October 24, 2010 - The United Nation Day may give us occasion to pause and reflect upon what we do. It would be melodramatic to say that our work is to wage a war for peace; but it is appropriate to say that we seek to build defenses against violence, poverty, injustice and destruction. It would be boastful to say our actions change the course of history; but it would be wrong -- and just as destructive -- not to recognize that our work does have importance, and does make a difference. |
The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on 24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that Member States observe it as a public holiday.
Sixty-five years ago, 51 nations came together in the aftermath of one of history's most devastating wars to rededicate themselves to peace, justice, and progress. The founders of the United Nations vowed to work together to ensure that the horrors seen in World War II would never be repeated.
“We can never give back life where it has been taken away”
Mr. Nechemia the Chairman of the board of Governors of the EurOrient Financial Group and founding father of private sector global development banking on the accession of the United Nations Day reminds us of the often forgotten fact “while we can rebuild houses, roads, hospitals and schools, we can never give back life where it has been taken away.” and he added “On the continent of Africa today there are fewer serious armed conflicts than it was just six years ago. In 1998, there were 14 countries in the midst of war and another 11 were suffering from severe political turbulence. Today, less than half-dozen African countries are suffering from serious domestic armed conflicts and very few other countries are facing deep political crises.
Development is an indispensable foundation for our efforts to prevent the outbrack of violent and conflict. Without it, States will lack the capacity to exercise their sovereignty responsibly, to break free from endemic patterns of conflict, and to build sustainable peace. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals is thus an integral component of the mission of the United Nations as well as to the mission of the EurOrient Financial Group.
Among those challenges of preventing both new and old dangers there is no higher goal than preventing armed conflict. This calling is even more pressing today than at any time in history, because of the cross cutting issues and the interconnected nature of today’s threats. Around the world, a triad of poverty and disparity, disease and war creates a cycle of death. Civil violence, human rights abuses and poverty make weak States vulnerable to transnational organized crime, terrorism and illicit trafficking in human beings, drugs and weapons. That is why sustained international cooperation to address all of today’s threats is an imperative.
Mr. Nechemia stressed: “We cannot close our eyes to the massive scale of human rights violations and consequent human suffering in Africa and in other continents in the past and present. We must intensify are collective and individual and efforts to find a definitive solution to these problems.” And he continued “I am convinced that exposing and holding the perpetrators, including their accomplices, accountable, as well as restoring the dignity of victims through acknowledgement and commemoration of their suffering, would guide societies in the prevention of future violations.”
United Nations Reform
The United Nations Day offers the world’s peoples a unique occasion to reflect on their common destiny, at a moment when they find themselves interconnected as never before. They look to their leaders to identify and act on the challenges ahead. The United Nations can help meet those challenges, if its Members share a renewed sense of mission. Founded to introduce new principles into international relation in 1945, the United Nations has succeeded better in some areas than others. This is a chance to reshape the United Nations so that it can make a real and measurable difference to people’s lives in the new century.
Since its creation, the United Nations has provided the vehicle foster peace and security and to bring protection and urgently needed assistance to persons in distress in every corner of the globe. At the same time, many of the Charter's promises still remain unfulfilled. Even so, it is through the United Nations, as the Charter proclaims, we can “combine our efforts” to achieve the common ends of all humanity. The United Nations pledges to convert the Charter's promise into reality and demonstrate that the United Nations can be purposeful and successful in meeting the challenges that confront all peoples on the eve of the twenty-first century.
This body was founded on the belief that the nations of the world could solve their problems together. Franklin Roosevelt, who died before he could see his vision for this institution become a reality, put it this way – and I quote: “The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one Nation…. It cannot be a peace of large nations – or of small nations. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”
Meeting the Challenges of the 21st century
The world is radically different from when the United Nations was created 65 years ago. In half a century, it has changed in almost every respect and with a speed such as humanity has never witnessed before.
The world has grown. Fifty years ago, the community of nations consisted of 66 sovereign States. Today, there are no less than 194. Then, the world population numbered two-and-a-half billion. Today, it has more than doubled. There has been a remarkable growth in industrial and agricultural output and trade, with the world economy increasing six fold and world trade several times more. The world has grown richer and, overall, per capita income has increased. So also, however, have inequalities, both within and between nations, and today almost one fourth of the world's population is living in absolute poverty. 1.2 billion People live on less than $1 dollar a day!
Hunger, disease, and less education describe a person in poverty. One third of deaths - some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day - are due to poverty-related causes: in total 270 million people, most of them women and children, have died as a result of poverty since 1990. Those living in poverty suffer disproportionately from hunger or even starvation and disease. Those living in poverty suffer lower life expectancy.
Every year nearly 11 million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday. 1.02 billion people are going to bed hungry every night. Poverty increases the risk of homelessness. There are over 100 million street children worldwide.
The challenges of the twenty-first century cut across all boundaries and affect people regardless of nationality, ethnicity and creed. Confronting them requires both a global vision and a global means of action.
Now we find ourselves at a turning point in history, when the blocks and barriers that long defined the world are giving way to an age of remarkable possibility; a time when more of our children and more nations will be able to live out their dreams than ever before.
Here then lie the challenges on the eve of the 21st century. To create a more secure planet where might does not necessarily mean right, where humanity's common future is built on co-operation, not confrontation and imposition. To bring about a more just planet, where the material conditions of humanity are improved and no individual suffers from want; where the social fabric of States is strengthened and the world's finite resources are managed wisely to the benefit of all. And to build a more free world based on equality and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We are on the eve of a great transition. Our world has changed, more than we may realize. We see new centers of power and leadership – in Asia, Latin America and across the newly developed world. The problems we face have grown much, much more complex. In this new world, our challenges are increasingly those of collaboration rather than confrontation. Nations can no longer protect their interests, or advance the well-being of their people, without the partnership of the rest. There is, today, a danger of losing sight of this new reality. I see a danger of nations looking more inward, rather than toward a shared future. I see a danger of retreating from the progress we have made, particularly in the realm of development and more equitably sharing the fruits of global growth. This is tragic. For at this time one thing is clear. We must do more, not less.
We must do more to help our fellow human beings weather the gathering storm. Yes, global growth has raised billions of people out of poverty. However, if you are among the world's poor, you have never felt poverty so sharply. Yes, international law and justice have never been so widely embraced as on this 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, those living in nations where human rights are abused have never been so vulnerable. Yes, most of us live in peace and security. However, we see deepening violence in many nations that can least afford it. Afghanistan. Somalia. The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Iraq. Sudan. And in the State of Israel. To name just a few. This is not right. This is not just.
We can do something about it. And with strong global leadership, we will. Common efforts are now urgently needed to build a more secure, a more just, and a more free world. The United Nations must set out an Agenda for peace and Agenda for Development containing detailed suggestions for future international action to attain these noble goals by promoting peace and security, sustainable human development, and human rights and democracy.
Throughout the reform process, the primary aim should be to ensure social and economic justice, fairness, equity and transparency in multilateral governance, and the application of democratic principles in decision-making processes, as well as the achievement of the expressed goals as regards gender equality for United Nations staff. To be efficient, effective and transparent, the institutions should be equipped with the required power and authority and with agreed systems of dispute settlement. It is not essential that multilateral institutions should always be United Nations agencies. Multilateralism can thrive within and outside the United Nations system.
Before we get into the heart of the issues, addressed below, it’s probably important to provide some background on our institution, that we believe, will provide context for the type of work we do. We are a global development financial institution, accredited by the United Nations General Assembly on finance for development, which is the highest political body in the world. Our goals are to reduce poverty and uplift the living conditions of the world’s lesser fortunate peoples, people in under developed countries around the world who live on less than $2 a day. More precisely, EurOrient Financial Group is a private sector global development finance institution with an overarching mission to support the economic and social development efforts of the less developed countries as seek to achieve the they, in particular, Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs”). The EurOrient Financial Group offers us a venue and a forum for those who can provide global leadership and resources to work together to live up to that founding charter and abide by and enforce international rules in service of a feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and mending places that have been broken. EurOrient Financial Group invests in projects and programs that promote social development, build human capacities, and address host government priorities for investments in physical infrastructure that promote and enhance social development. These projects include roads, transportation and communication systems, water, sanitation and other types of investments with social development outcomes such as improved quality of life and increased human knowledge and skills.
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Ron Nechemia, EurOrient Financial Group, UN, EurOrient Ron Nechemia, EurOrient, Mr. Ron Nechemia,