How Generation Z can Change the World
By Sachi Madan, Contributor
Generation Z is often deemed the generation that will make change on a plethora of platforms. As we start moving into college and considering how we will contribute to the world as adults, we should consider the importance of having an effective United Nations to govern international affairs and how we can be the change in the system. Whether you believe in a strong international government or not, the current structure is ineffective and calls for change to create a functional international body.
At the moment there are 59 ongoing armed conflicts around the world, most of which were started in the mid 1900s. According to data from the World Bank Group in 2017, the number and magnitude of these conflicts has experienced a spike since 2010. While we live in our lives of privilege, many lives are lost and millions are displaced from their homes. Many choose to ignore the disfunctionality of the international body of peace, but this is just not what the world had in mind for the future when it created the United Nations in 1945.
If the UN was truly effective in its current form, it would have been able to implement a solution to such a problem. Countries such as Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, and many more are experiencing conflicts that have grown into international crises.
The UN is doing the best they can, but in its current state there are a variety of structural issues that prevent it from being the most effective and from solving the conflicts that affect much of the human population. A major fault lies in the Security Council. Originally designed to serve as a system of checks and balances between the major world powers, the veto vote given to the Permanent 5 countries of the council has disturbed its ability to provide solvency in global affairs. This is embodied in the body’s inability to deal with the Syrian Civil War, a crisis that started as a battle and has become one of the world’s largest proxy wars with no end in sight. While the US, France, and the UK want to oust Assad from his reign of terror, Russia and China would prefer to keep him in power after the war is over. Both have their own perception of peace, but instead of being able to negotiate a compromise or figure out which method would bring the most long lasting peace, no party is willing to give up their foreign policy agenda.
But what is the best way to see an actual solution being implemented? By changing the structural build up of the Security Council. Get rid of the Veto Vote. Allow each nation to have an equal say. Doing this would force the two sides to come to the negotiating table and figure out what to do by convincing their peers of their method’s importance rather than constantly vetoing propositions from the other side for the sheer reason that it came from the other side.
While recently appointed Secretary General, Antonio Guterres is attempting to make strides towards a new future for the UN, it frankly falls upon us, the rising generation, to make this transition when we move into the workplace and have the influence to be able to do so. Thus, as members of Generation Z are thinking about how we want to make an impact in this world, I urge us all to consider how our involvement in international government could change the status quo. As our generation enters with a fresh perspective and the will to change something that is not working, we may give the UN the power to be able to live up to the potential with which it was created, we may be able to push global conflicts to the ends of their lives, and we may be able to restore peace throughout the world.