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Majority in favour of stronger UN

The public in many countries would be happy to see the United Nations given a stronger role in world affairs. That is the finding from a survey conducted across 14 Asian, American and European countries which together represent 56 % of world population. Performed last year by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org in cooperation with local polling organisations, the survey showed that an average of nearly two-thirds of respondents in the 14 countries supported the idea of a standing UN peacekeeping force of the kind planned when the world organisation was founded (see chart). More than 70 % were in favour of giving the UN Security Council the right to authorise the use of military force to protect people from extreme human rights violations such as genocide. 50 % even thought the Council should take military action against states seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

However, support for multilateral authority evaporates as soon as decisions relate to people’s own country. On average, only 45% of respondents thought their own country should abide by UN decisions that conflict with national interests. (ell)