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    Indo-Pak Relations :

  1. Pakistan came into being as a result of the unfortunate partition of the British India.
  2. The partition of the country was accompanied by the worst kind of communal riots which left a lot of bitterness.
  3. The basic difference in the development of two types (Pakistan, an Islamic state and India a secular democratic state) of
  4. political systems often promotes lack of confidence in both the countries.
  5. The second and the main reason has been the difference between India and Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir.
  6. Whereas Kashmir is an integral part of India, Pakistan treats it as a disputed territory.
  7. In 1947, Pakistan tried to force Kashmir to accede to it by sending invaders.
  8. But, Kashmir acceded to India, and Indian troops forced the invaders to withdraw from most of Kashmir.
  9. The UN negotiated a ceasefire, but Pakistan refused to recognise Kashmir’s accession to India.
  10. Another Indo-Pak war over Kashmir in 1965 also ended through UN mediation.
  11. India defeated Pakistan in the third Indo-Pak war in 1971, which led to the birth of Bangladesh.
  12. By the Shimla Agreement of 1972, India and Pakistan resolved to respect the international border and,
  13. in case of Kashmir, the Line of Control (LOG) as in December 1971. They also agreed to settle all bilateral issues peacefully.
  14. After 1972, Pakistan supported terrorist activities in Punjab and Kashmir.
  15. Pakistan also sent intruders across the LOG in 1999. This led to the Kargil conflict,
  16. and the intruders were ultimately forced to withdraw.
  17. There was a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
  18. But, since 2003, both countries have taken steps to improve bilateral relations.

(a)    Peace Efforts:

  •  Tashkent Declaration of 1966
  •  Simla Agreement of 1972
  •  Bus Diplomacy in 2000
  •  Agra Summit in 2001

    India-China Relations:

  1. India was one of the first countries to recognise the People’s Republic of China.
  2. The Sino-lndian agreement of 1954, based on the Panchsheel, recognised China’s authority over Tibet.
  3. India also supported China’s admission into the UN.
  4. Dispute over definition of the India-Tibet border, China’s claims over some Indian territories
  5.  India’s granting of asylum to the Dalai Lama and Chinese intrusions into India led to a Sino-lndian war in 1962.
  6. China-Pakistan closeness, India’s nuclear test in 1974 and Sikkim’s absorption into India further strained Sino-lndian relations.
  7. Sino-lndian relations have now improved. Though China resented India’s nuclear tests in
  8. 1998, it supported India in the Kargil conflict of 1999 and condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
  9. India-Bangladesh Relations :
  10. India played a major role in liberating Bangladesh from Pakistan. In 1972,
  11. India and Bangladesh concluded a treaty of cooperation, friendship and peace based on the Panchsheel, Nonalignment, Secularism and Socialism.
  12. After the government of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was overthrown in 1975, the relation between India and Bangladesh have worsened.

(a)    Points of Conflict

  • The disagreement over the distribution of Ganga waters after the making of the barrage of Farakka.
  • Indian government’s decision to set up wire fences in its border with Bangladesh.

(b)    Peace Efforts:

  • In March, 1992 India agreed to transfer ‘Tin Bigha’ corridor to Bangladesh on lease basis.
  • Bangladesh has assured India that the Chakma refugees would be taken back.
  • Signing of an agreement on sharing of Ganga waters between the two countries in 1996.
  • But, the issue of the ownership of New Moore Island is still unresolved.
  • In recent years, the presence of anti-India militant groups in Bangladesh has alarmed India.

    India-Nepal Relations :

  • India and Nepal cooperate on matters of national security through a treaty of peace and friendship, and
  • India gives economic assistance to Nepal through a treaty of trade and commerce.
  • India has helped Nepal in many developmental projects such as the Devighat hydroelectric project.
  • Nepal moved closer to China in the 1960s, and resented Sikkim’s accession to India in 1975.
  • India-Nepal relations improved after the restoration of democracy in Nepal in 1990.

    India-Bhutan Relations :

  • The Indo-Bhutanese treaty of friendship and cooperation (1949) ensures peace, recognises Bhutan’s sovereignty over internal affairs,
  • requires India to guide Bhutan in external affairs
  • provides for free trade and commerce, and ensures equal treatment of Indian and Bhutanese citizens in each other’s countries.
  • India has provided financial and technical aid for Bhutan’s development.

    India-Myanmar Relations :

  • Burma, sharing its western border with India’s north-eastern states, was renamed Myanmar in 1989.
  • India-Myanmar relations are governed by a friendship treaty based on mutual respect and commitment to settle matters of mutual concern.
  • To boost bilateral trade, India built the Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo road along the India-Myanmar border.
  • India and Myanmar have agreed to check cross-border insurgency,
  • smuggling and drug trafficking through mutual cooperation. Myanmar receives technical and financial help from India.

    India-Sri Lanka Relations :

  • Sri Lanka and India share traditional links and are committed to the Panchsheel, nonalignment and Afro-Asian solidarity.
  • Both countries are against colonialism and racialism, and have close industrial, commercial and cultural ties.
  • They have settle the issue of demarcation of their maritime boundaries and the issue of giving citizenship to some of the Tamils living in Sri Lanka.
  • India sent a peacekeeping force to Sri Lanka in 1987 when the movement for a separate
  • Tamil homeland led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) turned violent.
  • The force, however, were withdrawn in March 1990, before it could complete its mission.

    Policy Issues :

  • India’s foreign policy is based on democratic principles of equality, liberty and fraternity.
  • The underlying aim of having a foreign policy is to ensure peaceful relations
  • with neighbouring countries and the rest of the world and to preserve freedom to have autonomy in making decisions on international issues.
  • The fundamental principles of our foreign policy are:
  • Promotion of national interests such as social and economic development and political stability;
  • Safeguarding national security; 
  • Promotion of peace, friendship, goodwill and cooperation amongst countries; 
  • Resistance to imperialist, colonial and authoritarian forces and opposition to interference of super powers in the internal affairs of other countries; 
  • Encouragement of peaceful settlement of disputes among nations; 
  • Opposition to arms race and support to disarmament movements; 
  • Upholding ideate of human rights and opposition to all inequalities and discriminations based on race, colour, religion, etc.; and 
  • Promotion of the principles of Panchsheel and non-aligned movement.

    Panchsheel :

  • To secure friendly and peaceful relations with the neighbouring countries
  • Nehru originated the concept of Panchsheel the five principles of peaceful coexistence. These are-
  • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; 
  • Non-aggression;
  • Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; 
  • Equality and mutual benefit; and 
  • Peaceful co-existence. The principle of Panchsheel was being practised by
  • India for long, but was formally enunciated on April 29, 1954 during the Sino-lndian Agreement between India and China on Tibet.

    Non-Alignment :

  • End of the Second World War meant an end to the dominance of European States
  • The world came to be dominated by the conflict between the two
  • States which emerged very powerful after the war - the USA (capitalist) and the former USSR (socialist).
  • Europe also came to be divided between two very different kinds of societies.
  • West Europe had traditional democratic governments. In Eastern Europe new socialist societies grew up.
  • After the Second World War the world of the colonies began to change fast
  • The process that began with India becoming independent soon spread to other parts of the third world.
  • This process was called decolonisation.
  • A new conflict arose between the Western States and the new Socialist States in 1954.
  • The USA formed a military alliance in 1954 with some
  • Western European countries, which was called the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
  • USA made similar pacts (the SEATO, the CENTO and the ANZUS) with other friendly governments
  • . In 1955, the former Soviet Union also formed similar military pact with its allied countries in Eastern Europe.
  • This was known as the Warsaw Pact.
  • Formation of military blocs led to increasing tension in the world.
  • It also led to production of more powerful and destructive weapons.
  • As India was not aligned to any of the military blocs, its foreign policy came to be known as a policy of non-alignment.
  • In the early days of non-alignment the policy was followed and supported by the leaders of three countries; Jawahar Lal Nehru,
  • the Prime Minister of India, President Josef Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, and President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt.
  • The first NAM conference was held in Belgrade in Yugoslavia in 1961. It was attended by 25 countries.
  • Today, the membership of the NAM has increased to 114.
  • Later conferences were held in Cairo, Lusaka, Algiers, Colombo, Havana, New Delhi, Harare, Belgrade, Djakarta etc.
  • With the disintegration of USSR, the era of cold war came to an end.
  • Colonialism has almost ended. In such a world situation relevance of NAM has become more important,
  • though it was thought that this policy would become irrelevant.
  • The world is still divided into economically developed and developing countries.
  • There is a need to make structural reforms in the United Nations.
  • The world has to be made free from nuclear weapons. Problems of international terrorism has to be solved.

    India and SAARC :

  • Around 1980, Zia-ur Rehman, the President of Bangladesh,
  • place the proposal of regional cooperation before some of the South Asian heads of state.
  • Subsequently the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  • was launched with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives as members.
  • The heads of the SAARC states first met at Dhaka in December 1985.
  • The SAARC has its headquarters in Kathmandu.
  • The SAARC promotes mutual friendship and cooperation, collective self-reliance and better communication among members,
  • and economic growth, social progress and scientific and cultural development in South Asia. It also seeks to check cross-border terrorism and smuggling.
  • India is the largest, most populous, most strategically located as well as the most advanced among the SAARC countries.
  • This gives India much greater importance than the other SAARC members.
  • Moreover, the manner in which India has fought
  • the effects of colonial exploitation and
  • India’s success as a stable popular democracy after independence serve as models for other SAARC countries.
  • As the most important member of the SAARC,
  • India has taken the initiative in promoting the economic progress of its neighbours.


  • After the end of the Cold War and since the introduction of economic reforms in
  • India, there has been a renewed vigour in our relationship
  • with countries of the South East Asian region.
  • India’s “Look East” policy and its potential as a major market have contributed
  • significantly towards expanding and diversifying India’s relations with the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nation) region.
  • India became ASEAN’s sectorial dialogue partner in 1992 and full dialogue partner as well as a member of the Association of South
  • East Asian Nation (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) in 1996, thus reflecting the growing ties with ASEAN.
  • India sought to promote a wider and deeper contact with ASEAN countries to promote peace, development and security in the region
  • Through the, institution of dialogue partnership with ASEAN,
  • attempts are being made to identify areas of focussed interaction,
  • including formulation of concrete work programmes and action plans.
  • With the signs of the regional economic crisis having receded and signs of growth of economies in this region,
  • India hopes to increase trade both in terms of quantity and value with the ASEAN countries and also enhance mutual investments.
  • The first Indo-ASEAN summit was held at Phnom Penh (Cambodian capital) in 2002.
  • The joint statement issued at the summit called for cooperation and confidence building measures in combating terrorism, trafficking in illegal drugs,
  • smuggling, sea piracy, money laundering, cyber crime, etc.
  • On the economic agenda, India and ASEAN leaders agreed to work for closer
  • India-AFTA-(ASEAN Free Trade Agreement) Linkages; and adopted the India-ASEAN Regional Trade and Investment Area.
  • At the second India-ASEAN summit in 2003, three key documents were signed:
  • (i) the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation which provided for the creation of a Fre
  • e Trade Agreement (FTA) to be implemented in 10 years; (ii) ASEAN’s Treaty on Amity and Cooperation (TAG), and (iii) a joint declaration against terrorism.

    India and European Union :

  • The European Union (EU) is India’s largest trading partner and one of the largest sources of approved foreign investment.
  • India has traditionally maintained close and friendly relations with the EU as well as with individual countries in the region.
  • It has tried to forge a dynamic multi-faceted relationship with the EU.
  • Regular exchange of views on challenges facing India and the international community in
  • the context of regional and international developments and dialogue with the EU has led to better appreciation of
  • India’s legitimate concerns in the fight against terrorism while at the same time providing opportunities to refocus,
  • strengthen and revitalise ties with the European countries.
  • The joint declaration at the first-ever India-EU summit in 2000 spelt out a 22 point agenda for action on a wide range of political and economic issues.
  • It recognised the importance of enhanced relations of a new strategic partnership in the 21st century.
  • The declaration envisaged regular summit meetings,
  • apart from reiterating the resolve to exploit fully the potential of dialogue through existing channels.
  • Indian concerns on nuclear issues were reflected in the declaration.
  • There was joint reiteration of the unequivocal commitment to the ultimate goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control.
  • It was different from the earlier reaction of the EU over India’s nuclear tests in 1998
  • . The EU was then very critical of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan.
  • It declared that those nuclear tests posed a grave threat to international peace and security,
  • and seriously damaged global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to bring about nuclear disarmament.
  • The EU has supported India’s move in the UN for a comprehensive convention on terrorism.
  • As regards trade and economic ties, EU has observed the need for removing obstacles to mark access by developing nations,
  • including India. India and EU have recognised the mutual benefit of a substantial increase in flow of investment, technology, enterprise and service providers between them.

    Disarmament and Arms Control :

  • Disarmament means control or reduction of existing weapons, whereas arms control means control of weapons in future.
  • Here we will discuss India’s approach to the issue as one under the heading of disarmament.
  • Since independence, India has consistently pursued the objective of global disarmament based on the principles of universality,
  • non-discrimination and effective compliance.
  • India believes that a world free of nuclear weapons would enhance global security and India’s own national security.
  • As early as 1948, India called for limiting
  • the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes only and elimination of atomic weapons from national armaments.
  • India has the distinction of being the first country to call for stoppage of nuclear tests.
  • In 1961, India along with other non-aligned countries tabled a resolution in the
  • UN General Assembly declaring the use of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapon as a violation of the UN Charter.
  • In 1964, India suggested immediate ban on all proliferation of nuclear weapons, be it vertical or horizontal. Earlier,
  • in 1963, India ratified a Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) which prohibited all test explosions on the surface,
  • in the atmosphere and under water. Only limited underground tests were allowed.
  • India’s stand has been that disarmament has to be general, i.e.,
  • to cover all countries, to be complete, to apply to all weapons, and has to be implemented under strict international control
  • . Against this background, India refused to sign the Nuclear- Non-Proliferation
  • Treaty (NPT) of 1968 declaring it an unequal and discriminatory.
  • While NPT imposes stringent restrictions on non-nuclear weapon states,
  • it leaves the nuclear weapon powers free from any legal or time-bound obligation to stop proliferation and reduce their nuclear arsenals.
  • It also denies the right to peaceful nuclear explosions by non-nuclear weapons states.
  • India’s nuclear policy has been guided by two concerns: (i) freedom to use nuclear energy, and (ii) national security.
  • In terms of national security, India was faced not only with the situation of nuclear proliferation world over, but also in its own neighbourhood
  • , first by China and then by Pakistan.
  • This forced India to conduct its first underground nuclear test in 1974 for peaceful purposes.
  • But India reiterated that the country was committed to its use for constructive purposes only and that it had no intention of producing nuclear weapons.
  • Thus, India continued its efforts for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
  • with the aims of stopping both horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons. 
  • In 1978, at the first session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament
  • , India moved a resolution which declared the use of nuclear weapons would be a violation of the
  • UN Charter and demanded that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons should be prohibited.
  • The resolution was subsequently adopted by the General Assembly.
  • In an another initiative, at the special session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament,
  • India put forward a number of serious proposals,
  • including the 1988 Comprehensive Plan for Total Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction in a phased manner.
  • Unfortunately, the Indian initiative did not receive a positive response.
  • Reiterating its emphasis an total nuclear disarmament, India did not sign
  • the CTBT that emerged in 1996. India said the treaty was discriminatory and that it did not take into account security interests of countries like India.
  • According to India, the CTBT, like the NPT, will be a license to proliferate vertically without effectively banning horizontal proliferation.
  • India proposed three amendments in the
  • CTBT: (a) it should cover all states including the five nuclear weapon states, (b) it should also ban underground nuclear test, and (c) it should do so for all time.
  • Thus, India could not become a party to CTBT precisely because the issues of non-proliferation,
  • global disarmament and India’s concerns for its national security and strategic autonomy were ignored
  • Frustrated by the double standards of the nuclear states on the nuclear issue and concerned over nuclear environment in the country’s neighbourhood,
  • India conducted three nuclear explosion tests at Pokhran, Shakti, in 1998.
  • However, India made it clear to the international community that the tests did not mean that India would be engaged in an arms race.
  • India has declared a no-first use of nuclear weapons.
  • The country believes that a global no-first use agreement can be the first step towards the delegitimisation of nuclear weapons. 

    Globalisation and Liberalisation :

  • Globalisation is the process whereby state-centric agencies and terms of reference are dissolved in favour of
  • a structure of relations between different actors operating in a context which is truly global rather than merely international.
  • The implication is that state sovereignty is of little concern in globalisation and
  • the process of integration of different state actors is not controlled by anyone state actor.
  • India has become a part of the globalisation process and is trying to adapt itself to this new reality.
  • Until 1991, India’s response to globalisation-based on the concept of world market, world economy, unfettered market economy,
  • etc-was lukewarm, though the country had started some processes towards liberalisation and globalisation in the 1980s.
  • In 1991, in the wake of the external repayment liability crisis, India took a qualitative turn-towards liberalisation.
  • Since then, several reform measures have been taken in trade, industry, exchange rate, capital market and financial sectors.
  • Industrial licensing has been abolished for all items except for a short list of six industries related to security, strategic or environmental concerns.
  • Today, only three areas are reserved for the public sector.
  • In the context of globalisation,
  • the above-mentioned liberalisation measures mean removal of controls and regulations at various levels of economy facilitating market forces to determine its course.
  • They facilitate a competitive market solution to economic issues and a reduced role of the government in economic management.
  • However, India does not favour a blind adoption of globalisation and liberalisation
  • . Its objective is to reap the benefits of globalisation and avoid its adverse effects.
  • India is opposed to a number of serious issues
  • which developed countries are imposing on developing countries through international
  • financial and trade organisations, such as World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • India is of the opinion that other developing countries also need to oppose these attempts.
  • It has taken a number of initiatives at the international Forum to protect the interests of developing countries
  • with regard to trade negotiations and subsidies and these countries rights and responsibilities.


  • The First World War (1914-1918) caused immense damage to human life and property worldwide.
  • In 1920, the League of Nations was established as an international organisation for maintaining world peace.
  • However, it failed to prevent the Second World War (1939-1945).
  • The Second World War caused even greater damage than the First World War had done.
  • After this war, leaders like Franklin Roosevelt of the USA,
  • Winston Churchill of Britain and Joseph Stalin of the USSR called upon all nations to end war and promote human welfare.
  • In response to their call, the representatives of 50 nations, including India, met at a conference held at San Francisco, USA, in 1945.
  • They agreed to form a new organisation, called the United Nations (UN),
  • for promoting peace and goodwill among nations.
  • They also drafted a charter, that is, a written statement of functions and objectives, for the new organisation.
  • The UN Charter was signed on 26 June 1945.
  • It came into effect on 24 October, and this day is celebrated annually as UN Day. Today, the UN has 191 members. It has its headquarters in New York, USA.

(a)    UN Charter :

  • The UN Charter is like the constitution of the UN.
  • It lays down the objectives of the UN and the different ways in which the UN can act.
  • It has two main thrusts-preventing war and promoting development.

(b)    Objectives of the UN
    The objectives of the UN, as laid down in the Charter, are as follows.

  • To maintain peace and security in the world
  • To establish and maintain friendly relations among nations.
  • To promote respect for the rights of the individual and fundamental freedoms for all
  • To collectively solve international problems of social, economic, cultural or humanitarian nature
  • To coordinate the activities of the member nations effectively for the attainment of common goals

(c)    Principles to be followed by members:
    The UN Charter lays down certain basic principles to promote peace and harmony among

    UN members and to improve the living conditions of all people. These principles are as follows.

  • To respect each other’s sovereign equality. To fulfill in good faith the obligations stated in the Charter
  • To settle mutual disputes peacefully
  • To refrain from using force against another state
  • To assist the UN in any action that it takes, and not to assist a nation against which the UN is taking action
  • To influence nonmembers to abide by the principles of the Charter
  • To keep matters that fall within the internal jurisdiction of a state outside UN interference

(d)    Organs of the UN:

  • The UN has six organs-the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council,
  • the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice and the Secretariat. All these organs have distinct functions.

(i)    General Assembly:

  • The General Assembly consists of the representatives of all the member states of the UN,
  • Each member state can send up to five representatives, but is entitled to one vote only.
  • The General Assembly is like an international parliament, where important issues are discussed and decisions are taken-by a majority vote.
  • The regular session of the General Assembly commences in September every year.
  • The first day of the session is observed as the International Day of Peace.
  • The important functions of the General Assembly are listed below.
  • It makes recommendations on matters relating to international peace and security;
  • matters affecting the powers and functions of any organ of the UN;
  • and matters relating to the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations.
  • It considers reports submitted by the Security Council and other organs of the UN.
  • It approves the UN budget.
  • It elects, jointly with the Security Council, the judges of the International Court of Justice.
  • It appoints the secretary-general (the chief administrative officer of the UN) on the recommendation of the Security Council.
  • It elects the nonpermanent members of the Security Council,
  • the members of the Economic and Social Council and some members of the Trusteeship Council.

(ii)    Security Council :

  • The Security Council performs the task of maintaining international peace. It meets whenever required.
  • It investigates international disputes and recommends ways for their peaceful settlement.
  • It can also authorise military action to enforce its resolutions :
  • Such action is carried out by combined troops contributed by various member nations.
  • As these troops help maintain peace between nations, they are called ‘peacekeeping forces’.
  • The Security Council has 15 members. Five of them, namely, the USA,
  • Russia, Britain, France and China, are permanent members.
  • The 10 nonpermanent members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years, and cannot be re-elected immediately.
  • The ‘Great-Power unanimity’ rule gives the permanent members the right to veto.
  • This means that a resolution, even if supported by all the other members,
  • cannot be adopted if any of the permanent members votes against it.

(iii)    Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC):

  • The ECOSOC fulfils the social and economic objectives of the UN. It has 54 members.
  • Every year, the General Assembly elects 18 members for a term of three years.
  • Decisions are taken by a majority vote of those present and voting. The ECOSOC’s activities cover aspects like health,
  • children’s welfare, women’s rights, and improvements in standards of living all over the world.
  • The ECOSOC supervises the work of the specialised agencies of the UN,
  • which are engaged in developmental work. The work of the ECOSOC is supervised by the General Assembly.

(iv)    Trusteeship Council:

  • The Trusteeship Council was established to help territories that were not totally self-governing.
  • These territories were made ‘trust territories’, and were prepared for self-government by nations designated by the
  • UN as their trustees. The Trusteeship Council supervised this work.
  • In 1994, the last of the original trust territories, Palau, became independent.
  • The task of the Trusteeship Council was thus completed. The Council will now meet only when required.

(v)    International Court of Justice :

  • Situated at The Hague in the Netherlands, the International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the UN.
  • The General Assembly and the Security Council elect a team of 15 judges from different countries,
  • each for a term of nine years. Five judges retire every three years. Retiring judges may be re-elected.
  • The court resolves disputes, such as border and territorial disputes, between nations.
  • Hence, its judges are required to be experts in international law.
  • The court also gives legal advice to the other organs and the specialised agencies of the UN.

(vi)    Secretariat :

  • The entire administrative work of the UN Is carried out by the Secretariat, which has its headquarters in New York.
  • The official work of the UN is conducted in six languages, namely, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  • The secretary-general, who is the chief administrative officer of the UN, heads the Secretariat.
  • He is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a renewable term of five years
  • . He brings to the notice of the Security Council any matter that may endanger international peace.
  • Secretaries-general of the UN
  • Trygve Lie (Norway) 1946-53
  • Dag Hammarskold (Sweden) 1953-61
  • U Thant (Myanmar) 1961-71
  • Kurt Waldheim (Austria) 1972-81
  • Javier Perez de Cuellar (Peru) 1982-91
  • Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt) 1992-96
  • Kofi Annan (Ghana) 1997-2007
  • Ban Ki Moon (S. Korea) 2008 onwards

(e)    Specialised Agencies of the UN :

  • The UN has specialised agencies that handle different aspects of development such as education,
  • culture, health, individual rights, utilisation of resources, and scientific and technological matters.
  • The agencies also tackle global problems like drug abuse, overpopulation,
  • poverty, water scarcity, environmental problems, and so on.
  • The specialised agencies have the freedom to frame their own constitutions,
  • chalk out their own plans of action, appoint their own staff and prepare their own budgets.
  • The ECOSOC coordinates the work of the specialised agencies.

(i)    United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) :

  • The UNICEF was established in 1946 as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency
  • Fund to give emergency relief to children in countries affected by the Second World War.
  • It is now a permanent body called the United Nations Children’s Fund.
  • Today, the UNICEF seeks to improve the quality of life of children and mothers in developing countries.
  • It arranges for training volunteers in the care of mothers and infants, and funds projects for providing clean water,
  • immunisation against diseases, sanitation facilities and education facilities.
  • Guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,
  • the UNICEF creates awareness against child labour, exploitation of children and discrimination against the girt child.
  • For funding its activities, the UNICEF receives donations from governmental and nongovernmental organisations.
  • The sale of greetings cards is also a major source of revenue. The UNICEF has its headquarters in New York.

(ii)    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO):

  • The UNESCO was established in 1946 with its headquarters in Paris.
  • Its aim is to promote understanding among the people of the world, so as to prevent suspicion, mistrust and war.
  • The UNESCO provides technical and financial assistance to its members for the promotion of educational,
  • scientific and cultural activities. It fights illiteracy among children as well as adults.
  • UNESCO also undertakes projects to improve the teaching of basic sciences, to promote cultural exchange,
  • to have outstanding regional literature translated into different languages, and to renovate,
  • protect and preserve monuments that are the world’s cultural heritage.

(iii)    World Health Organisation (WHO) :

  • The WHO was constituted in 1948, and has its headquarters in Geneva. It works for the improvement of health standards all over the world.
  • The WHO campaigns against diseases like malaria, plague, cholera, AIDS, etc.
  • It encourages medical research, and has set up a network of laboratories to study
  • the causes of diseases, to develop vaccines and to train research workers.
  • The WHO also funds projects to reduce malnutrition in the underdeveloped countries.

(iv)    International Labour Organisation (ILO) :

  • The ILO works for the welfare of workers all over the world, especially working women and children.
  • It was established in 1919, and was associated with the League of Nations.
  • As an agency of the League of Nations,
  • the ILO recommended international labour standards that sought to ensure fair working hours (not more than eight working hours a day),
  • good working conditions, holidays with pay, medical insurance, old-age benefits, freedom of association, etc.,
  • for workers. It also sought to improve the relations between workers, employers and governments.
  • The ILO became a specialised agency of the UN in 1946. It has its headquarters in Geneva.

(v)    Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAD) :

  • The FAO was founded on 16 October 1945, with its headquarters in Rome.
  • Its main aim is to help nations to increase food production and fight hunger.
  • It trains farmers in better methods of cultivation and in the use of fertilisers and pesticides.
  • It also promotes agricultural research and global exchange of knowledge regarding new types of plants,
  • nutrition, food management and methods of overcoming diseases affecting livestock.
  • 16 October is observed as World Food Day every year,

(vi)    World Bank :

  • The World Bank began functioning in 1946, with its headquarters in Washington, DC.
  • It provides loans to organisations to improve agricultural productivity, provide clean drinking water, spread education,
  • build dams and rural roads, and so on. It also provides advice and technical assistance for development projects,
  • and settles disputes between states and foreign investors.
  • The term ‘World Bank’ refers to two agencies, namely,
  • the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).

(vii)    International Monetary Fund (IMF) :

  • The IMF was established in 1945, and began operations in 1947. It has its headquarters in Washington, DC.
  • It provides loans to nations and helps them overcome their economic problems.
  • It deals directly with governments, and lays down the conditions for the use of the funds it provides.

(c)    India and The United Nations :

  • India has always stressed on the need for peace understanding and cooperation in international relations.
  • India is one of the founder members of the UN, and an active participant in the activities of the UN.
  • India has presided over the UN security Council several times, and has been a member of the
  • Trusteeship Council as well as the Economic and Social Council.
  • Several Indians have held responsible positions in various organs and specialised agencies of the UN.
  • Vijayalakshmi Pandit served as president of the UN General Assembly,
  • Nagendra Singh served as president of the International Court of Justice, and
  • S Radhakrishnan and Abul Kalam Azad held the post of president in the UNESCO General Conference.

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