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All About United Nations: UNGA, UNSC

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. Its mission and work guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter and implemented by its various organs and specialised agencies.

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History of UN Foundation:

  • In 1899, the International Peace Conference was held in The Hague to elaborate instruments for settling crises peacefully, preventing wars and codifying rules of warfare.
    • It adopted the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes and established the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which began work in 1902. This court was the forerunner of UN International Court of Justice.
  • The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organization conceived in circumstances of the First World War, and established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.”
  • The name “United Nations”, coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A document called The Declaration by United Nations was signed in 1942 by 26 nations, pledging their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers (Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis) and bound them against making a separate peace.
  • United Nations Conference on International Organization (1945)
    • Conference held in San Francisco (USA), was attended by representatives of 50 countries and signed the United Nations Charter.
  • The UN Charter of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, as an inter-governmental organization.

Components of the UN:

The main organs of the UN are:

  1. the General Assembly,
  2. the Security Council,
  3. the Economic and Social Council,
  4. the Trusteeship Council,
  5. the International Court of Justice,
  6. and the UN Secretariat.

All the 6 were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

About United Nations General Assembly (UNGA): 

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
  • It serving as the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. Its powers, composition, functions, and procedures are set out in Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter.
  • The UNGA is responsible for the UN budget, appointing the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appointing the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receiving reports from other parts of the UN system, and making recommendations through resolutions.
  • It also establishes numerous subsidiary organs to advance or assist in its broad mandate.
  • The UNGA is the only UN organ wherein all member states have equal representation.
  • It has 193 members (all the UN member countries).
  • The resolutions passed by the General Assembly do not have the binding forces over the member nations.
  • The General Assembly meets under its president or the UN Secretary-General in annual sessions at UN headquarters in New York City
  • The first session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of the 51 founding nations.
  • The Assembly may also take action if the Security Council fails to act, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member, in a case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Assembly can consider the matter immediately with a view to making recommendations to Members for collective measures to maintain or restore international peace and security.

About United Nations Security Counsil(UNSC):

  • About:
    • The Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945. It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
      • The other 5 organs of the United Nations are—the General Assembly (UNGA), the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
    • Its primary responsibility is to work to maintain international peace and security.
    • The council is headquartered at NewYork.
  • Members:
    • The council has 15 members: the five permanent members and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms.
      • The five permanent members are the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom.
      • India, for the eighth time, has entered the UNSC as a non-permanent member last year (2021) and will stay on the council for two years i.e 2021-22.
    • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term. The ten non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis.
    • The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.

India And the UNSC:

      • India took active part in the formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1947-48 and raised its voice passionately against racial discrimination in South Africa.
      • India has played its part in formulating decisions on several issues such as admitting former colonies to the UN, addressing deadly conflicts in the Middle East and maintaining peace in Africa.
      • It has contributed extensively to the UN, particularly for the maintenance of international peace and security.
        • India has taken part in 43 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 160,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel.
      • India’s population, territorial size, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic potential, civilisational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities make India’s demand for a permanent seat in the UNSC completely rational.

More About India And UNSC,See this Article:

G-4 Countries Reiterates UNSC Reform

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