Context: United Nation (UN) Reforms
More in news:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a keynote address at the high-profile Future Investment Initiative (FII), dubbed as ‘Davos in the desert’.
- He pressed for the United Nations reforms while expressing regret over some “powerful” countries using the global body as a “tool” rather than an “institution” to resolve conflicts.
United Nation (UN):
- The name “United Nations”, coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.
- The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945.
- It is currently made up of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
- Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.
- The main organs of the UN are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.
- By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the Organization has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.
- The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote.
- 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
Need of UN Reforms:
- The global body has been losing relevance as the permanent members of its Security Council; the Big Five did exercise disproportionate clout in world affairs by virtue of their nuclear arsenals.
- Contemporary geopolitical realities have changed with the emergence of several other nations playing an important role including India. However, the basic matrix of power within the UN’s apex decision-making unit has remained stuck in time.
- The most glaring sign of the UN’s lost authority was the US’s 2003 offensive against Iraq, as part of its War on Terror in response to the 9/11 attacks. This campaign did not have any UN sanction.
- Unilateral military actions by major world powers seem to have gained a measure of legitimacy, and the very idea of the Council working out solutions to international problems has turned anachronistic.
- The regions like far East Asia, South America, Africa have no representation in the permanent membership of the council.
- Rise of forum like G4 (India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan) as important economies and emerging world powers are pushing after quick UN Security Council reforms.
India and its demand for UN reforms:
- India is fastest growing trillion dollar economy in the world. India is poised to become the fifth largest economy, overtaking the United Kingdom by 2019 as per the IMF projections.
- India is the 2nd most populous nation and accounts for almost one-fifth of all humanity.
- India is a founding member of the UN, and it has been the temporary member of the UNSC for 7 terms.
- India provides large numbers of soldiers to the UN for peace-keeping missions, and is armed with nuclear weapons, for which it has a clear no-first-use policy stated upfront.
- India’s success in space technology is another landmark point for its candidature.
- India enjoys the backing of major powers including four permanent members other than China and those of African Union, Latin America, middle eastern countries and other LDCs from different parts of the globe.
- India has been a responsible power and it has contributed significantly in global peace efforts. India rescued not only Indians but also many persons from other countries including Pakistan and USA from war ravaged Yemen and South Sudan under its operation Rahat and Sankat Mochan respectively.
United to Reform:
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has made proposals to reform the United Nations since the beginning of his term in January 2017. To improve the delivery of our mandate, the United Nations is making sweeping changes in the following areas:
- Development: The 2030 Agenda will require bold changes to the UN development system for the emergence of a new generation of country teams, centred on a strategic UN Development Assistance Framework and led by an impartial, independent and empowered resident coordinator.
- Management: A new management paradigm for the Secretariat and a United Nations that empowers managers and staff, simplifies processes, increases transparency and improves on the delivery of our mandates.
- Peace and Security: The overarching goals of the reform are to prioritize prevention and sustaining peace; enhance the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and special political missions and move towards a single, integrated peace and security pillar.
Prime Minister Modi’s call for Reforms:
Speaking at an event in Riyadh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the following on UN reforms:
- UN should not merely be an institution but also an instrument for positive change.
- UN as an institution for conflict resolution has not developed as desired and nations should look to reform the UN structure.
- He pressed for the reform of the United Nations while expressing regret over some countries using the global body as a “tool” rather than an “institution” to resolve conflicts.
- He said that the UN has to reform according to the realities of the 21st century and the global body should not limit itself to provide assistance in the event of calamities and natural disasters.
- The world is changing at a quick pace and this is evident with water, land, air and space turning battlefields.
- Expressing his views on multi-polar world, he said that “the times of a bipolar world have gone. We live in a time where every nation is connected and dependent on each other. The need of the hour is to strengthen a multi-polar order”.