NEW TEXTBOOK PUBLICATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE UNITED NATIONS.October, 2011
The month of October saw Jacaranda publish its second textbook in its bilingual series: An Introduction to the United Nations.
The United Nations is arguably one of the most important organizations that exist in the world today and one of the few platforms
that encourage global collective action.
For example, national governments serve national interests. Nonetheless, the increasing majority of our problems and concerns as a
race are trans-national in, both their symptoms, causes, and potential solutions. Today, the world remains rife with war, economic crisis,
environmental degradation, and extreme poverty, to name but a few of our collective and global challenges as mankind. These problems cannot
be solved through unilateral action alone, but instead require the consensus and collective work of all. The United Nations represents the
focus of this collective action and contains the potential political, cultural, and economic power to address these challenges. However, the
United Nations is, as its name reflects, a body of different nations that serve the interests of peoples of a particular region or collective
national group. Therefore, though the UN has much potential it is often restricted by the will and desire of its member states.
The aim of this course and textbook is to provide the student with an introduction into the world of the UN and the main areas of its work.
Peace and Security, Environment and Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs, and International Law will all be looked at as topics
of focus. A second aim of this course is to try and give a face to the UN and to simplify for the student, what is undeniably, a very complex
and complicated organizational structure, which is home to a plethora of agencies, funds, committees, bodies, and institutes. The UN is an
impressive and immense range of international diplomacy and development work, but one that can also appear confusing and overwhelming to the
If the UN is to overcome the many challenges that it faces in the coming years it must provide its citizenry with better access and information of
the work that it is undertaking and familiarize people with how its activities function. Nowhere is this more important than in the school
and with young people who form the future of our planet. Understanding the process is just as important as the result and it is important that
young people understand how the UN is funded and what its power structure is like or what its mandates might be.