By: Alanna Shaikh, MPH on December 30, 2009 I just saw this link on twitter – it’s old, but I thought it was a great end of year reflection: 60 Ways the UN Makes a Difference. In the midst of global financial crisis, climate change, and rapid globalization it’s easy to forget just how much the United Nations is part of our global history. Of the sixty ways, these are six of my favorite: #15 – The International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization make air and sea travel and shipping safer, cleaner, and more secure. #18 – The International Postal Union makes international mail possible. #21 – The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has helped 137 countries to protect ancient monuments and historic, cultural and natural sites. #42 – The Law of the Sea – without the UN, who could have achieved near universal acceptance? #49 – The World Meteorological Organization early warning system has helped to spare millions of people from the calamitous effects of both natural and man-made disasters. #54 The World Health Organization led a 13-year effort to eradicate smallpox. In 1980, it disappeared from the planet. What’s your favorite?