“THE UN IS 60, BUT I’M NOT! WE’RE THE NEW GENERATION, TIME FOR NEW IDEAS.” (Concluding Part)
No representation or under-representation
There are many UN agencies and the common trend is that some parts of the world are always marginalized, either through under-representation or by no representation. The UN Security Council is one of the most important organs of the United Nations, but it is a sad fact that Africa has no permanent member. When a very important security matter affecting the world is discussed in that forum, Africa which has a strategic role to play (12% of the total world population) is left out, making no contribution to the subject matter.
It will be good if an African country becomes a permanent member. The United Nations should also make a conscious effort to involve young people in decision making. There is no doubt that the young generation has more energy and ideas in them to make the world a better place. And to prevent a generational gap, the older generation should work with young people in matters that will affect them now and later. Gender issues are also very important. The United Nations should make it a point of duty to involve more women, especially from third-world countries in its programmes.
Hence, all UN development-focused conferences and programme should be all encompassing with relevant global stakeholders duly represented and given a chance to contribute. It will also be good if the UN adopts current trends in technology in getting feedback from all over the world i.e not all conferences should be physical. Using the powers of the Internet can bring down costs and also allow more participants contribute to discussions, this will ensure that people who would not have been able to participate will be given a chance to do so though email, newsgroups and e-groups.
Information and Communication Technology for Development.
The United Nations has recognized ICT as a veritable tool for development. ICT has made the world to become a true global village. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is meant to discuss ways to harness the potentials of ICT in developing the world. ICT ensures many channels of information dissemination, through mobile phones, emails, the World Wide Web, News groups, e.t.c.
Many developing countries have abundance of natural resources like petroleum, diamond and gold, yet they are very poor and the citizens languish in poverty.
The reason is very simple; the wealth of a country can no longer be measured by the abundance of its natural resources but by the quality of its citizenry. An absolute way of getting access to Information is the Internet which is still a luxury in most under-developed countries. For the under-developed world to start thinking of reaching the height of their developed counterparts, they need to embrace the power and wonder of Information and Communications Technologies. I am positive that ICT will transform the physical and psychological well-being of the under-developed worlds and bring them up-to-speed with the developed world.
ICT has helped in various fields of human endeavors like Agriculture (GIS), education (e-learning), health and in providing job opportunities for citizens. . Access to these ICT tools is very small in underdeveloped countries and the United Nations will do well to find ways of correcting this. Beyond WSIS and other UN programs to promote the use of ICT, I will like the UN to think of helping rural people have access to ICT since there are more under-developed countries than developed ones. The UN should also encourage countries to adopt and implement a national ICT policy that will help them in harnessing ICT potentials.
There is no doubt that many lives have been touched by the noble aims and objectives of the United Nations. In closing, I wish to make the following recommendations-
• All countries must have ICT parks where young people are taught basic and advanced ICT skills.
• The scum of Internet scam must be taken seriously by the UN. A good way of fighting this trend is by disseminating information on truthful ways of making money on the Internet.
• The UN should advocate that Youths in all countries of the world go through a form of citizenship and leadership training before or after their tertiary education.
• The UN and religious groups should work closely on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other health-related problems because the latter have strong influence over their congregations.
There is no greater goal than craving a world that is united and peaceful. Long live the United Nations and may its goals be achieved.