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As world leaders gathered recently at the United Nations in New York to ratify the new Sustainable Development Goals and commemorate the U.N.'s 70th anniversary, for many a fundamental question was inescapable.Thanks to the U.N., World War III never happened.As global governance has evolved, the U.N. system has become the port of call for innumerable "problems without passports": the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the degradation of our common environment, epidemics, war crimes and mass migration.The U.N. has not fully succeeded in turning recognition into reality. But at its best and its worst, the U.N. is a mirror of the world. As the agreement on the SDGs demonstrates, there is much that can be accomplished with the U.N. as the lynchpin of our system of global governance.Moreover, the U.N. has proved a remarkably adaptable organization; it would not have survived so long if it was not. In other words, the U.N.'s foundations, laid down in 1945, remain strong.As the U.N. turns 70, it is time to reaffirm its founders' guiding vision – a vision born of devastation that remains a source of universal hope for a better world.
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