Global Problems Need Global Leaders…and the UN

March 19, 2012 BY


Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a leader in the global arena – someone we trust to resolve the most challenging global issues? There’s no doubt it requires the usual – honesty, intelligence, and the ability to inspire and influence others. When I think of a global leader, I think of a person who embodies all of the characteristics listed above, but who is also passionate about global causes and so committed to achieving a peaceful world that it allows that leader to persevere even in the most trying situations.

Kofi Annan is an inspiring global expert who has his own idea of what is required to solve global problems. He says, “The key to successful mediation is having support from across the international system.”As the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan exemplified a great global leader – establishing the Global Fund, leading several successful mediations in Africa and the Middle East to combat terrorism and political unrest, and earning a Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Since the end of his two terms, he has remained very involved in the global community – most recently he was named the UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria in an effort to end the current violence and promote a peaceful resolution between the government and protesters.

Hear what Kofi Annan has to say about together and working with the UN to better the world. Also, check out more videos featuring our fellow UN Foundation board members and global thought leaders speaking about the importance of the United Nations, including:


Igor S. Ivanov

Igor S. Ivanov is currently a Professor at Moscow State Institute for International Relations. Previously, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, from 1998 to 2004, and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, from 2004 to 2007.

“Full participation with the UN is key in solving problems. The UN Foundation is the bridge between the UN and society.” – Igor Ivanov


Yuan Ming

Yuan Ming is currently the Director of the Institute of International Relations at Peking University. She fosters the next generation of global leaders and leads the Peking University Model UN program. Since 1995, she has conducted research at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia; the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. She is a frequent traveler and speaker at many international gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Trilateral Commission and the Club of Rome.

“There should be more female leaders in all aspects of lives – not only politics. It is the UN Foundation’s job to educate people so we can all play a part in solving problems.” –Yuan Ming


Andrew Young

Andrew Young is currently the Chairman of Good Works International. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter named him as ambassador to the United Nations. He is ordained minister, international businessman, human rights activist, published author, and former public servant. He was a top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was elected to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia.

“It’s a dangerous world but it would be far more dangerous without the UN. Global problems can’t be handled alone. Ted Turner’s gift to the UN is one of the most valuable gifts ever given.” – Andrew Young


Everyone has a role to play in creating a safer, healthier, more prosperous world, including you! Let us know why supporting the UN’s work is important to you.


POSTED IN: Social Good, Global Issues, Smart Ideas, United Nations


Submitted by same as you on: November 16, 2014 Electromagnetic free energy generator.
Submitted by Jacqueline Margaret on: July 2, 2012 I think if the United Nations is to make a real difference in the world you need to eliminate the top 5 countries that seem to play God towards the rest of the world. How do these 5 countries get given the right to dictate which dictators within the Arabspring will fall and which won't. While we in the 1st world understand that Bahrain was a unique issue because it would have caused a dominos effect throughout the GCC, the United Nations could have done more. Countries who are not in compliance with the ICC and their UN/UNHCHR treaties should not be allowed to hold seats within the UN. THIS INCLUDES YOU AMERICA WHO THINKS THAT YOUR ABOVE THE ICC and yet your known for your own torture.
Submitted by Waqar Azim on: April 4, 2012 The UN must take serious steps to control corruption to save humanity.
Submitted by Jan Hammett on: March 23, 2012 How will we ensure that all people around the Globe will have access to a basic and fundamental need, clean drinking water? How will we stop corporations from privatizing water and turning it into a commodity that only the privileged can afford? These are basic Human Rights issues that must be addressed. Water is the driving force of all nature. Leonardo da Vinci
Submitted by Maureen on: March 22, 2012 Love this.
Submitted by Prof. David Steve Matthe on: March 22, 2012 Human trafficking is horrible and unfair; which is also breaching of Human Rights and Women's Rights
Submitted by VIrginia Jones on: March 21, 2012 Protection of people from lawless rulers or warlords (Syria and Uganda) through world opinion and action if necessary. Also work for a solution to global warming/climate change.
Submitted by Susan E Roche on: March 21, 2012 Hello, I believe in the ideals of the UN, even though I also understand that the UN like all huge bureaucracies falls short of its reach toward them. What matters to me is world peace, prosperity for every person, and equal participation. I'm concerned about the relationship between economics and violence at all levels of life and in all regions of the world. Most particularly, my own life's work has been focused on gender violence and human rights. More recently, I've become concerned about religious freedom and respect. Finally, the unchecked, increasing disparities in wealth and the suffering this causes around the world are concerning. All of these issues are intersecting, just as we are all interconnected.
Submitted by Blossom Hoag - USA on: March 21, 2012 While I understand the difficulties that the UN faces by its many critics, the world needs the UN. Just as Europe recognized that it must coordinate, the Americas have the OAS and the various other organizations, the world--as it continues to shrink politically and economically needs a governing body. While I agree with many of the comments that Climate Change must be the number one priority, the UN should not forget the importance of clean and sufficient water. The multilateral corporations that go in and use up or pollute the water in disadvantaged communities around the world. They should be stopped--read all the soft drink and bottled water corporations. Thank you for this opportunity.
Submitted by Bimlesh D. Mishra on: March 21, 2012 Welcome to India, all the UN Board Members. I would request reverred members of the UN Board to raise the issue of "Old people," Senior Citizens as they are known in India. And the issue is not confined to India alone; Old aged ones are all over the globe and the basic needs and problems would have been the same all over. My point of concern is that "how could we make their life yeilding for the younger generation?" Here in India, our governments are paying pensions to their retired employees. A few more like, Freedom fighters, People of BPL(below poverty line) groups etc are being given pensions of different kind. All these privileges, as it seems to me, are going invain, because in some cases it is much beyond the needed limit and in some cases vice-versa. This is a Himalyan task and requires big platform to discuss upon. Regards.
Submitted by Charles Kizito Nsubuga on: March 21, 2012 Through Master Services of Uganda which advocates and support the UN objectives on the Global Road Safety crisis, I do strongly also support the UN line in solving other Global problems REGATDS :
Submitted by Y.Y. Garba on: March 21, 2012 The UN is an indispensable tool for peace and development in our deplorable world system. For her to bring the desired Aims, it must first work in the hearts of World leaders then, We can have peace and development. The Leaders are only externally together but not spiritually together.
Submitted by KIPKOECH ROGERS on: March 21, 2012 All countries should act very fast, together to avert the effects of global climate change.
Submitted by Charles Langford on: March 21, 2012 The U.N. is the best forum available for nations to work out their differences. The U.N. also has been outstanding in setting international rights and goals. Finally, it has standing sub-unites that contribute to the well-being of various areas of the world (WHO, UNESCO, etc.). It also has the effect of bringing people from the developing world to the fore so they are no longer invisible. It gets people from all over the world working together on joint projects, thus forging international relationships.
Submitted by Richard and Sudjai Bentley - USA on: March 20, 2012 Increasing world population is the most dangerous problem for the human race on our planet. While there are a multitude of other problems, global warming, energy, hunger, political strife, to name a few, there are no ultimate solutions to these problems until we stop population increase and then reduce world population to a sustainable level.
Submitted by M. Mugne on: March 20, 2012 UN has to be independent and not an umbrella for superpowers who used to utilize it for their business. The Security Council has to be impartial & for the interest of the World and not for their Countries, therefore it’s better to see Technocrats in the Security Council. US & it allies to stop protecting Israel and Israel has to respect the UN decisions(respecting the Law). It’s great appreciable action when we see richest Countries helping the Poor-Countries(Let we see well programmed Developing-Projects). Happiness, Justice &Security, Health & Education, practically for All, Hopefully for Better World at least for the coming Generation.
Submitted by Aimee Meyer on: March 20, 2012 Climate change and creating more sources of sustainable energy for the world should be top priorities.
Submitted by Hugo L on: March 20, 2012 The UN must bust the conglomerates controlling the world economy and put an end to imperialism. It also should kick out the parasitical city-states such as San Marino, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Singapore, Andorra, and Brunei, since they have no economy of their own and are dependent on their host countries. They are also an anachronism since they were supposed to have disappeared at the Renaissance. The city-states should incorporate with their neighboring countries.
Submitted by Suzanne on: March 20, 2012 Everything matters for those left out or who do not have power to make their voices heard. The list is very long. The UN remains a great hope for taking actions together decisively and with strength for the better of everyone.
Submitted by Arauna Morgan on: March 20, 2012 I am concerned about human trafficing and am embarrassed that my country is one of the biggest consumers of this "product." Human trafficing and the enslavement of our fellow humans harms all humans on the planet; to participate, to look the other way is to say that it is allowable for all countries to allow thier own citizens to be kidnapped, held hostage and tourtured for entire lifetimes is to say that no country on the planet has the ability to protect their citizens! How many people are being moved? Who is behind this? I would like to see this as one of your top problems; it affects every country and sometimes it might even affect some of the top peole in a country; trafficers do not care, they just want young, pretty bodies.
Submitted by Priya, Founder, on: March 20, 2012 Global warming and climate change is the most burning issue of our times. United Nations role is commendable in many areas.All nations should support united nations mission and Millennium Development Goals. Youth should come forward to attain the objectives of United Nations.Unitedly we can build a better world.
Submitted by Deborah Lashever on: March 20, 2012 Who else do we go to when we will need protection from our own government?
Submitted by Nathan on: March 20, 2012 Make the world a better place to live, end wars,feed everyone, and provide medical care for everyone.
Submitted by Afri Mozam on: March 20, 2012 World without Boarder.Please say the countries to get reed off theier Boarders.That will help all of us to feel the same and responsible for all mistakes we make. Tell every body that is One World .Thanks
Submitted by Celine Paramunda on: March 20, 2012 I like UN ,its a becon of hope for the poor nations and therefor people living in poverty . It is the only place the issues around the world are spoken with Passion and commitment.There is so much to be done specialy the reform of Security counsil,the implimentation gap, but it is the best we have.
Submitted by Shankerprasad S Bhatt on: March 20, 2012 Such talks will help to solve world problems Every ody should support such activities as suggested by the leaders Truly Yours Shankerprasad S Bhatt
Submitted by bruce sims on: March 20, 2012 A global problem I'd like to see addressed is the proliferation of weapons/arms. and given how much many of the UNSC members make from such sales, it's VERY hard to see how they are interested in peace, much less in improving the quality of life for those living on this planet.
Submitted by Lori Lerner on: March 20, 2012 global climate change and conservation are important to me.
Submitted by Kira Andrews on: March 20, 2012 Climate change and the extinction of other species must end.
Submitted by Lao Tzu on: March 20, 2012 A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
Submitted by Jesse Overton on: March 20, 2012 An injury to one is an injury to all.
Submitted by Deborah Exum on: March 20, 2012 I feel the U.N. is very important to the United States, as far as a better world understanding goes. Thw U.N. provides insights into the different nations, and their needs and differences. As a result, terrible Dictators are being challenged and Human Rights Campaigns are emerging. I thank all involved.
Submitted by Aarti Naik, Changemaker on: March 20, 2012 Dear all global leaders, Greetings from Aarti !! I am so happy you all are coming to my India. If you are coming to Mumbai, please kindly visit my slum girls. I also a slum based young girl changemaker. Since 2008, I have been working with my slum girls to build their capacities, so they can continue their school. Four year ago, I was a school drop-out slum girl, but today I feel proud to say that I am Changemaker ! and I am working for girls education. Once gain I would like to request you that please visit my home and my slum girls. Thanking you, Sincerely yours, Aarti Naik, Changemaker, Mumbai, INDIA
Submitted by Ellen Cote on: March 20, 2012 It is my realization that the human mind set must embrace the view of appreciation of privelege of living, and the imperative of extending that appreciation to the differences that are inherant in all creation. The differences are what make visible to our senses, the treasure of all creation. The contest of identification of ego as knig is erroneous in my view. Let us start there and recognize the intrinsic value of every entity on earth and vow to live cooperatively with one another. Lets help when and where its needed, to allow each their own uniqueness and enjoy every breath of pure clean air that we are allowed by the creater that sustains us. Universal acceptance and appreciation will go a long way towards a joyous life experience. Thanks!
Submitted by Alice B. Caldwell on: March 20, 2012 I depend on the UN to keep the world aware of the needs of all the peoples of the world and help to unify us in our endeavor to promote peace through out world.
Submitted by John Wozniak on: March 20, 2012 While the concept and professed goals of the UN are laudatory the reality of geopolitics as it is and most of the actions of the UN are counter productive and reactionary. The hold of corporations and banks on the political processes of countries and the UN, the disregard of those in power to the social injustice, human rights and environmental degradation of the Planet are leading the Race to destruction. Unless and until the political process stops serving the moneyed interests and becomes a force for rational change you are irrelevant.
Submitted by Margarita Trejo on: March 20, 2012 I think the UN is an important organization to keep the world in balance, but unfortunately during many years its role as been so weak, in order to consolidate peace, and open communication between the nations. Please no more war, bombs and misery in this world.
Submitted by Larkin, on: March 20, 2012 I feel like organizations such as the UN, and especially the UN given its widespread reach and influence, are key to promote peace, equality, health and economic fairness. Additionally, seeing that I recently founded a web based arena of stories by and about survivors of disease, injury, disability, etc called I can see that only by communication and sharing can individuals truly feel alive. I am a survivor myself and in my story and through others I can see that one person's struggles are metaphorical of the world's own challenges.
Submitted by Tonya Graham on: March 20, 2012 Climate change, climate change, climate change. It's caused by the western countries (like mine - the U.S.) but the developing world is bearing the brunt of the impacts. It's unfair and the U.N. can either take a leadership role in limiting its extent, or it can take a major role in cleaning up the wave after wave after wave of humanitarian disasters that are heading our way.
Submitted by Richard Mangan on: March 20, 2012 My greatest hope is that the UN will help to tackle climate change and economic inequality. The United States where I'm from seems to block this action whenever possible, either because of monetary reasons or otherwise but these issues aren't going away, and someone with enough sway needs to be the front runner. I'm ashamed that the U.S. doesn't feel the need to help or actively participate, but hopefully the U.N. will succeed where we continually fail. Thank you all for your dedication to solving humanity's biggest problems.
Submitted by Nancy McCollum on: March 20, 2012 It's our only hope for world peace.
Submitted by Mary Elmendorf on: March 20, 2012 The UN keeps us informed about the various nations in the world and help us understand our common problems as wones.ell as specific
Submitted by Chris Bieber on: March 20, 2012 How can the United States, with its baggage of nationalism, private property, its fetish for independence and its labor produced wealth be brought down to the levels of the 2nd World to bring about more fairness?? The supporters of the UN in the US have to be more open and upfront about the need to legally level the US into a more just and equitable relationship with the rest of the world..with the UN being the engine..not the caboose or the coal train....and still appear to be patriotic??? I hope to hear someshouts back on this...
Submitted by Quentin Kirk on: March 20, 2012 I greatly appreciate the UN. The USA does not need 600 military bases, Israel does not need 300 atomic bombs. We all need to RESPECT the UN and World Court. Thanks.
Submitted by Len Carrier on: March 20, 2012 Despite the attitude of the United States that it can deal with international relations in a unilateral fashion, the UN is the only organization that can consolidate the efforts of the EU and various IGO's and NGO's to promote peace. Kofi Annan is the ideal person to spearhead global mediation efforts.
Submitted by Dan Robinson on: March 20, 2012 As I was just telling my U.S. Congressman, the main problems, on many levels, are ever-increasing population and pay disproportionate to social contributions. When these are fixed, perhaps in the renaissance after the coming collapse, many other problems will be reduced.
Submitted by Martha Perez, General Political Activist on: March 20, 2012 Our planet's natural resources, particularly that of water, are diminishing, and we can no longer resort to war, as a way to deal with our shared problems. A great leader, already foresees strategies such as non-violent diplomacy, pro-peace open communication, and effective non-retaliatory mediation, as how we should primarily work together, to solve our global challenges. What can the UN do, that it is not already doing, to promote this important ideal? How do we do this locally, and beyond? Thank you for doing this survey!
Submitted by Anonymous on: March 20, 2012 Very simply the UN is vitally important because we ARE ONE WORLD. Corrupt and power mongering leaders and officials aside the UN needs to stand transparent, credible, gualified and be a completely integrity driven group ready to hold accountantable any country that has egomanical, corrupted power and money mongering goals with only selfish and hate driven agendas. It is basically our best avenue toward a peaceful and prosperous world for all that inhabit our planet. EACH being endowed with the VERY SAME RIGHTS to live without fear, shame or harm.
Submitted by Richard A Johnson on: March 20, 2012 I know the United Nations has its hands full ... but the organization needs to take a much tougher stand - despite US objections - against the rogue State of Israel. Israel has proven to be the Cancer of the MiddleEast and the root cause of most of the hatred and violence on this planet!
Submitted by Gahmmer on: March 20, 2012 The U.N. matters to me because I think the U.N. helps keep our World balanced. Otherwise the whole World would run amuck if there were no United Nations. I would like to see more attention paid to ending the world-wide hunger problem. This would be a good beginning to try to heal a world that is so presently unbalanced.
Submitted by William Flanery on: March 20, 2012 We need to work for UN reform so that the UN can be a more effective force to guarantee and protect human rights in all nations so that debacles such as the current one in Syria do not continue to occur.
Submitted by Jan Saxton on: March 20, 2012 Global peace depends upon developing clean, safe, renewable, local energy sources so we can stop fighting over oil and creating toxic wastes. The sooner we transition away from fossil fuels the safer and happier we will all be!
Submitted by Randy Harris on: March 20, 2012 Why is the UN doing nothing about the slave practice of Mauritania.
Submitted by Victoria Shorr on: March 20, 2012 AS a friend of the late Nadia Younes who dedicated her life to the UN, I can only say that these hard times require increased devotion to the dream of peace and unity that the UN embodies. Thanks to all of you.
Submitted by UN on: March 19, 2012 Traditions both strengthen and separate humans. I want the UN to be the traditional vehicle to peace. Televise the meetings like in the sixties on satelite in all languages for all countries. Thank You

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