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The United Nations Organisation (UNO) is the global international organisation of sovereign independent states. It was established on 24 October 1945. The destruction caused by the Second World War and failure of the League of nations compelled the people to establish an international organisation for keeping the world away from war and in favour of friendship and cooperation among all the nations. The UNO was designed to save the future generations from the scourge of war by promoting International peace and security.The United Nations Organisation came into existence in 1945 when the representatives of 51 nations signed the Charter of the UNO at San Francisco.
All nations pledged themselves to the UN Charter. In the UN Charter they pledged “to save the succeeding generations from the scourage of war” They also promised to “promote social progress and better standards of life.” The Charter came into force on October 24, 1945 after a majority of the signatories deposited their instruments of ratification. Since then every year, 24th October is celebrated as the United Nations Day.
The UN Charter:
The Charter is the Constitution of the United Nations Organisation. It was made in October 1944 by the Dumbarton Oaks (Washington DC) Conference. It lays down the rules which govern the organisation and functions of the UNO and all its organs. The Charter has a Preamble, 19 Chapters and 111 Articles which explain the purposes, principles, organs, and operating methods of the UN.
(A) Purposes of the UTS:The purposes of the UN are defined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.
- To maintain international peace and security and to take adequate steps to avert wars.
- To develop friendly relations among nations on the basis of equality.
- To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.
- To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
The Charter of UN establishes six principle UN organs.These are:
- The UN General Assembly:The General Assembly is the highest deliberative organ of the UN. It is also called the World Parliament of Nations. Each member state sends five representatives to it but each state has only one vote. The session of the General Assembly is convened on third Tuesday in the month of September every year.The opening day of the session stands designated as the International Day of Peace. The UN General Assembly holds deliberations on all issues which are related to the Charter of the United Nations. It also approves the annual budget of the UN. It’s headquarter is located at New York (the USA).
- The UN Security Council:The Security Council is the executive body of the UN. It is called “the Power House” of the UN. It is made up of 15 members out of whom 5 are permanent members, each with a veto power. These are the USA, Russia, China, France and United Kingdom. Remaining 10 are non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly by a 2/3 majority for a term of two years.The decisions of the Security Council are taken by a majority and vote but each of its five permanent members has the right to veto its decisions. Under the “uniting for peace resolution” adopted in November 1950, the UN General Assembly can direct the Security Council to act for meeting any threat to international peace by taking collective security action against aggression. The Security Council is a powerful organ of the UN. It’s headquarter is located at New York in USA. India now wants to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
- The Economic and Social Council: The Economic and Social Council has 54 members, they are elected by the UN General Assembly for a term of three years. One-third members (18) out of these retire every year and in their place new members are elected. This Council helps the UN in solving the economic and social problems of the world. It also supervises the work of some other UN bodies. It’s headquarter is located at New York in the USA.
- The Trusteeship Council: The Trusteeship Council supervises the administration of those backward and disputed territories, the responsibility for the development of which has been taken over by the UNO. Apart from the permanent members of the Security Council, the administering countries of the trust territories are its members. These are elected for three years by the UN General Assembly the Trusteeship Council monitors the development of trust territories.
- The International Court of Justice (ICJ): It is the chief judicial body of the UN. It is also called “the World Court.” It consists of 15 judges who are elected by the General Assembly on the recommendations of the UN Security Council; each judge of ICJ holds a tenure of 9 years. It’s one third judges retire after three years and in their place new judges are elected. The International Court of Justice gives its verdict on such disputes/cases which are brought to it by the concerned states by their mutual consent. It gives advisory opinion on legal matters to the organs and special agencies of the UN when solicited. It’s headquarter is located at The Hague (Netherlands).
- The UN Secretariat: Secretariat is the administrative organ of the UN. It implements the policies and decisions taken up by organs of the UN. It consists of international civil servants who, while serving the UN, must forget their national loyalties and work for securing the interests of the UN. There are about 4000 employees of the UN Secretariat. Their salaries are paid by the UN. The Secretariat General is the head of the Secretariat. He is called the “Watchdog of the UN”. He is appointed for a term of 5 year by the UN General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. At present. Mr. Ban Ki Moon is the UN Secretary General.
Specialized Agencies of the UN:
The Specialised Agencies of the UN have been playing a significant role in implementing the policies, decisions and programmes of the UN. These are looking after specific areas and issues like research, health, labour, trade, culture, human rights etc. Some of the important specialized agencies of the UN are: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Labour Organisation (WLO), World Health Organisation (WHO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), UN International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and others
Role of the United Nations:
To maintain international peace and security has been the prime responsibility of the UN. During about 64 years of its existence, it has done a valuable work in this direction. It has done a fairly good amount of work in the settlement of several controversies, which could have posed serious threats to the world peace. Along with it, the UN has contributed greatly in the field of decolonization, human rights, disarmament.
However, the UN has several weaknesses and limitations:
(i) It lacks adequate funds to meet all its objectives.
(ii) The veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council has virtually left this powerful UN organ at the mercy of “Big-Five” ie USA, UK, Russia France and China. Hence, the need is to reform the UN system from within and outside.
(iii) The urgent need is to democratize the UN. Democracy and transparency must characterize the Working of all the organs of the UN. The Security Council needs to be expanded and restructured. Almost all countries now advocate the need for an increase in the permanent and non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.There has been a big increase in the members of the UN. As such, the UN Security Council needs an expansion for giving due representation to all continents and major powers of the world.
(iv) The issue of Veto Power needs to be debated and amended.
(v) The General Assembly should be made stronger. It should be turned into a forum for consensus on important global issues.
(vi) The voice of the smaller nations should carry equal weight in all UN decisions.
(vii) The rules and practices of the UN institutions need reform in the light of past experience.
(viii) The organisation and the functioning of the Economic and Social Council and the Secretariat demand a complete over-hauling.
(ix) The UN peacekeeping role needs to be restructured technically and financially.
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