 90 countries.
29. Cleaning up pollution encouraged adversaries such as Syria and Israel, and Turkey and Greece to work together to clean up beaches. As a result, more than 50% of the previously polluted beaches are now usable.
30. Protecting consumers’ health have established standards for over 200 food commodities and safety limits for more than 3,000 food contaminants.
31. Reducing fertility rates Family planning programs. Women in developing countries are having fewer children from six births per woman in the 1960s to 3.5 today. In the 1960s, only 10% of the world’s families were using effective methods of family planning. The number now stands at 55 percent.
32. Fighting drug abuse Reduce demand for illicit drugs, suppress drug trafficking, and has helped farmers to reduce their economic reliance on growing narcotic crops by shifting farm production toward other dependable sources of income.
33. Improving global trade relations The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has worked to obtain special trade preferences for developing countries to export their products to developed countries with fair prices.
34. Promoting economic reform Together with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations has helped many countries improve their economic management, offered training for government finance officials, and provided financial assistance to countries experiencing temporary balance of payment difficulties.
35. Promoting worker rights worked to guarantee freedom of the right to association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, setting worker safety standards, the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, promote employment and equal remuneration and has sought to eliminate discrimination and child labor.
36. Introducing improved agricultural techniques and reducing costs Resulted in improved crop yields, Asian rice farmers have saved $12 million on pesticides and governments over $150 a year in pesticide subsidies.
37. Promoting stability and order in the world’s oceans global agreement for the protection, preservation and peaceful development of the oceans.
38. Improving air and sea travel Setting safety standards for sea and air travel, making air travel the safest mode of transportation.
39. Protecting intellectual property Protection for new inventions and maintains a register of nearly 3 million national trademarks. artists, composers and authors worldwide.
40. Promoting the free flow of information free of censorship and culturally unbiased, aid to develop and strengthen communication systems, established news agencies and supported an independent press.
41. Improving global communications Regulated international mail delivery, coordinated use of the radio spectrum, promoted cooperation in assigning positions for stationary satellites, and established international standards for communications, thereby ensuring the unfettered flow of information around the globe.
42. Empowering the voiceless recognize the needs and contributions of groups usually excluded from decision-making such as the aging, children, youth, homeless, indigenous an disabled people.
43. Establishing “children as a zone of peace” from El Salvador to Lebanon, Sudan to former Yugoslavia, provide vaccines and other assistance desperately needed by children caught in armed conflict.
44. Generating worldwide commitment in support of the needs of children more than 150 governments have committed to reaching over 20 specific measurable goals to radically improve children’s lives by the year 2000.
45. Improving education in developing countries 60% of adults in developing countries can now read and write, and 80 percent of children in these countries attend school.
46. Improving literacy for women Raise the female literacy rate in developing countries from 36 percent in 1970 to 56 percent in 1990.
47. Safeguarding and preserving historic cultural and architectural sites protected through the efforts of UNESCO, and international conventions have been adopted to preserve cultural property.
48. Facilitating academic and cultural exchanges encouraged scholarly and scientific cooperation, networking of institutions and promotion of cultural expressions, including those of minorities and indigenous people.