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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Activities of United Nations

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 0 Comments

Activities

The United Nations plays a large role in the field of global social activities. The UN actively encourages international human rights (see Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The United Nations has focused considerable attention on decolonisation and supporting the new states that have arisen as a result. The organisation occupies itself at present in the fields of economic development, world health, and the state of the environment, the health of animals, education, and refugee work.

Conferences

The Berlin born polar bear Knut wills is the official mascot animal for the Conference on Biological Diversity held in Bonn 2008. He is the symbol figure for global climate change.

When an issue is considered particularly important, the General Assembly may convene an international conference to focus global attention and build a consensus for consolidated action. Examples include: International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa (ICARA 2) established in 1984; The UN Conference on Environment and Development (the 1992 Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil discussed issues including climate change, biological diversity, and sustainable development and led to the creation of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; The International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994, approved a programme of action to address the critical challenges between population and sustainable development over the next 20 years; The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China in 1995, sought to accelerate implementation of the historic agreements reached at the Third World Conference on Women; The Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), convened in 1996 in Istanbul, Turkey, considered the challenges of human settlement development and management in the 21st century; and in 1998, the General Assembly called a conference to establish an International Criminal Court (ICC), where it adopted the “Rome Statue”. The ICC became operational in 2002 and began its first case in 2006.

Composition and Functions of General Assembly and Security Council

Organizational Structure

The United Nations system is based on five principal organs 1) UN General Assembly, (2) UN Security Council, (3) UN Economic and Social Council, (4) UN Secretariat, and (5) International Court of Justice.

1. UN General Assembly

the UN General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is made up of all United Nations member states and meets in regular yearly sessions. As the only UN organ in which all members are represented, the assembly serves as a forum for members to discuss issues of international law and to make decisions regarding the functioning of the organization.

2. UN Security Council

The UN Security council is charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. While other organ of the United Nations only make recommendations to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make decisions those member governments must carry out under the United Nations Charter. The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of five permanent seats and ten temporary seats. The permanent five are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. These members hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions allowing a permanent member to block adoption but not debate of a resolution unacceptable to it. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms with member states voted in by the UN General Assembly on a regional basis. The presidency of the Security Council is rotated alphabetically each month.

The Security Council has been criticized for being unable to act in a clear and decisive way when confronted with a crisis. The veto power of the five permanent members has been cited as the cause of this problem. The makeup of the security council back to the end of World War II, and this division of powers no longer represents the state of the world. Critics question the effectiveness and relevance of the Security Council because enforcement relies on the member nations and there usually are no consequences for violating a Security Council resolution.

3. UN Economic and Social Council

4. UN Secretariat

The United Nations Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies. The United Nations Charter provides that the staff be chosen by application of the “highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity,” with due regard for the importance of recruiting on a wide geographical basis.

5. International Court of Justice

Netherlands, is the main court of the UN. Its purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference and ethnic cleansing, among others. The ICJ was created in 1946 and continues to hear cases.

A related court, the International Criminal Court (ICC), began operating in 2002 through international discussions initiated by the General Assembly. It is the first permanent international court charged with trying those who commit the most under international law, including war crimes and genocide. The ICC is functionally independent of the UN in terms of personnel and financing, but some meetings of the ICC governing body, the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, are held at the UN. There is a “relationship agreement” between the ICC and the UN that governs how the two institutions regard each other legally.

Contribution of United Nations

Major contributors to the regular UN budget for 2006

United States (22%)

Japan (19.47%)

Germany (8.66%)

United Kingdom (6.13%)

France (6.03%)

Italy (4.89%)

Canada (2.81%)

Spain (2.52%)

China (2.05%)

Mexico (1.88%)

The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The regular two-year budgets of the UN and its specialized agencies are funded by assessments. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by their GrNational Income (GNI)), with adjustments forexternal debt and low per capita income. The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be overly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a ‘ceiling’ rate, setting the maximum amount any member is assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments to reflect current global circumstances. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%. The US is the only member that meets the ceiling. In addition to a ceiling rate, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation (or ‘floor’ rate) is set at 0.001% of the UN budget. Also, for the least developed countries (LDC), a ceiling rate of 0.01% is applied. The current operating budget is estimated at $4.19 billion (see table for major contributors). Some member nations are overdue on their payments, most notably the United States (see United States and the United Nations).

Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget (such as UNICEF and UNDP) are financed by voluntary contributions from member governments. Most of this, is financial contributions, but some is in the form of agricultural commodities donated for afflicted populations.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Members and Headquarter of United Nation

Monday, March 15, 2010 - 0 Comments

Membership

With the addition of Montenegro on 28 June 2006, there are 192 United Nations member states, including virtually all internationally-recognized independent states.

The United Nations Charter outlines the rules for membership: Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

Headquarters

The United Nations headquarters was built on an 18 acre site in New York City purchased with a donation to the UN by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1946. Although it is in New York city, the land occupied by the United Nations headquarters is international territory. Its borders are First Avenue west, East 42nd Street south, East 48th Street north and the East River east. FDR Drive passes underneath the Conference Building of the complex. Prior to 1949, the UN used various venues in London and New York State. There are also major UN agencies in Geneva, the Hague, Vienna, Montreal, Copenhagen, Bonn, and elsewhere.

As the main UN building is aging, the UN is in the process of negotiating to build a temporary headquarters designed by Fumihiko Maki on First Avenue (Manhattan) between 41st and 42nd Streets for use while the current building is being expanded. NewsMax reported in March 2007 that the UN planned to begin a renovation of its complex, starting 2008. The Capital Master Plan is projected to last almost 10 years and could cost close to $2 billion financing.

Background of United Nations on the International Scene

Founding

The United Nations was founded as a successor to the League of Nations, which was widely considered to have been ineffective in its role as an international governing body, in that it had been unable to prevent World War II. Some argue that the UN’s major advantage over the League of Nations is its ability to maintain and deploy its member nations’ armed forces as peace keepers. Others see such “peace keeping” as a euphemism for war and domination of weak and poor countries by the wealthy and powerful nations of the world. The term “United Nations” (which appears in stanza 35 of Canto III of Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage) was decided by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during World War II, to refer to the Allies. Its first formal use was in the 1 January 1942. Declaration by the United Nations, which committed the Allies to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and pledged them not to seek a separate peace with the Axis powers. Thereafter, the Allies used the term “United Nations Fighting Forces” to refer to their alliance.

The idea for the UN was espoused in declarations signed at the wartime allied conferences in Moscow, Cairo, and Tehran in 1943. From August to October 1944, representatives of France, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union met to elaborate the plans at the Dumbarton Oaks Estate in Washington, DC. Those and later talks produced proposals outlining the purposes of the organization, its membership and organs, and arrangements to maintain international peace and security and international economic and social cooperation. On 25 April 1945, the UN Conference on International Organizations began in San Francisco. In addition to the governments, a number of non-governmental organizations were invited to assist in drafting the charter. The 50 nations represented at the conference signed the Charter of the United Nations two months later on 26 June, Poland had not been represented at the conference, but a place had been reserved for it among the original signatories, and it added its name later. The UN came into existence on 24 October 1945, after the Charter had been ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council—the Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.

Initially, the body was known as the United Nations Organization, or UNO. However, by the 1950s, English speakers were referring to it as the United Nations, or the UN.

Formation and Aims of United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, and social progress and human rights issues.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 to replace the League of Nations, in the hope that it would intervene in conflicts between nations and thereby avoid war. The organization began with fifty countries signing the United Nations Charter. The organization’s structure still reflects in some ways the circumstances of its founding. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, each of which has veto power on any Security Council resolution, are the main victors of World War II or their successor states (alphabetical order): the People’s Republic of China (which replaced the Republic of China in 1971); Franc; Russia (which replaced the Soviet Union in 1991); the United Kingdom; and the United States. There are currently 192 United Nations member states encompassing almost every recognized independent state. From its headquarters in New York City, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout each year. The organization is divided into administrative bodies, including the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Additional bodies deal with the governance of all other UN System agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UN’s most visible public figure is the Secretary-General. The current Secretary-General is Ban Kimoon of South Korea, who assumed the post on 1 January 2007.

Aims

The stated aims of the United Nations are to prevent war, to safeguard human rights, to provide a mechanism for international law, and to promote social and economic progress, improve living standards and fight diseases. It gives the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems. Toward these ends it ratified a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

War and Community (Short Note)

Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 0 Comments

War also creates many problems for the community. The whole system on which the community rests gets disturbed and the new order is found essential. One of the serious problems which community faces it is that war gives birth to class war. In the words of Maclver and Page, “While the immediate effect of war often is to stimulate intense solidarity within the belligerent community, obliterating or overwhelming conflict over domestic issues, as the war continues or after it is finished, the strains and pressures create and the attitudes bred by resort to force are apt to accentuate old differences and to breed new ones. It has been observed from ancient times that an aftermath of war is class war”.

War and Civilization (Short Note)

No doubt wars have been witnessed by all societies and at all times, yet its continuity is no justification for its continuance. Progress and growth of human civilization and society gets a serious setback due to war. Due to war our ancient monuments, which are the symbol of our culture, are destroyed. Young and able-bodied persons are eaten away by the war and thus ration between men and women is disturbed. Due to lack of family affection and parental care, the children get spoiled and thus the whole process of cultural and civilization advancement gets a serious setback. In the words of Maclver and page, “No high policy seems a recompense for the destruction of the manhood of a whole generation, for the culture disrupting the falsehood and hatred without which it cannot be waged for the jeopardy of civilization itself. These indications point to a new orientation of man toward an institution which has not been rendered obsolete but which has proved to be tragically incongruous with the changed conditions of human life”.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

War

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 1 Comment

War is a very old phenomenon of social disorganization. There is perhaps no period in human history, which has not witnessed a war. Both when the society was simple, as well as when its problems were complex and complicated, the wars were fought among the nations for one reason or the other. In our own times two great world wars have been fought and the clouds of third world war are hovering on our heads. One of the salient features of our modern wars is that it is destructive. If effective steps are not taken to wipe out wars, wars are sure to wipe out humanity.

Political Causes of Criminology (Short Note)

There are many political causes, which contribute in poverty. The policy of the government is not encouraging production and increasing discontentment among the workers by giving faulty defective labour laws, can be one such factor. Similarly the policy of government to give monopoly rights to the few and put vast majority of consumers at their disposal is another cause. Then is the failure of the government to provide proper education to the citizens so that after completing their education they can earn their livelihood. Government can also enact laws, which encourage exploitation. Similarly government can adopt wise economic policy, thereby providing employment to maximum number of people. It can also provide home science training and encourage small scale and cottage industries. In this way political causes can help a lot both in increasing unemployment and also in reducing poverty.

Above are some of the important causes for poverty of the people. As soon as all these or many of these causes combine together, the rate and ratio of poverty increases and vice versa happens in their absence. Today one of the serious problems with which our government is faced is to launch what against poverty. Today throughout the world it is realized that poverty is the standard of judging success or failure of all political institutions, organizations and governments. We may conclude it with the words of Gillin and Gillin when he says that, “We have also pointed out that the factors producing poverty and dependency are individual in capacity, partly due to heredity and partly to accidental causes, features of physical environment over which man has not yet obtained adequate control, to the mal-adjustment in our economic organization to meet adequate human needs, to defects in our social organization with respect to education, health, housing, improper preparation for family life”.

Social Causes of Criminology (Short Note)

Like economic causes, social causes too are responsible for the poverty of a nation. One such cause is evil customs and traditions due to which the people are forced to spend beyond their capacities. These customs and traditions are so deep rooted that even if few try to end them, they cannot do so without serious social disapproval of their action. Then another social cause is denial of opportunities for improving health. If the society cannot provide even medical facilities to enable a person to become a fit citizen, what more can it contribute in the eradication of poverty.

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