Context: The United nations completed 75 years this year. It’s an opportune time for New Delhi to push for institutional changes and reformed multilateralism in the global system
- Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council. 15 marks
- Too little cash, too much politics, leaves UNESCO fighting for life.’ Discuss the statement in the light of US’ withdrawal and its accusation of the cultural body as being ‘anti-Israel bias’. 15 marks
The birth of the United Nations
- The Atlantic Charter: It declared the realisation of “certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they based their hopes for a better future for the world.
- The first time the term ‘United Nations’ was coined by president Roosevelt to identify those countries which were allied against the axis powers.
- The United Nations came into existence on October 24, 1945 after being ratified by 51 nations, which included five permanent members (France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US).
Main Organs of the united nations:
- The General Assembly
- The security council
- The economic and social council
- The trusteeship council
- The international court of justice
- The UN Secretariat
Main goals of united nations:
- Maintaining international peace and security.
- Developing friendly relations among nations
- Achieving international cooperation in solving international problems and being at the centre for harmonising the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
Achievements of united nations:
- Deploying more than 35 peace-keeping missions. There are presently 16 active peace-keeping forces in operation.
- UN Human Rights Commission has focused world attention on cases of torture, disappearance, and arbitrary detention and has generated international pressure.
- The International Court of Justice has helped settle international disputes involving territorial issues, diplomatic relations, hostage-taking, and economic rights.
- Promoting Women’s Rights have supported programs and projects to improve the quality of life for women in over 100 countries, including credit and training, marketing opportunities, etc.
- Pressing for Universal Immunization of polio, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tuberculosis has a 80% immunization rate, saving the lives of more than 3 million children each year
- Promoting investment in developing countries promoting entrepreneurship and self-reliance, industrial cooperation and technology transfer and cost-effective, ecologically-sensitive industry.
Reforms needed in United nations:
- The UNSC’s permanent, veto-carrying members, chosen by virtue of being “winners” of World War II — the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia and later China — can hardly claim adequate representation of the world’s leadership today.
- The UNSC does not include a permanent member from the African, Australian and South American continents, and the pillars of the multilateral order, such as the G-4 group of Brazil, India, Germany and Japan, have been ignored for long.
Opportunity for India:
- Earlier in the year, India was elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a two year term.
- India will also host the BRICS Summit next year and G20 Summit in 2022.
- These are openings for India in coalescing the world in critical areas that require global cooperation especially climate change, pandemics and counterterrorism.
- India also needs to invest in the UN with increased financial contributions in line with its share of the world economy and by placing its people in key multilateral positions.
Why India deserves a fixed UN Security Council seat?
India commands three distinct characteristics which make its case for a permanent seat compelling.
- Currently having a population of 1.28 billion, India will become the most populous country in the world by 2022. Such a large portion of the planet’s population cannot be altogether ignored or kept at a distance from the decision making table of UNSC which brings with itself the “veto” power.
- Secondly, India happens to be the second fastest growing economy in the world making it an ideal destination for foreign investment and future growth.
- Thirdly, India is ruled by a democratic, secular government which has never been upstaged by an army coup and can be labelled as a “responsible” nuclear power.
- India is the fourth largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping behind Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Pakistan. Though India has a large physical presence in UN Peacekeeping, it finances a minuscule 0.13 per cent of UN peacekeeping operations.
- India’s acquired status of a Nuclear Weapons State (NWS) in May 1998 also makes India a natural claimant as a permanent member similar to the existing permanent members who are all Nuclear Weapon States.
- India is the undisputed leader of the Third world countries, as reflected by its leadership role in Non-Aligned Movement and G-77 grouping.
- Therefore, India’s inclusion in UNSC will strengthen India’s stature as a ‘moralistic force’ for the developing states and help in making UNSC more democratic.