Let’s Reaffirm Global Commitments on United Nations Day, 24 October 2016

Maung Maung

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization intent on create co-operation between all the governments of the world. Its original intent was to replace the League of Nations, and prevent another war like World War II from occurring. Aside from world peace its role has grown to include protecting human rights, promoting social and economic development, and providing aid around the world in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.
United Nations Day has been celebrated the foundation of this great organization every year since 1948 and it is a great opportunity for us to learn the truth about its past, its present, and what its plans are for the future. This year’s UN Day will celebrate its 71st year anniversary on 24 October 2016. There are 193 United Nations (UN) member states and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly. All the member states of the United Nations contribute finances to its operation to help further its goals. Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 193 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees. The UN has 4 main purposes:
• To keep peace throughout the world;
• To develop friendly relations among nations;
• To help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms;
• To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.
The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peace-building, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and program) affect our lives and make the world a better place.
The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations, whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
Myanmar became a member state of UN on 19 April 1948 and the United Nations (UN) has been present in Myanmar since the country gained its independence. The UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator is the top UN Official in Myanmar for humanitarian recovery and development activities. The UN Country level coordination is managed by the UN Country Team. The UN has provided assistance in Myanmar since its independence in 1948. The UN System in Myanmar works under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator to ensure a harmonized approach to support the achievement of Myanmar’s national development priorities within their specific mandate. The UN supports the development of Myanmar, the advancement of human rights, provision of humanitarian assistance and peace-building.
We citizens of Myanmar, some of whom now are serving as an international civil servants under the different United Nations organizations or specialized agencies must at all times need to maintain a broad international outlook and an understanding of the international community as a whole. We should show respect and tolerance in our interactions with colleagues. But on the other hand, we have citizen rights for better protected or ensured when the citizen of Myanmar assume their duties to each other and to the local, regional, national and global community. However, at times, the multicultural nature of our workforce poses a special challenge, as norms and customs acceptable in one culture may be offensive in another. As the integrity of the United Nations depends on the integrity of its staff, we take pride in the diversity of our workforce, which brings together staff from varied backgrounds, cultures and experiences. We should embrace this diversity and view it as an advantage.
The UN standards of conduct set out basic principles and form the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of the international civil service. These guiding principles are integrity, loyalty, independence, impartiality, tolerance, and understanding, freedom from discrimination, gender equality and dignity. Furthermore, provisions or reinforcing existing ones, such as accountability, abuse of authority, conflicts of interest, use of the resources of United Nations organizations, post employment restrictions and respect for different customs and cultures. All these standards of conduct for the international civil service are core values of the United Nations.
Now the world has changed over the decades, most organizations had undergone significant reforms and moved away from rules based to values and results-based systems with increased decentralization and greater responsibilities to lower level management. At the same time, Myanmar’s emerging new government is now moving forward on the right path to achieve its democratic reform process in all sectors with more transparency and accountability through its best cooperation with the international organizations and communities for the development of Myanmar.
All kinds of humanitarian assistance activities, international or national, for the improvement of the poor communities of the world are warmly welcome and greatly appreciated by us. However, different geographical places on earth have different culture. Culture refers to the traits of a population’s behavior, values, practices, beliefs and religion. We need to understand and respect diverse culture around the world. No matter the different cultures prevail in a certain society or organization the most important thing is that we must live together with mutual respect and sincerity.
All the United Nations Organizations and specialized Agencies in Myanmar are working for the humanitarian development activities in various sectors such as social, politic, economic, education and health…etc. with different objectives, visions, missions to achieve their respective goals. Ultimately, let’s reaffirm the global commitments to fulfill the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals on the 71st anniversary of the United Nations Day to bring about just and peaceful world.
References: http://www.un.org/en/events/unday; http://www.themimu.info
“Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service”, United Nations, New York, 2013.

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