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Podcast / January 09 2024

Peacekeeping power: Can the UN prevent wars?

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Since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has committed to preventing world wars. However, recent and devastating conflicts, like the wars in Gaza, Ukraine and elsewhere, have brought the UN’s shortcomings on this front into high relief. Is the United Nations capable of preventing war and keeping the peace, or is the institution too antiquated to resolve modern conflicts?

Anjali K. Dayal, political scientist at Fordham University, argues that the UN is in need of a major structural overhaul. She says that the UN is operating exactly as it was designed to, with the UN’s systematic flaws helping nations like the United States and Russia retain their power and protect their interests. Natalie Samarasinghe, global advocacy director of the Open Society Foundation, concedes that while the UN isn’t perfect, the organization remains a vital and irreplaceable lifeline for people in conflict zones around the world. Moreover, she says that the UN cannot and should not be all things to all people—instead, we must focus on and invest in the parts of the UN that do work. Listen to the Doha Debates Podcast as these experts debate the best paths toward peace, the future of the UN, the rising role of youth on the global stage and how we should hold the UN to account.

Doha Debates Podcast is a production of Doha Debates and FP Studios. This episode is hosted by Joshua Johnson.