Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

14 Years Since UN First Declares International Year of Volunteers

Since October 24, 1945, the United Nations has been both angel and insect to people throughout the globe; initially viewed by many as a threat of Orwellian “New World Order” – it made many people all over the world nervous when so many governments would begin “playing nice” with one another.

Many were concerned that the “greater good” would be dictated by the more influential members of the organization and that the smaller, less fiscally endowed countries would fall by the wayside.

However, in many ways just the opposite has happened. The United Nations’ volunteering initiatives all around the world have done an incredible good for struggling countries in times of need.

How Did the UN Start?

During World War 2, Allied nations referred to one another as “United Nations”, agreeing unilaterally that neither would make individual peace treaties with Nazi Germany. The relationship matured over time, and the organisation has been able to thwart conflicts around the world and provide economic aid programs. Germany later joined the UN in 1973.

Volunteerism and the United Nations

The world has seen many smaller wars since World War 2, and the UN has been on the front lines, working to resolve situations and encourage others to assist in providing aid in both wartime and natural disaster.

They have had success with a number of campaigns in Afganistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Macedonia, Ethiopia, Africa, and appealed to the world for aid in the Philippines when disaster struck in 2013. They have raised unmeasurable awareness of the plights that span the globe and invigorated millions of youth to help make a difference over the years.

Although it has not always been easy for the United Nations.

Some of the most reputable organizations in the world have lodged rather far reaching and bold claims against the United Nations for “peacekeeping without accountability”.

One example of this would be when the Yale Law School’s Transnational Development Clinic, Global Health Justice Partnership and the Yale School of Public Health in collaboration with the Association Hatïenne de Droit de L’Environment wrote a damning report about how the UN had killed more than 8,000 people and sickened another 600,000 by accidentally causing a cholera outbreak in Haiti between 2010 and 2012 – and then refused to accept responsibility or provide appropriate aid to remedy the very problem it had caused.

At this time, one thing is clear; the United Nations has inspired all generation of youth to volunteer and make a difference abroad since its inception. It has saved countless lives and made a real difference in global matters.

However at the same time, recent events also underlay the organisation’s need to work with diligence and accuracy to decrease the risk that it carries when it comes to the aid of disaster-stricken nations.

What does the future hold for the United Nations? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.