Chapter 6 International Organisations Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 6 International Organisations Class 12 Political Science Notes will provide a quick glimpse of the chapter and improve the learning experience. NCERT Notes for Class 12 becomes a vital resource for all the students to self-study from NCERT textbooks carefully. NCERT Solutions for Chapter 6 International Organisations can be used to enrich knowledge and make lessons for learners more exciting.

Chapter 6 International Organisations Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 6 International Organisations Class 12 Political Science Notes

Why International Organisations?

• International organisations help with matters of war and peace. They also help countries cooperate to make better living conditions for us all.

• An international organisation can help produce information and ideas about how to cooperate. It can provide mechanisms, rules and a bureaucracy, to help members have more confidence that costs will be shared properly, that the benefits will be fairly divided, and that once a member joins an agreement it will honour the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Evolution of the UN

• The League of Nations was born after the First World War encouraged the world to invest in an international organisation to deal with conflict.

• The United Nations (UN) was founded as a successor to the League of Nations which was established in 1945 immediately after the Second World War. The organisation was set up through the signing of the United Nations Charter by 51 states.

• The UN’s objective is to prevent international conflict and to facilitate cooperation among states.

• By 2011, the UN had 193 member states. In the UN General Assembly, all members have one vote each. In the UN Security Council, there are five permanent members. These are: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. The most important public figure of the UN is the Secretary General.

• There are different structures and agencies of UN that includes World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Human Rights Commision (UNHRC), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), among others.

Reform of the UN after the Cold War

• Reform and improvement are fundamental to any organisation to serve the needs of a changing environment.

• Two basic kinds of reforms face the UN:
→ reform of the organisation’s structures and processes.
→ a review of the issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the organisation.

• On the reform of structures and processes, there has been the demand to increase the membership of permanent and non-permanent in UN Security Council.

• On the issues within the jurisdiction of the UN, some countries want the organisation to play a greater role in peace and security missions.

• After the formation of UN, many changes have occurred:
→ The Soviet Union has collapsed.
→ The US is the strongest power.
→ The relationship between Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, and the US is much more cooperative.
→ China is fast emerging as a great power, and India also is growing rapidly.
→ The economies of Asia are growing at an unprecedented rate.
→ Many new countries have joined the UN after gaining independence from the Soviet Union or former communist states in eastern Europe.
→ A whole new set of challenges confronts the world (genocide, civil war, ethnic conflict, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, environmental degradation, epidemics).

Reform of Structures and Processes

• In 1992, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that reflected three main complaints:
→ The Security Council no longer represents contemporary political realities.
→ Its decisions reflect only Western values and interests and are dominated by a few powers.
→ It lacks equitable representation.

• On 1 January 1997, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan initiated an inquiry into how the UN should be reformed. Criteria for new permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council should be:
→ A major economic power
→ A major military power
→ A substantial contributor to the UN budget
→ A big nation in terms of its population
→ A nation that respects democracy and human rights
→ A country that would make the Council more representative of the world’s diversity in terms of geography, economic systems, and culture.

• Governments saw advantages in some criteria and disadvantages in others depending on their interests and aspirations. 

• In the Security Council, there are five permanent members and ten non-permanent members.  The Charter gave the permanent members a privileged position to after the Second World  War.  l The main privileges members are permanency and the veto power world. The non-permanent  members do not have the veto power.

• A demand to abolish the veto power altogether was also raised. Many perceived the veto to be in conflict with the concept of democracy and sovereign equality in the UN.

Jurisdiction of the UN

• In September 2005, a meeting was held  to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the United Nation and to review the situation.

• The leaders in this meeting decided some steps that should be taken to make the UN more relevant by creating peace building commissions, human rights council, agreement to achieve Millennium Development Goals, condemnation of terrorism, creation of democracy fund and an agreement to wind up Trusteeship Council.

India and the UN Reforms

• India has supported the restructuring of the UN on several grounds. It also supports an enhanced role for the UN in promoting development and cooperation among states.

• One of India’s important concerns has been the composition of the Security Council, which has remained largely static while the UN General Assembly membership has expanded considerably.

• India supports an increase in the number of both permanent and non-permanent members. India itself also wishes to be a permanent member in a restructured UN.

• India has participated in virtually all of the initiatives of the UN. Its role in the UN’s peacekeeping efforts is a long and substantial one.

• The country’s economic emergence on the world stage is another factor that perhaps justifies India’s claim to a permanent seat in the Security Council.

• Despite India’s wish to be a permanent veto holding member of the UN, some countries question its inclusion. They are concerned about Indo-Pak relations, India’s nuclear capabilities and others.

The UN in a Unipolar World

• The UN cannot serve as a balance against US dominance because the US is the only superpower after the end of the Cold War. Its military and economic power allow it to ignore the UN or any other international organisation.

• Within the UN, the influence of the US is considerable. As the single largest contributor to the UN, the US has unmatched financial power.

• The UN is not therefore a great balance to the US. Nevertheless, in a unipolar world in which the US is dominant, the UN can and has served to bring the US and the rest of the world into discussions over various issues.

• The UN is an imperfect body, but without it the world would be worse off. The UN does provide a space within which arguments against specific US attitudes and policies are heard and compromises and concessions can be shaped.

UN's Agencies

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

• Overseas financial institutions and regulations at the international level

• It consists of 189 members.

• The US alone enjoys 16.75% voting rights. 

• The G-8 members (the US, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Canada, Russia), China and Saudi Arabia have more than 52 per cent votes in IMF.

World Bank

• It was created in 1944.

• It works for human development, agriculture and rural development, environmental  protection, infrastructure and governance and provides loans and grants to  developing countries.

• It is often criticised for setting the economic agenda of poorer nations, attaching stringent  conditions to its loans and forcing free market reforms.

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

• An international organisation to set the rules for global trade which was set up in 1995 as a successor to General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) and has 164 members. (as on 29 July 2016)

• Major economic powers such as the US, EU and Japan have managed to use the WTO to frame rules of trade to advance their own interests.
• The developing countries often complain of non-transparent procedure and being  pushed around by big powers.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

• It was established in 1957 to implement US president Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms  for Peace” proposal.

• It seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to prevent its use for  military purpose. 

• IAEA teams regularly inspect nuclear facilities all over the world to ensure that  civilian reactors are not being used for military purposes.

Amnesty International

• An NGO to campaign for the protection of human rights all over the world. 

• It prepares and publishes reports on human rights to research and advocate human rights.

• Governments are not always happy with these reports since a major focus of Amnesty is the misconduct of government authorities.

Human Rights Watch

• Another international NGO involved in research and advocacy of human rights.

• The largest international human rights organisation in the US.

• It draws the global media’s attention to human rights abuses.

• It helped in building international coalitions like the campaigns to ban landmines, to stop the use of child-soldier and to establish the international criminal court.

Timeline of United Nations

August 1941: Signing of the Atlantic Charter by the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston S. Churchill

January 1942: 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers meet in Washington, D.C., to support the Atlantic Charter and sign the ‘Declaration by United Nations’

December 1943: Tehran Conference Declaration of the Three Powers (US, Britain and Soviet Union)

February 1945: Yalta Conference of the ‘Big Three’ (Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) decides to organise a United Nations conference on the proposed world organisation

April-May 1945: The 2-month long United Nations Conference on International Organisation at San Francisco

26 June 1945: Signing of the UN Charter by 50 nations (Poland signed on October 15; so the UN has 51 original founding members)

24 October1945: the UN was founded (hence October 24 is celebrated as UN Day)

30 October 1945: India joins the UN
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