United Nations has saved millions of lives

United Nations has saved millions of lives
Posted on September 27, 2016 | Larry Kazdan | Written on September 27, 2016
Letter type:


National Post

Letter in National Post Sept. 27 (with footnotes to Editor)

Re:  Justin Trudeau’s UN address was a meaningless speech to a worthless body, Rex Murphy | September 23, 2016

For all its warts, the United Nations has saved millions of lives through its inoculation and health programs, its mediation and peacekeeping services, and its promulgation of treaties and standards that have improved socioeconomic and human rights. It has done so on a total budget (including all 40 specialized agencies) of $30 billion which is less than 2% of the $1.7 trillion that nations spend each year on armaments.

Commentator Rex Murphy advances the false narrative that the UN is worthless. Unfortunately, he plays into the hands of political elites intent on keeping the UN under-resourced and weak, so they retain their prerogatives to invade, bomb and torture with scoffing impunity.  


1. UN Stats from:  The United Nations in the 21st Century, Douglas Roche, James Lorimer and Co., 2015, p. 79

2. A small example of some of the achievements of the UN

By having deployed 42 peace-keeping forces as of 1996, the UN was able to restore calm to allow the negotiating process to go forward while saving millions of people from becoming casualties of conflicts.

Since 1945, the United Nations has been credited with negotiating 172 peaceful settlements that have ended regional conflicts.

More than 30 million refugees fleeing war, famine or persecution have received aid from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees since 1951.

UN agencies have worked to make safe drinking water available to 1.3 billion people in rural areas during the last decade.

A 13-year effort by the World Health Organization resulted in the complete eradication of smallpox from the planet in 1980. The eradication has saved an estimated $1 billion a year in vaccination and monitoring.

About The Author

Larry Kazdan's picture

Larry Kazdan has undergraduate degrees in history and sociology, is a retired Chartered Professional Accountant and runs the website
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