For 70 years, the United Nations has worked on the frontlines everyday around
the world on the pillars of Human Rights, Peace, Security and development. In
its 75th year, however, the United Nations is in a difficult moment as the world
faces climate crisis, a global pandemic, great power competition, trade wars,
economic depression and a wider breakdown in International cooperation.
addition to maintaining International peace and security, the United Nations
protects human rights, delivers humanitarian aid, promotes Sustainable
development and upholds International law. This paper explains the Chronological
events for the establishment of the United Nations, the major principles ,
legality and achievements of the United Nations, its major contribution towards
the world and other developing countries like India for the betterment of the
society at the global level.
Yaadum Oore Yaavarum Kelir (To us, all villages are one, all people are kin)-Kaniyan
Poongundranar ( Tamil Philosopher)
The main idea behind the creation of the United Nations is to promote peace,
dignity and Equality on a healthy planet and it is similar to the ideas of
Kaniyan Poongundranar from the Sangam Age ( 6th Century BCE- 1st CE) , an
influential Tamil Philosopher who had Quoted in his literature ‘Purananuru
that all the people are kith and kin, all people are World Citizens.
of the league of Nations on the one hand and the horror ruthless destruction
caused by the second world war on the other hand disturbed many minds especially
in allied countries. They expressed the desire to establish peace even when the
war was in progress. The first ‘ Declaration by United Nations’ dates back to
January 1,1942, when representatives of twenty –six nations pledged their
governments to continue fighting together to defeat the Axis Powers and to
obtain a “ just “ peace. Deliberations became intense after the termination of
the war which resulted in the creation of the United Nations Organization on
The United Nations was therefore founded in the ashes of a war that brought
untold sorrow to mankind. The Basic issue with which the drafters of the United
Nations charter dealt was in essence unchanged from the one Woodrow Wilson and
his European counterparts had faced in 1918-1919.They wanted to create an
Organizations that would, indeed , be a definite guaranty of Peace.
World War–II (Global Conflict)
|THE GRAND ALLIANCE
The United States
The Great Britain
The Soviet Union
|THE AXIS POWERS
- World war II was simply, deadly.
- The estimated Civilian and Military death tolls ran as high as 72
- The deeper impact of the war on global and national economies, as well
as on political structures around the globe, was profound.
- European empires collapsed either during or as a result of the war.
- The United Nations and the Soviet Union emerged as the strongest nations
- Germany and Japan were occupied and militarily emasculated.
- In sum, the world was transformed.
- The United Nations was created, in part , to manage that transformation.
Chronological Events Towards The Establishment Of The United Nations:
The important events leading to the establishment of the United Nations are as
- Declaration of St. James Palace (1941)
- Atlantic Charter (1941)
- United Nations Declaration(1942)
- Moscow Declaration (1943)
- Tehran Declaration (1943)
- Dumbarton Oaks Conference (1944)
- Yalta Conference(1945)
- San Francisco Conference(1945)
Importance Of The United Nations Charter
The preamble of the United Nations is preceded by the words ‘ Charter of the
United Nations’. It indicated the title of that legal instrument and the name
of the Organization constituted by it. The Charter is a multilateral treaty,
albeit a treaty having certain special characteristics. The term ‘ Charter’
was regarded more appropriate designation of the constitution of International
Community than the covenant, the name given to the Statute of the league of
Nations. The term ‘ charter ‘ refers to the contents of the treaty whereas the
term Covenant refers to the contract form of the contents.
The preamble of the United Nations Charter has set forth the basic aims of the
United Nations which are:
- To save succeeding generations from the scourage of war.
- To re-affirm faith in fundamental human rights.
- To establish Justice and respect for International Obligations
- To promote social Progress and better standard of life.
The purposes for which the United Nations was established are laid down in
Article 1 of the Charter. They are as follows:
- To maintain International peace and Security
- To develop friendly relations among Nations
- To achieve International Cooperation
- To make the United Nations on International forum for Harmonisation
When the United Nations was established, the principle of Self- determination
was invoked within it to end colonialism. The United Nations Charter under
Article 1 (para 2) , Article 55 laid down that to develop friendly relations
among nations based on the Principle of equal rights and self –determination of
peoples, shall be one of its purposes.
The International Court of Justice in the case concerning East Timor (Portugal
v Australia) has also observed that the principle of Self- determination of
peoples has been recognized by the United Nations charter and in the
Jurisprudence of the Court, it is one of the essential principles of
Contemporary International law.
Self–determination of peoples used in Article 1,para 2 means only sovereignty
of states. Thus, in the general sense, Self-determination involves accession
to independent statehood for those people who were subjected to colonial
domination or to people who inhabit a non- self governing territory.
The principle of Self-determination has two aspects, viz; External and Internal.
By virtue of external aspect, the people of a nation determine their
International political status themselves either by Secession or by formation of
an independent State. Internal aspect recognizes their right in their economic,
social and cultural fields.
The United Nations Declaration on the granting of Independence to colonial
countries and People’s addressed the right to self- determination to
territories under colonial possession. The International Court of Justice
endorsed this view in the Namibia case (1970) and in the Western Sahara Case
In both the cases, the court found that the declaration of the General Assembly
only affirmed the Principle of Equal rights and self-determination as a policy
in relation to trust and non-self governing territories. This principle has also
been endorsed by the Court in east Timor case.
During the Second half of the twentieth Century the International law of Self
–determination developed in such a way as to create a right to independence for
the peoples of non-self governing territories and peoples subject to alien
subjugation ,domination and exploitation.
Article 1, Para 3 of the Charter lays down two purposes of the United Nations
which are closely related to each other.
- To achieve ‘ International co-operation in Solving International
Problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and;
- International Co-operation in Promoting and encouraging respect for
human rights, and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction to
race, sex ,language or religion.
Essential Prinicples Of The United Nations:
The Charter laid down the basic principles under Article 2 on which the
Organisation is founded. These principles are the general obligations which bind
each member State,a nd the Organization as a whole. They are as follows:
- The Principle of Sovereign Equality
- The Principle of the fulfillment of Obligation
- The Principle of Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes
- The Principle of Non-use of force
- The Principle of Assistance to the United Nations
- The Principle for Non-member States
- The Principle of Non- Intervention in Domestic Matters of a state
United Nations- A Distinct Legal Personality
The United Nations possess a distinct legal personality. The International Court
of Justice in an advisory opinion on Reparation for Injuries suffered in the
Service of the United Nations considered the Judicial nature of the United
Nations. The Court was of the Opinion that the States which set it up had the
Power, in conformity with International law to bring into being an entity
Possessing objective International Personality.
The United Nations possess only those Special capacities as conferred upon it by
particular Provisions of the Charter. These Provisions clearly show that the
United Nations Possess Juridical Personality in the field of International law
as well as in the field of the national laws of the member States.
- Juridical personality under International law
Article 26 , Article 43(3), Article 57(1), Article 63(1), Article 75, Article
77, Article 79 – all these articles of United Nations Charter signifies the
juridical personality of the United Nations under International law.
- Juridical personality under National laws of the members
Article 104, Article 105 signifies that the United Nations possess the Juridical
Personality in the field of the national laws of the members. The Convention on
Privileges and Immunities gives a detailed enumeration of the Privileges and
Immunities which shall be granted to the representatives of the members of the
The Major Achievements Of The United Nations
- Avoidance of the Third World War
- Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
- Conclusion of Conventions & Treaties
- Thinking for the Third Generation
- Economic, Social and Cultural Development
- Respect for International law
The Charter of the United Nations in order to meet the challenges of the Present
time is required to be amended. Reforms in the structure of the United Nations
and its working system is desirably to be made so that all the member states may
participate in all the decisions of the Organization.
The Principle of
Sovereign Equality of member States and the democratization of the United
Nations system as a whole should be followed. It may be stated that reforms may
be made by making amendments in the Charter.
Organs Of The United Nations:
The United Nations (U.N) is an International Organization founded in 1945. It is
currently made up of 193 member states. It’s mission and work guided by the
purposes and principles contained in its founding charter and implemented by its
various organs and specialized agencies. It’s activities include maintaining
International peace and security, Protecting human rights, delivering
humanitarian aid, Promoting Sustainable development and upholding International
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. The United Nations Conference on International Organization
(1945) held in San Francisco (U.S.A) was attended by representatives of 50
countries and signed the United Nations charter. The United Nations Charter of
1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations ,as an Inter- governmental
The main Organs of the United Nations are:
- The General Assembly
- The Security Council
- The Economic and Social Council
- The trusteeship Council
- The International Court of Justice
- The United Nations Secretariat
Here are the functions of the main Organs of the United Nations:
- The General Assembly is the main deliberative, Policy making and
representative organ of the United Nations.
- The Security Council has Primary responsibility under the United Nations
Charter , for the maintenance of International peace and Security.
- The Economic and Social council(ECOSOC) is the Principal body
for Co-ordination ,Policy review, Policy dialogue and recommendations on
economic, social and environmental issues ,as well as implementation of
internationally agreed development goals. Each year, ECOSOC structures its work
around an annual theme of global importance to Sustainable development.
- The Trusteeship council was established in 1945 by the UN charter, under
Chapter XIII. Trust territory is a non-self governing territory placed under
an administrative authority by the Trusteeship council of the United
- The International Court of Justice is the principal Judicial Organ of
the United Nations.
- The Secretariat comprises the Secretary – General and tens of thousands
of International U.N staff members who carry out the day-to day work
of the United Nations as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organizations
other Principal Organs.
The UN System, also known unofficially as the U.N. family is made up of the
United Nations itself ( 6 main Organs) and many affiliated Programmes ,funds
and specialized agencies, all with their own membership, leadership and budget.
UNITED NATION’S FUNDS & PROGRAMMES
UNICEF- United Nations Children’s Educational Fund
UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund
UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme
UN-HABITAT – United Nations Human Settlements Programme
United Nation’s Contribution To The World
- Peace and Security
- Economic Development
- Human Rights
- International law
- Humanitarian Affairs
Peace And Security:
- Maintaining Peace and Security
- Preventing Nuclear Proliferation
- Supporting disarmament
- Preventing Genocide
- Promoting Development Millennium Development
- Alleviating Rural Poverty
- Focusing on African Development
- Promoting Women’s Well-being
- Fighting Hunger
- Commitment in Support of Children
- Global Think Tank
- Preserving Historic, Cultural, Architectural & Natural sites
- Taking the lead on global Issues
United Nations Human Rights bodies have focused World attention on cases of
torture ,disappearance, arbitrary detention and other violations.
- Fostering Democracy
- Ending Apartheid in South Africa
- Promoting Women’s Rights
- Climate change is a global problem that demands a global solution
- Protecting the Ozone layer
- Banning Toxic Chemicals
- Prosecuting War Criminals
- Helping to resolve major International disputes
- Stability and order in the World’s Oceans
- Combating International Crime
- Encouraging Creativity and Innovation
- Assisting Refugees
- Aiding Palestinian Refugees
- Reducing the Effects of Natural Disasters
- Providing food to the Neediest
- Promoting Reproductive & Maternal Health
- Wiping out Polio
- Eradicating Small pox
- Fighting Tropical Diseases
United Nation’s Contribution To India:
United Nations agencies, Offices, Programmes and funds working in India comprise
one of the largest United Nations Field networks anywhere in the World. India’s
Consistently strong voice for the developing world has made it a major player
with the United Nations. Here are the list of committees that are functioning in
India for the welfare of the society at large along with the United Nations.
APCTT -The Asian and Pacific Centre for transfer of technology
FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization
IFAD- International fund for Agricultural Development
ILO- International labour Organization
IOM- International Organization for Migration
UN WOMEN – United Nations Entity for gender Equality and the Empowerment of
UNDP- United Nations Development Programme
ESCAP –United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO – United Nations educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation
UNPA- United Nations development Programme
UN-HABITAT- United Nations Commission on Human Settlements
UNCF- United Nations Children Fund
UNIDO- United Nations Industrial development Organisation
WFP-World Food Programme
WHO –World Health Organization
UNHCR- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNMOGIP –United Nations Military Observer group in India & Pakistan
UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
WORLD BANK GROUP
IMF – International Monetary Fund
ICAO- International Civil Aviation Organisation
IMO- International Maritime Organisation
ITU- International Telecommunication Union
WTO- World Trade Organisation
UPU- Universal Postal union
WMO – World Meteorological Organisation
WIPO- World Intellectual Property Organisation
India’s Contribution To United Nations:
Conclusion & Suggestions:
- India has actively cooperative with various principal organs and
specialized agencies of the United Nations. India has served a number of two
year terms as a agencies of the United Nations.
- Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pandit was elected the first Women President of the
United Nations General Assembly in 1953.
- India pleaded strongly for speeding up the process of de-colonization in
Asia & Africa.
- India, along with other like minded countries played a significant role
in the release of French colonies of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
- India is a strong supporter of the United Nations efforts for Protection
of Human Rights.
- India has played a consistently Positive and energetic role in United
Nations efforts for disarmament and arms control.
- India has always actively supported peace-keeping activities of the
- India were considered neutral in the Suez-related Crisis.
United Nations , being the World’s largest democratic body of all nations. It
has played a crucial role making this human society more civil, peaceful and
secure. It’s responsibility towards humanity provides a stability in the world.
It aims to build a democratic Society by preserving the Earth’s Ecosystem in
Concern with climate change.
The United Nations is a unique International
Character, who can take action on the Issues Confronting humanity in the
21st century such as peace and security, Climate Change, Sustainable
Development, human rights ,Disarmament, Terrorism, humanitarian and health Emergencies.Like the human body comprises of the basic Organs such as the
Heart, Lungs, Liver, kidneys, Stomach, Intestines, Pancreas for the Proper
functioning of the homo sapiens.
The United Nations body comprises of the
important Organs such as the General Assembly, Security Council, Trusteeship
Council, Secretariat, ECOSOC. The essential and proper functions of the organs
in a human body leads to the healthy growth of homo sapiens in the world. The
mandatory and proper functions of the United Nations Organs in a United Nations
body leads to the development and growth of Homo economicus in the World.
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Law publications ,18th edition 2011
- Dr. S.K. Kapoor, International law and Human Rights(481-624), Central
law Agency, 19th edition 2014
- Rashee Jain, Textbook on Human Rights Law and Practice (6-60), Universal
law Publishing co. Pvt. Ltd ,Second edition ,2014
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Politics Boulder, co ; West view Press
- Richmond, O.P (2007) The Transformation of Peace, London : Palgrave
- Diehl, P.F (1994) International Peacekeeping Baltimore, John Hopkins
- Charter of the United Nations (1945)
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.A.Jonah Elisa Shiny
- For the text of the Charter of the United Nations Organization ,See
- Kelsen, The law of the United Nations (1950) p.3
- See Certain Expenses of the United Nations ( Article 17, paragraph 2 of
the Charter, ICJ Report, 1962 p.157
- Kelsen, op cit p.3
- ICJ Reports 1995 pp.90-102
- Kelsen, op. cit pp51-52
- General Assembly Resolution 1514 (xv) dated December 14,1960
- Legal Consequences of the Construction of a wall in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, ICJ Reports 2004 (1) pp171-172 para 88
- ICJ Reports (1949) p.174
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