Jie Yeon, aged 13

Who embodies action for peace and how?; the Role of United Nations 

As my home country,South Korea, has experienced wars and yet has not terminated the battle against North Korea, knowing who or which international organization is supporting peace and how its role works is very important. The people in Korea still fears that there might be a war between the North and South, even though more than fifty years has passed since the two countries had a severe conflict. Therefore in order to let the people feel safe, there must be a person, a country, or a group including world organizations to rely on, which leads to the question who embodies action for peace and how. In my opinion, the one that represents and takes action for peace has been and should be the United Nations. The United Nations unites nearly all the countries in the world as it is said for the organization’s name. To maintain and restore peace, the U.N. uses its physical power, economic assistance, and peace education.

First of all, the United Nations uses its force to maintain peace between counties. As one of the U.N.’s force, peacekeeping has proven to be the most effective tool to the UN to any negative conflict to peace. The U.N.’s peacekeeping operation is led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) which works to create peace in countries torn by war. It is said that the unique strengths of the DPKO is the legitimacy, burden sharing and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates. The DPKO has been deployed in many configurations for the past decades, and then it provided security and political and peace building support to countries that were unsafe or still in conflicts, such asPalestine andIsrael. The DPKO has helped countries several times to keep peace against invasion wars. For example, in the Korean War broken in May 1950, before the DPKO was made, multinational military forces of the nations that supported the peace ofSouth Korea were allied in the name of the United Nations Command (U.N.C.) against the sudden attack fromNorth Korea. During the war, the U.N.C. helped by applying its combat forces, which was up to 932,964, providing humanitarian aid, and ending the war with the Korean Armistice Agreement on 27 July 1953. Currently 16 U.N. peace operations are deployed on four continents, which is guided by the three basic principles; consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate. In addition, the DPKO doesn’t only maintain peace and security, but also facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants.

Secondly, the U.N. supports poor countries. As the people of economically undeveloped countries are mostly poor, they suffer from starvation and various illnesses because they don’t have enough money to get the necessities that humans need in order to survive. Thus, they sometimes try to do anything to earn money for their family and themselves such as disgusting or life risking jobs that don’t give much profit or start to steal others’ properties against the law and rule. For instance, in Africa, some countries fought for diamonds mines killing people who were in their way and some people inSomaliabecame pirates and kidnapped foreign ships and crews in international water requesting huge amounts to the country where the victims were from for letting them free. In this regard, the U.N. has taken action with the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P) which is an organization that advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resource to help people build a better life. The U.N.D.P. helps people in poor countries by the donation collected from developed countries and uses them for democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, environment and energy, and HIV/AIDS. In 1960,South Koreawas one of the poorest countries, placed in second last afterAfghanistanand had a GDP per capita as 60 dollars, and got help that we needed from the U.N. organizations. Many Korean people got aided mainly from hospitals built by international organizations. My grandmother was one of the people who was too poor to have medical treatment, but fortunately got cured at the one of the hospitals. As a result of the international help, my grandmother could survive, which led to the fact that my father was born in this world and at last I am able to be writing this essay now.

Finally, peace education is also an important factor that we should not forget. By educating the youth with experienced people from around the world in a place such as Geneva where many international organizations are located, the new generation will learn the importance of peace and consider about other own countries’ problem. In this respect, the international organizations should hold various activities that students can participate in order to share opinions for keeping peace in advance. At this sort of meeting, I wish that every young people from the world, regardless of their nationalities, religions and races, gather and discuss the future of our generation worrying neither conflicts nor wars.

I believe that one who embodies the action of peace is the United Nations. It uses its physical power, economic assistance, and peace education to maintain peace though out the world. By doing so, the U.N. has helped out the countries in poverty or in conflicts for several decades until now. Our very duty as the new generation is to continue the role of U.N. which has gained as its achievements so far, then go farther its current limitation, and at last get our final goal, living peacefully by helping others in order to make the world as one where everyone hopes to live together.


About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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