The United States is one of five countries privileged enough to be on the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member. Legislation passed by the UN Security Council is binding and enforceable on all members of the UN. In addition to the five permanent members, the UN has ten non-permanent members. Every year, five nations become part of the UN Security Council for a period of two years. This means there are always fifteen member nations on the UN Security Council, five permanent and ten non-permanent. As an example, the current non-permanent members of the UN Security Council are as follows:
2019 and 2020: Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa.
2020 and 2021: Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.
The UN has rules about what region of the world the ten non-permanent members are from. At all times, there must be two members from Latin America, five members from Africa and Asia, one Member from Eastern Europe and two members from Western Europe and other nations. The elections for the five non-permanent members are held in June of each year in New York City, USA and Security Council Members begin their two year term in January of the following year. The UN General Assembly which consists of 194 nations elects who will serve the two year term according to the rules already established.
The UN General Assembly discusses issues of global importance such as food security, management of waste and pollution, minimization of armed conflict, global economics and trade disputes involving natural resources and intellectual property. They write resolutions for the issues they discuss and vote on which issues to bring before the UN Security Council. Resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly are non-binding and accomplished through voluntary compliance. These UN General Assembly resolutions can be brought to the UN Security Council in order to make them binding and enforceable upon all members of the UN.
The UN works very similarly to how US state legislators work with the United States Congress. The UN however considers itself a Nation of Nations and works to mediate and write legislation for international waters, international airspace and international trade much in the same way that the US Federal Government works to mediate and write legislation regarding intrastate travel and intrastate trade for the states [provinces] within its nation and its overseas territories.
The United States can only legislate within its own borders in the same way that a state [province] within the United States can only legislate within its own state [province]. Legislation between two states [provinces] is governed by the US Federal Government. Nations that are part of the UN General Assembly conduct international business, trade, travel agreements and set rules for or declare cessation to war games in the form of treaties and members of the UN Security Council usually elect to register these treaties at the UN.
The UN does not write legislation for any of its member nations. It is up to each nation to write, implement and enforce legislation in a manner that is compliant with what was agreed to at the UN General Assembly and made binding at the UN Security Council.
The UN is not a nation itself. While it considers itself a Nation of Nations and has peacekeepers, the peacekeepers are mostly there to enforce treaties between nations and not to provide body guard or personal protection services for travelers.
The UN runs ads to make people aware of the organization. It initially did this to raise awareness of its existence with the younger generation with the intention that the ads would function as a public service announcement or even in a similar manner to a campaign ad for a political party within the USA. However, the UN did not intend for people to misconstrue its mission, purpose or values or to associate itself with on political purpose over another. During the course of running ads, the term Global Citizen was popularized by many celebrities without a proper explanation of what it means to be a global citizen. This was unintentional as Global Citizen is a music festival promoting many of the topics the UN covers such as women’s rights, accessible healthcare, accessible education, food security and water sanitation.
These topics and areas of government policy and corporate interest aren’t necessarily exclusively covered by the UN. But many organizations that work in these areas work with the UN in some capacity. These include organizations like Girls Who Code, Water.org, 350.org, Doctors Without Borders and the Goodwill Ambassador Program.
When using terms like global citizen, dual citizen and multi-national; it is important to understand that as a global citizen, dual citizen or multi-national an individual must follow the laws of the country in which they are physically present. This is in contrast to a single nation citizen who is able to get consular services and some leeway when visiting another country since they are only familiar with the laws of one nation.
As a single nation citizen, it is important to at the very least, know some of the basic differences between your own country and the country you are visiting. Think about what the most likely reasons a visitor from your country would get in trouble for in the country you are visiting? Try not to do that. Being a global citizen does not mean you get to jump on a plane and get the laws or constitution of your nation of citizenship legislated into the country you are visiting. That is a discussion for government officials to have and they have these discussions at UN General Assembly meetings.
As a global citizen, you will need to know and abide by the laws of every nation you are in. As a dual-citizen or multi-national; you will need to know the laws of all nations you are a citizen of and choose which nation will provide you consular services if you encounter any legal trouble when visiting a host nations. In most cases when you are a multi-national, you do not want any nation to provide you with consular services as this can cause a hefty invoice to be sent to your employer if you work for a major corporation. Most dual citizens also use their dual citizenship because they are on amicable terms in both nations where they have citizenship and wish to simplify their life when they are in one nation or the other.