In too many parts of the world, and for much too long now, we have heard people say that the United Nations is unable to serve the peacekeeping function for which it was created. I wonder how many of the people who espouse this negative line have ever thought of the many ways in which all of us should - and must - be striving to make it possible for the UN to perform its imperative, vital mission.
As the international armament race continues to accelerate and as relations among the great world powers become more and more strained, it is incumbent on the whole human race to rally behind the UN, for it is the only workable vehicle that can assure the survival of the world.
Political leaders are not the only ones who bear the responsibility for helping the UN succeed in the crucial job it was organized to do in 1945, namely to bring an era of unprecedented peace and understanding to a world ravaged by years of grim, bloody war. Private citizens too, whether as individuals or as corporate entities and institutions, must also join in backing the concept and the reality of a truly United Nations if the world body is to achieve its vital goals.
How can this support be manifested? There are many ways, but an important one - often ignored because of lack of understanding of what makes the UN tick - is in the financial direction. The UN, like any living institution, needs funds to make its work possible. For years, the share of support due from a number of member nations has gone unpaid. This not only squeezes the operating budget of the UN; it also places a greater burden on certain wealthier nations - which, in turn, sets the stage for resentful charges of undue influence against the nations which are picking up the tab.
An independent, no-strings-attached flow of funds to defray the UN's operating expenses, coming from people and organizations of all sorts and conditions around the world on a purely voluntary basis, would go far toward solving a basic problem which the UN has had to face over its more than three decades of existence. Such funds could give new life to the work of the UN and its dedicated agencies all over the world. Moreover, contributions of this kind would serve as a reason to highlight the growing faith of the world in the UN - an inspiration which would not only provide unhampered support but, also, engender more and more contributions.
Industry must lead the way in this most worthwhile of efforts. In recent years the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation, which I head, has aided such UN organizations as UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), WHO (World Health Organization), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and others with funding in excess of $40 million. We intend to continue on this path, and we call on other institutions and corporate bodies to join us in this work.
We also call on all the peoples of the world, from the fortunate population of the United States to the people of the struggling developing nations, to give what they can as individuals, in the form of both money and spiritual support, to the UN, so that this one great hope of mankind can continue to try and save the world.