In my opinion, the time of the United Nations is over. Today it is nothing more than a bureaucratic nightmare of an organization that has done little in years past to do anything, except help corrupt people profit off crippled nation-states (The Iraqi Food for Oil program anyone?). The final death knell of the United Nations came in 2003 when the United States unilaterally invaded Iraq to take out Saddam Hussein. Though, I would argue that its futility existed long before that, when the Rwandan genocide was allowed to occur in 1994.
I woke up this morning to the radio saying that last night, the UN Security Council had agreed to a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And both sides brushed off the resolution like it was nothing more than a nuisance (read a report about the conflict here). And I can't really blame them, because my first thought when I heard that a resolution had been agreed to was in essence, "Big whoop". What is a resolution going to do about this decades old conflict that seems to perpetuate no matter how many peace talks or cease-fires occur? The way that the Israelis are approaching this, it seems like they are not going to be satisfied until Hamas is blown into oblivion. I don't believe that when Hamas started firing rockets into Israel after the cease-fire brokered by Egypt expired, they expected this kind of response. But I think Israel is out to show (and right before their election, nonetheless) that they have had enough and are not going to stop shelling Gaza until...who knows when?
Also, as much as I respect Condi Rice for her intelligence and education background, I found her statement about the US's abstainment from voting on the resolution laughable and a complete political cop-out for an outgoing administration - "We're going to let Egypt take the lead on this and see if they can broker another cease-fire". Let the corruptest Egyptian politician, Mubarak, broker a cease-fire between these two nations? Right, like that will really work. We'll see how that goes.
So, United Nations, I say your time has come and it's over. You have turned into another League of Nations. Unless you can bring nation-states truly together to do things of significance, instead of passing meaningless resolutions calling for cease-fires, what are you even here for?