[Answered] What are the reforms that developing countries are seeking in the functioning of the United Nations? Also, highlight the hurdles in the implementation of reforms.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Explain reforms that developing countries are seeking in the functioning of the United Nations. Also write hurdles in the implementation of reforms.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The United Nations 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. 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

The developing countries are seeking following reforms in the functioning of the United Nations:

  • The G4 (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) group is primarily focused on N Security Council (UNSC) reform and permanent membership of the body. The Permanent members of UNSC have remained fixed. This is problematic as the membership of UN has grown almost four times since its formation.
  • The veto power has been the exclusive domain of P5 members. Many countries have put question mark on the existence of veto, which iscontrary to democratic principles.
  • The UN General Assembly (UNGA) can only make non-binding recommendations, which is another reason for ineffectiveness of the UN and another important issue of UN reform.
  • The Economic and Social Council has been criticized, as it has become overshadowed by institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, which are lacking democratic processes, transparency, and accountability.

Hurdles in the implementation of reforms:

  • Disunited state of the UNGA: the reform of the UN Security Council was a member-driven process and for that, the members of the UNGA had to first come together to pass a resolution demanding the reform of the Security Council. Among the 193 countries, there are five negotiating groups and they are neutralising each other.
  • Lack of Consensus: different countries havedifferent perceptions of the requirement for change. For e.g. G-4 nations demand a seat each as a permanent member, Coffee Club asks for expansion of non-permanent seats, African union wants its representation at any cost etc.
  • The permanent members were “historically not enthusiastic” about reform of the UN system, but they had all agreed that it was necessary for introducing changes in the Security Council.
  • The system of veto in the Security Council has become a tool to block the work of the global body and not to encourage it.

India called for a new template of multilateralism that reflects today’s reality, gives voice to all stakeholders, addresses contemporary challenges, and focuses on human welfare.

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