NCERT Textbook - International Organisations Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Political Science Class 12

Created by: Uk Tiwary

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - International Organisations Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


OVERVIEW
In this chapter we shall discuss
the role of international
organisations after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. We shall
examine how, in this emerging
world, there were calls for the
restructuring of international
organisations to cope with various
new challenges including the rise
of US power. The potential reform
of the United Nations Security
Council is an interesting case of
the reform process and its
difficulties. We then turn to India’s
involvement in the UN and its view
of Security Council reforms. The
chapter closes by asking if the UN
can play any role in dealing with
a world dominated by one
superpower. In this chapter we
also look at some other trans-
national organisations that are
playing a crucial role.
Chapter 6
International Organisations
This is the United Nations’ logo. The emblem has a world map
with olive branches around it, signifying world peace.
Credit : www.un.org
Page 2


OVERVIEW
In this chapter we shall discuss
the role of international
organisations after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. We shall
examine how, in this emerging
world, there were calls for the
restructuring of international
organisations to cope with various
new challenges including the rise
of US power. The potential reform
of the United Nations Security
Council is an interesting case of
the reform process and its
difficulties. We then turn to India’s
involvement in the UN and its view
of Security Council reforms. The
chapter closes by asking if the UN
can play any role in dealing with
a world dominated by one
superpower. In this chapter we
also look at some other trans-
national organisations that are
playing a crucial role.
Chapter 6
International Organisations
This is the United Nations’ logo. The emblem has a world map
with olive branches around it, signifying world peace.
Credit : www.un.org
Contemporary World Politics
82
WHY INTERNATIONAL
ORGANISATIONS?
Read the two cartoons on this
page. Both the cartoons comment
on the ineffectiveness of the
United Nations Organisation,
usually referred to as the UN, in
the Lebanon crisis in 2006. Both
the cartoons represent the kind of
opinions that we often hear about
the UN.
On the other hand, we also
find that the UN is generally
regarded as the most important
international organisation in
today’s world. In the eyes of many
people all over the world, it is
indispensable and represents the
great hope of humanity for peace
and progress.  Why do we then
need organisations like the UN?
Let us hear two insiders:
“The United Nations was not
created to take humanity to
heaven, but to save it from hell.”
— Dag Hammarskjold, the UN’s
second Secretary-General.
 “Talking shop? Yes, there are
a lot of speeches and meetings at
the U.N., especially during the
annual sessions of the General
Assembly. But as Churchill put it,
jaw-jaw is better than war-war.
Isn’t it better to have one place
where all… countries in the world
can get together, bore each other
sometimes with their words rather
than bore holes into each other on
the battlefield?” — Shashi Tharoor,
the former UN Under-Secretary-
General for Communications and
Public Information.
These two quotes suggest
something important. International
organisations are not the answer
to everything, but they are
important. International organi-
sations help with matters of war
and peace. They also help
countries cooperate to make
better living conditions for us all.
Countries have conflicts and
differences with each other. That
does not necessarily mean they
must go to war to deal with their
That’s what they say
about the
parliament too —
a talking shop. Does
it mean that we
need talking shops?
During June 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon, saying that it was necessary to control the militant group called Hezbollah.
Large numbers of civilians were killed and many public buildings and even residential areas came under Israeli
bombardment. The UN passed a resolution on this only in August and the Israel army withdrew from the region only in
October. Both these cartoons comment on the role of the UN and its Secretary-General in this episode.
© Harry Harrison, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
© Petar Pismestrovic, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
Page 3


OVERVIEW
In this chapter we shall discuss
the role of international
organisations after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. We shall
examine how, in this emerging
world, there were calls for the
restructuring of international
organisations to cope with various
new challenges including the rise
of US power. The potential reform
of the United Nations Security
Council is an interesting case of
the reform process and its
difficulties. We then turn to India’s
involvement in the UN and its view
of Security Council reforms. The
chapter closes by asking if the UN
can play any role in dealing with
a world dominated by one
superpower. In this chapter we
also look at some other trans-
national organisations that are
playing a crucial role.
Chapter 6
International Organisations
This is the United Nations’ logo. The emblem has a world map
with olive branches around it, signifying world peace.
Credit : www.un.org
Contemporary World Politics
82
WHY INTERNATIONAL
ORGANISATIONS?
Read the two cartoons on this
page. Both the cartoons comment
on the ineffectiveness of the
United Nations Organisation,
usually referred to as the UN, in
the Lebanon crisis in 2006. Both
the cartoons represent the kind of
opinions that we often hear about
the UN.
On the other hand, we also
find that the UN is generally
regarded as the most important
international organisation in
today’s world. In the eyes of many
people all over the world, it is
indispensable and represents the
great hope of humanity for peace
and progress.  Why do we then
need organisations like the UN?
Let us hear two insiders:
“The United Nations was not
created to take humanity to
heaven, but to save it from hell.”
— Dag Hammarskjold, the UN’s
second Secretary-General.
 “Talking shop? Yes, there are
a lot of speeches and meetings at
the U.N., especially during the
annual sessions of the General
Assembly. But as Churchill put it,
jaw-jaw is better than war-war.
Isn’t it better to have one place
where all… countries in the world
can get together, bore each other
sometimes with their words rather
than bore holes into each other on
the battlefield?” — Shashi Tharoor,
the former UN Under-Secretary-
General for Communications and
Public Information.
These two quotes suggest
something important. International
organisations are not the answer
to everything, but they are
important. International organi-
sations help with matters of war
and peace. They also help
countries cooperate to make
better living conditions for us all.
Countries have conflicts and
differences with each other. That
does not necessarily mean they
must go to war to deal with their
That’s what they say
about the
parliament too —
a talking shop. Does
it mean that we
need talking shops?
During June 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon, saying that it was necessary to control the militant group called Hezbollah.
Large numbers of civilians were killed and many public buildings and even residential areas came under Israeli
bombardment. The UN passed a resolution on this only in August and the Israel army withdrew from the region only in
October. Both these cartoons comment on the role of the UN and its Secretary-General in this episode.
© Harry Harrison, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
© Petar Pismestrovic, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
International Organisations
83
antagonisms. They can, instead,
discuss contentious issues and
find peaceful solutions; indeed,
even though this is rarely noticed,
most conflicts and differences are
resolved without going to war. The
role of an international
organisation can be important in
this context. An international
organisation is not a super-state
with authority over its members.
It is created by and responds to
states. It comes into being when
states agree to its creation. Once
created, it can help member states
resolve their problems peacefully.
International organisations
are helpful in another way.
Nations can usually see that there
are some things they must do
together. There are issues that are
so challenging that they can only
be dealt with when everyone
works together. Disease is an
example. Some diseases can only
be eradicated if everyone in the
world cooperates in inoculating or
vaccinating their populations. Or
take global warming and
its effects. As atmospheric
temperatures rise because of the
spread of certain chemicals called
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), there
is a danger that sea levels will also
rise, thereby submerging many
coastal areas of the world
including huge cities. Of course,
each country can try to find its
own solution to the effects of
global warming. But in the end a
more effective approach is to stop
the warming itself. This requires
at least all of the major industrial
powers to cooperate.
Unfortunately, recognising the
need for cooperation and actually
cooperating are two different
things. Nations can recognise the
need to cooperate but cannot
always agree on how best to do so,
how to share the costs of
cooperating, how to make sure
that the benefits of cooperating are
justly divided, and how to ensure
that others do not break their end
of the bargain and cheat on an
agreement. An international
organisation can help produce
information and ideas about how
to cooperate. It can provide
mechanisms, rules and a
bureaucracy,  to help members have
more confidence that costs will be
shared properly, that the benefits
Make a list of issues or
problems (other than the
ones mentioned in the
text) that cannot be
handled by any one
country and require an
international organisation.
IMF
IMF
The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) is an international organ-
isation that oversees those
financial institutions and regula-
tions that act at the international
level. The IMF has 188 member
countries, (as on 1 September 2012) but they
do not enjoy an equal say. The top ten countries
have more than 52 per cent of the votes. They
are the G-8 members (the US, Japan, Germany,
France, the UK, Italy, Canada and Russia), China
and Saudi Arabia. The US alone has 16.75 per
cent voting rights.
Page 4


OVERVIEW
In this chapter we shall discuss
the role of international
organisations after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. We shall
examine how, in this emerging
world, there were calls for the
restructuring of international
organisations to cope with various
new challenges including the rise
of US power. The potential reform
of the United Nations Security
Council is an interesting case of
the reform process and its
difficulties. We then turn to India’s
involvement in the UN and its view
of Security Council reforms. The
chapter closes by asking if the UN
can play any role in dealing with
a world dominated by one
superpower. In this chapter we
also look at some other trans-
national organisations that are
playing a crucial role.
Chapter 6
International Organisations
This is the United Nations’ logo. The emblem has a world map
with olive branches around it, signifying world peace.
Credit : www.un.org
Contemporary World Politics
82
WHY INTERNATIONAL
ORGANISATIONS?
Read the two cartoons on this
page. Both the cartoons comment
on the ineffectiveness of the
United Nations Organisation,
usually referred to as the UN, in
the Lebanon crisis in 2006. Both
the cartoons represent the kind of
opinions that we often hear about
the UN.
On the other hand, we also
find that the UN is generally
regarded as the most important
international organisation in
today’s world. In the eyes of many
people all over the world, it is
indispensable and represents the
great hope of humanity for peace
and progress.  Why do we then
need organisations like the UN?
Let us hear two insiders:
“The United Nations was not
created to take humanity to
heaven, but to save it from hell.”
— Dag Hammarskjold, the UN’s
second Secretary-General.
 “Talking shop? Yes, there are
a lot of speeches and meetings at
the U.N., especially during the
annual sessions of the General
Assembly. But as Churchill put it,
jaw-jaw is better than war-war.
Isn’t it better to have one place
where all… countries in the world
can get together, bore each other
sometimes with their words rather
than bore holes into each other on
the battlefield?” — Shashi Tharoor,
the former UN Under-Secretary-
General for Communications and
Public Information.
These two quotes suggest
something important. International
organisations are not the answer
to everything, but they are
important. International organi-
sations help with matters of war
and peace. They also help
countries cooperate to make
better living conditions for us all.
Countries have conflicts and
differences with each other. That
does not necessarily mean they
must go to war to deal with their
That’s what they say
about the
parliament too —
a talking shop. Does
it mean that we
need talking shops?
During June 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon, saying that it was necessary to control the militant group called Hezbollah.
Large numbers of civilians were killed and many public buildings and even residential areas came under Israeli
bombardment. The UN passed a resolution on this only in August and the Israel army withdrew from the region only in
October. Both these cartoons comment on the role of the UN and its Secretary-General in this episode.
© Harry Harrison, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
© Petar Pismestrovic, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
International Organisations
83
antagonisms. They can, instead,
discuss contentious issues and
find peaceful solutions; indeed,
even though this is rarely noticed,
most conflicts and differences are
resolved without going to war. The
role of an international
organisation can be important in
this context. An international
organisation is not a super-state
with authority over its members.
It is created by and responds to
states. It comes into being when
states agree to its creation. Once
created, it can help member states
resolve their problems peacefully.
International organisations
are helpful in another way.
Nations can usually see that there
are some things they must do
together. There are issues that are
so challenging that they can only
be dealt with when everyone
works together. Disease is an
example. Some diseases can only
be eradicated if everyone in the
world cooperates in inoculating or
vaccinating their populations. Or
take global warming and
its effects. As atmospheric
temperatures rise because of the
spread of certain chemicals called
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), there
is a danger that sea levels will also
rise, thereby submerging many
coastal areas of the world
including huge cities. Of course,
each country can try to find its
own solution to the effects of
global warming. But in the end a
more effective approach is to stop
the warming itself. This requires
at least all of the major industrial
powers to cooperate.
Unfortunately, recognising the
need for cooperation and actually
cooperating are two different
things. Nations can recognise the
need to cooperate but cannot
always agree on how best to do so,
how to share the costs of
cooperating, how to make sure
that the benefits of cooperating are
justly divided, and how to ensure
that others do not break their end
of the bargain and cheat on an
agreement. An international
organisation can help produce
information and ideas about how
to cooperate. It can provide
mechanisms, rules and a
bureaucracy,  to help members have
more confidence that costs will be
shared properly, that the benefits
Make a list of issues or
problems (other than the
ones mentioned in the
text) that cannot be
handled by any one
country and require an
international organisation.
IMF
IMF
The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) is an international organ-
isation that oversees those
financial institutions and regula-
tions that act at the international
level. The IMF has 188 member
countries, (as on 1 September 2012) but they
do not enjoy an equal say. The top ten countries
have more than 52 per cent of the votes. They
are the G-8 members (the US, Japan, Germany,
France, the UK, Italy, Canada and Russia), China
and Saudi Arabia. The US alone has 16.75 per
cent voting rights.
Contemporary World Politics
84
will be fairly divided, and that once
a member joins an agreement it
will honour the terms and
conditions of the agreement.
With the end of the Cold War,
we can see that the UN may have
a slightly different role. As the
United States and its allies
emerged victorious, there was
concern amongst many
governments and peoples that the
Western countries led by the US
would be so powerful that there
would be no check against their
wishes and desires. Can the UN
serve to promote dialogue and
discussion with the US in
particular, and could it limit the
power of the American
government? We shall try to
answer this question at the end
of the chapter.
EVOLUTION OF THE UN
The First World War encouraged
the world to invest in an
international organisation to deal
with conflict. Many believed that
such an organisation would help
the world to avoid war. As a result,
the League of Nations was born.
However, despite its initial
success, it could not prevent the
Second World War (1939-45).
Many more people died and were
wounded in this war than ever
before.
The UN was founded as a
successor to the League of
Nations. It was established in
1945 immediately after the
1941August: Signing of the Atlantic Charter by the US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston S. Churchill
1942 January: 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis
Powers meet in Washington, D.C., to support the Atlantic
Charter and sign the ‘Declaration by United Nations’
1943 December: Tehran Conference Declaration of the
Three Powers (US, Britain and Soviet Union)
1945 February: Yalta Conference of the ‘Big Three’
(Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) decides to organise a United
Nations conference on the proposed world organisation
April-May: The 2-month long United Nations Conference on
International Organisation at San Francisco
1945 June 26: Signing of the UN Charter by 50 nations
(Poland signed on October 15; so the UN has 51 original
founding members)
1945 October 24: the UN was founded (hence October 24 is
celebrated as UN Day)
1945 October 30: India joins the UN
The US Office of War Information
created the above poster during the
Second World War as per the
Declaration by United Nations of 1942.
The poster features the flags of all
nations that were part of the Allied
Forces. It reflects the belligerent origins
of the UN.
FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Page 5


OVERVIEW
In this chapter we shall discuss
the role of international
organisations after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. We shall
examine how, in this emerging
world, there were calls for the
restructuring of international
organisations to cope with various
new challenges including the rise
of US power. The potential reform
of the United Nations Security
Council is an interesting case of
the reform process and its
difficulties. We then turn to India’s
involvement in the UN and its view
of Security Council reforms. The
chapter closes by asking if the UN
can play any role in dealing with
a world dominated by one
superpower. In this chapter we
also look at some other trans-
national organisations that are
playing a crucial role.
Chapter 6
International Organisations
This is the United Nations’ logo. The emblem has a world map
with olive branches around it, signifying world peace.
Credit : www.un.org
Contemporary World Politics
82
WHY INTERNATIONAL
ORGANISATIONS?
Read the two cartoons on this
page. Both the cartoons comment
on the ineffectiveness of the
United Nations Organisation,
usually referred to as the UN, in
the Lebanon crisis in 2006. Both
the cartoons represent the kind of
opinions that we often hear about
the UN.
On the other hand, we also
find that the UN is generally
regarded as the most important
international organisation in
today’s world. In the eyes of many
people all over the world, it is
indispensable and represents the
great hope of humanity for peace
and progress.  Why do we then
need organisations like the UN?
Let us hear two insiders:
“The United Nations was not
created to take humanity to
heaven, but to save it from hell.”
— Dag Hammarskjold, the UN’s
second Secretary-General.
 “Talking shop? Yes, there are
a lot of speeches and meetings at
the U.N., especially during the
annual sessions of the General
Assembly. But as Churchill put it,
jaw-jaw is better than war-war.
Isn’t it better to have one place
where all… countries in the world
can get together, bore each other
sometimes with their words rather
than bore holes into each other on
the battlefield?” — Shashi Tharoor,
the former UN Under-Secretary-
General for Communications and
Public Information.
These two quotes suggest
something important. International
organisations are not the answer
to everything, but they are
important. International organi-
sations help with matters of war
and peace. They also help
countries cooperate to make
better living conditions for us all.
Countries have conflicts and
differences with each other. That
does not necessarily mean they
must go to war to deal with their
That’s what they say
about the
parliament too —
a talking shop. Does
it mean that we
need talking shops?
During June 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon, saying that it was necessary to control the militant group called Hezbollah.
Large numbers of civilians were killed and many public buildings and even residential areas came under Israeli
bombardment. The UN passed a resolution on this only in August and the Israel army withdrew from the region only in
October. Both these cartoons comment on the role of the UN and its Secretary-General in this episode.
© Harry Harrison, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
© Petar Pismestrovic, Cagle Cartoons Inc.
International Organisations
83
antagonisms. They can, instead,
discuss contentious issues and
find peaceful solutions; indeed,
even though this is rarely noticed,
most conflicts and differences are
resolved without going to war. The
role of an international
organisation can be important in
this context. An international
organisation is not a super-state
with authority over its members.
It is created by and responds to
states. It comes into being when
states agree to its creation. Once
created, it can help member states
resolve their problems peacefully.
International organisations
are helpful in another way.
Nations can usually see that there
are some things they must do
together. There are issues that are
so challenging that they can only
be dealt with when everyone
works together. Disease is an
example. Some diseases can only
be eradicated if everyone in the
world cooperates in inoculating or
vaccinating their populations. Or
take global warming and
its effects. As atmospheric
temperatures rise because of the
spread of certain chemicals called
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), there
is a danger that sea levels will also
rise, thereby submerging many
coastal areas of the world
including huge cities. Of course,
each country can try to find its
own solution to the effects of
global warming. But in the end a
more effective approach is to stop
the warming itself. This requires
at least all of the major industrial
powers to cooperate.
Unfortunately, recognising the
need for cooperation and actually
cooperating are two different
things. Nations can recognise the
need to cooperate but cannot
always agree on how best to do so,
how to share the costs of
cooperating, how to make sure
that the benefits of cooperating are
justly divided, and how to ensure
that others do not break their end
of the bargain and cheat on an
agreement. An international
organisation can help produce
information and ideas about how
to cooperate. It can provide
mechanisms, rules and a
bureaucracy,  to help members have
more confidence that costs will be
shared properly, that the benefits
Make a list of issues or
problems (other than the
ones mentioned in the
text) that cannot be
handled by any one
country and require an
international organisation.
IMF
IMF
The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) is an international organ-
isation that oversees those
financial institutions and regula-
tions that act at the international
level. The IMF has 188 member
countries, (as on 1 September 2012) but they
do not enjoy an equal say. The top ten countries
have more than 52 per cent of the votes. They
are the G-8 members (the US, Japan, Germany,
France, the UK, Italy, Canada and Russia), China
and Saudi Arabia. The US alone has 16.75 per
cent voting rights.
Contemporary World Politics
84
will be fairly divided, and that once
a member joins an agreement it
will honour the terms and
conditions of the agreement.
With the end of the Cold War,
we can see that the UN may have
a slightly different role. As the
United States and its allies
emerged victorious, there was
concern amongst many
governments and peoples that the
Western countries led by the US
would be so powerful that there
would be no check against their
wishes and desires. Can the UN
serve to promote dialogue and
discussion with the US in
particular, and could it limit the
power of the American
government? We shall try to
answer this question at the end
of the chapter.
EVOLUTION OF THE UN
The First World War encouraged
the world to invest in an
international organisation to deal
with conflict. Many believed that
such an organisation would help
the world to avoid war. As a result,
the League of Nations was born.
However, despite its initial
success, it could not prevent the
Second World War (1939-45).
Many more people died and were
wounded in this war than ever
before.
The UN was founded as a
successor to the League of
Nations. It was established in
1945 immediately after the
1941August: Signing of the Atlantic Charter by the US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston S. Churchill
1942 January: 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis
Powers meet in Washington, D.C., to support the Atlantic
Charter and sign the ‘Declaration by United Nations’
1943 December: Tehran Conference Declaration of the
Three Powers (US, Britain and Soviet Union)
1945 February: Yalta Conference of the ‘Big Three’
(Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) decides to organise a United
Nations conference on the proposed world organisation
April-May: The 2-month long United Nations Conference on
International Organisation at San Francisco
1945 June 26: Signing of the UN Charter by 50 nations
(Poland signed on October 15; so the UN has 51 original
founding members)
1945 October 24: the UN was founded (hence October 24 is
celebrated as UN Day)
1945 October 30: India joins the UN
The US Office of War Information
created the above poster during the
Second World War as per the
Declaration by United Nations of 1942.
The poster features the flags of all
nations that were part of the Allied
Forces. It reflects the belligerent origins
of the UN.
FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS
International Organisations
85
Adapted from http://www.newint.org/issue375/pics/un-map-big.gif
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