Last week was the 77th United Nations Day, marking the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. The day’s official web page states, “There is no other global organization with the legitimacy [and] impact of the United Nations. No other global organization gives hope to so many people for a better world and can deliver the future we want. Today, the urgency for all countries to come together, to fulfil (sic) the promise of the nations united, has rarely been greater.” The Secretary General also offered a message, stating that “The United Nations is the product of hope,” but today the UN “is being tested like never before.”
I would say that indeed it is time for the UN to live up to its charter. It is time for the UN to really bring countries together, not simply hope that they will “come together.” Hopes do not become a reality unless we exert to make them a reality. We should not only dare to dream; we must also dare to do!
I agree with the Secretary General’s words that today, the UN is being tested. It is requested to act, to bring people and nations together, and not settle for empty talk as though the UN is some café where people come to chat.
Humanity has a serious problem that it cannot ignore. The world around us operates according to one set of principles, while humanity insists on operating according to a different set of principles that collide with the world around us. As a result, everything around us is becoming inhospitable and dangerous. The climate is becoming erratic and extreme, the air, ground, and water are becoming toxic, animals are dying, the crops we live on are drying up, and people are becoming increasingly violent toward each other. It is as if we’re hanging on to dear life by a string that keeps us from falling off a precipice, but the string is getting tighter and tighter as humanity and reality move in opposite directions, and it is nearly at the point of snapping.
Reality will keep moving in its own direction. Things will become increasingly entangled; the systems that sustain our lives, the societies where we live, and our bodies, too, are complex systems whose complexity increases over time in the process of evolution. This process is irreversible, just as we cannot devolve life on Earth from humans back to unicellular creatures.
Therefore, the only way to stop the string from snapping is by changing our direction. If we stop seeking more and more isolation from others and begin to look for more connection with others, we will feel that nature and all of life are no longer hostile. We will find that they support us rather than struggle against us in a fight for the survival of the fittest.
“Giving peace a chance” and “safeguarding our planet,” as per the Secretary General’s statement, cannot succeed without a worldwide campaign to foster solidarity and mutual concern among all nations. Since today’s problems are global, solutions must be global, too.
My organization and I were involved in a UN initiative to promote education for connection and solidarity around the world back in 2012. The effort never materialized into concrete steps, but the need to carry out such endeavors has only increased since then.
We can wait passively and let nature take its course, but nature knows no mercy. If we insist on serving our narcissistic selves, while nature continues in its holistic trajectory, we will suffer the consequences of our incongruence with it. The current wars and climate crises are somewhat of a prelude to what is coming, but they pale in comparison to the upheaval ahead if we stall in our initiative.
I believe we should not wait. We should initiate the change; we must realize that the only way to make life on Earth safe and pleasant is by living according to the all-inclusive nature around us. I believe we have very little time left, and no choice whatsoever.
The official emblem of the United Nations is seen at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., August 23, 2022. REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado