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Monday, February 14, 2011

U.N.O. And World Peace

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The large scale destruction caused by World War II, convinced the world that if the human race was to be saved from total annihil­ation, a powerful world organization was necessary to safeguard peace in the world. This was a noble and sane idea. On the 24th October 1945 the United Nations Organization, the august world body, came into existence. It was welcomed by all the nations of the world.
The main purpose of this world organization is to maintain international peace and security. Its aim is to develop friendly relations among the nations of the world. This organization is supposed to arrange for international cooperation for solving economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems in the world. Promotion of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms falls within the domain of this world body.
The United Nations is based on the sovereign equality of all its members. All the members of this organization are expected to fulfill their obligations in good faith. The members of this organization are expected to settle their disputes by mutual negotiations and peaceful means. They are required to behave in a way which does not endanger the peace and security of the world. They are expected not to use force or threat of force against each other. The members are expected to give every kind of support and assistance to this body in its peace-keeping actions Membership of the United Nations Organization is open to all peace-loving countries, which believe in its Charter and are willing to fulfill their obligations as members of this organization.
There are six main organs of this world body: (1) the General Assembly, (2) the Security Council, (3) the Economic and Social Council, (4) the Trusteeship Council, (5) the International Court of Justice, and (6) the Secretariat.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative body of the United Nations Organization. All the member countries are represented in it. It usually meets once a year in the month of September, but special sessions can be called as and when required. It has the right to discuss and make recommendations on all matters falling within its scope. It is like a world Parliament.
The Security Council is the executive body of the organization. It has fifteen members; five of them are permanent members, while ten are non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly. The five permanent members are: People’s Republic of
China, the U.S.S.R., France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The primary responsibility of the Security Council is to maintain peace and security in the world. It is in permanent session and generally meets once a fortnight. In the event of a threat to or breach of peace, the Security Council has to take steps to restore peace and security. Each member of the Security Council has one vote but each permanent member has the privilege of veto.

The Economic and Social Council works for greater pros­perity, stability and justice in the world. It studies and makes reports and recommendations on international issues, concerning economic, social, cultural, educational and health matters. The Trusteeship Council is responsible for administering such territories as have not yet attained self-government. The Council is charged with the obligation of promoting political, social, economic and educational advancement of these territories. The International Court of Justice consists of fifteen judges who are elected independently by the Security Council and the General Assembly. Every member-state of the United Nations has access to this Court.
The administrative functions of the United Nations are performed by the Secretariat. The head of the Secretariat is the Secretary General, who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council.


If though there can be no dispute about the laudable objectives |s of this world body, the functioning of the Security Council is far [.’From satisfactory. The right of veto that can be exercised by each permanent member of the Security Council has attracted much
criticism. People feel that the right of veto has given superior status to the permanent members of the Security Council, while non-permanent members have been reduced to the position of second-grade members. The question of universal peace is the concern of all the countries of the world and not only of the five permanent members, anyone of whom can veto any proposal how­ever just and fair. So the idea of mortgaging the peace of the world to the Big Powers is losing ground and a suggestion is gaining ground that the right of veto should be abolished.
The General Assembly has constituted a committee to study draft amendments to the U.N. Charter and to suggest how best the powers of the United Nations could be enhanced to enable it to fulfill the objectives for which it had been founded. While most of the Veto Powers are for maintaining the status quo regarding the Charter and the Veto system, some of the developing countries have suggested the abolition of the veto power, because this power has been misused on many occasions
Some people say that the U.N.O. is a useless body, because it has failed to prevent many acts of aggression or to remove the threats to peace, security and independence of ^ member-nations. Kashmir, Tibet, Suez, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, Indo-China, Arab-Israel and South African conflicts are some glaring instances where the principles of equal rights, sovereignty and self-determination of people were trampled upon and the U.N.O. is unable to help the weak against the strong. Racial discrimination is still practiced in South Africa and slavery still exists in several Muslim countries.
Nevertheless, this organization has many achievements to its credit. According to Mr. U. Thant, the late Secretary General of the U.N., this world body averted a Third World War at least on two occasions — first during the Korean Crisis in 1950 and 1951 and secondly in 1962 at the time of Cuban Crisis. It is not for nothing that the membership of this organization has raised to more than 140. Many Afro-Asian and Latin American countries have gained their independence through U.N. influence, direct or indirect. So it cannot be said that it is in an effective body.

It may be correct to say that in maintaining world peace and security this organization has not achieved as much success as was expected of it, but it is wrong to say that the U.N.O. is a useless body. It has done and is still doing much praiseworthy work in solving economic, social and humanitarian problems. By far the biggest role of the U.N.O. is non-political. Its programmers continue to stimulate economic development, trade, respect for human rights, care of refugees, and mothers and children, education, agriculture, health, housing, family planning and many other matters in which all nations have a common interest. We must not forget that the U.N.O. special and other agencies like UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO, WHO, IMF, UNCTAD are doing immense good to mankind.
The U.N.O. came into existence because the major powers of the world were tired of war and desired for lasting peace. But unfortunately those very powers have not behaved well. If we spot out the conflicts and tensions that have plagued humanity during the last three decades, we can easily identify the direct involvement or indirect hand of one or other of these big powers in all the conflicts and tensions. These powers have been the greatest offenders so far as danger to world peace is concerned.
Though not a panacea for all international evils, the U.N.O. is a very useful body with a good record of achievements. It has served as an international forum where leaders of all countries can meet one another, have close personal contacts and free and frank exchange
of views, This world organization has not succeeded in all cases, but it has definitely prevented many local and small quarrels turning into world wars. It has succeeded in creating an atmosphere in which no nation can preach openly the philosophy of war. 
On many occasions it has prevented outbreak of large-scale fighting by its timely intervention. Is it not an significant achievement that the nations of the world feel the existence of this body. It does not have military power at its command, but it is definitely the most powerful moral force on the earth. In most of the cases where the U.N.O. has failed, the main cause of failure is the attitude of one of the major powers. If this organization is weak, it is because its founder members do want it to be so. The real testing time of the U.N.O. is yet to come. Unless the members of this world assembly rise to the occasion, it would meet the same fate as its predecessor, the League of Nations did.
 

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