The U.N. during its life time has done the following commendable jobs so far:
(1) Prevention of War:
The main purpose of the U.N. is to prevent wars. With its efforts forces of Soviet Union were withdrawn from Iran in 1945. It prevented war between Holland and Indonesia in 1948. In the same year, it stopped war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. In 1950, at the request of South Korea, Sent its forces against North Korea and after a great struggle it could establish peace in the region in 1953.
France and Great Britain had shares in the Suez Canal. As a result of nationalization of this canal by Egypt, the interests of these two countries suffered adversely. Therefore, in collaboration with Israel, the enemy of Egypt, these two countries invaded Egypt in 1956. The U.N. mediated and stopped the hostilities. France, England and Israel withdrew their forces. This was one of the significant achievements of U.N. because big powers like England and France were involved in this conflict.
After this the emergency force of the U.N. was re-organised, which defended the boundaries between Israel and Egypt till the out-break of hostilities between the two countries in June, 1967. In 1958 a team of U.N. observers was sent to check illegal infiltration inside the boundaries of Lebanon. In 1960, U.N. force was sent for the unity of Congo. It rendered a commendable service of bringing about unity till 1964 and crushed the rebellion of Brezville, a province in Congo.
In 1962, Soviet Union wanted to establish Missile bases in Cuba, which could pose threat to the security of U.S. A. This created a tension between U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. and there was likelihood of the outbreak of a war. The U.N. with its persistent efforts eased the tension and prevented war.
In 1964, serious disturbances broke out in Cyprus between Greeks and Turks. This created a serious tension between Turkey and Greece which could escalate into a war, but the U.N. intervened and peace was restored to Cyprus. During August-September, 1965 and again in December 1971, war broke out between India and Pakistan.
The U.N. mediated and the hostilities were stopped. This organization also made strenuous efforts to end war in Vietnam. It also stopped war between Israel and U.A.R. in 1967 and 1973. Through its noble efforts peace treaty was concluded between Egypt and Israel in 1975 at Geneva.
General Assembly calls for end to hostilities in Kampuchea:
Concluding its debate on situation in Kampuchea on November 11, 1979 the General Assembly adopted a resolution mainly sponsored by Asian countries, which called upon all parties to the conflict to cease all hostilities forthwith. The resolution called for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from Kampuchea and also called upon all states to refrain from all acts or threat of aggression and all forms of interference in the internal affairs of states in South East Asia. The Security Council condemned Rhodesian aggression against Mozambique and Zambia and South African aggression against Angola.
Egypt gets Sinai Desert back from Israel:
Israel had snatched the Sinai desert from Egypt in the war of 1967. Through the mediation of U.N., Egypt was able to get back its lost territory.
U.N. Condemns invasion of Israel on Lebanon:
Israel attacked Lebanon for the first time in March 1978 because the Palestinian commandos had established their bases in Southern Lebanon very close to the border of Israel. From there they attacked the areas of North Israel frequently and did a lot of harm. Their motive was to liberate the Palestinians who were under the illegal occupation of Israel.
Consequently, the U.N. intervened and Israel had to withdraw her forces back but in order to secure the border of Israel the U.N. established its Interim Force known as UNIFL but that did not prove effective and Palestinian commandos continued to intrude into Israeli territory Consequently, to deal effectively with the Palestinian terrorists, Israel again invaded Lebanon in June 1982 and occupied very soon Beirut (capital of Lebanon) Beirut consist of two parts.
East Beirut is mainly populated by Christians and West Beirut is mainly populated by the Mohammedans. There’ is hostility between two communities. Consequently, the Christians welcomed the Israel force but the Mohammedans opposed them tooth and nail.
Syria also helped the Mohammedans of Lebanon but could not do anything against the forces of Israel. The Palestinian commandos after their flight from Southern Lebanon had taken shelter in West Beirut and killed the Christian President of Lebanon. Therefore the Christians sided with the Israel forces in the general massacre of the people of West Beirut. The United Nations passed many resolutions in June, July and August 1982 in which it was demanded that Israel should with-drawn its forces from Lebanon.
The United Nations also condemned Israel for the general massacre of the Mohammedans in Beirut in its resolution of 25th September, 1982. Due to the persistent efforts of U.N., Israel has withdrawn her forces from Lebanon and the Palestinian commandos have left Lebanon.
Russia withdraws her forces from Afghanistan due to U.N. efforts:
President Babrak Karmal of Afghanistan invited Russian forces in his country in December 1979 to check the interference of foreign powers particularly Pakistan. Consequently, Russian forces entered there but they had to meet with stiff oppositional the hands of rebel Afghans known as Mujahideen.
Russia sent more and more forces in Afghanistan and totally crushed the resistance of the rebels who were aided by Pakistan and equipped with latest weapons of U.S.A. supplied to Pakistan for this purpose. Ultimately on 25th January, 1980 the General Assembly of U.N. passed a resolution by 104 votes that Russia should withdraw her forces from Afghanistan.
18 member-states voted against this resolution and 18 states including India absented from voting. This was the sixth emergency session of U.N. General Assembly. U.N. General Assembly again urged in its 37th session (1982) that Russian forces should withdraw from Afghanistan.
The resolution said that the sovereignty, integrity, political independence and neutrality must be kept intact. General Assembly gave a call to all the concerned parties to seek a political solution of this problem. The Russian government withdrew its forces by Feb. 13, 1989 so now this problem has been solved.
Iran-Iraq war ends (due to the continued efforts of U.N.):
Iran-Iraq war broke out in September 1980. To check this war Kurt Waldheim the then General Secretary appealed to parties concerned to cease hostilities but it did not have the desired effect. After a short time the Security Council Passed a resolution (No. 479) in 1980 in which an appeal was again made to both Parties to desist from force and solve their disputes in an amicable manner but the dispute not solved even after this resolution.
After this the Security Council passed resolution in which an urgent appeal was made both to Iran and Iraq to halt aggression against the territories of the other and remove their armed forces to the internationally accepted boundaries. Mr. Perez de Cuellar, General Secretary was authorised to continue his efforts to solve the disputes and appeal was made all the foreign powers not to do any such thing which may aggravate the conflict.
Iraq gave an assurance to the Security Council to implement the resolution but Iran refused to abide by it on the ground that the Security Council failed to recognise this fact that Iraq had aggressed Iran and occupied its territory illegally. 7th Non- Aligned Conference held its meeting in New Delhi from 7 to 12 March, 1983.
A fervent appeal was made to both the parties to stop hostilities by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then President of the Conference. In spite of the Persistent efforts of the U.N., this war continued to linger on and come to an end in October, 1988.
(2) International Co-operation:
The U.N. has since October 24, 1945 tried to bring co-operation among member-states. In 1961, our Prime Minister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru in his address to the U.N. General Assembly laid stress on the need of international co-operation.
On his recommendations the U.N. celebrated International Co-operation Year in 1965 after his death. This co-operation has come into effect through various organs agencies of the U.N. This co-operation has particularly taken in economic, scientific, social, cultural and technical fields.
(3) Disarmament and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes:
The Primary objective of the United Nations is to save succeeding generations from war. Disarmament is a major road towards this goal and United Nations Organisation has been pursuing this goal since its inception. For instance in 1963, an agreement between President Kennedy of America and U.S.S.R. Prime Minister Khrushchev was signed which is called Partial Test Ban Treaty.
On 3rd December, 1965 General Assembly passed a resolution for general disarmament, ban on atomic weapons, postponement of nuclear tests and to make Africa an area free from atom bombs. In 1967 Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction from outer space was signed among different nations of the world.
On March 3, 1970 with the efforts of U.N. Treaty of Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons came into force. However, Pakistan went ahead with its nuclear programme and former US President Ronald Reagan continued to give economic and military aid inspite of this programme. Therefore India did not sign this treaty till 5th March, 1991, though more than 120 states had ratified this treaty before that date.
Second Disarmament Decade:
The U.N. had declared First Decade of Disarmament 1970-1980 as the Second Decade of Disarmament. The main reason being that in 1980 world military spending was in the range of 500 billion dollars or 10 billion dollars a week. This expenditure continued to rise and reached staggering figure of 900 billion dollars in 1986 in comparison with 810 billion dollars in 1985. After that, it continued to increase.
10 point Delhi Declaration on disarmament:
The then Prime Minister Mr. Gandhi and the then Soviet Communist Party General Secretary, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev on Nov. 27,1986 issued a 10 point joint declaration on behalf of the one billion Indian and Soviet people banning the use of threat of use of nuclear weapons.
The historic Delhi Declaration issued by two leaders called for the creation of a nuclear- weapons free and non-violent world, pledging the country to work together for the complete elimination of these weapons of mass destruction before the end of this century, which would be a major step towards complete nuclear disarmament.
The ten principles of Delhi Declaration are the following:
(1) Peaceful co-existence must become the Universal norm of international relations;
(2) Human life must be recognised as supreme;
(3) Non-violence should be the basis of community life;
(4) Understanding and trust must replace fear and suspicion;
(5) The right of every state to political and economic independence must be recognised and respected;
(6) Resources being spent on armaments must be channelled towards social and economic development;
(7) Conditions must be guaranteed for the individual’s harmonious development;
(8) Mankind’s material and intellectual potential must be used to solve global problems;
(9) The balance of terror must give way to comprehensive international security;
(10) A nuclear weapons free and non-violent world requires specific and immediate action for disarmament.
Super Power Summit:
The U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. signed INF treaty in Washington on 9th December, 1987. The fourth summit between the U.S. President, Mr. Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev ended in Moscow on 1st June 1988 with the two leaders exchanging documents on the ratification of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty and pleading to move towards the Tragic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
Mr. Gorbachev said the exchange of documents means that the era of nuclear disarmament has begun. The two leaders in a statement later expressed their joint confidence that the extensive work done provides the basis for concluding the treaty of reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms which will promote strategic stability and strengthen security not only of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. but of all mankind. “Guided by this fundamental agreement, the U.S. President and Soviet General Secretary agreed to continue their efforts in these areas energetically and purposefully”.
U.S., U.S.S.R. conduct joint nuclear experiments:
Soviet and American scientists jointly conducted experiments to monitor yields of underground nuclear tests near the U.S. nuclear proving ground in Nevada. The two day experiments, conducted under an agreement between the Private U.S. Natural Resources Defence Council and the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences have been pronounced successful, it was reported on 2nd May, 1988.
On 7th December, 1988 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced in U.N. big cut in Soviet military forces in Eastern Europe and held summit with the U.S. President Ronald Reagan on 25th September, 1989. U.S.S.R. accepted also Bush proposal to ban chemical weapons.
Historic Pact on Arms Cut:
The heads of 34 NATO and WARSAW Pact nations, assembled as a historic summit in Paris on November, 19, 1990, signed a landmark treaty slashing their massive Cold War Arsenals in Europe. The treaty the most far-reaching on non-nuclear disarmament ever negotiated-means in effect that thousand of conventional weapons will be scrapped. The accord reverses the biggest arms build-up in history. It formally ends the Cold War.
The treaty took the WARSAW and NATO countries 21 months to negotiate. It limits each side to 20,000 tanks and 6,800 combat planes. The treaty, however, does not cover troop levels. This issue will form the main topic of the follow-up talks in Vienna, likely to start soon.
The treaty includes a complex verification set-up to prevent deception. It lays the foundation of a new European order.
NATO leaders approved a historic peace plan at their London summit on July 6. A communique started that the Atlantic community extends the hands of friendship and must reach out to the nations of the East bloc “who were our adversaries in the Cold War”.
But the NATO countries also declared that they must maintain adequate and up-to-date forces in Europe to ensure peace. Britain and France were particularly keen that the military strength of the NATO alliance must not be diluted.
The main features of the declaration on the Atlantic Alliance are:
NATO declares nuclear arms to be weapons of last resort; a cut in US nuclear arms in Europe, limits on United Germany’s forces; and United Germany should join MATO. According to President Bush, the NATO resolve marks “a turning point in history” and it a fresh course for East-West stability.
The 16 NATO leaders pledged radical reforms in NATO’s military forces and a new role for nuclear weapon NATO also committed itself to peaceful resolution of all disputes.
N-free World Improbable:
Chancellor Kohl of West Germany has rejected any idea of a world without a nuclear deterrent. He asserts that “a minimum of nuclear weapons” is necessary to “guarantee our security into the future”. The weapons are necessary in the global concept, he said, while addressing the Inter-parliamentary Disarmament Conference in Bonn.
According to Mr. Kohl, it is “a Utopian demand to seek a world free from nuclear weapons”. After all, the nuclear deterrent had been responsible for ensuring the longest period of peace in the recent history.
(4) International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade:
In December 1980, the thirty-fifth session of the General Assembly proclaimed the Third United Nations Development Decade. The Assembly also adopted the International Development Strategy emphasizing the most important objectives that should be pursued by Member-States in implementing the goals of the Decade, starting 1st January, 1981.
In the resolution on the Strategy, the Assembly stated that urgent actions should be taken by all members of the world community to do away with colonialism, imperialism, new-colonialism, interference in international affairs, apartheid, racial discrimination, hegemony, expansionism, and all forms of foreign aggression and occupations which constituted the major obstacles to the economic emancipation and development of the developing countries.
Full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of every nation, abstention from the threat or the use of force against any State, non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states and the settlement by peaceful means of disputes among State were also of the utmost importance for the success of the International Development Strategy, the Assembly said.
UNDP Assistance to India for Three Water Resources Development Projects:
On behalf of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Resident Representative of UNDP in India, Earling Dessau, has approved assistance of more than $ 8 million to projects undertaken by three institutes in India for the development of the country’s water resources.
The institutes are of the National Institute of Hydrology in Roorki (Uttar Pradesh), the Central Soils and Materials Research Station in New Delhi, and Central Water Power Research Station in Pune (Maharashtra). All the projects will be implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources through the three institutes.
United Nations Development Programme is the world’s largest technical co-operation agency. It currently supports 100 projects in India and has during the past two decades, provided almost $ 500 million to India for technical co-operation.
National Institute of Hydrology:
The UNDP assistance amounting to 53000,000 will be spread over a five year period and go towards purchasing foreign equipment, providing consultancy services and training. The Government of India for its part will provide an estimated Rs. 45,000,000 for personnel, indigenous equipment and buildings for the Institute.
Water resources development is the major objective of India. Although considerable irrigation development has taken place, more than 80% of source water remains unutilized mainly because over 75% of the rivers flow during the monsoon. Hydrology and its careful study is the most important input for optimum development and efficient management of water resources.
Central Water and Power Research Station:
The UNDP assistance of Rs. 2,105,000 for equipment, consultancy service and training to the Central Water and Power Research Station at Pune will be utilised in setting up a Mathematical Modeling Training Centre for studies relating to fluvial and ocean hydromechanics. The Government of India will contribute an estimated sum of Rs. 5,716,230.
Though substantial work has been done in harnessing the irrigation and energy potential of the rivers in India, a large number of projects still remain to be taken up, considering the re-stress of the country, particularly with regard to alluvial rivers of north India.
More than 75 nations whose peoples were formerly under domination have joined the United Nations as sovereign independent States. Since the world organisation was founded inl945.The United Nations has played a crucial role in this transition of millions of people from colonial domination to freedom.
Decolonisation made early significant gains under the International Trusteeship System, realizing the hopes of some 20 million people for liberty. The process was greatly accelerated by the landmark Declaration on the granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1960, and by the work of the Special Committee of 24 on decolonisation, established by the Assembly in 1961 to examine the progress made in implementing the provisions of the Declaration.
The Declaration on Decolonisation:
The urgent demands of dependent peoples to be free of colonial domination and the international community’s decision that Charter principles were being too slowly applied, led in 1960 to the Assembly’s proclamation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Now the whole of Africa has been liberated due to the persistent efforts of U.N.
In the 24 years since the adoption of the Declaration, more than 75 million peoples have emerged from dependent status, accounting for most of the increase m United Nations membership from 100 in 1960 to 159 on 10th Mardi, 1991.
Namibia gains independence due to the persistent efforts of U.N. Big achievement of U.N.:
Before the First Great War, Namibia was called South-West Africa and it was called a German colony. However, it was captured in 1915 (during the First Great War) by South Africa. If was transferred under the control of the League of Nations. Namibia w as the only one of the seven African territories once held under the League of Nations Mandate System which was not placed under the International Trusteeship System of U.N.O.
In October 1966, the General Assembly, declaring that South Africa had failed to fulfill its obligations, terminated the mandate exercised by South Africa over Namibia and decided that the territory, would thence forth come under direct responsibility of United Nations.
In May, 1967 the United Nations’ Assembly established a Council for South West Africa to take over from South West Africa and administer the territory till independence but South Africa did not allow the Council to do that and continued to defy world public opinion and the economic sanctions of U.N.
The resumed thirty-fifth session of the General Assembly in March J981 unanimously adopted ten resolutions concerning Namibia. The Assembly again criticised bitterly South Africa’s continued illegal occupation of Namibia and reiterated its support strongly for the National Liberation Movement of Namibia, the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), the sole and authentic representation of the Namibian people, in their struggle to achieve self-determination, freedom and national independence in a United Namibia.
India always extended full support to Namibia’s Liberation Movement spearheaded by SWAPO. Dr. Nelson Mandela, who is popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi of South Africa continued to wage relentless struggle to overthrow the white regime of Namibia. Due 10 constant efforts of U.N. Nelson Mandela was freed after more than 27 years’ of imprisonment. (He was imprisoned in June, 1962 and released on 11th February, 1990.
Besides that due to the laudable efforts of U.N., Namibia, the last colony of Africa, gained independence on 21st March, 1990:
Glittering festivities were watched by a galaxy of world leaders including the then Prime Minister, Mr. V.P. Singh; Former Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Chairman of the Front line states of Africa and Nelson Mandela.
After this the then U.N. Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar invited Mr. Sam Nujoma who had waged a war against the South African colonial yoke for 23 years, to take over the reins of the world’s youngest nation. Mr. Nujoma was sworn in as Namibia’s first President by the U.N. Secretary General.
Within minutes of Namibia gaining independence, India was among the first countries to establish full diplomatic relations with the new nation and appoint a High Commissioner to Windhoek (the Capital of Namibia).