The Demise of the League of Nations, the Birth of the United Nations
The League of Nations focused on a search for a way to end warfare by mediating international disputes. Born in the aftermath of the First World War, the League of Nations was envisioned as an international body that would supersede national governments and offer collective security to the world by punishing aggression. However, the League fell by the wayside in the 1930s when its inability to deal with international crises such as the Italian invasion of Ethiopia exposed it as ineffective.
The United Nations (UN) was established in 1945 after the end of the Second World War to replace the League of Nations. The UN was described as an association of governments with a mandate to facilitate cooperation among nations in issues of “international law, international security, economic development, and social equality.”
The United Nations was established by the Second World War Allies, which made up a list of forty-five nations. The leading nations were the same western countries that had been the leading colonizers of the previous decades. Decisions made by the UN from the time it was formed until the 1960s when newly independent nations joined reflected the colonial world view.
The United Nations has played an important role in trying to mediate the Arab-Israeli dispute, passing a number of resolutions aimed at achieving a fair and balanced peace. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) assists the Palestinian Arabs in refugee camps. The Arab-Israeli conflict has shown the United Nations potential for focusing attention on world issues, but it has also highlighted its limitations in achieving a lasting peace.