If we speak about problems in educational sphere, we should mention the main documents referring this issue. The very first is «Declaration on the elimination of illiteracy in the United Nations Development Decade» (UNESCO, n.d) was adopted in 1968. It had declarative character in pure form. It was just first touching and was not contained some accurate guide to action. Then there was adopted enough many documents. Also I can call to mind «The Dakar Framework for Action» (2000) (UNESCO, n.d.) and «The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity» (UNESCO, n.d.). These documents are the orienteer of the UN activity. The UN is committed to a holistic and humanistic vision of quality education worldwide, the realization of everyone’s right to education, and the belief that education plays a fundamental role in human, social and economic development. As always, when we refer to the global problems of mankind, the African continent is allocated not in the best sense of the word. The education problem here is extremely acute like so many others. Nearly 45% of all the world's children who are not covered by schooling live in south of the Sahara. Let's look at an example of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is rather large country in East Africa. Ethiopia ranks 11th out of 138 according to the level of illiteracy among adolescents over 15 years. 55% of the population older than 15 years is illiterate. Within the framework of special series of UN reports on human development in 2007, the UNESCO experts made rating countries in terms of education. Ethiopia took the 171 place. In the whole 182 states participated in this ranking. So, the situation is awful, especially in comparison with developed countries. You can distinctly trace the relationship problems of education with issues. They include: a high level of child mortality; necessity to work at the time when they need to be educated. Also the younger generation is often uninterested in education, because they don’t know how they can apply such skills in the future.
I guess one of the primary reasons of absence of education is a small fund the training programs. Schools and teachers are sorely not enough. And all this is due to lack of allocated funds. Foreign aid is very necessary. The good idea is to write off debts. The released funds could be channeled in education, funding for of educational programs, building schools and etc. The Russian Federation and the United States wrote off Ethiopia's debt of 5 billion dollars in 1999. This reduced the overall external debt of Ethiopia twice.
There is another problem in education policy of African continent. It is connected with gender issues. The access of girls and boys to education is not similar. The last one is more often stay at home in terms of security, avoiding of violence and other reasons. Such problem exists not only in Africa, but also in Asia and this is caused by traditions and life order of these lands.
As for a situation with health service, it is also not as good as we would like to. The case of Ebola is a good demonstration of vulnerability such kind of epidemics. There are some key facts. Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in western Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas (World Health Organization, n.d.). The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8 this year, the WHO Director-General declared this out break a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The Secretary General Ban Ki-moon repeatedly spoke out about this disease. «Ebola is a huge and urgent global problem that demands a huge and urgent global response. The people and governments of West Africa are demonstrating significant resilience, but they have asked for our help. Dozens of countries are showing their solidarity. But we need to turn pledges into action. We need more doctors, nurses, equipment, treatment centers and medical capacities» (UN News Centre, 2014). The Secretary-General appealed to the international community to provide the $1 billion that will enable the UN and partners to «get ahead of the curve» and meet the target of reducing the rate of transmission by 1 December. The latest figures from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) indicate a total of 8,997 cases in seven countries [Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and United States] and 4,493 deaths. The disease has taken its toll on healthcare workers, with 427 infected and 236 dead (UN News Centre, 2014).
Mr. Ban said that he has formed a Global Ebola Response Coalition. «Ebola can be beaten if we work together effectively. We all have a responsibility to act» he stressed. UN data shows that cases are doubling every four weeks. The disease is still widespread in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and there is persistent transmission of the virus» - told Dr. Isabelle Nuttall who is Director for Global Capacities, Alert and Response in conference in Geneva» (UN News Centre, 2014).
Not only the UN General Secretary is bothered about Ebola. The President of the USA, Barak Obama, also spoke up about it. «If there is a silver lining in all the attention that the Ebola situation has received over the last several weeks, it’s a reminder of how important our public health systems are, and in many ways what this has done is elevated that importance» (Watson, 2014).
The UN statistics show that the gap, for example, in health care is reduced: child and maternal mortality rates decreased, the level of medical services in developing countries raised. To resolve these challenges it is necessary, first of all, to act honestly. Is impossible to proceed from the interests of TNCs whose GDP exceed the GDP of some countries. UN and all the world community must take into account the interests of those whose rights have been violated. We should create production in developing countries. At the same time workers' wages should not be insultingly low. It must be understood that we should not pour fuel to the fire and to supply weapons to the conflict zone (which usually happen in developing countries). All these points can not be implemented by UN only, although it has big power (especially The Security Council of the UN). Undoubtedly, the UN activity brings positive outcomes, but the scope of problems is extremely big.
As far as I can see, all the examples of vulnerable countries are the evidences that all urgent problems of humanity in some extent are related to poverty. The most horrendous examples of illiteracy, hunger, pandemics, terror, and so on we found in the world's poorest countries. They lack resources, money and maybe political will to resolve these challenges. It is clear that without help from international community, particularly UN, they remain in their original deplorable condition. UN must be connected non-governmental organizations to reduce the gap between the «North» and «South», because often their reputation is better and cleaner than the reputation of the UN itself. They possess a lot of confidence from civil society.
The number and depth of global threats are increased. It led to the necessity of UN reform. This problem has long been a large field of view of world politics. Frequent international crises make it clear that the activity of the organization is not as effective as it should be. Requirements for the organization and its members, mainly bodies and committees have grown dramatically. The UN has to provide more service to more people in more places. Only in the last nine years the number of civilian and military personnel in peacekeeping missions has increased from 20 000 to 80 000 people. During the same period the total amount of financial resources that are managed by the Secretariat doubled to $ 18 billion US. The number of humanitarian and human rights operations is also dramatically increased.
All this is a serious test of the ability of the Organization to carry their authority. When we are talking about necessity of reforming the UN, it is usually about that the part of military operations were carried out without the consent of the Security Council. For example, in 1999 the US had a military intervention in Yugoslavia without Security Council authorization. We see a situation where the state begins to act arbitrarily and feel itself as the main actor in the international arena. Also it is a fact that only five states in the Security Council have the veto right. These powers were victorious in the Second World War. But now the situation has changed dramatically. Germany is the largest economy in the Europe. Japan brings a great contribution to the UN budget. In addition, there is a strong imbalance because actually the third world countries have no weight in decision making process. Of course, they are represented in all bodies of the UN, but it is largely nominal. My idea is that the UN reform is necessary not only because of some countries are conducting military operations in circumvention of the Security Council. I guess other reasons are weightier. The global problems of mankind should be the cause of UN reform. The developing countries should be more involved in the discussion and decision-making process. These issues are more acute. I think exactly it requires a greater concentration of the world community.
Many researchers connect overcoming of global problems with the change of ideological principles, overcoming the old model of development of the countries, with the formation and consolidation in the mass consciousness of a new ethics, the humanization of culture. Hence, there is a problem of values, the search for new value priorities in people's minds. I think it must be put in the center of humanity interests.
A number of scholars believe that it is necessary to transit all the communities from dead-end technogenic type of consumption to a new spiritual and ecological type of civilized existence. The point is that scientific and technological progress, the production of material goods and services, economic interests should not be the aim, but only a means of harmonizing relations between society and nature, between rich and poor countries. It is possible that these words look inappropriate when half of the planet are not malnourished and don’t receive primary education. But we need to start with something. If the developed countries come to harmony, they will be able to share their achievements with the poorest countries unselfishly. The task of the UN, in this case, is to be a bridge, a connector between the rich and the poor, an arena for a dialogue.