8 Jan 2017 | Target Mains: Weekly Essay Challenge

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  • Future role and usefulness of United Nations

    Instructions: Write an essay on one of the above topics in 1000-1200 words.


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  • Profile photo of harsha reddy harsha reddy @harshareddy168

    i think we have to write future role and response ,not past happens one .but good essay

    • Profile photo of Kunal Aggarwal Kunal Aggarwal @kunalaggarwal

      How would you discuss future future role without discussing why it was created and what has been achieved? I mean to discuss what it could do in future, you need to analyse its past achievements to analyse its powers, problems etc.

    • Profile photo of santosh santosh @veeresh-rathod

      I agree …but based on past work take step to future with its effort as well as what its future plan and role

  • Profile photo of Rishi ranjan Rishi ranjan @rishiranjan04

    Future Role and Usefulness of United Nations:

    The formation of United nations in 1945 was an attempt on the part of world powers to have a representative body that would essentially bring together all the nations on a common platform and strive for a cordial existence of the world.
    The damage and the loss inflicted by the second world war was beyond any measures. While the economic losses were huge, the war had shaken the world order in a big way. The transformation of United States of America and USSR into powerhouses had begun a new order. But these enormity had come at the cost of million of lives and trillions of money. There could not have been a better time than this to ensure that the power centres then, had to come together and take lead in ensuring that such a disaster doesn’t happen again. US, USSR, China, France and Japan came together and laid the foundation of United Nations, which since 1945, has been playing the peacemaker across the world.
    The relevance of United Nations, however, has varied and has seen a gradual change. United nations had the task of taking care of the rights of the smaller, poorer and weaker countries. The different bodies of UN( UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFCCC etc.) have taken the responsibility of working in their respective areas through the participation of all the stakeholders. Be it conflict of interests between parties, Social and economic development, Climate change concerns, Human Rights violations- UN has found itself everywhere. And it would be an understatement to say that UN has done admirably well in that. The success of UN lies in the efforts of the countries to represent themselves in the assembly of UN because they know that they will have the world audience listening to their concerns. Be it its peace missions in War torn Africa, Gulf wars, LTTE conflict in Sri Lanka, Indo-Pak war of 1971- UN has delivered the goods in spite of the challenges it had to overcome. The UN peacekeeping forces are a perfect example of the role UN has played in maintaining peace across the world. These peacekeeping forces have representations from different countries and are stationed time and again in places wherever there is a conflict. The fact that the member nations have willingly continued to support these forces through their manpower is a reflection of the faith in the credentials of UN as the World’s Peacekeeping body. It has gone ahead and has invited every stakeholder to discuss on the challenges confronting the world today. The United nations framework for Climate change convention has come a long way since the RIO summit and has become an important platform to address the concerns of climate change that the entire world anticipates. The 2015 Paris agreement on climate change was indeed a path breaking one because of the sheer participation of the nations and their acknowledgement of the need to limit the increase of global temperature upto 2 degrees. The recently concluded Kigali protocol that called for ban on the use of HFCs is another feather in the cap of UN when it comes to addressing the challenges of Climate change. UNICEF has come a long way in ensuring that at least an effort is made towards the dream of educating every single child and giving them a way of life. The millennium development goals earlier and the sustainable development goals to be achieved now, have shown an urge on the part of UN to tread the path of inclusive development through participation of each and every nation. The recently launched campaign of UN in collaboration with Kailash Satyarthi foundation- 100 MILLION FOR 100 MILLION- has the potential of being the biggest game changer in educating and uplifting the children out of abject destitution and poverty. The task of being an organization for the preservation and promotion of culture has seen UNESCO progress by leaps and bounds. It has helped preserve sites of cultural, educational and environmental importance. UNESCO world heritage sites across are being maintained by the UN and the preservation and re development of such sites has been a success story thus far.
    Having come so far, UN has also seen the ever changing dynamics of the world and emergence of bilateral, regional associations that have emerged as parallel bodies. There have more than one instances when the directives by the UN have been cold shouldered and the parties have gone ahead with what suited their interests.
    One deterrent to the autonomy of the United nations has been the source of its funding. It is dependent on the funding by its member nations and any particular move against a particular nation is bound to have repercussions on the funding it receives. The recent cut by Israel in its funding after the resolution calling the Israeli occupation of Gaza and west bank as illegal is an example. Member nations have also blamed UN of being ineffective when it comes to taking actions against the world powers like US, Russia, China. A classic example of this is the judgement by UNCLOS with regards to the Chinese occupation of the South China Sea. While the US has been vocal about the need to respect the judgement of UN, China has vehemently opposed the verdict citing its absence while the case was being heard. US, itself, has overlooked and ignored UN when it has gone on and attacked Iraq, Afghanistan making a mockery of the sovereignty of these countries. UN was a mute spectator in both the cases. The ongoing conflict in Syria where Russia and US find themselves pitted against each other is another failure on the part of United nations to restrain these powers from behaving at the behest of their own politically motivated moves. US and Russia seemed to have totally ignored the existence of UN and have gone ahead in supporting the Anti- government rebels and Syrian government respectively. Israel, in its own conviction, has denied to obey the resolution against its occupation of the Gaza strip and has responded by cutting the funding to UN. The nuclear armed race has been as vigorous as ever and UN has done little to the cause of disarmament.
    The reluctance of UN has a lot to do with its inability to sustain on itself. The world economy has become so integrated that today countries prefer being a part of regional blocs and bilateral agreements to suit their vested interests. The need to assert itself has become all the more important for UN now in light of the bipolarisation that seems inevitable now. China has continued to ignore the global sentiment in its occupation of SCS ignoring UN’s directives.
    Having said all this, these issues, in no way, have rendered the UN defunct nor has it plundered UN into a crisis that it cannot overcome. The successes of WHO across the world is a reflection of what collaboration can do and UN has to look for similar recourses wherever required. The need to involve the developing nations into its functioning has become all the more important now. An inclination to take India, Brazil, South Africa, S. Korea along will signal a shift in the sentiments of the member nations who have now come to believe that UN is all but an international body because of its dominance by US, Russia, China, Germany and France. The need to expand the UNSC is imperative to ensure flexibility in its functioning and reduce dependence on the existing members who have used the membership for their vested interests. Letting the world slip into another bipolar system would be disastrous. So, UN has to invite China, US and the member nations who have staked claims over the SCS to ensure that there is a solution that vindicates the claim of all the stakeholders involved. UN has to find a way to self sustenance and reduce its dependence on the member nations for funding. It could make a start through corporate tie ups and undertaking projects of development with its own hired manpower instead of depending on member nations.
    United nations has to take care of its stakes itself and through increased participation of the member nations and not just rotating them through the chairmanship of the non- permanent members in the Security council. An assertive, self sustaining and powerful UN is required now than anytime in the past given the changing dynamics of the world.

  • Profile photo of Ritesh Kumar Ritesh Kumar @riteshkumar10000

    Future role and usefulness of United Nations

    Aylan Kurdi’s little face had such a strong implication on the whole world that it became the spotlight in the ongoing refugee crisis. The poor boy had got drowned while trying to cross the sea along with his family to escape from war ravaged Syria and migrate to Canada. Was he really responsible for his fate or his parents were or more importantly, the aggressive nations or a mute UN? Refugee crisis is just one of the challenges that have brought a humanitarian crisis among countries and in particular questioning UN’s capabilities. Terrorism, Climate change, stresses in world trade, Israel’s atrocities in West Bank, and impending reforms in the UNSC have become the centre-stage in the UN affairs. To add to the challenges, the new US president elect has termed the organization as a place of getting together for a good time. How then is UN going to manage this state of affairs?

    It is well known that UN was formed after two devastating World wars when League of Nations had miserably failed to stop the hostilities that led to the second war. In the present world, it faces many challenges and is often accused of inaction due to its internal structure viz. the P5 countries. The hostilities that persisted before the world wars and after them in the form of cold war have now taken a new form where they are at full play in Syria. However, this is not the only challenge before UN.

    The global climate is changing and so is the thinking across nations. The UNFCC has been successful in bringing nations on board for a consensus to tackle climate change. The Paris agreement has made nations pledge their INDCs and adopt measures to curb global Carbon footprint. However, Marrakesh COP-22 revealed that UN will have hurdles in financing. Developing countries will need the technology and fund to be able to adopt their climate goals for their sustainable development. UN therefore, has its task cut for pushing the reluctant developed nations to open their purses and devolve technology to others. These reluctant countries also pose another challenge.

    Lehmann Brothers opened a pandora box with its crisis. The sub-prime crisis exposed the weakness of IMF in identifying such impending slowdown. The US, Greece, Portugal and many countries faced economic slowdown with Greece even going bankrupt. It is worth mentioning that recession also had brought harsh times on people before the second war. A prolonged slowdown has the power of changing public opinion and therefore the governments. UN’s IMF, World Bank and related organization WTO must therefore adopt such policies which bring growth and tackle world trade and unemployment. Such economic crises also are responsible for events like BREXIT and election of right-wing governments.

    Europe and other western countries have been known for being a society based on human and democratic values. However, with fewer jobs, growing Xenophobia and other reasons like rise of terrorism people no longer are supportive of multilateralism and prefer protectionism. BREXIT or Mr. Trump’s election was an unexpected response of a growing dissent against multilateralism. Such events create a vicious cycle of hatred, hate crimes and in the long run terror activities which is being witnessed across France, Germany and many other countries of Europe. UN has to adopt such policies that bring tolerance and acceptances of people belonging to different faiths and countries. The mass migration of refugees from war torn Libya, Syria or Iraq presents a humanitarian challenge.

    Are these migrants really responsible for their ongoing crisis? Definitely not. Terrorism in itself is an outcome of meddling in internal affairs of countries without any solid ground to do so as well as inaction of those who don’t do anything, in this case the UN. From Afghanistan to Iraq and now Syria, civil wars and terrorism have risen across the globe. UN’s future role must find ways to stop terrorism as well as prohibit nations from attacking without a consensus. The natural question which arises is even being such a large organization, why isn’t UN able to carry out its objectives of ensuring world peace and harmony?

    The answer therefore lies within the UN itself. Its composition and the way decisions are taken are a natural reason. The powerful P5 countries are at the helm of affairs in UN. Decisions are therefore bound to be based on internal priorities rather than common good. The recent blocking of declaration of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by China due to its CPEC links with Pakistan, US support to Israel against resolutions for occupying West Bank, China’s claims on South China Sea, Russian support to Assad government in Syria and now Taliban expose different motives at play behind the scenes. It is no wonder, that such decisions and declarations would have been different if it were based on consensus. Thus UN’s future role has a lot of scope for reforms.

    Since its inception, UN has struggled to implement reforms in UNSC. On one hand, it doesn’t represent different continents and on other hand it has no control over the P5 which are prone to rivalries and utilizing opportunities for exhibiting their hegemonies. UN must first initiate reform as a top-down approach. Starting from UNSC, it must gather consensus over a wide range of issues. Acceptance of migrants as refugees is needed to avoid a humanitarian crisis. It must approach members to adopt a humane attitude. Terrorism has been used by member states to inflict damage on other countries as in the case of Pakistan. The need of the hour is a global convention on terrorism and a definition of terrorism which prohibits it at all forms. Reforms are also needed in economic affairs. The poor representation of developing or undeveloped countries at IMF and WB is a hurdle in tackling poverty, unemployment and empowerment of women holistically and globally. This has given rise to other institutions like AIIB and BRICS bank. Regionalism is becoming the new norm and UN has the immediate task of dealing with deglobalisation among the nations. Besides such regionalism is also used to gain support by economic prowess and blackmailing like being done by China in South east and Central Asia. UN’s approach must therefore be that of reform, consensus and restraining major powers from interference in other nations internal matters unless mandated by a reformed UNSC.

    UN has a range of challenges and hostilities in 21st century where hate crimes, terrorism and anti-globalisation are trying to impose different scenarios politically. The new Secretary General will have to bring the P5 and other countries like India, Brazil and from African subcontinent which will truly represent the aspirations of people on a global scale.

    The only organization that binds the world is the UN. Its activities and its stand bears a major impact not only on the people but also on its capabilities and usefulness. Will the UN bring in the change which it needs desperately before its members take a different view like South Africa took by leaving International Criminal Court?

  • Profile photo of Amit Antony Amit Antony @amitantony94

    What would the world be like without the United Nations Organization? It can be aptly described by the quote said by the second secretary general of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold- “The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell”. In recent days we’ve seen a lot of controversial tweets sent from President elect Donald Trump, including the one where he calls the UN “a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”. This is dangerous, as it is one of the only few bodies which has a pan world presence and can actually make a difference in today’s global society.
    The UN has been in existence since the last seven decades now. And in these years it has seen a lot of ups and downs of human history. As of today, it has been successful in its one major mandate-to avoid another world war. It has been the one organ where all nations have been able to address various issues which not only affect them but other countries as well. The most recent Ebola epidemic has been curtailed thanks to the collaborative efforts of the nations affected and the WHO. The UN has been one of the first organizations to respond to any war like situation- sending aid and helping refugees escape the perils of war.
    However, there is a lot of scope to improve for this organization. The United Nations Security Council has been criticized for not being willing to reform. The veto of the P5 or the Permanent Five nations has been a bone of contention. Aspiring nations like India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, popularly called as the G4 or group of four want to become permanent members of the Security Council with veto rights. Various other nations want the council to expand its size so as to include more members into the council to get a more inclusive nature. The Syrian war which is now entering its seventh year is seen as one of the major failures of the organization. A major reason for this is due to the abuse of the veto by the P5 nations. This is seen as one of the major flaws in the Security Council itself as there is no checks and balances for the veto. This shows how the major power’s hegemony still persists in the global organization.
    The effectiveness of the organization faces issues due to financial constraints as well. As an example, Saudi Arabia who gives a lot of funds towards the UN, threatened to break relations with it as the nation was on the black list for child right abuses. Also, global politics pervades into the organization which is very problematic. India faces this first hand when Pakistan keeps changing its stance on resolving the Kashmir issue. At times it agrees to bilateral talks and sometimes uses this organization as fora to internationalize the Kashmir issue. Even when it comes to the nuclear question, India has vehemently opposed the two nuclear treaties adopted at the UN. The Nuclear non proliferation treaty (NPT) and the comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) are considered as flawed due to its “selective” nature, letting the global powers go scot free with nuclear weapons while the other nations were left to fend for themselves or come under the umbrella of one of the nuclear states for protection.
    But all is not glum for the UN. With time like any big organization, it will gain maturity and will see reforms even if they are painstakingly slow. Throughout history the UN has played a vital role in peacekeeping in various countries like Congo, Rwanda etc. We can expect this continue in the future as well. The disarmament committee is working towards making a world less affected by weapons. Conventions are being made so as to reduce various forms of arms trafficking. And it will only be effective if there is collaborative effort between all nations. It is working towards the making the world nuclear weapons free as well. With time we should be able to see an unbiased treaty coming to reduce the stockpile of nuclear weapons.
    The UN also suggests international laws which should be being created. For example the Rome statute which established the international court of justice was adopted by the UN. UNCLOS is another example of how the territorial waters have been defined and with this law only has freedom of navigation truly become possible. It will carry on being an effective medium for discussion on very complex issues. Issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict which has been going on for years can only be resolved if the UN plays a proactive role in deliberating on the issue.
    The world also faces the issue of terrorism and how to identify non state actors. Since terrorism isn’t something that can be exactly pointed and blamed on a particular state. Plus even a definition towards the term “terrorist” will be difficult to establish as one state’s freedom fighter will be another nations terrorist. India has been working on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Only time will tell if whether it can be accepted by all the nations. Climate change is another area which the organization has been working towards. The Paris agreement which was recently adopted is a major step towards reducing the global temperature due to global warming. The Kyoto Protocol was another significant treaty which put a common but differentiated commitment on nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
    From the perspective of India, this organisation has been an effective way of adressing global issues and how the world at large should work towards resolving them. Historically also the UN is the one place where India has been raising its voice for the poorer and not so well off countries. Throughout various wars that have happened, India has always put a step forward towards supplying troops for the peace keeping forces. This has played out well for India and has given a positive image of our country.
    The world today would be completely different had the UN never existed. The poorest nations would never have a say on matters which would directly affect them. Today, Barbados can raise its voice against the rise of sea levels. Had this organization never existed, this nation and its people would have had nowhere to go. Future generations to come will recognize that sustainable development goals existed thanks to the collaborative effort of the diplomats who worked in this organization. This is just the tip of the ice berg of what this organization can do. Whatever said and done, the UN has indeed been saving humanity from hell and we can hope than it continues to do so in the future.

    • Profile photo of santosh santosh @veeresh-rathod

      Content is good ..but you not focuse on future role , only what happen the past and its act have been explained

  • Profile photo of Ritesh Kumar Ritesh Kumar @riteshkumar10000

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  • Profile photo of Kunal Aggarwal Kunal Aggarwal @kunalaggarwal

    Future role and usefulness of United Nations

    Increasing tension between nations of the world and development of nuclear weapons by some countries have often raised concerns on the possibility of an all nations war i.e. World War III. Even a thought of a world war with heavy technologically developed weapons makes me sad. One can only imagine the destruction that a war could bring now. Similar war in 1940s had led to killing of millions and destruction of huge property that Europe needed the support of America to run itself.

    Since then, the nations have worked together hoping to avoid another world war. United Nations as a peace promoting body was established after World War II in the year 1945. It is an inter-governmental body with major countries of the world being members cooperating on the platform for managing world affairs. Overtime, the body has grown with more nation members and more agencies and field of operation. From a peace-keeping organization, it has evolved into multifaceted organization which also looks into economic, social and cultural aspects of life in member nations. It has expanded to such extent that many political thinkers suspect it to function like a world government in future.

    UN’s objectives include peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, protection of human rights and promoting economic development. It has contributed to the world affairs positively in many ways. UN peace keeping missions in West Asia, Cambodia, Indo-Pakistan border, Bangladesh in the past has helped establish peace and secure ceasefire operations. Along with this, the body has worked towards disarmament. Nuclear non-proliferation treaty is one of the examples which tries to control the spread of nuclear weapons. Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ensures protection of people from arbitrary and barbarian use of technology.

    Through these conventions, it has protected the lives of people. Human rights council of the UN provide refugee help and convention on refugee protection ensures that nations provide support and help to them. WHO, which is public health agency of the UN looks out for breakout of disease across countries, funds programs to stop their spread and declares public health emergency. Similarly, other agencies work in the field of child protection against sexual abuse and labor protection from capitalist exploitation.

    Another successful attempt of UN at international cooperation has been UN Framework Convention on Climate Change under which the world has come together to recently sign the Paris Climate Deal. Earth Summit, Kyoto Protocol, Montreal protocol has helped control some adverse impacts of climate change. The ozone layer has finally started to heal which is an achievement in the field. Millennium Development Goals were adopted under the banner of UN and recently Sustainable Development Goals 2015-30 has been adopted by the nations to ensure economic development of their people.

    Successes of United Nations Group are commendable and can not be neglected. However, there have been some issues in the functioning of many programs. Terrorism across the world is on rise. Recent attack in Brussels, Paris, Bangladesh and Turkey are a case in point. It is no easy task to kill an ambassador of a nation. Increasingly globalized world also calls for more safety of people belonging to diverse nationalities across the world.

    The developing countries has raised questions on the effectiveness of UN in being a democratic and egalitarian system. United Nations Security Council has been criticized for its veto powers given to permanent five (P-5). These countries have stalled democratic proceeding and big decisions. India’s convention on terrorism introduced in UN general assembly in 1994 is blocked through veto as it would include the international missions of some nations. UN has failed in controlling the arbitrary powers of the western countries.

    The world demographics are changing and the third world is increasingly playing an important role. India, Brazil, Germany and other countries are major contributors to world GDP and contains large population and natural resources as well. African countries who have been deprived of democratic space in major world organizations are now demanding the same.

    In the contemporary world, there are new problems and hence new opportunities for the United Nations to tackle. Technological developments have made it easier to spread extremism and terrorist propaganda. The world is moving towards Islamophobia and protectionist regime. Recent presidential elections in the United States were contested on issues of protection to nationals of US in jobs and immigration issues. Refugee problem faced by Europe due to extremism in West Asia and Bangladesh due to threats to Rohingyas in Myanmar put out bigger challenges for UN. Army based peace keeping missions have not been able to control extremism.

    Environmental safety is no less a concern to ensure a sustainable development. US President elect threatening to derail Paris Climate Deal would be dangerous, it being the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, developing countries need support of developed countries for technology as well as finances. UN can work as a platform of collaboration for all nations.

    Globalization and Privatization across the world has led to government policies easing their labor protection laws. India has herself focused on ease of doing business. There is immense pressure from developed countries to ease labor laws allowing free market to work. This needs a cautious approach to check exploitation of people. In a country like India with abundant manpower, there is highly a free will of people while working at low wages and in poor conditions. UN’s ILO can play a decisive role in ensuring a balance between freedom of contract and protection from exploitation.

    Society and Culture are an identity of a nation and its people. Increasing thefts of important artefacts and cultural heritage of countries can be tackled through UN conventions. Nations have already come together to protect others’ artefacts. Recently, Australia had returned old sculptures to India.

    United Nations through its huge organization can work as an important platform to resolving increasing conflicts between member nations. However, this can not be done without bringing in reforms. The agencies and institutions can not function without the involvement of developing countries in decision making. VETO powers of the P-5 nations need to be curbed for ensuring a smoother processor. UNSC must be expanded to include developing and African nations.

    UN General Assembly and its agencies need to be more decisive. Its organizations like WHO, ILO, WMO needs to work in collaboration with countries to provide research support and funding for various programs. The UN has an increasingly important role to play in global politics. However, with the changing world, the organization should adapt itself to the geo-political scenario of the world.

    • Profile photo of Simran Bains Simran Bains @simranbains

      Hey Kunal,
      Very well written! 🙂
      A few more dimensions that could be added here,
      -History of United Nations – Failure of league of nations and second world war.
      – Relevance of UN – It is relevant in the twenty first century. Counter views- It is not relevant in the era of multipolarity.
      Covering its usefulness as well as its non usefulness will give a holistic view to the topic I feel.
      All the best! 🙂

    • Profile photo of Kunal Aggarwal Kunal Aggarwal @kunalaggarwal

      Thanks @simranbains! Can you elaborate little more on its irrelevance in multipolar world? Wouldn’t democratic system be able to take care of it?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of santosh santosh 5 months, 1 week ago.



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