Harvard International Review

Volume 42 Fall 2021 Digital

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In​1945,​the​United​Nations​was​created​out​of​the​ashes​of​World​War​II.​After​the​second​ global​ war​ in​ less​ than​ three​ decades,​ world​ leaders​ sought​ a​ forum​ to​ manage​ conflict​ and​ foster cooperation. 75 years later, the United Nations’s role in the world has been seriously called into question. Critics point to the UN’s bureaucratic bloat, catering to global super- powers, and slow reaction to crises as reasons for the UN’s increasing irrelevance and incom- petence as an intergovernmental organization. Supporters of the UN, conversely, point to its successes in peacekeeping, public health initiatives, and human rights promotion.