Is the UN becoming obsolete?

“The new world is no longer in this General Assembly, but in the place where this photo will go”, Nayib Bukele

“The new world is no longer in this General Assembly, but in the place where this photo will go”, Nayib Bukele

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LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza

Leer en español: ¿La ONU se está volviendo obsoleta?

On Thursday, September 26, Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador, took a selfie to call the attention of the United Nations General Assembly on communicative evolution. Bukele's idea was to make present leaders and UN leaders understand that the real world is on the internet and not on the podium from which he delivered his speech.

The Salvadoran president declared that “being here, before you, in this 74th General Assembly, is a privilege and an honor that I wanted to share with the world. Since the world, the new world, is no longer in this General Assembly, but in the place where this photo will go, to the largest network in the world, where billions of people are connected practically all the time and in almost all the facets of life. "

He added that “maybe, in a few years, we don't have to travel to tens of thousands of people to New York to meet in this building, when a series of video conferences would have cost several hundred million dollars less, and I'm sure that they would have practically the same effect, if not greater”.

Bukele's speech comes at a revolutionary digital and environmental moment. The president is right, but the UN is not the only agency that is lagging behind. The call is for any organization that still thinks that social networks are a waste of time or a simple hobby for teenagers.

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It is evident that today's world is on digital platforms, so that what is not there will not be relevant. What it is not on the cloud will disappear. State entities, international organizations and private organizations should share their work in social networks. Adapting to the new times will allow them to build their business name in real time and without intermediaries; furthermore, they will impact a greater number of people. Moreover, it could be a transparent measure of the management they carry out.

On the other hand, amid protests about climate change and the generation of awareness of human actions, making summits that require traveling by plane and a large money invesment seems contradictory considering the environmental impact and the amount of money that is used in such events. If we take into account that the UN promotes the social welfare and care of the planet, emitting more greenhouse gases and using resources in meetings that can be done digitally is not consistent with the image and purpose of the United Nations.

Today's technology allows high quality videoconferences without the need for diplomats to travel. The money used in per diem and other expenses can be used to improve the conditions of thousands of people around the world.

Bukele's intervention should make the UN reflect on its way of acting. What is the point of carrying out actions if millions of citizens do not know what is being discussed? We must take care of the environment, but the world's largest international organization does not set an example with environmental care policies?

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