70 years and half a trillion dollars later: what has the UN achieved?

It was Dag Hammarskjöld, the tragic third UN secretary general, who had it best. The United Nations, he said, “was created not to lead mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell”.

The kind of hell Hammarskjöld had in mind was not hard to imagine in the wake of world war and Hitler’s extermination camps, and with the atom bomb’s shadow spreading across the globe.