Touching a Piece of History

This is a guest post by Ana-Carolina Sarmento, one of our project volunteers, about her experiences delving into the UNWCC archives. There is one question every historian I have ever met has always asked me. How can one fully understand the present and wonder about the future, without ever looking back and contesting the past? The truth is that we seldom find the time to stop for a minute or two and think about the origins of many things in the world that we tend to take for granted. One such origin that we often take for granted is that of the UN. From history books, political science articles, and even the odd undergrad essay done as part of the week spent studying political institutions, we often unknowingly repeat the big misconception that the United Nations was born in the aftermath of World War II. Through the ‘United Nations in the World’ course at SOAS, though, we’ve had a chance to examine the wartime origins of the UN and its important role in defeating the Axis Powers. The assessment of the processes by which this important organization came into existence shed light on many important issues regarding its role in the contemporary world. From the conferences that led to its creation, to the visions, expectations and hopes placed on the UN by colonial Western powers and their , and...

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