Q 1. Describe any three international challenging issues that can only be dealt with when all the countries work together.
Ans. Challenging issues :
(ii) Global warming/Environmental degradation
(iii) Scarcity of drinking water
(iv) Global poverty
(vi) Any other valid issue
Detailed Answer : International Organisations are not the answer to everything, but they are important. International organisations help with matters of war and peace. They also help countries to co-operate and to make better living conditions for all of us. Following are the three challenging issues which can be dealt with when all the countries work together :
Epidemics: There are issues 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 co-operates in inoculating or vaccinating their populations. Many epidemics have been eradicated from India and African countries only because of the reason that all countries helped in the eradication programme.
Global Warming : Global warming is an important issue of concern. As atmospheric temperature rises because of the spread of certain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons. There is a danger that sea level will also rise. This may result in submerging of 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. If all the countries come together and minimise the level of pollution, the situation will be handled better. Kyoto Protocol is a good example of the effort of the world to check global warming.
Terrorism : Terrorism is an important issue of concern for the entire world. Not only India, but many countries of the world are facing terrorism. Russia, England, America are all facing terrorism. No one can forget the terrorist attack on The USA in the year 2001, when World Trade Centre was blown out. In India, the attack on Hotel Taj is an unforgettable example of terrorist attack. Blast in metro train in England is an example of worldwide effect of terrorism. But not a single country can fight terrorism alone. Since terrorism is not an issue of a country, it has acquired the nature of a global problem. So, the countries of the world have come together to fight this challenge and route out this menace once and forever.
Q. 2. Describe the two basic reforms of the UN on which almost everyone agrees that they are necessary after the Cold War.
Ans. (i) Reform of the organisation’s structure and the working.
(ii) Review of the issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the organisation.
Detailed Answer : Reform and improvement are fundamental to any organisation to serve the needs of a changing environment. The UN is no exception. In recent years, there have been demands for reform of the world body.
Two basic kinds of reforms face the UN: the reforms of the organisation’s structures and processes and a review of the issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the organisation.
(i) Reform of the organisation’s structure and the working : On the reform of the structures and processes, the biggest discussion has been on the functioning of the Security Council. Related to this has been the demand for an increase in the UN Security Council’s permanent and non-permanent membership so that the realities of contemporary world politics are better reflected in the structure of the organisation. In particular, there are proposals to increase membership from Asia, Africa and South America. Beyond this, the US and other Western countries want improvements in the UN’s budgetary procedures and its administration.
(ii) Review of the issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the organisation : To commemorate the 60 years of the existence of the UN, the heads of all the member states met on September 2005 to celebrate the anniversary and review the situation. The leaders in the meeting decided that the following steps should be taken to make the UN more relevant in the changing context.
(a) Creation of a peace-building Commission
(b) Acceptance of the responsibility of the international community in case of failures of national governments to protect their own citizens from atrocities.
(c) Establishment of a Human Rights Council (operational since June 2006).
(d) Agreements to achieve the Millennium Development Goals(MDGS).
(e) Condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations
(f) Creation of a Democracy Fund.
(g) An agreement to wind up the Trusteeship Council But all these are contentious issues and it is not possible to reach a common solution. It is also not possible to fix priority as to which conflict should be addressed first.
Q.3. State any six post-Cold War changes that have necessitated reforms to make the UN work better.
Ans. Post-Cold War changes :
(i) The Soviet Union has collapsed.
(ii) The US is the strongest power.
(iii) The relationship between Russia and the US are more co-operative.
(iv) The economies of Asia are growing at an unprecedented rate.
(v) India and China are growing rapidly.
(vi) Many new countries have joined the UN.
(vii) A whole new set of challenges like genocide, civil war, ethnic conflict, terrorism, climate change, environmental degradation, etc., confronts the world.
Q. 4. Trace the evolution of the United Nations since its establishment in 1945. How does it function with the help of its structures and agencies?
Ans. Evolution of the UN (i) The UN was founded as a successor to the League of Nations. It was established in 1945.
(ii) The UN was set up through the signing of the UN Charter by 51 nations.
(iii) It was formed with the hope that it would act to stop conflict and wars.
(iv) By 2006, UN had 192 members. These included almost all independent states.
Its Functioning : (a) In the UN General Assembly, all member nations have one vote each.
(b) In the UN Security Council, there are five permanent members: Britain, France, US, Russia and China and 10 temporary members.
(c) The UN consists of many structures and agencies.
(d) War, peace and differences between the member states are discussed in the General Assembly.
(e) Social and economic issues are dealt with by many agencies including WTO, UNDP, UNHRC, UNICEF and UNESCO.
Q.5. List the principal organs of the United Nations and describe the functions of any two of them.
Ans. Following are the principal organs of the United Nations :
(i) Security Council
(ii) General Assembly
(iii) Economic and Social Council
(iv) International Court of Justice
Council General Assembly : Representatives of all member countries of the United Nations are members of the General Assembly. Every member country can depute a maximum of five representatives in the General Assembly. However, every member country is entitled to only one vote. Normally, the General Assembly meets every year in the third week of September to discuss important problems and issues. The Assembly seeks to resolve mutual conflicts among nations by peaceful nations. It also deliberates on problems like poverty, increasing population, social inequality and illiteracy. It also suggests ways to solve these problems.
Economic and Social Council: The world has many economic problems today like poverty, starvation, population increase and famines. Besides, there are number of social problems also like illiteracy and racial discrimination. The Council discusses these economic and social problems and suggests ways to solve them. It co-ordinates the work done on behalf of the United Nations regarding child welfare, education, health, labour welfare and cultural exchange. The Council meets twice a year.
Q. 6. State any six post-Cold War changes that have aroused many questions about reforming the United Nations to make it work better.
Ans. In 1992, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution. The resolution reflected three main complaints.
(i) The Security Council no longer represents contemporary political realities.
(ii) Its decisions reflect only Western values and interests and are dominated by a few powers.
(iii) It lacks equitable representation. In view of the growing demands of the restructuring of the UN , on 1st January 1997, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan initiated an inquiry into how the UN should be reformed. In the coming years, keeping in view the demands, some of the following criteria have been proposed for new permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council.
A new member, it has been suggested, should be:
(a) A major economic power
(b) A major military power
(c) A substantial contributor to the UN budget
(d) A big nation in terms of its population
(e) A nation that respects democracy and human rights
(f) A country that would make the Council more representative of the world’s diversity in terms of geography, economic systems and culture. It is obvious that each of these criteria has some validity. Governments saw advantages in some criteria and disadvantages in some criteria. It was not possible to quantify the terms as how big as economic or military power did a country have to qualify for Security Council membership. What level of budget contribution should a country have to qualify for the Security Council membership? A big population will be an asset or liability for a country trying to play a bigger role in the world. If respect for democracy and human rights was the criteria, countries with excellent records would be in line to be members, but they would be effective as Council members, will be question of concern. A related issue was to change the nature of the membership altogether. Some insisted that veto power of the five permanent members be abolished. Many perceived the veto to be in conflict with the concept of democracy and sovereign equality in the UN and thought the veto was no longer right or relevant.
Q. 7. What are the functions of the Security Council?
Ans. Following are the main functions of the Security Council :
(i) The Security Council maintains peace and security in the world.
(ii) It suggests methods to adjust disputes among nations.
(iii) The Security Council can also take military action on the requirement.
(iv) The Security Council elects judges of the International Court of Justice.
(v) The Security Council appoints the Secretary General by recommending to the General Assembly.
(vi) The Security Council can also apply economic sanction against the aggressive state.(vii) The Security Council can also monitor the dispute cases that arise.
Q. 8. Describe the composition of the UN Security Council. What is the major difference in the privileges to its permanent and non-permanent members?
Ans. UN Security Council is an important organ of the United Nations. It has fifteen members: five permanent members and ten elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Difference in the privileges between permanent and non-permanent members:
(i) The main privileges of the permanent members are permanency of the veto power, which can neglect any resolution of the Security Council.
(ii) The non-permanent members serve for only two years at a tie. A country cannot be re-elected immediately after completing their term. They do not have veto power.
Q. 9. Describe any six criteria for the new membership of Security Council as suggested after 1997.
Explain any six points of new criteria for becoming a permanent or non-permanent member of Security Council as proposed by members of the UN since 1997.
Ans. Six criteria for the new membership of Security Council are as follows :
(i) A major economic power.
(ii) A major military power.
(iii) A substantial contributor to the UN budget.
(iv) A big nation in terms of its population.
(v) A nation that represents democracy and human rights.
(vi) A country that would make the Council more representative of the world’s diversity in terms of geography, economic systems and culture.
Q. 10. Critically evaluate the difficulties involved in implementing the suggested reforms to reconstruct the UN.
Ans. In view of the growing demands for the restructuring of the UN on 1st January 1997, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan initiated an enquiry into how the UN should be reformed. In the year since then, some criteria have been proposed for the new permanent and nonpermanent members of the Security Council. Clearly, each of these criteria has some validity. Governments saw advantages in some criteria and disadvantages in some criteria depending on their interests and aspirations. Following difficulties are involved in implementing the suggested reforms to reconstruct the UN :
(i) How big an economic or military power a country should be to qualify for Security Council membership.
(ii) What level of budget contribution a country should have to get into the Security Council.
(iii) A big population is an asset or liability for a country trying to play a bigger role in the world.
(iv) If respect for democracy and human rights was the criteria, countries with excellent records would be in line to be members, but they would be effective as Council members will be a question.
(v) Solution of the matter of representation was to be sought out on which ground.
(vi) Equitable representation in geographical terms means that there should be one seat each from Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, is not clear. The above-mentioned difficulties are involved in implementing the suggested reforms to reconstruct the UN.