Chapter 3. International Relations Notes for UPSC Mains Which you shouldn’t Miss

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India and UNSC:

  • India was among the founding members of United Nations.
  • It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
    • Peacekeeping vs Peace Enforcement
      • Peacekeeping is maintaining peace
      • Peace enforcement is use of force to bring in peace
      • Eg arguably what US did in Iraq
      • India policy
        • India not involved in Peace enforcement since IPKF futile efforts in Lanka
        • But, as per defence minister, India will actively engage in peace enforcement against IS if it is carried after a UN resolution & under a UN flag
        • Building pressure from US
        • Though, India did not participate in gulf war of 2003 even though, a resolution was passed in the UN
  • Reasons
    • Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, one of the largest more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
    • India has been temporary member of UNSC for 7 terms
    • Economy, Populaation, Nuclear , Buyoncy
    • LMCs support
    • G4
    • Founding Member of UN
    • Soft Power examples
  • Inclusion to UNSC
    • G4
      • India, Germany, Japan and Brazil
      • Together working for UNSC reforms and their inclusion
    • Similarly
    • In contrast- Uniting for Consensus
      • Also called Coffee club
      • Includes Pak, Argentina, etc which are opposing such reforms
    • Fluctuating views of P5
      • Only Britain and France agreed on a proper written framework for changes
      • China in the past voted against Shashi Tharoor

India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.

Hidden Veto

  • After China applied veto against India demand dor designating JeM chied Masood Azhar a teroorist in UN
  • Why hidden ?
    • Sanctions committee (P5 +10 temporary members) take decisions unanimpously
    • Hence vet available
    • Plus, voting is held in a secret ballot
  •  One of the six principal organs of the United Nations
  • Mandate
    • maintenance of international peace and security.
    • Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations,
    • the establishment of international sanctions,
    • and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions;
    • only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
    • These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.

Why was it created?

  • Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of another international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.


  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members.
    • The United Kingdom,
    • The United States
    • France,
    • China,
    • Russia,
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
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When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought before it, the Council’s first action is usually to recommend that the parties try to reach agreement by peaceful means. If a dispute leads to hostilities, the council’s primary concern is to bring them to an end as soon as possible by issuing ceasefire directives and by deploying military observers/peace keeping force if necessary. The council may also opt for economic sanctions, blockade or even collective military action.

Proposed reforms:

  • Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.
  • There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.
  • Member States, regional groups and other Member State interest groupings developed different positions and proposals on how to move forward on this contested issue.
  • The reform of the Security Council requires the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states and that of all the permanent members of the UNSC, enjoying the veto right.


  • Responsibility to Protect
  • A doctrine developed by UN under Kofi Annan
  • Sovereignty dissolves if there are sufficient evidences of human right violation
  • Used as per whims – Not in Israel but in Iraq
  • India supported the resolution to adopt R2P

ICJ- International Court of Justice


  • Located in Hague, Netherlands
  • Legal body of UN setup in 1945
  • Has its own secretariat outside UN secretariat
  • Language- English, French (UN has 6)
  • Doesn’t depend on UN for budget
  • 15 judges- 9 year term
  • Have to secure majority both in General Assembly & Security Council
  • Eligible for re election


  • Settles dispute between STATES
  • No appeal can be made against its decision
  • However, as the Security Council is its enforcer, therefore SC & the veto power the boss
  • UN consults for legal wisdom from ICJ
  • Normally does not extend the jurisdiction to the states on its own
    • Applicable when both parties agree to
  • India a founding member of ICJ But
  • India has said ICJ not applicable to certain cases
    • Bilateral issues concerning a member or former meber of Commonwealth
    • Issue related to armed conflict with India
    • NO Multilateral treaties, esp NPT
    • But, India took and won vs Pak on Kulbhushan Jadhav
    • Total of 6 cases- 4 with Pak

Similar bodies

International Court of Arbitration

  • Institute for international commercial dispute resolution
  • Kishanganga


  • For arbitraio between parties
  • Between states, interantional organisations or private arisisng out of international agreement
  • 9 dash lines – Philipines

The International Criminal Court (ICC:

The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

  • Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.
  • Presently, the ICC had 123 states parties, opened investigations in eight countries, and issued two verdicts (Lubanga case and Ngudjolo case).
  • It was intended to complement existing national judicial systems and exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the UNSC or individual states refer investigations to the Court.
  • Recently held for the 1st time that Crimes against women such as mass rapes also amounts to genocide
  • Cons
    • Inconsistent support from govt
    • The ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system.

India and the ICC:

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The government of India has consistently opposed the Court. It abstained in the vote adopting of the statute in 1998, saying it objected to

  • the broad definition adopted of crimes against humanity;
    • and the use of nuclear weapons and other WMD not being explicitly criminalized.
    • the inclusion of war crimes for non-international conflicts,
  • the rights given to the UN Security Council to refer and delay investigations and bind non-states parties;
  • complementarity would be applied to the Indian criminal justice system,
  • and the power of the Prosecutor to initiate prosecutions.


  • Reforms
    • India voting share up from 2.3% to 2.6%
      • India now in top 10
      • Quota up to 2.7%
        • Elaboration required
    • Others
      • China from 4% to 6%
      • Russia and Brazil also gain
      • Around 6% quota from developed to developing countries
    • Total quotas doubled to 660 billion dollars up from 330 billion
    • Executive director
      • Will be completely elected
      • Earlier 5 largest operators appointed an executive director
    • Agreed in 2010 itself, but waiting due to US Congress delay
      • US still has 16.5% quota
      • Any reform requires 85% weighted majority
    • Another round of Quota Review
      • Initially planned in 2016
      • Now extended to 2019, and then Congress Approval required
  • Other challenges
    • Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), an independent body under IMF to scrutinise it,
      • Has criticised its handling of European crisis
      • Says need for
        • Better forecasting models
        • More diverse staff (Currently mostly European- prejudice)
        • Invest less where its not majority shareholder like the Traoika
        • Better loan conditions


  • Bretton Woods
  • Both specialised agencies of UN


  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
  • The OECD promotes policies designed:
  • To achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world economy;
  • To contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as nonmember countries in the process of economic development; and
  • To contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, nondiscriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.
  • Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. India is one of the many non-member economies with which the OECD has working relationships in addition to its member countries

ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with member’s capital subscriptions.

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Total 67 countries- 48 in Asia- Pacific, rest outside


  • ADB raises funds through bond issues on the world’s capital markets.
  • ADB also rely on its members’ contributions, retained earnings from its lending operations, and the repayment of loans.
  • Japan holds the largest proportions of shares at 15.67%. The United States holds 15.56%, China holds 6.47%, India holds 6.36%, and Australia holds 5.81%.

Board of Governors:

  • It is the highest policy-making body of the bank.
  • It is composed of one representative from each member state.
  • The Board of Governors also elect the bank’s President who is the chairperson of the Board of Directors and manages ADB.

The Alternate Board of Governors are nominated by Board of Governors of ADB’s 67 to represent them at the Annual Meeting that meets formally once year to be held in a member country.


  • It offers both Hard Loans and Soft loans.
  • The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.

ADB & India

  • ADB increaesd loans to India by 50% to around 3-4 billion $ a year
  • Acc. to ADB done as full faith in INDIA
  • India has fully repaid all ADM loans in the past, without exceptions.