African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 398

Full Length Research Paper

The United Nations (UN) and human rights: Challenges and prospects

Eze Chris Akani
  • Eze Chris Akani
  • Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuorlumeni, Rivers State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 03 July 2019
  •  Accepted: 12 February 2020
  •  Published: 31 July 2020


The two World Wars (1914-18, 1939-1945) cannot be forgotten easily. This is because of their uncanny brutality and imponderable consequences which in no small measure demonstrated man’s capacity to destroy himself and decimate the environment. This assertion is predicated on the millions of people who were gruesomely killed, maimed and properties wantonly destroyed. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction undoubtedly became an easy way to mediate an insatiable economic instinct. Propelled by the desire to save the human family from imminent extinction, world leaders decided to stop the carnage. They were convinced that upholding the tenets of human freedom in all ramifications offers a guarantee for human security and development. Therefore, this study seeks to examine the extent the UN has been able to ensure that human rights become the cornerstone of human security, its challenges and prospects. This is a qualitative study, and data collected was based solely on secondary sources. These include, browsing of the internet, review of existing literature, UN Resolutions, Official bulletins, Newspapers, Magazines and visit to some research institutes like the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Center for Black Arts and African Culture (CBAC). It was discovered that since its formation in 1945, the UN has accomplished a lot in mainstreaming human rights. Consequently, many regional bodies like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), European Union (EU), the Organization of American States (OAS) and member States of UN have keyed into the UN emphasis on respect and promotion of human rights as a minimum condition for global peace. We recommend that knowledge and respect of human rights should be deepened in the curriculum of every level of socialization.


Key words:  Human insecurity, human rights, human family, development, global peace.