75 Years of United Nations: The Unfinished Agendas

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United Nations
United Nations

The twentieth century is the most important century of mankind history regarding global politics. This century had the first global-scale total wars between the great world powers across all continents and oceans. During the 20th century, there were also some revolutionary movements that changed that forever changed the political spectrum of the world (decline of monarchism). The league of Nations and United Nations were also established in this century. Establishment of the United Nations is the most important event of human history as it created an international agreement on human rights and preservation of peace. It reminds us about the approaches of global leaders for the implementation of peace in a world that had just gone through global war and see its’ effects firsthand. Like every organization, it was also formed to work towards some causes and it also has some consequences. In brief the United Nations is an international organization formed in 1945 after the World War II by 51 countries committed for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations for better living standards and human rights. Atlantic Charter had its importance in global Politics as it gave birth to United Nations.

The United Nations is the largest organization of independent and sovereign states. It was formed on 24th October 1945. Currently, The United Nations consists of 193 member states and has five (5) main organs. The very first meeting of United Nations was held on January 10, 1946, at London, United Kingdom. 51 sovereign states from all over the world attended this session and India was among them. Secretary General is the head of United Nations. Trygve Lie from Norway was the first Secretary General of United Nations. He became SG on February 1, 1946. United Nations is working on a document which is known as “United Nations Charter.”

FORMATION

The name “United Nations” was coined by US President Franklin Roosevelt. During World War II, US President and Prime minister of United Kingdom, Winston Churchill met at HMS Prince of Whales. There they signed the Atlantic Charter. UN charter was signed on 26 June 1945. It was signed at the conclusion of United Nations International Conference at San Francisco. On 24 October 1945 Charter of United Nations came into force. Every year, United Nations celebrates its day on 24 October to mark the entrance of Charter. United Nations charter consists of 19 chapters and 111 articles.

The aims of United Nations can be described by four words.

  • Security.
  • Human Rights.
  • Welfare.
  • Justice.

The aims of United Nations are also described in its preamble.

CONSEQUENCES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF “UN”

Establishment of United Nations is one of the most important events of the human history. After the establishment of United Nations, we saw another era with the confrontation of major global powers such as US and Soviet Union. They engaged in cold war for about 40 years. But there is not a single conflict between both states. United Nations was failed in many tasks. Starting from Kashmir to Palestine. But, on the other hand, United Nations’ history is also filled of many successes.

1) Iran-Iraq War (1980-88)

Iraq-Iraq war was fought for 8 years between the two neighbors. The War was stopped only with the intervention of United Nations. Although during these 8 years United Nations had failed to help mediate one of the deadliest wars of that region. But finally, ceasefire was implemented due to UN involvement That war was called “Holy Defense” within Iranian groups

2) UN peacekeeping missions

United Nations has a credit of 71 Peacekeeping missions on its behalf. 1st United Nations Peacekeeping mission was launched in 1948 to monitor peace agreement Israel and Arab counties. Peacekeeping operations of Sierra Leone, East Timor, and Liberia were most successful operations by UN Peacekeeping forces.

3) Protection of Human Rights

Human Rights Protection is the major pillar on which the structure of United Nations established. Till Now, United Nations is protecting Human Rights with about 80 treaties and agreements. A sperate UN body “United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)” is also working for the protection of basic Human Rights.

4) Disarmament and Arms Control

United Nations was founded with the aims of arms control and disarmament. NPT was the one of the major success of United Nations security council. Five permanent members of United Nations security council played an important part in the implication of the NPT. A sperate United Nations working body named as “United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)” is also playing an important part in Disarmament and elimination of weapons. Another UN backed body “Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)” is also working for the elimination of chemical weapons

United Nations failed in many issues & global order is the main reason behind this.

1) Palestinian Issue (1947-Till now)

Israeli illegal occupation on Palestinian land is one of the biggest failures of United Nations. During 1947-49, about 15,000 Palestinians have lost their lives. Then again in this millennium, about 7,000 Palestinians and 1100 Israelis are killed in clashes at different times. After the 72 years of illegal occupation, United Nations still unable to stop Israeli occupant forces.

2) Kashmir Issue (1948-Till now)

Kashmir issue is still unresolved. Again, UN has been unable to stop Indian occupation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. According to a Turkish news agency, TRT, “from 1989 about 68,000 Kashmiris have lost their lives by direct or indirect actions of Indian occupied forces. Peace of South Asia is impossible long as Kashmir issue remains unresolved.

3) Refugees Crisis

Refugee Crisis slapped on the Status of United Nations. United Nations and United Nations Human Rights council (UNHRC) are completely failed in this issue. Annual thousands of people are killed from sea waves or food shortage. Although current Secretary General is the former head of UNHRC, but issue is still unresolved.

4) Syrian Civil War (2011- Till now)

This issue is still unresolved. Although United Nations Security Council tried to resolve this issue, but no positive development was achieved. Millions of innocent Syrians are killed in this not ending war. US and Russian are busy in dropping bombs on this region while others continue supporting armed groups and the government continues the civil war in a chaotic manner. UN must ensure that stability of this region and must protect innocent citizen lives.

5) Arms Control

Today world is a hub of deadliest weapons. Starting from chemical weapons to nuclear weapons, these weapons are threatening the human survival on planet earth. After the testing of anti-satellite and long-range missiles, now space is also not safe from these dangerous weapons.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

United Nations is international organization with 193 sovereign states as members and some states, organizations as observe status. It has five main organs.

  • Security Council.
  • Secretariat.
  • International Court of Justice.
  • Economic and Social Council.
  • General Assembly.
  • The trusteeship council.

1) Security Council

United Nations Security Council has the main Responsibility of global peace and stability. Security Council consists of 15 members. 10 of them are non-permanent members. While founder members such as the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France are permanent members and permanent members have veto power. The group of these permanent members are called P-5. Interestingly, all these members are also nuclear weapon states (NWS).

2) Secretariat

United Nations Secretariat consists of all the employees of United Nations and most importantly Secretary General. Secretary General is the Chief Administrative Officer of United Nations. It holds all the impossible tasks of United Nations General Assembly.

3) International Court of Justice (ICJ)

International Court of Justice is the judicial organ of organization. It deals all the cases that lies within its domain. It consists of 15 judges and each judge has a tenure of 9 years. It is in Hague, Netherlands.

4) Economic and Social Council

It the central center of United Nations for the policy making, policy implementation, policy Recommendations. It is in New York, USA. It has 54 members. Those members are elected by United Nations General Assembly.

The Trusteeship council is suspended from 1994.

Some other UN backed organizations includes:

  • International Labor Organization (ILO).
  • Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
  • World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • UNICEF.

 CONCLUSION

Although the United Nations was not the first organization to be formed for the peace and conflict management, but this is the one that has shown most promise with its track record for maintaining peace. It shows its effectiveness in every sort of war or any nature disaster. This organization was formed by just 50 founding members but today it has 193 sovereign members and some members with observer status. Failure of the league of Nations and breaking out of the second world war caused United Nations to be formed. After the establishment of United Nations, the world has faced many crises. We saw wars in those 75 years including Korean War, Arab-Israel wars, Indo-Pak wars, and many more but UN has always been present in its efforts to mitigate the issues.

Author: Umair Aslam

About Author: Umair Aslam is studying BS International Relations at National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. He is a senior defense analyst at Pakistan Strategic Forum. He is the founder of a web-based defense news platform Global Strategic Insight. He writes about arms race in South Asia, Military Equipment, CBRN, International Relations and strategic affairs.

Follow Umair Aslam on Twitter: @Defense785

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.

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