Despite its much strength, the UNO also had a number of weaknesses which made it hard to achieve its objectives by 1970 and these included the following;

  • The organisation lacked a permanent army to its own by 1970. This made it difficult for it to enforce its resolutions. For example, the Israel-Arab Six Days of 1967, when the member states withdrew their forces from the Egyptian border with Israel, the conflict escalated.
  • The ideological differences and internal divisions especially among the Security Council members or big powers always deterred the success of the United Nations Organisation. For example, it was ideologically divided between the capitalist states led by USA and the communist countries led by USSR and China. This is perhaps why they failed to form a permanent force as well as to enforce the international law.
  • The domination of the UNO by the USA and USSR promoted suspicion and mistrust from the other members, which deterred the organisation from achieving its objectives.

  • The organisation embraced the formation of regional security organisations like the NATO to which some member countries paid more allegiance than the UNO.
  • It lacked a strong financial base. The UNO largely depended on financial contributions from member countries to finance its operations but which contributions were irregular. This limited or deterred the implementation of its activities.
  • The organisation gave the permanent members of the Security Council veto powers but these powers were many times abused or misused by the members to frustrate the implementation of the UNO resolutions. This affected decision making in the United Nations Organisation, thus deterring its success.
  • The existence of alliances within the United Nations members was a major weakness. A number of military alliances were formed by the different UN member states in the post-World War II period. These alliances were a result of the Cold War tension and suspicion between the Eastern bloc led by USSR and the Western bloc led by USA that emerged after the end of World War II. For example, there was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed in by the capitalist countries in the North Atlantic region led by USA as well as the Warsaw Pact formed in 1955 by the communist countries led by USSR. The existence of these greatly affected decision by the UNO.

  • The timing of its involvement in the areas of dispute was not clear. As a peace keeping body, the UNO was expected to take immediate action whenever a crisis broke out but sometimes it delayed to intervene which escalated such conflicts up to the extent of threatening international peace. For example, it took long to intervene in the Congo crisis or civil war of 1960-1963 as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. It also hesitantly or reluctantly handled the Middle East crisis since 1948. Therefore, the UNO was always reluctant to take decisions or took along to implement her decisions.
  • The organisation was racist and isolated the Third World States. It was largely dominated by the developed countries of the world which always dominated the discussions in the UNO. This alienated the organisation from the Third World States yet they were the majority in the world.
  • It lacked the personnel or manpower to handle most of the challenges that confronted the organisation. This there deterred the UNO from implementing its decisions.

  • The UNO’s disarmament policy was weak and selective. The major world powers like USA, USSR and China continued manufacturing weapons of mass destruction in the post-World War II period as UN just looked on yet the small countries were always discouraged from doing so.
  • The UNO lacked effective penalties to deal with those countries which violated its objectives. For example, it played double standards in the decolonisation process of Africa where it imposed weak economic sanctions of the colonial regimes like the Apartheid regime in South Africa. These sanctions were ineffective and therefore explain why such African countries took long to be liberated from colonial domination.
  • The UNO extended financial aid to the world nations through its financial agencies like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as a step to promote economic development.  However, this financial aid was always selective and with conditions attached which was a weakness and therefore could not end poverty in the world. The member states even went ahead and set up the Economic and Social Council of the UNO but this council also had no financial footing to alleviate poverty from the Third World States.

  • The International Court of Justice which was the judicial arm of the UNO based in the city of Hague, in th Netherlands was always determined by the whites only and its decisions were always selective because they favoured the major powers. This also made the UNO unable to fulfil its objectives.
  • The UNO lacked facilities to effect its decisions and roles. For example, it did not have like jets, ships, and even vehicles of its own to carry out peace operations in the world. This explains why it was always reluctant to intervene in areas of conflicts.


Published by


IAM experienced geography teacher with more than three years of teaching and creating content related to geography and other subjects for both high school and college students. hope you will find the content of this website useful to your studies and daily life

%d bloggers like this: