“The UN is an ineffective institution of global governance.” Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer.

The increased level of cooperation, as well as integration between nations, requires a strong and effective international body that can aid in facilitating relations more so in managing conflicts and disagreement that may occur in the international relation. In light of this, the United Nation (henceforth UN) was created with the aim of facilitating the aforementioned function. Notwithstanding this, the UN has not been an effective institution of global governance; therefore, I agree with the above statement that UN has not been an effective institution of global governance.

One of the reasons why UN is considered as an ineffective institution of global governance is the inability to promote environmental sustainability. Over the recent past, global environmental issue such as carbon footprint and global warming has consistently increased. These issues require cooperation at an international level for them t be handled accordingly.  Despite the fact that UN has tried to introduce the program to deal with environmental sustainability it has not been effective in this issues as cooperation at international level has failed.  This has made it impossible for the UN to achieve its global governance objective because some of the member states are not motivated to cooperate. For instance, despite the fact that the UN climate change in Paris established  commitment that  all nations should   report often on their emissions, it has not  explained  guidelines that are clear as well as policies that are crucial in dealing with nations that fail to adhere to what was agreed or complying to the United Nations requirements (Sharma 2016). This, therefore, depicts how ineffective the UN it is in handling environmental sustainability because even if the member state fails to comply, there is the absence of clear guideline on what to do to such a member state.

The other reason that explains the ineffectiveness of UN in global governance is that its role in the global economy, as well as social cooperation, has not been visible. For instance, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been received with skepticism.  The MDG was introduced with an aim of promoting global economic development as well as addressing economic challenges in the countries that are underdeveloped.  Despite agreement by all the member states to participate in this initiative most of the industrial countries have failed to meet the 0.7% aid target (Weiss 2015).  Again, this shows the effectiveness of the UN in setting clear guidelines on what happens to the countries that fail to adhere to its requirement or to what was agreed one of the goal of MDGs was to  ensure that it lift people out of  poverty. However, this initiative seems unrealistic as the objective seems not to be based on sound calculations.  The measurement of its objective does also not seem clear. As previously stated, not all the member states seem to cooperate in this initiative and that is why some have failed to meet their 0.7% aid target (Weiss 2015). This means that the member states have limited finance and hence this objective cannot be met due to inadequate resources. Therefore, UN has failed to ensure global economic development and social cooperation based on the above example of MDGs.

Lastly, UN, as explained by Weiss (2015), has been slow in responding to the problems of the poorest countries such as the issue of HIV and Aids.  One of the major roles of UN is to respond to insecurity issues as well as problems such as diseases. However, this role has been invisible especially in developed countries.  The other role that UN has taken is proposing the development of policies aimed at promoting human security. However, there are instances when UN has not responded to the issue of human security, for instance, the case of the act of genocide in Rwanda were completely ignored.  This raises concern if really the policies that UN proposes really  are adhered. This explains the fact that UN has been slow in response especially in poor countries and less developed nations.


Sharma, B. P. (2016) Outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Weiss, T. G. (2015) The United Nations: before, during and after 1945. International Affairs91(6), 1221-1235.

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