The nations of Earth that exist today are built on thousands of years of human civilization, layer after layer showing ambition and theory put to the test of time. Looking back through history, we see a database of strategies and answers to many fundamental questions about how a society runs. Save for new technologies and discoveries, in most avenues of politics, you can find an example of something that has in some way, shape, or form, been tried before.
However, with all those lessons from history, we also draw back a very layered social consciousness, consisting of fears, tensions, and anxieties that hold us back and divide us more often than they unite us. The Earth, once initially filled with abundant resources and space for life, has been divided into factions separated by invisible barriers, in a system that keeps us divided and working against each other. As far as we know, we are alone in the universe, which means that the only enemies we have are those we create.
Global Issues Present an Even Bigger Problem
This becomes dangerous when faced with issues that threaten us all, regardless of nation or creed. 2020 introduced us to a single disease, COVID-19, which spread like wildfire across the world and resulted in panic and shutdown in nearly every nation it touched. While we survived, we are still feeling and reeling from the effects, and it’s clear that part of the problem was caused by an uncoordinated international response. Where some countries were able to contain and properly protect their citizens from the virus, others were unable or unwilling to prepare and lost millions. Fear and resentment over the pandemic only led to us turning away from our neighbors, in a time when we needed to be closer than ever.
COVID-19 is a great example of how global crises can arrive out of the blue and threaten even our modern international society. Natural disasters and pandemics are already rather common, and as our industrial ambitions lead to irreversible climate change, these external issues will grow more dangerous and ferocious. Storms, floods, and droughts will become more intense, and resultant migration of animal life will only increase the spread of diseases. Going further, cosmic events could easily threaten the Earth – should a unforeseen asteroid come hurtling out of the abyss and into our planet, a devastating solar flare fry much of our circuitry, or the shield of debris above our planet turn into a death trap for any who try to leave our orbit.
We Need to Work Together to Solve Global Problems
Some of these we can help, some we can’t. But if the Earth and its people face issues that concern all of us, we should all have a say and come together to focus on those decisions. Working them out separately divides our time and resources, and leaves our neighbors to deal with a problem we could help them solve. In more drastic examples, we could even unintentionally hinder each other – during the European migrant crisis, a lack of coordination across the European Union led to many border nations having to take the brunt of refugee accommodations. Greater organization and responsibility among member nations would have allowed more widespread and successful diffusion, taking the burden off countries and refugees alike.
On the other hand, multiple nations working on one issue can allow for the use of specialization – instead of each nation working on the same components of an issue over and over again, each nation is assigned to a part of the entire task at hand, with all members collaborating at completion. We’ve seen this at work before, with a perfect example being the International Space Station. Piece by piece, different nations contributed their own components to the station, building a landmark of human engineering that still operates today as a global laboratory.
The more we cooperate and collaborate between nations, the more influence this can also have on international relations. Any relation, from the smallest set of humans to the largest conflict between nations can be improved with trust and understanding. Much conflict in the world today comes largely from an inability to grasp the motives and logic of the other party, with each side believing that they are right, and not that they both approach the side carrying a specific reasoning tailored to their own situation. But when working together, you get to see a different side of people than when you work against them, and the more you learn about them, the more you understand where they are coming from. Cooperation between hostile nations can work wonders as an engine of goodwill.
If we look at the way the world is and conclude that coexisting with each other is not truly possible, it will be true only because that is what we have convinced ourselves of. As we stand in the present, we know more than all who came before us, and those who live tomorrow will know even more than we know. With that knowledge, it is not merely a fantasy to say that one day we will use what we know to foster cooperation and goodwill among the nations of the Earth. World peace may be an idealistic goal, but it is a goal we can strive for.
To start, however, we have to have a strong system between all the nations of Earth, consisting of nations that coordinate and cooperate with each other to deal with disasters that threaten people across the Earth, from war and terrorism to climate change and natural disaster. We need a framework that can realize mutual prosperity is more important than petty differences in ideology and identity, and allow nations to work together on issues that truly matter.
This blog was originally published on the Young World Federalists’ website: https://www.ywf.world/post/a-need-for-united-nations.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.