Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The United Nations Calls for Change at 69th General Assembly

The United Nations met today at the 69th General Assembly in New York. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon opened the meeting with the current state of the world, covering various topics such as the Ebola outbreak, the struggle in Ukraine, and, importantly for us, the conflict between the United States and ISIS. Lately, it seems that there has been a lot of negative news in the media and the United Nations aims to change the future for the better. From a PR perspective, the United Nations has to maintain goodwill and a system of justice for many countries. They have the difficult task of having to please multiple nations, cultures, and people, all while maintaining the framework of peace and fairness. Ban-Ki Moon also mentioned women's rights, advocating for equally among the sexes. "We cannot fill 100 percent of the world's potential by excluding 50 percent of the world's people," he said. In light of all the domestic violence issues that have been surfacing recently, I think women's rights issues is something that is extremely prominent and important to discuss. One of the golden rules of Public Relations is to tackle issues head on, and Moon did exactly that.

He also addressed the current crisis with ISIS and Syria, approving the United States' airstrikes campaign that began two days ago. Moon called ISIS a "clear threat to international peace and security that requires a multifaceted international response." The United Nations framework was built upon the idea of peace and cooperation between countries. Therefore, if a group poses a threat to international peace, it is the United Nation's job to quell the tension. When there is a conflict between two corporations, the Public Relations director is often responsible for representing the company and acting as a liaison between the company and the public. The United Nations acts as the liaison between ISIS, the United States, as well as the people of both regions. In times of conflict, it is crucial to choose words carefully so not to instigate any further problems. The UN is a perfect example of proceeding cautiously because they have to be able to maintain neutrality.

Finally, one of the biggest epidemics that has been terrorizing West Africa was brought up - Ebola. Ebola has been absolutely devastating for the citizens of Africa, as well as doctors from other countries who graciously volunteered their efforts. The need for care, equipment, and transportation is urgent and the United Nations is making valiant efforts to stop the outbreak, as they should.

Leonardo DiCaprio made a guest appearance to speak out against climate change, asking people to stop pretending that global warming does not exist. The use of a celebrity is definitely a good way to get publicity and is a tool that many public relations firms use, but DiCaprio made a very good point that the world is actually changing and that ice caps are melting far quicker than researchers had originally projected. Overall, the United Nations made positive PR moves in the opening of the General Assembly by attacking issues head on, staying neutral in issues while still enforcing justice, and calling for change and international peace.