As we all know the UNO is an international organization of almost 192 member countries of the world and was founded – rather replaced by the League of Nations some 63 years back in October 24,1945 in San Francisco, California, shortly after World War -II. No doubt the tragedy, bloodshed, massacre, hunger and nuclear atrocities by the USA gave alarming feelings to the nations to freeing the world from the possibility of wars in future. However, its successes and failures in achieving this objective are still debatable.
The UNO as stated above is a renewed precursor body of the League of Nations. So before reviewing the UNO’s functions, it will be worthwhile to look into the history of the League as the new generation is not much aware of its role.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
The League was founded after the devastation, slaughter, disaster and atrocities of the world war-I. It was also an international organization set up in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919-20 with only 58 members.Its major goal consisted of disarmament, prevention of war and settling disputes between the countries. The harbinger of setting up this organization was the United States President Mr. Woodrow Wilson. But surprisingly the Senate of his own country refused to become its member which was, no doubt, a serious blow to the prestige of the League. However, other great powers like the United Kingdom and France remained its members.
It was to fulfil the dream of fundamental shift in the thought from the preceding centuries. Unlike the UNO,the League did not have its own armed forces and was dependent on the great powers to enforce its resolutions and peace-making struggles. It could not enforce its three sanctions as envisaged under its covenant.
Therefore after,no doubt, a few notable successes, the following failures resulted in its replacement by the United Nations:-
1. In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria but no effective
sanction was imposed on the aggressor.
2. In 1935,Italy attacked Abyssinia but none of the great powers took any notice of it. .
3. Germany was not allowed to join the League in 1919 as it had started the war.
4. Russia was also denied its membership in 1917 being a
communist government to pose fear in Western Europe.
Eventually these three most powerful countries could not play their positive role in supporting the league. This sort of plight has been stated by Mussolini in a sarcaustic manner as under:
“The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out”
So the League after the end of the first world war was replaced by the UNO in 1945 having remained in existence from 1919 to 1945.
THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION
After the closure of the League of Nations, the UNO was established on 24th October,1945 but its first General Assembly comprising 51 member countries was held on 10th January,1946 in London. One can well assess that the brunts and tragedies of both the world wars gave a fillip to the idea of revamping the body of the League to play more effective role anew to restore peace and harmony amongst the states. This idea was elaborated in the Declarations signed during war time conferences held in Moscow and Tehran in 1943.
Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the USA proposed its name as UNITED NATIONS. Its charter was drafted by the governments as well as non-government organizations like Lion Club International. To start with 51 nations signed the charter of the United Nations. The charter was later ratified by five permanent members of the Security Council viz: USA, UK, France and China, followed by a majority of the other 40 signatories.
As a result of the unanimous votes by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, the UNO’s Headquarter were made in the United States. Accordingly U.N.Headquarters building was constructed in New York city in 1949 and 1950 beside the East River on the land purchased by an 8.5 million dollars donation from John D. Rockefeller. The land is now considered international territory but apart from some diplomatic privileges and immunities, the laws of the New York city,New York state and the U.S. in general do apply.
The UNO is supported by some other organizations like the Security Council, UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO and a few more to resolve conflicts and to maintain peace in the world as well as to eliminate illiteracy, poverty, hunger and to enhance respect for human rights.
PAKISTAN’S ROLE IN THE UNO
Pakistan is proud to play its role in the peace-keeping missions of the United Nations. Pakistan became its member on 30th September,1947 i.e. just after one month’s creation of it on the world map as a new country. Since 1960, Pakistan is enthusiastically performing its responsibility in the U.N.peace-keeping missions with over ten thousand troops and observers. Currently Pakistan’s involvement in restoring peace in Somalia, Sierra Leon, Bosnia, Congo, Liberia and East Temore have been commended not by the UNO but the world at large. No other country including any muslim state has been that active to contribute this sort of role in the United Nations. This speaks of the valour and vividity of our armed forces on the global impact.
The first decade of the 21st century is going to complete with both hope and distress co-existing side by side. Peace and development and concept of democracy and equality are still missing in many parts of the world despite our trumpeted slogan of world getting into a global village. No doubt the globalization has drawn countries closer and closer with reference to their economic relationship, advanced means of communications and regional cooperation etc. But these developments are posing some alarming questions to the general public like local wars, revolutions and conflicts coming up from time to time. The Iraq war and situation between Israel and Palestine witnessing tragedies every day. Similarly wars in Africa entangled with poverty and diseases are still continuing.
As a matter of fact after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on 6th and 8th August,1945, the possession of nuclear device by some countries created a sense of self-protection and safety. In this way the dream of peace and harmony in the world does not seem to be converted into the reality in the near future.
But we are not that pessimist because the UNO is undoubtedly a microcosm of the world and despite so many reservations politically, its role in promoting disarmament for a safer future to the posterity cannot be denied. In the global concept its importance and necessity is gaining momentum day by day. It is now the most acclaimed universal representative and authoritative organization with 192 member countries in its present set up and we do hope that it will progress more in the time to come. Those countries who have not become its members so far, should also come forward to strengthen the UNO in general and the present Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon In particular.
Author: M. S. Aarpan