1. After the failure of League of Nations, the necessity of an international organization of wider character was felt. This need was fulfilled with the creation of UN in 1945. It had the responsibility to maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, social and humanitarian problems. 2. The UN has completed fifty seven years and apparently seems to be more assertive, confident and visible, both in its approach and actions.
The recent manifestations of this confidence have been its interventions in Kuwait, Somalia, Angola, Rwanda, Zaire and Afghanistan Apart from few highlights the UN has always been in question for its power to handle the disturbing issues around the world. 3. The founders of the UN had envisaged that the organization would act to prevent conflicts between nations and make future wars impossible, however the outbreak of the Cold War made peacekeeping agreements extremely difficult because of the division of the world into hostile camps. 4. The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures.
In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions, an issue that stems from the UN’s intergovernmental nature—seen by some as simply an association of 192 member states who must reach consensus, not an independent organization 5. Looking at the past it can be said that UN has failed in serious issues but nevertheless it has made progress toward world cooperation and has adapted to changing circumstances that were not dreamed of by its founders. Aim To analyze the role and performance of the UN in the past and its relevance in the present day unipolar world.
Synopsis The UN has completed fifty seven years and apparently seems to be more assertive, confident and visible, both in its approach and actions. The recent manifestations of this confidence have been its interventions in Kuwait, Somalia, Angola, Rwanda, Zaire and Afghanistan. Yet, with the end of the cold war and the emergence of a unipolar world, the UN is under increasing pulls and pressures to play to a single tune. After the failure of the League of Nations, the necessity of an international organization of wider character was felt. This need was fulfilled with the creation of the UN in 1945.
Since its foundation, the UN has passed through three distinct stages and is now in the fourth stage. These stages are marked by the changing voting pattern in the General Assembly and leadership in the UN. The under mentioned three stages will be discussed in detail: * The period up to mid 1960’s saw the pre eminence of the US in the UN. * The period between the mid 1960’s to end of 1980’s witnessed the USSR exploiting the North South divide and US bashing in the General Assembly. * The period between late 1980’s till break up of the USSR brought the UN back to a position of strength as a world body.
The disintegration of USSR also ended the Cold War and a unipolar world took the place of the bipolar world. The US emerged as the sole super power bringing in a different world order. The replacement of the bipolar world by unipolarism has made the US dominate the world as it is the only super power left on the scene. This is a far more important development for the normal conduct of international relations and for the organization. Besides the US, Japan, the European Union, China, Russia and India are emerging as center of powers.
Thus, the nature of this evolution is such that the world order can be described as polycentric. In the changed environment the UN faces the following challenges which will be analyzed in detail: * Nuclear weapons. * Islamic fundamentalism. * North – South divide. * Science and technology. * Population explosion. * Finances. The UN is doing a yeoman’s service to the world through its various organizations that work to maintain peace and good health, and eradicate hunger, disease and misery all around the world. The world now more than ever needs a strong international organization.
We need a UN which genuinely expresses the collective will, upholds common standards, and is willing and able to take concerted and consistent action wherever there is default in its resolutions and international law. Three main tasks – viz to provide a system for maintaining international peace and security; to device means of managing essential global problems, that is to say basic problems which no one government can manage on its own; and to develop a world society based on international law – are necessaryto make the UN stronger. Towards this end, the following recommendations are made: Restructuring and strengthening of the UN by giving equal representation to all the regions. * Make Security Council accountable to the General Assembly. * Place the UN on a sound financial footing. * Restructure peace keeping operations by adopting pro active approach using preventive diplomacy and peacemaking/peace building. * Reform World Bank and the IMF * Revitalize all other international organizations. The UN has to feel the realities of the New World Order, as the distant future is concerned; it appears as though the World Order would be based on the co-existence of the sovereign-state system and international organizations.
Neither can exist without the other. The two are complementary and supplementary, with the former being, of course, absolutely indispensable. The UN has to be a universal international organization with due importance given to the Third World in decision making. The mantle of world leadership though seems to have fallen on US under present circumstances, but with the end of Cold War the only organization which probably can bring peace and security to the future world and human race is the UN.