1. Evolution of The UN



Why International Organizations?

  • UN is regarded as most important international organization.
  • UN is great hope of humanity
  • The United Nations was not created to take humanity to heaves but to save it from hell- Dag Hammarskjold
  • International Organization helps sought out matter of war.
  • Countries have conflicts and differences that does not mean they should go for war;
    countries have UN as a platform to solve their issues
  • UN i.e., International organization is not a state or super state with authority over its members.

Importance of International Organization?

  •  There are some issues that can only be dealt when all countries are together.
    • E.g.- Disease, Global Warming, Population control etc. aids, small pox etc.
  • An international organization help to produce ideas that how to co-operate and provide a mechanism, rules and bureaucracy.
  • International organizations are not the answers to everything but they are helpful to ensure world peace by solving problems peacefully.
  • Joint efforts of all the nations are required to resolve certain global issues.
  • An international organization is helpful to co operate the efforts of the nation of states.

Evolution of the UN

  • After the first World War, world invested in international organizations to resolve conflicts. League of nations was born but it could not prevent war as a result Second World War (1939-45) took place and many people died.
  •  UN was formed as a successor to the League of Nations after the Second World War in 1945.
    • Organisation was setup by signing of United Nations charter by 51 member/ countries.
  • Objectives
      • Peace and cooperation
      • Minimizing war
      • Social economic development
  • By 2006 UN had 192 members. They are included in UN General Assembly with one vote (India is also a member)
  • UN Security Council have five permanent members. All of them were made the permanent members because, they were powerful after the Second World War.
      • US
      • UK
      • France
      • China
      • Russia
    • They permanent members have veto power.
  • The UN’s representative head is the Secretary-General.
  • The present Secretary General is Antonio Guterres, he’s the 9th secretary general of the UN, he took over as a secretary general on 1st January 2017. He was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and the UN High Commissioner of refugees from 2005 to 2015.
  • The UN has many organizations like – WHO, UNDP, UNHRC, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO and many others.

3. Reform of the UN after the Cold War

  • Structural and Processes Reforms:
      • Functioning of Security Council, the demand for increase in UN Security Council permanent as well as non-permanent members. So that realities of world politics are better reflected.
      • Proposals to increase membership from Asia, Africa and South America
      • US and other Western countries want improvements in the UN’s budgetary procedures and its administration.
  •  Jurisdictional Reforms
      • Some countries wanted you want to play major role in peace and security missions, while others wanted its role to be confined to development and humanitarian work (health, education, environment, population control, human rights, gender and social justice)
  • Changes that occurred after cold war
    1. Soviet Union had collapsed
    2. US was the new superpower
    3. China was fastest growing power and India was also growing
    4. Economics of Asia most developing
    5. Many new countries joined even after the disintegration of USSR
    6. New set of challenges were:
      • Civil war
      • Ethnic conflict
      • Genocide
      • Terrorism
      • Climate change
      • Environmental degradation

2. Reform of structures and processes


  • In 1992, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution. The resolution reflected three main complaints:
      • The Security Council no longer represents contemporary political realities.
      • Its decisions reflect only western values and interest and are dominated by a few powers.
      • It lacks equitable representation.
  • On 1st January 1997, the UN secretary general Kofi Annan initiated an inquiry into how the UN should be reformed
  • Criteria for selection of new permanent and non-permanent members of UN? was proposed. The criteria being:

  • A major economic power
  • A major military power
  • A substantial contributor to the UN budget
  • A big nation in terms of its population
  • A nation that respects democracy and human rights
  • A country that would make the Council more representative of the world’s diversity in terms of geography, economic systems, and culture.
  • Governments saw some advantages in some criteria and disadvantages in others depending on their interests and aspirations.
    • Many issues were raised regarding it.
  • In the Security Council there are five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.
  • The charter gives the permanent members a privileged position of permanency and the veto powers.
  •  The non-permanent members serve for only two years at a time and give away that period to new elected members.
  • A country cannot be re-elected immediately after completing a term of 2 years.
  • The non-permanent members are elected in a manner so that they represent all the continents of the world.


      • In taking decisions, the Security Council proceeds by voting.
      •  All members have one vote.
      •  The permanent members can vote in negative manner so that even if all the other permanent and non-permanent members vote for a particular decision, any permanent members negative vote stall the decision.
      • This negative vote is the veto.


      • Many perceived that veto power was no longer required.
      • The permanent members are unlikely to agree to such a reform where the privilege of veto power will be taken away from them.
      • It was believed that the world was not ready for such a radical step even though the Cold War was over.
      • But without the veto, there is danger that the great powers would lose interest in the world body, and that they would do anything outside and without their support and involvement the body would be ineffective.

Jurisdiction of the UN

  • The UN completed 60 years of its existence, the heads of all the member states met in September 2005 to celebrate the anniversary and review the situation.
  • And they decided to take care of few steps, steps are as follows:
      • Creation of peacebuilding Commission
      • Acceptance of the responsibility of the international community in case of failures of national governments to protect their own citizens from atrocities.
      • Establishment of Human Rights Council (operational since 19 June 2006)
      • Agreements to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
      • Condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations
      • Creation of democracy fund
      • An agreement to wind up the Trusteeship Council
  • Many questions were raised regarding the steps to be taken.
  • Questions like- what should the peacebuilding Commission do? There are many numbers of conflicts all over the world in which all should it intervene in? etc.



3. India and the UN reforms


  • India has supported the structural reforms of the UN.
  • India supports UN in promoting development and cooperation among states

India supports UN in many ways:

  1. Increasing peace and security:
  • India accepts UN role in cooperation
  • Social economic development should be main agenda
  • International peace and security management
  1. Composition of Security Council:
  • It has remained static and harmed representation
  • Non-permanent members counters increased from 11 to 15 in 1965. But there is no change in the number of permanent members.
  • Majority of the UN General Assembly members now are developing countries.
  1. Representation in UN Security Council
  • India wishes to be a permanent member.
    1. As India is the second most populous country in the world.
    2.  Also, it is world’s largest democracy.
    3.  It has also played a major role in peacekeeping.
    4. It also made regular financial contributions and never faltered on its payments.
    5. It also has symbolic importance.
  • Some countries questions India’s inclusion with Pakistan and its nuclear capability. Few thinks that difficulties with Pakistan will make India ineffective as a permanent member. Some feel that if India is included, then other emerging powers will have to be accommodated such as Brazil, Germany etc., whom they oppose.
  • Some feel that Africa and South America should also be represented in the expansion of permanent membership, since they are the only continents not to have representation in the present structure.
  • Given these concerns it is difficult that India or any other country becomes a permanent member of the UN in future.

 The UN in the Unipolar World

          The UN in a Unipolar World

  • US power cannot be checked easily because of various reasons. The reasons being:

1. Military Power

  • After the disintegration of the USSR, The US big game the superpower and no country code match up its military and economic power. It allows it to ignore the UN or any other international organization.

2. Location of UN

  • US is the largest contributor to the UN; The US has unmatched financial power.
  • The UN is physically located within the US territory which gives Washington source of influence.
  • The US has many nationals in the UN bureaucracy

3. Position of US

    1. As US is the permanent member of UN it has veto powers.
    2. US can stop any moves which it finds is against/damaging its or its friend’s interest.
  • Veto power strengthens Washington DC’s stance/choice in selection of UN secretary general.
  • The US often uses his powers to “split” the rest of the world and to reduce the opposition to its policies.
  • Therefore, UN is not a great balance to the US.
  • It brought US and other countries together.
  • Leaders of the US appreciate UN for bringing over 190 nations together to deal with conflicts and social and economic development of world.
  • UN provides a platform to modify attitude and policies of the US
  • It is virtually impossible to balance the power of US, UN provides platform in which specific arguments against US can be heard and discussed, and compromise regarding its policies.
  • The UN is an imperfect body but without it the world would be worse off.
      1. It allows interdependence.

4. Organizations of United Nations


  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organisation that oversees those financial institutions and regulations that act at the international level. The IMF has 189 member countries (as on 12 April 2016) but they do not enjoy an equal say. The G-7 members US (16.52%), Japan (6.15%), Germany (5.32%), France (4.03%), UK (4.03%), Italy (3.02%) and Canada (2.22%) have 41.29% of the votes. China (6.09%), India (2.64%), Russia (2.59%) Brazil (2.22%) and Saudi Arabia (2.02%) are the other major members.
  • The World Bank was created during the Second World War in 1944. Its activities are focused on the developing countries. It works for human development (education, health), agriculture and rural development (irrigation, rural services), environmental protection (pollution reduction, establishing and enforcing regulations), infrastructure (roads, urban regeneration, electricity) and governance (anti-corruption, development of legal institutions). It provides loans and grants to the member-countries. In this way, it exercises enormous influence on the economic policies of developing countries. It is often criticised for setting the economic agenda of the poorer nations, attaching stringent conditions to its loans and forcing free market reforms.
  • The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an international organisation which sets the rules for global trade. This organisation was set up in 1995 as the successor to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) created after the Second World War. It has 164 members (as on 29 July 2016). All decisions are taken unanimously but the major economic powers such as the US, EU and Japan have managed to use the WTO to frame rules of trade to advance their own interests. The developing countries often complain of non-transparent procedures and WTO being pushed around by big powers.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established in 1957. It came into being to implement US President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” proposal. It seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to prevent its use for military purposes. IAEA teams regularly inspect nuclear facilities all over the world to ensure that civilian IAEA reactors are not being used for military purposes
  • Amnesty International is an NGO that campaigns for the protection of human rights all over the world. It promotes respect for all the human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It believes that human rights are interdependent and indivisible. It prepares and publishes reports on human rights. Governments are not always happy with these reports since a major focus of Amnesty is the misconduct of government authorities. Nevertheless, these reports play an important role AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL in research and advocacy on human rights.
  • Human Rights Watch is another international NGO involved in research and advocacy on human rights. It is the largest international human rights organisation in the US. It draws the global media’s attention to human rights abuses. It helped in building international coalitions like the campaigns to ban landmines, to stop the use of child soldiers and to establish the International Criminal Court.

5. Other Organisations / Key Agencies



  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization was (UNESCO) established on 4th November 1946.
  • With its headquarter in Paris, France, UNESCO is a special body of the United Nations whose main objective is to promote education, natural science, society and anthropology, culture and communication.

During past several years, the special work done by the UNESCO has been to promote literacy, technical and educational training and independent media etc. all across its member nations.

  • The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was established in 1946 by the United nations General Assembly as body whose main task was to collect emergency funds for children and to help in their development work all across the world.
  • Apart from this, UNICEF helps and encourages the work that promote children’s health and better life in all parts of the world.
  • With its headquarter in New York, United States, UNICEF has been working successfully in almost all 193 countries of the world

3. ILO

  • The International Labour Organization, founded in October 1919 with its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland, is a body of the United Nations which aims to promote efficient conditions of social justice and work for workers through international labour standards at the global level.
  • In addition, there is an incentive for women and male worker to engage in productive work and to create safety, parity and self-respectful conditions for them at the workplace.