Moreover, the big powers like the USA and the then USSR were not members of the League of Nations — the USSR joined it as late as in 1934 but the USA never joined it. And the self-interests of nations collided again and created the situation of the World War II which was the final death blow to the League of Nations. Its authority and its principles stood abrogated.
The Second World War ended in 1945 with the worst ever disasters wrought upon mankind. The dropping of the atom bombs by USA over Nagasaki and Hiroshima was the most inhuman of disasters.
The war ended with the victory of the Allies, but the World conscience got shaken and the great minds again sat together to seek peace as the only panacea from the ills of wars. War had resulted in disasters, disease and devastation and all these needed reconstruction, resurrection and remedies.
This gave birth to the United Nations Organization — UNO as it came to be called. The basic principle behind its foundation and formation was to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights to promote social progress and better standards of life in large freedom.
The UN charter was signed on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco with a membership of just 50 nations. Presently, the UNO has the strength of 185 members. In order to reach out to the needs of all the nations; underdeveloped, developing and developed ones; the UNO formed itself into 18 independent specialised agencies and 14 major Programmes and Funds agencies. On the political level, while there is a General Assembly which is a body of which all the member nations are members and is a forum for general discussions and deliberations, there is then the Security Council which has 15 members of which 5 are permanent members — USA, UK, Russia, China and France.
These permanent members have been granted, under the charter of the UNO, a very special privilege of a ‘veto’ over any decision taken even by the majority.
This is much too much of a privilege to any member nation and militates against the essential and fundamental concept on which the UNO has been formed. However, this is what it is and has been accepted by the international community.
Then there is the Secretariat, the head of which is the Secretary General who the Chief Administrative officer is having upon himself the responsibility of carrying out the aims and objectives of the charter and to exercise an overall authority to see that the decisions of the Security Council or the General Assembly get implemented. Then there is the Trusteeship Council, Economic and Social Council. The trusteeship Council supervises the administration of various territories which the UN has designated as trust territories. Then there is the International Court of Justice which is meant to settle international legal disputes.
But the worst lacuna in all these above-noted organizations and bodies lies in the fact that they can deliberate on issues, discuss them and decide upon them, but they lack the teeth needed to implement their decisions. This lack of power renders their very important decisions in fructuous.
The General Assembly or the Security Council or the International Court of Justice can only admonish the non-complying or the erring nation but can do no more.
To help the under-developed or the developing nations there are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — the world’s largest agency for multilateral, technical and pre-investment cooperation; the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve the quality of life for children and mothers in the under developed or the developing nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor the use of the atomic energy for peaceful purposes; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) to promote the educational, cultural and social welfare programmes. Then there is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) — the World Bank to provide loans for economic and industrial development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bring about international monetary cooperation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are there to look after the health problems and trade problems of the developing member nations.
With all these different organizations working and functioning under the aegis of the UNO, it is to be seen that this Body has kept itself concerned with all those aspects of life which as an aftermath of the World War II stood ravaged and keeps on doing its best to create a World where there is peace and prosperity health and happiness.
Among the various missions which the UNO has carried on in fulfillment of its aims and objects have been peace-keeping operations carried out in East Timor after violence broke out there after the people had voted for independence from the Yoke of Indonesia in the referendum carried out by the UNO.
The NATO carried out military action in Balkans to deal with the terror and violence let loose by the Serbs Security forces against civilians in Kosovo. The efforts of NAM towards world cooperation and world peace have been commendable. The military coup carried out in Pakistan in October 1999 against a duly elected democratic government has received a widespread condemnation at the UN level.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has helped nations to tide over their financial crisis as in the case of Thailand in 1997. The World Bank has been financing projects to reduce poverty and disease and to educate the poor. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been doing a lot in the elimination of child-labour.
But the most glaring drawback with the working of the UNO and its component agencies and organizations is that it works very much under the control and governance of USA. This is a matter of great concern and makes this international body the stooge of one powerful nation. Under pressure from the US, the World
Bank and the International Development Association made substantial reductions in the aid programmes to India after the Pokhran II test. The SAARC — organization working under the patronage of UNO has failed to come forward to condemn the Kargil intrusion by Pakistan and the terrorist activities engineered and promoted by Pakistan.
In order to present a picture of total objectivity and impartiality, the UNO and its constituents shall have to come out of the shackles of super powers then alone they can play the decisive and judicial role in international matters.