Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

UN General Assembly

Poll shows UN seen as positive force, with some faults

International organisation seen favourably for human rights record but less so on ability to solve unwieldy problems

There are age and education differences in how people view the UN. EPA
There are age and education differences in how people view the UN. EPA

The UN is broadly seen across the world as a positive force on public health and human rights, an international survey has shown.

A Pew Research Centre survey of 14,276 people across 14 countries carried out before the 75th UN General Assembly has shown that, on the whole, people thought greater global co-operation could have lessened the impact of Covid-19.

The survey also showed people generally held a favourable view of the UN.

A high number felt the international body promoted human rights, promoted peace and was effective on infectious diseases such as the coronavirus.

But those polled in the 14 countries were less certain that the UN cared about the needs of ordinary people or that it was effective in solving international problems.

The survey was conducted by telephone between June 10 and August 3 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.

A Pew Research Centre survey of 14,276 people across 14 countries was carried out ahead of the 75th UN General Assembly
A Pew Research Centre survey of 14,276 people across 14 countries was carried out ahead of the 75th UN General Assembly

Younger people were generally more likely to think positively about the UN. Levels of education also came into play.

Adults aged between 18 and 29 were more favourably inclined towards the UN and the World Health Organisation, and international co-operation in general.

Among this group, 72 per cent said they had a positive view of the UN, compared with 58 per cent among those 50 and older.

Age gaps also appear in support for the principle of co-operation between countries to manage the Covid-19 outbreak and for the WHO’s handling of the pandemic.

The poll also showed that the public was more inclined to be satisfied with how the WHO handled the coronavirus pandemic.

A median of 63 per cent said the multilateral institution had done a good job dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

Younger adults were particularly likely to hold this view.

Updated: September 22, 2020 01:28 AM

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