India’s participation in the United Nations is also one of the country’s foreign policy fundamentals. India was one of the founding members of the United Nations, signing the UN Charter in Washington on January 1, 1942, and also attending the momentous UN Conference on International Organizations in San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945. At the height of the Cold War, India saw its participation in the United Nations as a crucial assurance for ensuring world peace and security, particularly through working to eliminate the causes of war and conflict UN membership has also provided an opportunity for global leadership. During the United Nations’ stormy years of battle against colonialism and apartheid, global disarmament and the end of the weapons race, and the construction of a more fair international economic system, India was in the forefront.
India feels that the UN needs to reform in order to become truly representative while also increasing its credibility and effectiveness. The composition of the Security Council, in particular, has to evolve to reflect current realities. The United Nations must take a lead role in fostering equitable growth inside countries and inclusive globalisation across borders. In the short term, a new international initiative to bring structural reform to the global financial system, including more effective regulation and stronger multilateral consultation and surveillance systems, as well as a collaborative and cooperative global effort to successfully overcome climate change that leads to a fair and equitable outcome while recognising the principle that each person is equal. India also feels that the United Nations should play a key role in guaranteeing true global counter-terrorism cooperation after the ongoing discussions on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism come to a conclusion.
India’s Contribution to UN Efforts for Peace and Disarmament
India has always promoted the goal of global disarmament based on non-discrimination principles since independence. Given nuclear weapons’ devastating potential, India has long maintained that a world free of nuclear weapons would improve global security. As a result, India has consistently recommended that nuclear disarmament be given top priority as a first step toward general and full disarmament.
In terms of ideas, resolutions, initiatives, and bridging divisions through action plans, India has made substantial contributions to the UN on disarmament. India recommended in 1948 that nuclear energy be used only for peaceful purposes and that nuclear weapons be removed from national arsenals. In 1950, India proposed the establishment of a UN Peace Fund based on the peaceful reduction of weaponry and the use of the funds for development purposes. India was the first country to put the subject “non-proliferation of weapons” on the UN agenda in 1964.
In 1984, India, along with Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Sweden, and Tanzania, established the Six-Nation Five-Continent Peace Initiative. Four years later, in a joint statement published on the occasion of Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to India, then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made a strong case for nuclear disarmament. The Delhi Declaration outlined ten principles for achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. Rajiv Gandhi suggested an Action Plan in 1988 to usher in a future without nuclear weapons and without violence.
The Action Plan called for all states to make a legally binding commitment to phase down nuclear weapons by 2010. India is also a founding member of the Chemical Weapons Convention, having signed the pact on January 14, 1993 and been one of the first 65 countries to ratify it. In 1993, India and the United States co-sponsored a resolution on a Comprehensive Test Ban as part of a larger effort to advance nuclear disarmament. When the final version of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) was hurried through without consensus, India was upset. It also failed to answer India’s security concerns. As a result, India was against the CTBT because certain of the tests were prohibited. Many countries initially misinterpreted India’s nuclear tests as a setback for disarmament; India committed to continue working toward comprehensive and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.
India as Supporter of Human Rights in the UN:
India is a staunch supporter of the United Nations’ efforts to safeguard human rights. India has contributed in the implementation of human rights-related judgments and resolutions since the United Nations General Assembly published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948. India has given its full support to the two human rights covenants. Most human rights were integrated into the Indian Constitution, which was enacted in 1949, either as fundamental rights or as directive principles of state policy. Wherever there has been a violation of human rights, India has spoken out against it.
Support from UN for Development of India:
Gender inequality has long been, and continues to be, a serious global issue. “Women constitute roughly half of the world’s population, undertake about two-thirds of its work, receive only one-tenth of its income, and hold less than one hundredth of world assets,” according to the Beijing Declaration of the Fourth World Conference on Women, issued in 1995. This is pitiful. “We reaffirm our resolve to ensure full implementation of women’s and girl child’s human rights as inalienable, integral, and indivisible parts of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the Conference stated. Several United Nations organisations have supported programmes to improve the quality of life for women in India and over 100 other nations over the years.
The United Nations organisation UNIFEM has made the most significant contributions to gender equality and mainstreaming women into development (United Nations Development Fund for Women). It has collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a number of non-governmental organisations in India. In India, for example, the SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) has been addressing the issue of house workers (domestic help). It has also established social security programmes for unorganised female workers. ILO has been supporting both these activities.
The Panchayati Raj System in India is addressing an essential issue: women’s empowerment. The Indian government, with the help of UNDP and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), has launched a huge training initiative to equip over 8,00,000 women members of Panchayats to efficiently run local government and transform them into effective agents of social change across the country. Women, who were once deemed “invisible” in the economy, now make up a significant portion of the country’s workforce. The 1991 census more correctly reflected women’s economic contributions. In India, organisations such as the UNFPA, WHO, and UNICEF are working on maternal health, female contraception, and population projects.
UNDP’s largest country programme is in India, where it spends roughly 40 million dollars each year on aid. Its aid funds projects in sectors including technology transfer for greater industrial productivity, agricultural development, energy and the environment, transportation, communication, and social infrastructure.
India’s Efforts for Permanent Seat in UN Security Council:
Since the UN Charter went into effect in 1945, the Security Council has only had five permanent members (P-5) who each have the right to veto decisions made by a majority of other members. Three of the five are European, accounting for around 10% of humanity, and just one is Asian, accounting for more than 30% of humanity. All authority in the UN has been concentrated in the Security Council since its founding, particularly among the P-5, who have veto power. The Security Council was increasingly perceived as a body of five plus 10 members after its size was increased to 15 in 1963.
When the United Nations was established in 1945, Mahatma Gandhi believed that India, which at the time encompassed Pakistan and Bangladesh, should be given veto power on the Security Council. However, British India was on the verge of division at the time, and Indian officials were more concerned with winning independence than with gaining a permanent seat. India, like most newly independent countries, became a member of the United Nations General Assembly, where it sent resolutions to the Security Council.
For India’s relations with the Security Council, the 1960s and 1970s appeared to be the worst decades. In the aftermath of China’s first nuclear test in 1964, India hurried to the United Nations to request a disarmament treaty. Instead, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was used to target New Delhi. In 1971, India participated in the East Pakistan issue, claiming to be attempting to end one of the world’s largest genocides. India had little help from the United Nations. The only thing that stopped the UN from slapping sanctions on India for its intervention was the Soviet veto.
India spoke out against colonialism and apartheid from the UN’s very first session, and when decolonization began to reshape the world’s face, India positioned itself as the Council’s Third World or Non-Aligned voice. India thought that the “trade union of decolonized nations” would help to democratise the UN system. Despite authoring multiple resolutions on world transformation in the 1970s and 1980s, India’s initial goal was not accomplished. The fact that India is a nuclear state is a double-edged sword, notwithstanding the fact that the P-5 are nuclear powers. On the one hand, India’s status as a nuclear power appears to strengthen its case for a permanent membership. The most straightforward argument in favour of India joining the Security Council is demographics. India is the world’s second most populous country, accounting for about a fifth of the world’s population; this statistic alone warrants representation.
India has always played a key role in UN peacekeeping missions. India has long considered the United Nations as a vehicle for world peace and peaceful transformation. Apart from that, India has always expected the UN to actively engage countries in talks or negotiations to help them resolve their problems. India has also urged for the UN to play a more active role in the development of Third World countries. In the United Nations, India has pleaded for a united front of third-world countries. It argues that, because of its size, the non-aligned world can play a constructive and important role in the UN by preventing superpowers from abusing the world body for their own ends. As early as 1950, India linked the reduction of armaments with the larger goal of development.
India’s involvement in peacekeeping dates back to 1950, when Indian combat troops were dispatched to Korea as the Custodian Force of India. “You, the custodian force of India, deployed for urgent humanitarian duty in the war-torn peninsula of Korea in the early 1950s, are going on a mission of peace and goodwill… with ill-will to none and categorical friendship to all,” Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, wrote to it before its departure to Korea. Being invited to take on this mission honours India and the Indian Army, but it comes with a great deal of responsibility.”
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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