The United Nations has many splotches on its image, but this more reflects the shared fault of national governments rather than the failing of what unites the global citizen. The UN is not as much about policy as it is about the vision that we share a common earth and indivisible future. Individuals, institutions and nations exploiting others for material benefit still is the old methodology for advancement by some, but increasingly we recognize that what benefits our neighbor and earth as a whole also will be to our gain.    

In above photo, Stevie Wonder is joined by a blinded boy named Emmanuel to celebrate UN Day this week in a concert of musical solidarity at UNHQ in New York City. The UN suffers through ineffective policy: today from UN Security Council response to Syria; over last few years failed efforts to protect the environment and curtail climate change; and last century the betrayal of Srebrenica and genocide. From human rights and the rule of law to economic inequality and hunger, the UN is frequently the fall guy. However, these failings are of the member states, particularly the most powerful and empowered that make up the United Nations more than the UN as institution.  The United Nations as a vision of what global citizenship should be and needs to be in the future is the critical perspective which we must hold out as the most worthy of goals.

Today is the start of Eid Al-Adha. As all religious holidays I would prefer to see it as shared among faiths and traditions across the earth rather than being exclusive. Sacrificing an animal in symbolic gesture of obedience to God is one form of observance, (in past also shared by Abrahamic traditions including Jews at the Second Temple). However, our willingness to sacrifice must go beyond – to that of enhancing our own intellectual capacity and effort and translating such into empathy and knowledge to share for the benefit of all, to preserve our earth, all life, and peace.

Eid Mubarek and Love to All,

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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