Almost two thirds of people see UN favourably, survey finds

Israel had the strongest negative feelings towards the intergovernmental organisation

Onlookers stand on a promenade overlooking United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. The 73rd session of U.N. General Assembly is in session this week, resulting in enhanced security measures by the NYPD, Secret Service and FBI.
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The UN has the support of the majority of people across its member states, with the intergovernmental organisation most popular among young people.

As world leaders and representatives convene at the UN headquarters in New York, United States, for the 74th General Assembly, a study by the Pew Research Centre shows that more than 60 per cent of people polled across 32 countries have a positive view of the organisation.

The research, published as part of Pew’s 2019 Global Attitudes Survey, indicated that 62 per cent of those surveyed felt positively about the UN, with the highest rate of approval coming from the Philippines (86 per cent).

Lebanon had the highest approval rate of the UN from the Mena region, with 60 per cent of those polled in the country saying they felt favourably towards the body.

But about 25 per cent of respondents said they had a negative view of the UN, with the strongest disapproval by far coming from Israel, where 65 per cent of those polled said they regard the organisation unfavourably.

Russia (43 per cent), a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and Tunisia (40 per cent) also had strong negative views.

The survey found that age was also a factor in support for the UN, with respondents aged between 18 and 29 from 19 of the countries surveyed expressing a more favourable view than those aged 50 or older.

Political beliefs also affected feelings towards the organisation, with supporters of six populist parties in Europe being less likely to express a positive opinion.

For example, approval was 20 per cent lower among supporters of the Czech Ano 2011 party than those of other parties in the country.

Ano 2011 is a populist party founded in 2012 by the Czech Republic’s second-richest citizen, Andrej Babis.

In the US, Democrats tend to have a more positive view of the UN than Republicans – and the gap has grown by 10 per cent since 2013.The number of Republicans with a positive view of the UN is at its lowest point in almost 30 years, Pew said.