**Evolution of UN:
*After the First World War the world leaders founded the League of Nations to save the world from another world war, but the League failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.
*After the Second World War UNO was founded as the successor of League of Nations in 1945.
*UN charter was signed by 51 countries and by 2006 its membership has gone up to 192.
*The UN has 5 main organs and many agencies which include General Assembly, Security Council, Secretariat, ECOSOC and International Court of Justice. Its agencies are WHO, FAO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, and UNHRC etc.
*The sixth organ Trusteeship Council was suspended on November 1, 1994.
*All the members of the UN are the members of General Assembly. Security Council has five permanent members, US, UK, Russia, France and China with veto power. These countries were selected as permanent members as they were the most powerful countries immediately after the Second World War.
**Reform of the UN after the Cold War:
*Since the end of the cold war the UN is facing two kinds of reforms:
a)Reform of the organization’s structure and processes and
b) To review the issues that fall within its jurisdictions.
*On the issue of reform of the structure and processes the biggest demand is to expand the Security Council by including new permanent and non-permanent members from Asia, Africa and South America.
*US and other western countries want improvement in UN’s budgetary process and administration.
Explain the changing realities of the world after the cold war which demands the reform of the UN system.
*The need for reforming the UN system after the cold war was felt because of the changing realities of the world which are:
*End of bipolarity and the emergence of US hegemony.
*Emergence of India and China as big economic powers.
*Many new countries have joined the UN.
*The world is facing new challenges like terrorism, civil war, climate change, epidemics etc.
*The UN General Assembly also passed a resolution in 1992 complaining about the organization and the functioning of the Security Council. The resolution stated that:
a) The Security Council no longer represents the contemporary world realities.
b) Its decisions reflect only western values and interests.
c) It also lacks equitable representation.
** Criteria for inclusion of new permanent and non-permanent members:
*It has been proposed that a new member in the Security Council should be:
* a major economic power,
*a major military power,
*a substantial contributor to the UN budget,
*a big country in terms of population,
*a nation which respects human rights and democracy,
*a country that makes the council more representative in terms of geography, culture and economy.
** But these criteria have certain limitations as countries aspiring to be a member of UN or countries who have no desire to be the member of UN interpret these criteria in terms of their national interests.
*If the size of the economy and the military is considered as the basis, how big a country should be to qualify for membership of Security Council?
*A big population should be considered an asset or liability?
*The criteria, respect for democracy and human rights may not be an effective basis for the inclusion of a country as the council member.
** Veto power and the reform of the Security Council: One of the most contentious issues in the way of reforming the Security Council is the veto power granted to the five permanent members which allow them to vote in a negative manner to stall a decision taken by the council.
*Many believe that veto power is the violation of democracy and sovereign equality of the nations and it should be abolished.
*They argue that veto power discriminates between the permanent and the non-permanent members. A non-permanent member is elected for two years and cannot be re-elected immediately after completing this term.
* Another section of the critics say that abolition of veto power will not help the world body as the big powers would lose interest in it.
*Without their support and involvement the UN would become ineffective.
*It is also likely that outside the UN system, these powers will do what they like.
**Suggestions to make the UN more effective by expanding its jurisdiction: On the 60th anniversary of the UN in 2005, the head of the member states suggested the following steps make the UN more effective:
*Creation of a Peacebuilding Commission.
*Establishment of a Human Rights Council (operational since 19 June 2006).
*Acceptance of the responsibility of the international community in case of failures of national governments to protect their own citizens from atrocities.
*Agreements to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
*Condemnation of terrorism in all its form and manifestations.
*Creation of a Democracy Fund.
*An agreement to wind up the Trusteeship Council.
Critics often raise doubt over these suggested reforms.
*It is difficult to clearly determine the jurisdiction of the Peace Building Commission.
* Similarly it is extremely difficult to determine a level of human rights violations and the actions to be taken against a country.
* Still there is lack of agreement over the definition of terrorism.
What are the Millennium Development Goals?
* These are the eight international development goals that were established following the millennium summit of the UN in 2000. These goals are to be achieved by 2015. These are:
1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. To achieve universal primary education.
3. To promote gender equality and empower women.
4. To reduce the child mortality rate.
5. To improve mental health.
6. To combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.
7. To ensure environmental sustainability.
8. To develop a global partnership for development.
**India and the UN reforms: India supports the restructuring of the UN on the following grounds:
*India wants to strengthen and revitalize the UN to make it more effective in this changing world.
*India wants a greater role for UN to promote development and cooperation among states.
*India wants the expansion of the Security Council to make it more representative to enjoy greater support in the world community.
*India wants developing countries to be given a greater role in shaping the decisions in the Security Council which affect them.
Assess the limitations of UN in the unipolar world.
* In this unipolar world the UN is facing the greatest challenge from the US hegemony.
*The military and the economic power of US allows it to ignore the UN.
*As the single largest contributor to the UN fund, US has considerable influence on the UN.
*UN is physically located in the US territory.
*Many US nationals are working in the UN bureaucracy.
*US has a decisive say in the appointment of the Secretary-General of the UN.
Q.UN is indispensable in this world.’ Justify.
* Despite many limitations the UN is indispensable in this world:
*The UN is the only organization which can bring the US and the rest of the world into discussions over various issues.
*It is the only organization which can bring 192 countries together to solve the conflict and ensure socio-economic development.
*UN also provides an arena in which it is possible to modify US attitudes.
*The UN is an imperfect body but without it, the world would be worst off.
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