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What are the objectives of the UN? Who is the present Secretary General and to which country does he belong? 3. What are the two types of reforms needed in the UN? 4. What changes have taken place in the world after the cold war? 5. What are the main organs of the UN? Name some of its specialized agencies. 6. What do you mean by the veto-power of the UN Security Council? 7. Mention the steps that can be taken by the member countries to make UN more effective. 8. Can UN prevent US hegemony or can it serve as a balance to US hegemony? 9. What do you know about the following:• Human Rights Watch • Amnesty International • International Monetary Fund (IMF) • World Bank 10. Why should India get a permanent representation in the UN? 1 mark What is the purpose of International Court? International Court solves the disputes among the nations. What is the expanded form of IMF? The expanded form of IMF is International Monetary Fund. What does UNHRC stand for? UNHRC stands for United Nations Human Rights Commission. When was UN found? The United Nations was found on October 24, 1945. When did India join the United Nations? India joined United Nations on 30th October 1945. What is the objective of United Nations? UN’s objective is to prevent international conflict and to facilitate co-operation among states. Name the permanent members of UN general assembly? There are five members of UN general assembly. They are United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. Who is the Secretary General of United Nations? The present secretary general of UN is Ban Ki- Moon from South Korea. How is the Secretary General of UN appointed? The Secretary General of UN is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendations of the Security Council. What is the function of trusteeship council?
The Trusteeship Council monitors and supervises the administration of Trust Territories. What is the main function of IMF? International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organisation that oversees financial institutions and regulations that act at the international level. What kind of reforms does UN face? Two basic kinds of reforms that UN faces are: • Reform of the organisation’s structures and processes. • A review of the issues, falling within the jurisdiction of the organisation. 2 marks "An International organisation is not a super state with authority over its members". Justify. The given statement is true to the extent the international organisation is created by and responds to states. Once created, it can help member states resolve their problems peacefully. It helps countries to cooperate with one another. It helps in resolving wars and establishing peace. What is Amnesty International? Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected. Outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world, it work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. The members and supporters exert influence on governments, political bodies, companies and intergovernmental groups. Activists take up human rights issues not only through various communication and media channels but also by mobilizing public pressure through mass demonstrations, vigils and direct lobbying. What is the term of the Secretary-General? The Secretary-General’s term is five years. Although there is technically no limit to the number of five-year terms the top official and chief administrative officer of the United Nations may serve, no Secretary-General so far has held office for more than two terms. The current Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea will complete his term in office in December 2011. Mention the changes occurred after Cold war in the world politics? Changes that occurred after the cold war in world politics are: • The Soviet Union collapsed. • The US became the strongest power in the world. • The relationship between Russia, the successor to Soviet Union and the US is much more co-operative. • China is fast emerging as a great power, and India also is growing rapidly. • The economics of Asia are growing at an unprecedented rate. • Many new countries have joined the UN. • A whole new set of challenges confront the world such as genocide, civil war, ethnic conflict, terrorism, climate change etc. When did WHO come into existence?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) came into existence on 7th April, 1948. It has 192 members. Its purpose is to raise health standards and eradicate epidemics all over the world. What are the functions of ILO? International Labour Organisation was established in 1919. Its functions are: • To adopt international conventions for the welfare of the labour. • To watch the progress of their implementation. • To undertake extensive research work and advisory activities in the field of labour welfare. • To extend technical assistance to governments. What is World Trade Organisation (WTO)? The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the third pillar of the world’s economic system along with IMF and the World Bank. It has the power to settle disputes between nations and widen the principal of free trade to sectors such as services and agriculture. It has 150 members. It came into existence on January 1, 1995. Why only five countries were selected as permanent members of the United Nation? The five countries selected as permanent members were the most powerful, immediately after the Second World War. Hence, the permanent member countries of the UN were the victors in the war as they had more say in world affairs due to their power and influence on other countries. What are the functions of Human Rights Watch? Human Rights Watch is an international NGO. Functions: • It draws global media’s attention to human rights abuses. It is the largest international human rights organisation in the US. • It draws global media’s attention to human rights abuses. • It helped in building international coalitions like the campaigns to ban landmines, to stop the use of child soldiers and to establish the International Criminal Court. What are the objectives of the United Nations? The objectives of the UN are• To maintain international peace and security. • To develop friendly relations among nations. • To co-operate in solving international, economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems. • To promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. • To act as a centre to harmonise the actions of nations to achieve the above aims. 4 marks Why does India think it deserves a seat in the Security Council? India bases its claim to the Security Council seat based on the following facts, which it thinks are enough for its claim in the Security Council at the UN: • India is the second most populous country in the world comprising almost one-fifth of the world population. • India is the world’s largest democracy. • India has participated in virtually all of the initiatives of the UN. Its role in the UN’s peacekeeping efforts is a long and substantial one.
• The country’s economic emergence on the world stage. • India has made regular financial contributions to the UN. • India never faltered on its payments. • It aware that permanent membership of the Security Council also has symbolic importance as it signifies a country’s growing importance in world affairs. What steps should be taken to make UN more relevant in the changing context? The Heads of the member states suggested the following changes to make the UN more relevant: • Creation of a Peace building Commission. • Acceptance of the responsibility of the international community in case of failures of national governments to protect their own citizens from atrocities. • Establishment of a Human Rights Council. • Agreements to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, Condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. • Creation of a Democracy Fund. • An agreement to wind up the Trusteeship Council What are the main functions of UNCTAD? UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) key functions are: • It is a forum for intergovernmental deliberations, supported by discussions with experts and exchanges of experience, aimed at consensus building. • It undertakes research, policy analysis and data collection for the debates of government representatives and experts. • It provides technical assistance tailored to the specific requirements of developing countries, with special attention to the needs of the least developed countries and of economies in transition. When appropriate, UNCTAD cooperates with other organizations and donor countries in the delivery of technical assistance. Explain the meaning of “Uniting for Peace Resolution” The Charter authorizes the General Assembly to “discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security” and to “make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the state or states concerned or to the Security Council or to both”. By the “Uniting for Peace” resolution of November 1950, however, the General Assembly granted to itself the power to deal with threats to the peace if the Security Council fails to act after a veto by a permanent member. Although these provisions grant the General Assembly a broad secondary role, the Security Council can make decisions that bind all members, whereas the General Assembly can make only recommendations. The Uniting for Peace resolution—also known as the "Acheson Plan" Explain the membership and voting procedure of Security Council. The Security Council is composed of five permanent members —China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States— and ten nonpermanent members. Ten non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for two-year term and are not eligible for immediate re-election. The number of non-permanent members was increased from six to ten by an amendment of the Charter, which came into force in 1965. Each Council member has one vote. Decisions on procedural matters are made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members. Decisions on substantive matters
require nine votes, including the concurring votes of all five permanent members. This is the rule of "great Power unanimity", often referred to as the "veto" power. What are the criteria to become a new member in the Security Council? The following are some of the criteria that have been proposed for new permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council. • A major economic power. • A major military power. • A substantial contributor to the UN budget. • A big Nation in terms of its population. • A Nation that respects democracy and human rights. A country that would make the council more representative of the world’s diversity in terms of geography, economic systems and culture. What are the functions of IAEA? The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established on July 29 in 1957 as an autonomous body. Functions: • It came into being to implement US President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” proposal. • It seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to prevent its use for military purposes. • IAEA teams regularly inspect nuclear facilities all over the world to ensure that civilian reactors are not being used for military purposes. What are the claims made by India to have a permanent seat in the Security Council? India’s claim to have a permanent seat in the Security Council are• India is the second most populous country in the world comprising almost one fifth of the world population. • India is world's largest democracy. • India has participated in virtually all of the initiatives of the UN. • India’s role in the UN’s peacekeeping efforts is a long and substantial one. • India has emerged as an economic power on the world state. Write a short note on World Bank? The World Bank was created immediately after the Second World War in 1945. Its activities are focused on the developing countries. It works for human development (education, health), agriculture and rural development (irrigation, rural services), environmental protection (pollution reduction, establishing and enforcing regulations), infrastructure (roads, urban regeneration, and electricity) and governance (anticorruption, development of legal institutions). It provides loans and grants to the member-countries. In this way, it exercises enormous influence on the economic policies of developing countries. It is often criticized for setting the economic agenda of the poorer nations, attaching stringent conditions to its loans and forcing free market reforms. Critically examine the duties of Secretariat? The duties carried out by the Secretariat are as varied as the problems dealt by the United Nations. These range from administering peacekeeping operations to mediating
international disputes, from surveying economic and social trends and problems to preparing studies on human rights and sustainable development. Secretariat staff also informs the world's communications media about the work of the United Nations; organize international conferences on issues of worldwide concern; and interpret speeches and translate documents into the Organization's official languages. List the changes that have taken place around the world since the end of the Cold war? The changes that have occurred around the world after the Cold war are: • The most significant change has been the collapse of USSR or the Soviet Union. Leading to the emergence of USA as the sole super power. • The relationship between Russia and the USA is much more cooperative. • China has emerged as a power, and India also is growing rapidly. • The economies of Asia are growing fast. • Many new countries have joined the UN on attaining independence from the Soviet Union or former communist states in eastern Europe A whole new set of challenges such as genocide, civil war, ethnic conflict, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, environmental degradation, epidemics confront the world. Discuss the resolution adopted by the General Assembly over the reform of the UN. In 1992, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution over the reform of the UN. The resolution reflected three main complaints: • The Security Council no longer represents contemporary powers. • Its decisions reflect only western values and interests and are dominated by a few powers. • It lacks equitable representation. In view of these growing demands for the restructuring of the UN on 1 January 1997 the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan initiated an inquiry into how the UN should be reformed. Why are reforms in the UN required? Reform and improvement are fundamental to any organization to serve the needs of a changing environment. And the UN is no exception. The UN requires reforms due to its certain limitations: The UN remained unrepresented for a long time by several countries including China. • There seems to be no valid reason why the Security Council should have the same five members on permanent basis. • The Veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council creates hindrance in its working. • Above all, the UN’s functioning has remained dominated by a few powerful countries.
Thus, two basic kinds of reforms face the UN. • Reform of the organization’s structure and processes. • A review of the issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the organization.
What has been India’s stand on disarmament? India stood firmly on issues related to disarmament and international security in multilateral and regional forms. • 1961 - India got a resolution passed in the General Assembly favouring disbarment in the world and banning the testing of nuclear weapons. • 1963 - India welcomed the agreement among USA, USSR and UK accepting ban on nuclear explosions on sea and in air. • 1998 - Addressing the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister of India appealed to the nuclear powers to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2010. • 21st July 2007 - On India’s initiative USA and India signed a treaty on the reduction of nuclear weapons. 6 marks Though the UN has failed in preventing wars and related miseries, nations prefer its continuation. What makes the UN an indispensable organization? In spite of UN’s failure in preventing wars and related miseries, nations prefer its continuation because without it the world would be worse off.
In the growing need of interdependence and globalization, it is hard to imagine how more than seven billion people would live together without an organization such as the UN. Technological promises to increase planetary interdependence have also increased the importance of UN. As many Global problems like poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation, international crime, AIDS, international migration can be tackled only through international cooperation. And UN provides the best mechanism available to mobilize and sustain such cooperation. Not only this, the UN and its agencies provide financial assistance to developing countries in the form of grants and loans of over $ 25 billion a year. They also help build economics and help stabilise financial markets. Further more, in a world threatened by conflict, the UN provides the means for instant consultations among governments, as well as the forum for dealing with long-term problems.
In this way, in spite of being an imperfect body, there is no doubt that UN has been playing an important role not only in promoting peace and international understanding but also changing the entire structure of mankind for a happier world. Hence, it is an indispensable organization. Evaluate India’s contribution to the United Nations in its efforts for maintaining world peace. India, which is a primary member of the UN, even when it was not independent, had always taken keen interest in all the activities of the UN; hence its role in this unique activity is inevitable. At present when India is making tremendous efforts to play a more important role in the UN, through the acquisition of a permanent seat in the Security Council, it becomes pertinent to analyse its contribution towards all the UN activities in general and its role in peace-keeping in particular. Significant role played by India in the UN peace-keeping operations is evident from its following activities. • Firstly, India, despite its limitations in terms of military and financial fields, took part in maximum number of UN peace keeping operations. Its involvement and conviction towards these activities can be gauged from the fact that even while it was
engaged in war with its neighbours [1962 & 1965]; it supplied troops for such UN activities. • Secondly, it also provided leadership to some important missions, such as Sinai (1956-57), Yemen (1963), Cyprus (1964), Namibia (1989) etc. where it provided force commanders. Besides, its officers served as members of supervisory commissions, military adviser to Secretary General and observers in no. of UN activities. • Thirdly, India has also helped the global organization in developing and conceptualizing the framework of UN peace-keeping. Through its active participation in the debates it tried its best to highlight the anomalies associated with this concept. Simultaneously, at present it is making all out efforts to finalize the norms of this framework in the changed context of global order. • Fourthly, despite its poor economic c8onditions India has cleared all its dues to the UN pool in contrast to the major powers who have yet to pay huge share of their contribution towards this end. Finally, India is even concerned about the future responsibilities in this context. Visualizing the growing number of peace-keeping operations there is always a great need of troops for that purpose. India, keeping its long tradition and commitment to global peace and tranquility, took an important decision in 1995 to commit a Brigade Group to the UN Stand by Force arrangement so that peace Operations are not delayed due to lack of forces at UN command. On what grounds India supports restructuring of the UN? Reform and improvements are an intrinsic part of any organization which has to serve the needs of a changing environment. The United Nations is no exception. India supports a strengthened and revitalized United Nations with its various organs functioning within their mandates in accordance with the UN Charter. • India actively supported the establishment of UNICEF on a permanent basis, the creation of the UN Development Programme, establishment of UNEP and restructuring of the UN in the economic and social fields. • India argues that an expanded Council, with more representation, will have greater support in the world community. • India has argued that the success of the Security Council’s actions depends upon the political support of the international community. • Any plan for restructuring of the Security Council should be broad-based. The country’s economic emergence on the world stage is a factor that justifies India’s claim to a permanent seat in the Security Council. India has made regular financial contributions to the UN and never faltered on its payments. Critically examines the role of Peace keeping Operations in the contemporary world. United Nations peacekeeping is a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict creates the conditions for lasting peace. It has evolved during the years in the UN Charter. With the end of the Cold War, the strategic context for UN peacekeeping dramatically changed, prompting the Organization to shift and expand its field operations from “traditional” missions involving strictly military tasks, to complex “multidimensional” enterprises designed to ensure the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements and assist in laying the foundations for sustainable peace. Today’s peacekeepers
undertake a wide variety of complex tasks, from helping to build sustainable institutions of governance, to human rights monitoring, to security sector reform, to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants. UN is a balancing factor to US. Discuss. US is the single largest contributor to the UN. The fact that the UN is physically located within the US territory gives Washington additional sources of influence. As USA is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power, it can stop any moves that it finds damaging to its or its friends and allies interests. The power of the US and its veto within the organization ensure that US has a considerable say in the choice of the Secretary General of the UN. Yet in a unipolar world in which the US is dominant, the UN can and has served to bring the US and the rest of the world into discussions over various issues. US leaders, in spite of their criticism of the UN, do realize that the organisation can serve in bringing together over 190 nations in dealing with conflict and social and economic development. The UN does provide a space within which arguments against specific US attitudes and policies are heard and compromises and concessions can be shaped. Therefore the relevance of the UN stays in this unipolar world. What are functions and powers of the General Assembly? General Assembly functions are as follows: • Consider and make recommendations on the general principles of cooperation for maintaining international peace and security, including disarmament • Discuss any question relating to international peace and security and, except where a dispute or situation is currently being discussed by the Security Council, make recommendations on it • Discuss, with the same exception, and make recommendations on any questions within the scope of the Charter or affecting the powers and functions of any organ of the United Nations • Initiate studies and make recommendations to promote international political cooperation, the development and codification of international law, the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms and international collaboration in the economic, social, humanitarian, cultural, educational and health fields • Make recommendations for the peaceful settlement of any situation that might impair friendly relations among nations • Receive and consider reports from the Security Council and other United Nations organs • Consider and approve the United Nations budget and establish the financial assessments of Member States • Elect the non-permanent members of the Security Council and the members of other United Nations councils and organs and, on the recommendation of the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General. Critically analyse the proposed steps to make UN more relevant in the changing context? In September 2005, the leaders of the United States decided that the following steps should be taken to make the UN more relevant in the changing context•
Creation of a Peace building Commission.
• • • • • •
Acceptance of the responsibility of the international community in case of failure of national governments to protect their own citizens from atrocities. Establishment of a Human Rights Council (operational since 19 June, 2006). Agreements to achieve the millennium development goals. Condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Creation of a democracy fund. An agreement touring up the Trusteeship Council.
However, implementation of these steps is not easy. Regarding creation of a Peace building Commission, its main activity is questioned. There are a number of conflicts all over the world. So, in which one it should intervene. It is not possible or even desirable for it to intervene in each and every conflict. Further, the quantum of responsibility of the international community in dealing atrocities is not decided. It is not clear what kind of violations will be prevented by the Peace building Commission and what atrocities should be considered as human right violations. There is no regulatory body who could determine the level of human rights violations. It is unclear what should be the source of action to be taken when they are violated. There are so many countries that are still part of the developing world, so it seams unrealistic for the UN to achieve an ambitious set of goals such as those listed in the millennium development goals. It is a question that all states shall agree on the single definition of terrorism. The questions further arise how the UN shall use funds to promote democracy. Thus, we can say that implementation of the proposed steps to make the UN more relevant will be an upheaval task. Explain the evolution of United Nations? The United Nations was founded as a successor to the League of Nations. It was established in 1945 immediately after the Second World War. The organisation was set up through signing of the United Nations charter by 51 states. It tried to achieve what the league could not between the two word wars. The UN’s objective is to prevent international conflict and to facilitate co-operation among states. It was founded with the hope that it would act to stop the conflicts between states escalating into war and, if war broke out, to limit the extent of hostilities. Since conflicts often arose due to lack of social and economic development, the UN was intended to bring countries together to improve the prospects of social and economic development all over the world. By 2006, the UN had 192 member states. These included almost all independent states. In the UN general Assembly, all members have one gate each. In the UN secretary council, there are five permanent members. These are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. These states were selected as permanent members as they were the most powerful immediately after the Second World War and because they constituted the victors in the war. UN’s most visible public figure, and the representative head, is the Secretary General. The present Secretary General is Ban-Ki- Moon from South Korea. He is the Eighth Secretary General of the UN. He took over as the Secretary General on 1 January, 2007. He is the first Asian to hold the post since 1971. The UN consists of many different structures and agencies. War and peace and differences between member stats are discussed in the general assembly as well as the Security Council. Social and economic issues are dealt with by many agencies. What are the benefits of having an International organisation? Benefits of having an international organisation: • International organisations help with matters of war and peace. They help countries to co-operate to make better living conditions for all. Contentious issues can be
discussed and peaceful solutions can be found between the countries and differences can be resolved without going to war. • Nations usually see that there are some things they must do together. There are issues that are so challenging and they can only be dealt with when everyone works together. International organisations are helpful in this manner and help countries to come together. • Nations can recognise the need to co-operate but can not always agree on how best to do so, how to share the costs of cooperating, how to make sure that the benefits of cooperating are justly decided and how to ensure that others do not break their end of the bargain and cheat on an agreement. An international organisation can help produce information and ideas about how to co-operate. It can provide mechanisms, rules and a bureaucracy, to help members have more confidence that costs will be fairly denuded, and that once a member joins an agreement it will honour the terms and conditions of the agreement. What are the main aims of the United Nations? To what extent has it been able to resolve the problems arising out of international relations? Aims and purposes of the UNO are: • To maintain international peace and security. • To develop friendly relations among nations. • To achieve international co-operation in solving international, economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems. • To promote respect for human rights, dignity and freedom. • To promote respect among the member nations for fundamental rights and freedom of mankind by ending the difference of caste, creed and race. • To create harmony among the actions of nations in attaining these common ends. Many critics view that UNO will also meet the fate of the league of nations because this organisation has failed to maintain peace and security in the world. Today the world is divided into rival blocks. The world is suspicious of each other and is busy in production of destructive weapons. But the critics of the UNO only see one side of the picture. They do not look at those achievements of the UNO which it has made during these years. Two achievements of the UNO can be divided into two parts• Political Achievements. • Social Achievements. Political Achievements• Kashmir: War broke between India and Pakistan in 1947 over the Kashmir issue. UNO passed the ceasefire resolution for stopping the war and fixed the ceasefire line. The war was stopped by UNO’s intervention. Again in 1965 and 1971 the efforts of the UN again brought an end to the war and forced both countries to withdraw their forces. • Indonesia: UN played an important role in the freedom of Indonesia. This country was under Holland and became free in 1949 due to the efforts of UN. • Greece: After the Second World War, the communist guerrillas created disturbances in North Greece. Peace was established in North Greece by the efforts of UN. • Indo-China: A war broke out in Indo-China in 1953 and again in 1973. It ended by the efforts of UN and peace was established there.
• Libya: French troops were withdrawn from Libya and Syria with the help of the UNO and both of them got their freedom. • Besides that UN has also worked in Egypt, Hungary, Congo, and west New Guinea, Berlin, Laos, and Cuba. Social Achievements: UNO has done a wonderful work in economic as well as social and cultural spheres through her agencies and offered many chances for the development of backward countries. Do you think India’s claim to the membership of UN Security Council is justified? Describe the suggestions for reforming the UN with special reference to the Security Council.
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