• The United Nations (UN) is a group of countries that came together in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. Its mission and work are guided by the purposes and principles in its founding Charter, which are carried out by its different organs and specialised agencies. Its activities include keeping international peace and security, protecting human rights, giving humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.
Table of Contents
- 1 History of UN Foundation
- 2 Components of the UN
- 3 Funds and Programmes
- 4 UNICEF
- 5 UNFPA
- 6 UNDP
- 7 UNEP
- 8 UN-Habitat
- 9 WFP:
- 10 UN’s Contribution to World
- 11 Peace and Security
- 12 Economic Development
- 13 Social Development
- 14 Human Rights
- 15 Environment
- 16 International Law
- 17 Humanitarian Affairs
- 18 Health
- 19 India and the UN working together
- 20 India’s Help from the UN
- 21 International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
- 22 India’s contribution to UN
- 23 What problems does the UN face, and what changes can be made?
- 24 Problems with the UN’s administrative and financial resources
- 25 Concerns about peace and Security
- 26 Changes to the Security Council
- 27 Non-Conventional Challenges
- 28 Conclusion
History of UN Foundation
• In 1899, the International Peace Conference was held in The Hague to come up with ways to solve problems without fighting, stop fights, and write down the rules of war.
It passed the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes and set up the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which started working in 1902. This court came before the International Court of Justice, which is part of the UN.
• The League of Nations was the organisation that came before the United Nations. It was created after the First World War, and the Treaty of Versailles set it up in 1919 “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.”
Under the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed in 1919, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was also set up as a branch of the League.
• The name “United Nations” was made up by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was president of the United States. In 1942, 26 countries signed a paper called “The Declaration by the United Nations.” They promised that their governments would keep fighting together against the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis and would not make a separate peace.
• United Nations Conference on International Organisation (1945): Representatives from 50 countries signed the United Nations Charter at this conference in San Francisco, USA.
• The UN Charter of 1945 is the law on which the United Nations, an organisation made up of governments, is based.
Components of the UN
The General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat are the most important parts of the UN.
All six were set up at the same time, in 1945, when the UN was made.
Funds and Programmes
• The United Nations General Assembly created the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1946. It was first called the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. Its goal was to help children and mothers in countries that had been destroyed by World War II get emergency food and medical care.
In 1950, UNICEF got more power to help children and women in poor countries around the world with their long-term needs.
In 1953, it became a regular part of the United Nations System. The words “international” and “emergency” were taken out of the name of the organisation, but the acronym “UNICEF” stayed the same.
• Executive Board: This is a group of 36 people who make policies, approve programmes, and make sure that management and financial plans are carried out. The members are government representatives who are usually elected for three-year terms by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). • UNICEF relies on contributions from governments and private donors. • UNICEF’s Supply Division is based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and serves as the main point of distribution for essential items like vaccines, antiretroviral medicines for children and mothers with HIV, nutritional supplements, emergency shelters, food, and fams.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.
The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) sets its goals.
UNFPA works directly on SDG3, which is about health, SDG4, which is about education, and SDG5, which is about gender equality.
• Its goal is to create a world where every baby is wanted, “every birth is safe,” and every young person can reach their full potential.
• In 2018, UNFPA started working to reach three ambitious goals that could change the world for every man, woman, and young person:
Getting rid of unfilled needs for family planning, maternal deaths that could have been prevented, and harmful practises based on gender.
• State of World Population Report is a UNFPA report
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s network for world development. The UN General Assembly set up UNDP in 1965.
• It helps developing countries by giving them expert advice, training, and funds, with a focus on helping the least developed countries.
The UNDP Executive Board is made up of officials from 36 countries around the world who serve on a rotating basis. It is paid for entirely by voluntary contributions from member countries.
• UNDP is at the centre of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), which is a network of 40 UN funds, programmes, specialised agencies, and other groups working to move forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 165 countries.UNDP Publication: Human Development Index
• The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a global environmental body that sets the global environmental agenda and works to make sure that the environmental part of sustainable development is implemented in a consistent way within the United Nations system.
• It was set up by the UN General Assembly in June 1972, after the UN Conference on the Human Environment (also called the Stockholm Conference).
• In 1988, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to study climate change based on the latest scientific research.
• Since it was started, the UNEP has been an important part of making international environmental agreements (MEAs). UNEP is currently home to the secretariats of the following nine MEAs:
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
Minamata Convention on Mercury Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-Border Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Stockholm
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade • Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya
• Publications: ‘Making Peace with Nature’ study, ‘Emission Gap study,’ ‘Adaptation Gap Report,’ ‘Global Environment Outlook,’ and ‘Frontiers.’
• Big Campaigns: Beat Pollution, UN75, World Environment Day, and Wild for Life.
• United Nations Environment Assembly: The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the top decision-making body in the world when it comes to the environment. It is in charge of the UN Environment Programme.
It gets together every two years to set goals for global environmental policies and make international laws about the environment.
It was made in June 2012, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also called RIO+20.
The United Nations Human Settlements project (UN-Habitat) is the UN project that works to make cities better places to live.Its goal is to help people live in ways that are good for society and the earth and to make sure everyone has a safe place to live.
• It was set up in 1978 after the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976.
• The Habitat Agenda’s two main goals were set at the 2nd United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. These goals are: Ensuring that everyone has a safe place to live.
Sustainable human settlement development in a world that is becoming more urbanised.
• In 2016, Habitat III, the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, took place in Quito, Ecuador. It explained Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” UN-Habitat has its offices at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya.
• Recently, UN-Habitat found problems in the city of Jaipur, such as its vulnerability to multiple hazards, poor movement, and a Green-Blue economy, and made a plan to make the city more sustainable.
• The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organisation that saves lives and changes lives by giving food aid in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. • The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the UN General Assembly set up the WFP in 1963.
• Initiatives of the WFP: • Share the Meal
The study is the most important thing that the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) has ever put out. The Food Security Information Network (FSIN) is a world project supported by FAO, WFP, and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It helps people share information about food security.
In February 2022, India made a deal with the World Food Programme (WFP) to send 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan as part of its relief aid.
UN’s Contribution to World
Peace and Security
• Keeping peace and security: For the past 60 years, the United Nations has sent peacekeeping and observer teams to the world’s trouble spots. This has brought back calm and helped many countries recover from war.
• Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been the world’s nuclear inspector for more than 50 years. IAEA experts work to make sure that nuclear materials that are kept safe are only used for peaceful reasons. The Agency has safety deals with more than 180 States at this point.
• Supporting Disarmament: UN treaties are the formal foundation of disarmament efforts:
190 countries have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, 162 have signed the Mine-Ban Convention of 1997, and 69 have signed the Arms Trade Treaty of 2014.
At the local level, UN peacekeepers often work to make sure that agreements between warring groups to give up their weapons are carried out.
• Preventing genocide: The United Nations made the first treaty to stop genocide, which is when someone does something with the goal of destroying a national, ethnic, race, or religious group.
146 countries have signed on to the 1948 Genocide Convention, which says that genocide will be stopped and punished during war and peace. The UN trials for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as UN-backed courts in Cambodia, sent a message to people who might commit genocide that it would no longer be okay to do so.
• Uniting for Peace Resolution: This resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1950. It is called “Uniting for Peace.”
The most important part of the resolution is section A, which says that if the Security Council fails to do its main job of keeping peace and security around the world because its permanent members can’t agree on something, the General Assembly will take care of it.
In October 1950, the United States started the Uniting for Peace motion as a way to get around more Soviet vetoes during the Korean War.
• Promoting Development: Since 2000, the Millennium Development Goals have been used as a guide for improving people’s living standards, skills, and potential all over the world.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) helps fund more than 4,800 projects that work to fight poverty, improve government, deal with disasters, and protect the environment.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 150 countries, mostly to protect children, get them vaccinated, educate girls, and help in emergencies.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) helps developing countries get the most out of their trade prospects.
The World Bank gives loans and grants to countries that are still growing. Since 1947, it has helped with more than 12,000 projects in more than 170 countries.
• Getting rid of rural poverty: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) gives very poor rural people low-interest loans and handouts.
Focusing on African Development: The United Nations still gives a lot of attention to Africa. The continent gets 36% of the money the UN spends on development, which is the most of any area in the world. All of the UN agencies have projects that help Africa.
• Promoting the health and well-being of women: UN Women is the UN organisation that works for gender equality and women’s rights.
• Fighting Hunger: The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is in charge of the world fight against hunger. FAO also helps poor countries modernise and improve their ways of farming, forestry, and fishing in ways that protect natural resources and make people healthier.
• Dedication to helping children: UNICEF was one of the first organisations to give vaccines and other help to children stuck in armed conflicts. Almost every country has made the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 a law.
• Tourism: The UN’s World Tourism Organisation is in charge of promoting Tourism that is responsible, sustainable, and open to everyone.
Its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism tries to make sure that tourism has as many positive effects as possible and as few bad ones as possible.
• Global Think Tank: The United Nations is at the forefront of study that tries to find solutions to global problems.
The UN Population Division is one of the best places to get information and study on global population trends. It does this by making estimates and projections about the world’s population that are up to date.
The UN information Division is the centre of the world’s statistical system. It collects and shares information about the world’s economy, population, society, gender, environment, and energy.
The annual Human Development Report from the United Nations Development Programme gives independent, fact-based analyses of the most important development problems, trends, and policies, such as the groundbreaking Human Development Index.
The World Economic and Social Survey of the United Nations, the World Development Report of the World Bank, the World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund, and other studies help lawmakers make smart decisions.
• Preserving historic, cultural, architectural, and natural sites: The UNESCO has helped 137 countries protect ancient artefacts and historic, cultural, and natural sites.
It has worked to get international agreements to protect cultural property, cultural diversity, and important natural and cultural places. More than 1,000 of these kinds of places have been named World Heritage Sites because they are so important to everyone.
• Taking charge of world problems:
The first United Nations meeting on the environment, held in Stockholm in 1972, helped to make people around the world aware of the dangers our planet faces. This made governments take action.
At the first world meeting on women in Mexico City in 1985, rights, equality, and progress for women were put on the global agenda.
The first international conference on human rights was held in Teheran, Iran, in 1968. The first world population conference was held in Bucharest, Romania, in 1974, and the first world climate conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1979.
These events brought together experts, politicians, and activists from all over the world, which led to long-term action around the world.
Regular follow-up meetings have helped keep things moving forward.
• In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed by the UN General Assembly.
It has helped make dozens of deals on political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights that are binding on the law.
The UN’s human rights groups have brought cases of torture, disappearance, arbitrary detention, and other violations to the attention of the whole world.
• Supporting Democracy: The UN promotes and strengthens democratic structures and practises around the world. One way it does this is by helping people in many countries take part in free and fair elections.
In the 1990s, the UN helped organise or watch important elections in Cambodia, El Salvador, South Africa, Mozambique, and Timor-Leste.
Recent polls in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Sudan were made much easier with help from the UN.
• Putting an end to apartheid in South Africa: The United Nations played a big role in the fall of the apartheid system by passing laws like an arms embargo and a convention against segregated sports events.
In 1994, all South Africans were able to vote in the same way, which led to the creation of a multiracial government.
• Supporting women’s rights: The 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been signed by 189 countries, has helped to support women’s rights around the world.
• Climate change is a worldwide problem that needs a worldwide solution. Every five or six years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is made up of 2,000 of the world’s top climate change scientists, puts out a full scientific report.
IPCC was set up in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation to evaluate “the scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information relevant to understanding the risk of human-caused climate change.”
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gives UN members a place to start negotiating agreements to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and help countries adjust to its effects. At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, UNFCCC-1992, an international treaty on the climate, was passed and signed.
The Global Environment Facility is a group of 10 UN bodies that work together to pay for projects in developing countries.
• Protecting the Ozone Layer: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have helped bring attention to the damage done to the ozone layer of the Earth.
The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which was signed in 1985, set up the rules for reducing the production of chlorofluorocarbons around the world. The convention was the basis for the Montreal agreement.
The Montreal Protocol of 1987 is an international environmental deal that has been signed by every country. Its goal is to protect the earth’s ozone layer by stopping the use of chemicals that break down the ozone layer, like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons.
o The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was passed in 2016 to gradually reduce the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) around the world.
• Banning Toxic Chemicals: The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants-2001 wants to get rid of some of the most dangerous chemicals ever made.
• Prosecuting War Criminals: By prosecuting and convicting war criminals, the UN courts set up for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda have helped to expand international criminal and humanitarian law that deals with genocide and other violations of international law.
The International Criminal Court is a permanent, independent court that looks into and prosecutes people accused of the most serious international crimes, like genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, if national officials are unwilling or unable to do so.
• Helping to settle major international disputes: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has helped to settle major international disputes by giving judgements and advisory opinions on things like territorial questions, maritime boundaries, diplomatic relations, State responsibility, how to treat foreigners, and the use of force, among other things.
• Peace and order in the oceans of the world:
The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which has been accepted by almost every country, sets the rules for everything that happens in the lakes and seas.
It also includes ways to settle disagreements.
• Fighting international crime: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) works with countries and organisations to fight transnational organised crime by giving legal and technical help to fight corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, and the smuggling of migrants, as well as by strengthening criminal justice systems.
It has been very important in making and putting into effect important international treaties, such as the UN Convention against Corruption in 2005 and the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime in 2003.
Under the three main UN conventions on drug control, it tries to cut down on the supply and demand for illegal drugs:
o the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which was changed in 1972,
o The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971,
o and the United Nations Convention against Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances-1988
• Encouraging creativity and innovation: The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) works to protect intellectual property rights and make sure that all countries can use the benefits of an effective intellectual property system.
• Helping refugees: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has helped people who have been forced to leave their homes because of abuse, violence, or war.
UNHCR tries to find long-term or “durable” answers by helping refugees go back to their home countries if the circumstances are right, or by helping them integrate in the country where they are staying or move to a third country.
The UN helps refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people, most of whom are women and children, get food, shelter, medical care, schooling, and help going home.
• Helping Palestinian Refugees: The UN Relief and Works organisation for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), a relief and human development organisation, has given education, health care, social services, microfinance, and emergency aid to four generations of Palestinian refugees.
• Lessening the effects of natural disasters: The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has helped save millions of people from the terrible effects of natural and man-made disasters.
Its early warning system, which is made up of satellites and thousands of cameras on the ground,
o has made it possible to predict weather events with more accuracy,
o has told us how oil spills, chemical leaks, and nuclear leaks spread, and it has predicted long-term droughts.
• Giving food to those who need it most: The World Food Programme (WFP) is trying to end hunger around the world by providing emergency food aid and working with communities to improve nutrition and build strength.
• Promoting reproductive and maternal health: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working to make sure that people have the right to choose for themselves how many children they want and how far apart they want to have them. They do this through projects that let people plan their families on their own.
• Responding to HIV/AIDS: The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) coordinates world action against an epidemic that affects about 35 million people.
• Getting rid of polio: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has helped get rid of poliomyelitis everywhere except Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
• Getting rid of smallpox: The World Health Organisation (WHO) worked for 13 years to get rid of smallpox, and in 1980, they said it was gone for good.
• Fighting Diseases in the Tropics:
The WHO’s African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control cut the number of people with river blindness (onchocerciasis) in 10 countries in West Africa and made 25 million hectares of farmable land available.
o The disease caused by Guinea worms is almost gone.
Schistosomiasis and sleeping sickness have been stopped.
o How to Stop the Spread of Diseases
WHO is in charge of coordinating the global reaction to some of the most well-known diseases, such as Ebola, meningitis, yellow fever, cholera, and flu, including avian flu.
India and the UN working together
India’s Help from the UN
• The UN offices, programmes, and funds that work in India are part of one of the biggest UN field networks in the world.
• The Asian and Pacific Centre for Technology Transfer (APCTT):
APCTT was started in 1977 in New Delhi. It is a Regional Institute of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) with a focus on the whole Asia-Pacific area.
Centre has worked on three main areas: technology information, technology transfer, and managing innovation.
• Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO):
When FAO started working in India in 1948, its main goal was to change India’s food and farm sectors through technical help and help with making policy.
Over the years, FAO has helped with things like access to food, nutrition, livelihoods, rural development, and farmland that is good for the environment.
With the healthy Development Goals (SDGs), the FAO will spend a lot of time in India on healthy farming.
• International Fund for the Development of Agriculture (IFAD):
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Indian government have made a lot of progress by investing in making small farms more commercial and giving small farmers the tools they need to make more money from market possibilities.
Women have also had access to financial services through projects funded by IFAD. For example, women’s self-help groups have been linked to private banks.
• The International Labour Organisation (ILO):
In 1928, the first ILO office was opened in India. India has signed and agreed to 43 ILO agreements and one protocol.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
• During the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s, IOM helped Indian people who were among the thousands of people who had to leave their homes.
• The Gujarat earthquake in 2001, when IOM helped quickly and well, was the start of IOM’s work in India as a relief organisation.
• In 2007, IOM started working with migrants to help them move in a safe and legal way. It did this because India was a big country for sending and receiving workers, and it was also an important country for receiving remittances.
• UNESCO – The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP):
MGIEP is an important part of UNESCO. It was set up in New Delhi in 2012 with help from the Government of India.
The Institute’s mission is to change education laws and practises around the world by coming up with new ways to teach and learn.
It helps reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7, “Education for building peaceful and sustainable societies around the world.”
In 2016–17, UNESCO-MGIEP and the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education started a project called “Rethinking Schooling.”
In Rethinking Schooling for the 21st Century, MGIEP provided the first review of SDGs (4.7).
• Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women of the United Nations (UN-Women):
In India, UN-Women focuses on the following five areas:
o putting an end to violence against women and girls,
o Giving women more opportunities to lead and take part,
o putting gender equality at the centre of planning and budgeting for national growth,
o Giving women more control over their money,
o and making women peacemakers and mediators around the world.
UN Women pushes for more women to be involved in politics and making decisions. It also works with planning groups like NITI Aayog to make sure that policies and budgets take into account the needs of women.
• Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): Its goal is to help stop people from getting HIV, care for those who already have it, and lessen the effects of the disease.
• UNDP, or the United Nations Development Programme:
In the 1950s and 1960s, the UNDP helped set up important state institutions, such as space centres and nuclear research labs.
Over the past 10 years, the UNDP has worked to make people and minorities more resistant to the risks of natural disasters and climate change, as well as to different kinds of prejudice.
• Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) of the United Nations:
In December 2011, a new ESCAP office for South and South-West Asia was opened in New Delhi. This office will help 10 countries in the sub-region.
As India moves up the development ladder, it has used ESCAP as a platform to share its knowledge and skills with other developing countries in the region and elsewhere.
In India, UNESCO has helped a number of top educational schools with technical issues.
As part of its World Heritage programme, it has recognised 27 cultural heritage places in India, such as the Taj Mahal and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh.
UNESCO also helped create the Community Radio Policy of 2002, which was a big step in the growth of community radio in India.
• UNFPA, or the United Nations Population Fund
At the moment, UNFPA is putting more focus on developing policies and advocating for them that represent India’s status as a middle-income country.
It brings attention to the fact that the population is getting older and that we need to take advantage of the possibilities and deal with the problems that come with that.
• UN-Habitat, which is the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements.
UN-Habitat works to make sure that towns and cities are socially and environmentally healthy. Their goal is to make sure that everyone has a safe place to live.
UN-Habitat’s projects in India include helping the government with urban cleaning, water supply, and improving the environment. It also helps organisations that give women’s groups and youth groups the tools they need to fight social exclusion.
“World Cities Report 2016” by UN-Habitat.
o According to the 2011 Census, 377 million Indians, or 31.1% of the whole population, lived in cities.
This number is thought to have reached 420 million by 2015.
The UN-Habitat-New Urban Agenda (NUA)-2017 targets Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.”
India’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut), Smart Cities, Hriday (National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana), and Swachh Bharat are all related to the goals of the UN-Habitat-NUA.
• The United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF)
In 1954, the Indian government and UNICEF made a deal for UNICEF to pay for the Aarey and Anand milk processing plants. In exchange, poor children in the area would get milk for free or at a low cost.
o India had 13 milk processing plants that UNICEF helped build in just ten years.
India is now the country that makes the most milk in the world.
Polio Campaign-2012: Working with UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the government helped almost everyone know that all children under five need to be vaccinated against polio.
Because of these measures, India was taken off the list of countries where the disease is common in 2014.
It is also helping with national efforts to make sure that mothers and children are getting enough to eat and that the number of newborn deaths and stillbirths goes down to single digits by 2030.
• UNIDO, which stands for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation:
The Global Environment Facility pays for the Integrated Approach Programme on Sustainable Cities-2017, which is run by the World Bank and UNIDO.
• WFP (World Food Programme)
WFP is trying to make India’s subsidised food distribution system more efficient, accountable, and clear. This system gives wheat, rice, sugar, and kerosene oil to about 800 million poor people across the country.
• WHO, or the World Health Organisation
On January 12, 1948, India joined the WHO Constitution.
o The WHO Country Office for India is based in Delhi, but it works all over the country.
It has also helped the country move from hospital-based care to care in the community, which has led to more health posts and centres that focus on basic care.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and the WHO Country Office for India (WCO) worked together to come up with the WHO Country Cooperation Strategy for India (2012–2017).
• High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations (UNHCR)
India has a long history of taking in refugees that goes back hundreds of years.
From 1969 to 1975, UNHCR helped India by coordinating aid for Tibetan refugees and refugees from what was then East Pakistan.
The UNHCR’s urban operations are based in New Delhi, and a smaller team in Chennai helps Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu go back to Sri Lanka on their own.
Since there isn’t a state legal framework for refugees, the UNHCR determines their status as refugees for asylum seekers who come to the Office.
Afghans and people from Myanmar make up the two biggest groups of refugees that UNHCR helps. However, people from countries as different as Somalia and Iraq have also asked for help from the Office.
• UNMOGIP, which stands for United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.
Under the plan for dividing India and Pakistan that was set up by the Indian Independence Act of 1947, Kashmir could join either India or Pakistan. Its joining India became a point of contention between India and Pakistan, and shooting broke out later that year.
In January 1948, the Security Council passed resolution 39, which created the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP). Its job was to look into the conflict and find a solution.
In January 1949, the first group of unarmed military observers, who would later become the core of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), arrived in the mission area to oversee the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and help the Military Adviser to UNCIP.
At the end of 1971, India and Pakistan went to war with each other again. UNMOGIP started along the borders of East Pakistan. It was connected to the drive for independence that started in that area and led to the creation of Bangladesh.
In 1972, the Secretary-General gave the Security Council his last report on UNMOGIP.
Since 1972, India has had a policy of not recognising third parties in their talks with Pakistan about the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
o Pakistan’s military leaders have kept telling UNMOGIP that there have been breaches of the ceasefire.
o Since January 1972, the military authorities of India have not complained about the activities of UN observers on the side of the Line of Control that is run by India. However, they continue to provide the necessary protection, transportation, and other services to UNMOGIP.
• UNODC, which is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Over the last 25 years, UNODC has worked in India to stop drug trade in a drug market that is always changing and has more drugs and substances that make people feel high.
It also works with the government to stop human trafficking and help people who use drugs or have HIV stay healthy and get treatment.
• UNCTAD, which stands for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
The country’s organisation for encouraging investments, Invest India, has won the 2018 UN Award for Excellence in encouraging Investments in Sustainable Development.
Since 2002, UNCTAD has given the awards every year as a way to encourage and help with investments.
India’s strong support for the developing world has made it a key player in UNCTAD’s work on a wide range of economic changes.
India’s contribution to UN
• India was one of the nations that joined the League of Nations at the beginning. India automatically joined the League of Nations when it signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
The Secretary of State for India, Edwin Samuel Montagu, the Maharaja of Bikaner, Sir Ganga Singh, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India, Satyendra Prasanno Sinha, all spoke for India.
• India was one of the first countries to join the UN and sign the UN Declaration at Washington, D.C. in 1944. This declaration became the base for the United Nations, which was made official when 50 countries signed the United Nations Charter in 1945.
• In 1946, India began to worry about colonialism, apartheid, and racial injustice.
• India was one of the most vocal critics of apartheid and racial discrimination in South Africa, especially how Indians were treated unfairly in the Union of South Africa. In 1946, India was the first country to bring up the problem at the United Nations.
• India helped to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
• It had not always had a good time working with the UN. On the Kashmir problem, Nehru’s trust in the UN and his commitment to its principles cost him because the UN was full of pro-Pakistani powers.
• In 1953, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman to be chosen to lead the UN General Assembly.
• As a founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 (G-77), India has a strong voice in the UN system for the needs and goals of developing countries and for a more fair economic and political order around the world.
• It went to war with China in 1962, fought two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, and went through a time of political unrest, economic stagnation, food shortages, and almost famine.
India’s role in the UN went down because of how it was seen and because the political leaders who came after Nehru chose to keep a low profile at the UN and only talk about things that were important to India.
• India has been a part of the UN Security Council for seven terms, or 14 years. The most recent term, from 2011 to 2012, was the most recent one.
• India is a part of the G4, which is made up of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan. This is a group of countries that support each other’s efforts to get a permanent place on the Security Council and push for the UNSC to be changed.
India and the other G4 countries getting permanent places is backed by the Russian Federation, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
The G-77 also includes India.
Seventy-seven developing countries signed the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” on June 15, 1964. This was the start of the Group of 77 (G-77).
Its goal is to support the economic interests of all of its members and make it easier for them to negotiate together at the United Nations.
The name G-77 has been kept even though the group has grown to include more than 130 countries. This is because the name has historical value.
• UN peacekeeping missions: India has helped make the world a safer place by protecting people, disarming former combatants, and helping countries move from war to peace.
India is the third biggest contributor of troops to UN Peacekeeping Missions in 2019, with 6593 people serving in Lebanon, Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, Golan Heights, Ivory Coast, Haiti, and Liberia.
Since 1948, when the UN peacekeeping mission began, India has had the most deaths (164 out of almost 3,800 personnel) of all the countries that have sent troops to the operation.
• Mahatma Gandhi’s impact on the United Nations will last for a long time. At the time the United Nations was being formed, his ideas about nonviolence had a big impact on it.
In 2007, the UN chose Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, as the International Day of Nonviolence.
• In 2014, the UN General Assembly decided that June 21 should be known as International Yoga Day.
It recognises the many benefits of this ancient practise and how well it fits with the United Nations’ principles and ideals.
• A Plea for International Equality Day: B. R. Ambedkar’s birthday was celebrated at the United Nations for the first time in 2016, with the goal of reducing inequality to reach the Sustainable Development Goals in mind. India has asked that April 14 be declared International Equality Day.
What problems does the UN face, and what changes can be made?
Problems with the UN’s administrative and financial resources
• Development Reform: The Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) will require big changes to the UN Development System (UNDS) to create a new generation of country teams based on a strategic UN Development Assistance Framework and led by an impartial, independent, and empowered resident coordinator.
• Management Reform: In order to deal with global problems and stay relevant in a world that is changing quickly, the United Nations needs to give managers and staff more power, simplify processes, improve accountability and openness, and make it easier to carry out our missions.
Concerns have been raised about making the UN system as a whole more efficient, avoiding repetition, and wasting as little money as possible.
• Financial Resources: The member states’ contributions should be based on the idea of “capacity to pay.”
The Member States should pay their contributions on time, in full, and without any conditions. Late payments have caused a financial problem in the UN system that has never been seen before.
Financial changes are the key to the world body’s future. If the UN didn’t have enough money, its operations and role would suffer.
Concerns about peace and Security
• Threats to Peace and Security: The UN faces a wide range of possible threats to peace and security.
poverty, disease, and damage to the environment, which the Millennium Development Goals list as risks to human security,
a fight between countries,
bloodshed and a lot of violations of human rights within states,
Organised crime is a source of terrorist threats,
and the spread of weapons, especially weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but also regular guns.
• Terrorism: Countries that back groups that have a lot of ties to terrorism, like Pakistan, are not held directly responsible for these actions. The UN still doesn’t have a clear idea of what terrorism is, and they don’t have any plans to find one.
• Nuclear Proliferation: 190 countries signed the deal to stop the spread of nuclear weapons in 1970. Even with this deal, there are still a lot of nuclear weapons, and many countries are still making these very dangerous weapons. The failure of the non-proliferation treaty shows how useless the United Nations is and how they can’t get countries to follow important rules and laws.
Changes to the Security Council
• The Security Council has stayed mostly the same, while the number of people in the UN General Assembly has grown a lot.
In 1965, there were 15 people on the Security Council instead of just 11. The number of regular members did not change. Since then, the number of people on the Council has stayed the same.
This has hurt the Council’s ability to be a group of representatives. A more representative Council that is also bigger will have more political power and credibility.
India, along with Brazil, Germany, and Japan (G-4), has been asking for the UN Security Council to be changed. The four countries back each other’s bids for the regular seats in the top UN body.
Any expansion of the group of permanent members must be based on agreed-upon factors, not on a list of people already chosen.
• UNSC Veto power: It is often said that the UN’s effectiveness and ability to deal with threats to international security rely on how well the UNSC veto is used.
Veto Power: The five permanent members have the right to veto a vote. If a permanent member vetoes a vote, the Council decision cannot be passed, even if other countries agree with it. Even if the other fourteen countries vote yes, a single veto will stop this huge show of support.
There are some ideas about the future of the Veto power:
o limiting the use of the veto to problems that are important for national security;
o needing the agreement of more than one state before using the veto;
o getting rid of the veto altogether;
Any changes to the veto will be hard to make:
o Articles 108 and 109 of the UN Charter give the P5 (the five permanent members) the right to veto any changes to the Charter. This means that the P5 must agree to any changes to the UNSC veto power that would affect the power they already have.
• Since it was founded, the UN has been working to keep the peace, protect human rights, set up a system for international justice, and encourage economic and social growth. It has to work in new areas like climate change, refugees, and an elderly population.
• Climate Change: From changing weather patterns that put food production at risk to rising sea levels that make catastrophic floods more likely, climate change has global effects that have never been seen before. Without big changes now, it will be harder and more expensive to deal with these effects in the future.
• The world’s population is expected to grow by more than a billion people over the next 15 years, hitting 8.5 billion in 2030. By 2050, it will be 9.7 billion, and by 2100, it will be 11.2 billion.
The rate of population growth around the world needs to slow down a lot if it isn’t to hit levels that can’t be kept up.
• The ageing of the population is likely to be one of the most important social changes of the 21st century. It will affect almost every part of society, including the labour and financial markets, the demand for goods and services like housing, transportation, and social protection, as well as family structures and relationships between generations.
• Refugees: More people are moving around the world than ever before.
At the end of 2016, a record number of 65,6 million people were forced to leave their homes because of war and abuse.
There are almost 22.5 million refugees, and more than half of them are under 18 years old.
There are also 10 million people who don’t have a nationality and can’t access basic rights like schooling, health care, work, and freedom of movement because they don’t have one.
• Even though the UN has a lot of problems, it has been a big part of making society more polite, peaceful, and safe than it was before the Second World War.
• Because the United countries is the largest democratic body of all countries, it has a big responsibility to help build a democratic society, improve the economies of people living in extreme poverty, and protect the Earth’s ecosystem in light of climate change.