HAT FORUM: Sat. Jan 15, 11am-1pm OISE: The United Nations

LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor Street W, Room 2-198
Topic: The United Nations in the 21st Century

The United Nations was created over 60 years ago to bring some sort of peace to a community of nations reeling from the ravages of World War II. The UN has certainly been more successful than its predecessor, the League of Nations, and there has been no global conflict since the Second World War. However, the structure and challenges of 2011 are vastly different than those of 1949. Is the UN still relevant?

1) After 60 years, how would we grade the UN
2) When it was created, the UN was the only game in town when it came to multi-lateral engagement. However, there are now a variety of international bodies that allow nations to meet, including economic, trade and regional political entities. Where does the UN fit now?
3) One of the advantages of the UN is it allows a forum for smaller nations to stand on equal footing with larger ones. However, can major powers like the US and China really be expected to sacrifice their interests on the based on UN dictates?
4) Canada recently failed in its attempt to acquire a seat on the UN Security Council, due largely in part reports suggest to the failure on the part of the Obama administration to support Canada's bid. Should Canadians care?
5) As Humanists, do we feel that the UN is living up to what we would expect?