Magazine edition: 3-2013

Article title:

Richard Nelmes on why we should ♥ the United Nations

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Richard Nelmes on why we should ♥ the United Nations

This UN Day, UNA-UK is making a bold and simple claim: “I ♥ the UN”. Is this expression a little too simplistic? A little too bold? Perhaps. The truth is that people in the UK, even those who are already members of UNA-UK, understandably have a complex intellectual and emotional relationship with the UN. Such a relationship eludes fun one-liners and snappy headlines like this.

Sometimes though, it’s necessary to take a stance, necessary to make things simple for one moment, necessary to say that, yes, we believe an organisation like the United Nations is the only way that the global challenges that affect every country can be solved.

I ♥ the UN because it’s the only truly global organisation reaching beyond the shorttermism of domestic politics. I ♥ the dogged tenacity with which it approaches the seemingly intractable problems which face us all. I ♥ the role it has played in all of our lives, its unsung heroes and its lofty aspirations. This is a century in which we drown in information yet thirst for leadership, a century in which we will need the UN more than ever before.

Sometimes difficult and often frustrating as it inches towards goals that humanity should have reached years ago, this is not an organisation that is always easy to ♥. In so many ways, it represents the very best and very worst of the human race, yet the human race needs the UN for its very survival.

This UN Day (24 October) we’re asking people to show they the United Nations by joining UNA-UK, the people’s movement for the UN. Membership is now available from just £1 per month, a tiny price for access to publications like this one and national events like our exciting 2014 UN Forum. If you’re already a member, why not give gift membership for someone you know who might be interested?

In the words of UNA-UK’s patron, the actor Sir Patrick Stewart: “The UN stands for a better life for people everywhere.” Whether you’re just curious about the United Nations or a longstanding member, make becoming a member or gifting membership your UN Day action. Go to or call 020 7766 3454 to join us from just £1 per month.

Richard Nelmes is Head of Outreach Programmes at United Nations Association - UK.

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