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India’s Opportunity for Reinventing the United Nations

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October 10, 2022

Why in news?

India’s Presidency of the G20, SCO and UNSC is a historic opportunity for reinventing the United Nations.

What is United Nations?

  • United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the World War II.
  • Its charter was signed in San Francisco in 1945.
  • Its predecessor, the League of Nations, created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was disbanded in 1946.
  • Its mission is to maintain international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
    • Headquarters - New York
    • Official Languages - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Russian
    • Members - 193 (Latest Member South Sudan)
    • Secretary General - Antonio Guterres (Portugal)
  • The six main organs of the UN includes
    1. The General Assembly
    2. The Security Council
    3. The Economic and Social Council
    4. The Trusteeship Council
    5. The Secretariat
    6. The International Court of Justice

What are the current issues in the international arena?

  • Multilateralism- The United States opting for partnerships is putting the multilateralism in threat.
  • The dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO without the quorum of its members has rendered the institution dysfunctional.
  • Despite the G7 having accepted the need for transfer of funds at Rio in 1992, the promise made in 2009 to provide at least 100 billion dollars per year in climate finance remains unfulfilled.
  • China’s option of other multilateral institutions- China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) covers half the world population with one-third the GDP and investment of 930 billion dollars.
  • China’s Global Development Initiative, 2021, and linked Global Security Initiative, 2022, is focusing on digital governance and non-traditional security, which the international system has not covered.
  • Coalition of the world- The divide between the Atlantic powers and the Russia-China is deepening.

How can India utilise this opportunity?

  • Vasudhaiva kutumbakam, or ‘world as one family’, can be the core socio-economic principle for dialogue between the states.
  • For equitable sustainable development, Mr.Modi’s emphasis on ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ seeing climate change as a societal process is a welcome step.
  • Common concerns must be redefined in terms of felt needs of the majority rather than interests and concerns of the powerful.

 

References

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-coalition-of-the-world/article65988526.ece?homepage=true
  2. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/zwjg_665342/zwbd_665378/202205/t20220519_10689356.html
  3. https://theconversation.com/china-has-a-new-global-development-initiative-but-who-will-actually-benefit-from-it-187561
  4. https://www.niti.gov.in/life

 

Quick facts

Global Development Initiative (GDI)

  • China’s President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative at the opening of the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly in 2021.
  • This initiative is described as improving the process of global development.
  • Its two stated goals are
    • To help the U.N. achieve its 2030 agenda for sustainable development
    • To help all nations, particularly developing countries, respond effectively to the COVID-19 shock with a focus on greener and healthier global development
  • A Group of Friends of the GDI was launched at the UN in January, and more than 55 countries have joined it to date

Global Security Initiative (GSI)

  • China’s President Xi Jinping proposed a Global Security Initiative (GSI) during the annual Boao Forum in 2022.
  • The GSI rests on six pillars
    • Committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security
    • Respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries
    • Abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter
    • Taking seriously the legitimate security concerns of all countries
    • Peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries
    • Maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains

Lifestyle for the Environment – LiFE Movement

  • It is a global initiative proposed by PM Narendra Modi at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26).
  • LiFE envisions replacing the prevalent 'use-and-dispose' economy with a circular economy, which would be defined by mindful and deliberate utilization.
  • The vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it.
  • Those who live such a lifestyle are called “Pro-Planet People”.
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