AIR Spotlight topic on 6th November 2015 is on “MSP increase on pulses”. Since we have already covered a topic on pulses, another topic was chosen for summary – “70 Years of United Nations” which was aired on 24th October 2015.
The United Nations came into being in 1945 after the World War II. It replaced the League of Nations which was established in 1920 with the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.
UN had significant contributions to the global humanity in many fields
Dismantling of the colonial era, especially the Apartheid in South Africa
Peacekeeping missions in various countries through UN Security Council. Examples
UN Military Observer Group in India – Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
UN Truce Supervision Organization in Middle East (UNTSO)
UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Providing shelter and asylums to refugees – UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR)
Protecting the rights of children – UNICEF
Fighting HIV/AIDS and many other diseases – WHO, UNAIDS
Fighting hunger and malnourishment – FAO, World Food Programme
Fighting against developing nuclear weapons through IAEA – recent Iran Nuclear Deal with P5+1
Protecting the world heritage sites – UNESCO
Most of the failures of UN include failures in peacekeeping missions – Rwanda Genocide, human rights violations in Congo etc.
While the UN was established as a collective body to realise the global aspirations, in the past 25 years the aspirations and priorities of the western countries dominated the organization.
Need for UN Reforms in two areas
Resource allocation from member countries
Issues in UNSC
The United Nations has almost 190+ member countries. The UNSC has only 15 members. But significant power resides in the Permanent Five members of UNSC (US, UK, France, China and Russia) – The General Assembly’s resolutions are non-binding, whereas UNSC resolutions are binding. Hence, the UN doesn’t seem to be a democratic organization.
The G-4 countries (Germany, Japan, India and Brazil) have evolved as emerging nations since 1950s and they play a major role in global issues like terrorism, climate change, internet control etc. Thus, there is a definite need to include them in the powerful UNSC.
The UNSC itself faces the problem of internal divisions. Recently, Russia and China stood against the western members’ resolution on Syria.
The failure to check the unilateral decisions by some member countries in the name Humanitarian Intervention into Libya and other countries shows the loss of credibility of UNSC.
The UNSC doesn’t have representations from Africa and South America.
There is a lack of transparency in the procedures and methods of functioning of UNSC. Most of the resolutions on peace and security focus on Africa, Middle East and Europe. Asia and South America do not frequently appear on the agenda.
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