Majority of Americans, 57%, Say United Nations Doing a Poor Job

By Ali Meyer | February 27, 2014 | 10:25 AM EST

United Nations headquarters in NY. (AP File Photo)

( A majority of Americans, 57 percent, believe the United Nations (U.N.) is doing a poor job, according to a Gallup poll.

Gallup asked pollsters, “Do you think the United Nations is doing a good job or a poor job in trying to solve the problems it has had to face?” Fifty-seven percent of pollsters responded that the UN was doing a bad job, which was up from the previous year when 50 percent of Americans gave that response.

This rating “continues a decade-long trend of low public confidence in the U.N.,” according to Gallup.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to give U.N. poor ratings. In 2014, 67 percent of Republicans said that the United Nations was doing a “bad job” as opposed to 49 percent of Democrats who said the same.

“With such intractable conflicts as Syria dogging the U.N., it may not be surprising that many Americans would consider the international body – originally proposed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and established with strong U.S. support – ineffective.

“However, Americans’ negative evaluation of the U.N.’s functioning is nothing new. After the U.S. failed to win U.N. support for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the percentage of Americans who said the U.N. was doing a good job fell 13 points to 37%, and hit a nadir of 26% in 2009. It has failed to climb above 40% since then,” says Gallup.

Americans also are divided on the role that the U.N. should play in maintaining international peace and security.

“A plurality (37%) say the U.N. should play a major role, in which he U.N. establishes policies, but individual countries still act separately when they disagree. Another 32% believe the U.N. should play a minor role, with the U.N. serving mostly as a forum for communication between nations, but with no policymaking role. A quarter say the U.N. should play a leading role in which all countries are required to follow the U.N.’s policies,” says the report.

“President John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address, famously called the U.N. “our last best hope” to preserve world peace, but today most Americans seem less than hopeful. Nearly six in 10 say the U.N. is doing a poor job, in line with attitudes observed over the past decade,” says Gallup.