Recently, I was searching for the Harris poll for some reason, and the first hit I got was http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/. Looks like the home page, right? Nope. It was the results of a Harris poll reported December 17, 2008 about the United Nations: Majorities of Adults in Five Largest European Countries and the U.S. Believe United Nations Does More Good Than Harm. "Three–quarters of French adults (75%), two-thirds of Italians (69%), Germans (67%) and Britons (65%) and at least three in five Spaniards (63%) and Americans (60%) all say the UN does more good than harm."
Frankly, as an American, this surprised me. I hear a lot from the naysayers, not just in the media but even in my personal life, about what the survey calls "some of the harsher rhetoric towards the United Nations sometimes heard in the United States".
Interestingly, the only real diffence between the Europeans and the American POV is that most Europeans believe the UN headquarters should move out of the United States, while most Americans believe believe it should stay. again. Again, this is milldly surprising, because many Americans who complain the most about the UN kvetch about world leaders, such as Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad coming to "our" country with their anti-American rhetoric. Of course, UN territory is NOT US territory, though one has to fly into US territory to get there.
As a librarian, I'm also interested in those less glamourous issues. The United Nations is cited as a great source for international data.
Also, WIPO Expands Searchable Patent Application Database The United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva recently announced an expansion of its online free searchable patent application database. In addition to containing an existing 1.65 million international patents filed for protection under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) from 30 countries, the database now includes digital information for 1.49 million additional records from the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Singapore, Vietnam, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), and Cuba.
I always wondered how the world would have turned out of the League of Nations, which US President Woodrow Wilsonb supported but which ythe United States failed to join, had been more successful, for instance, in treating the Weimer Republic more equitably. Could World War II been averted? Possibly not.
But I'm of tyhe opinion that nations need to keep talking, if only to try to stem the possibility of World War III.
*United Nations Suez Meeting (n.d., presumably 1956). Photographer: Carl Mydans *Irish UN troops in the Katanga Province, former Belgian Congo, Africa. Date taken: 1961 *UN guard guarding the United Nations Building. Location: New York, NY, US. Date taken: July 1958. Photographer: Ralph Morse *United Nations (translators?) Date taken: October 10, 1949. Photographer: Thomas Mcavoy Pictures, again, from LIFE.com ROG