United Nations (UN)

“The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.” – Dag Hammarskjöld, 2nd Secretary-General of United Nations)


The devastating and terrible consequences of the second world war (1939-45) forced the eminent intellectuals to think for a platform that could bring peace and harmony among the countries and could resolve the conflicts between the countries so that such disastrous war could be avoided in the future and hence the United Nations (UN) was established on 24 Oct 1945 (celebrated as UN day).

Even after the first world war (1914-18), a similar attempt was made and an organization named the League of Nations was established on 20 Jan 1920 through the treaty of Versailles for promotion of international cooperation after world war 1 but its failure lead to WORLD WAR 2.

Structure of the United Nations;

The United Nations (UN) system have five principal organs

  • The General Assembly
  • The Security Council
  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • The International Court of Justice
  • The UN Secretariat

Earlier one more principal organ existed (i.e. sixth organ) which was named the “Trusteeship Council”. However, the Trusteeship Council was suspended on 1 November 1994, after the independence of Palau, the last remaining UN trustee territory.

Let us understand about these principal organs one by one;


1. The General Assembly;

The General Assembly (or the United Nations General Assembly – UNGA) is the main body to discuss or debate on any matter related to policy.

The UNGA appoints the non-permanent members of the UN security council. It also presents the budget of the UN. It provides recommendations through resolution. This body is responsible for the appointment of the secretary-general of the UN.
The power, function, and composition of UNGA are mentioned in Chapter 4 of the UN charter.

All member countries UNGA have one vote. For any major decision, a 2/3 rd majority is required, otherwise a simple majority. Its decision is not binding on any United Nations member countries.


2. The Security Council;

The main function of the UN Security Council (UNSC) is to maintain international peace and harmony between the member countries. It has the power to establish peacekeeping operations and to impose sanctions on any country if found in violation of the UN charter. It is authorized to initiate military actions in any state if required for peace.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) consists of 15 members and among these 15 member countries, only 5 countries are permanent and also have the Veto Power. The other 10 countries are temporary and elected by General Assembly for a tenure of 2 years.

The 05 permanent member countries are;

  • China
  • France
  • Russia
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

The decision of the security council is binding on all United Nations member countries.


3. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);

This organization discusses international economic and social development. It,s member states are elected by the General Assembly for 3 years terms and it is represented geographically by regional commissioners.

This body is responsible for the implementation of sustainable development goal 2030.

It has 54 members and headquartered in New York (USA). It takes four sessions in a year.

It has 15 special agencies to work for international economic and social development.


4. The International Court of Justice (ICJ);

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is also known as the World Court. It settles the disputes between the member states, according to the International Law.  The International Court of Justice (ICJ) consists of 15 judges and their tenure is for 9 years. The judges of the ICJ are elected by an absolute majority in both the United Nations general assembly (UNGA) and the United Nations security council (UNSC).

They have two types of jurisdiction;

  • The first one is binding on the countries if the issue is among the states.
  • The second one is advisory power on international legal issues which is non Binding in nature.

The headquarter of ICJ is in The Hague (Netherlands). Among all the five principal organs of UN, ICJ is the only organ not located in New York City.


5. The UN Secretariat;

The UN secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General.  The Secretary-General is appointed by the United Nation general assembly (UNGA) on the recommendations of the United National Security Council (UNSC) for a five-year term, which can be extended further.

United Nations Secretariat is one of the important executive arms of the United Nations. It’s function is to set agenda for the decision-making bodies like the United Nation general assembly (UNGA) and the United Nations security council (UNSC). The other function of the UN Secretariat is to implement the decision of the others body


  • Avoid any new world war
  • Interdependence for peace protection
  • Human development and create harmony
  • Discourage war
  • Human rights and equality
  • Social progress and improve the standard of life
  • Cooperation coordination at a global platform for social and economic development.
  • Promote dialogue discussion and debate to prevent international conflict



India is a founding member of the UN and joined on 30 Oct 1945. Recently India had been elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. So far India had been elected for 8 times in the UNSC including the present term.

India is the largest contributor in peacekeeping soldiers even India always stands for humanity, peace and security in the organization. Recently India supplied vaccines to 95 countries to curb the Chinese virus through a global initiative of covax.

India always supports the Vasudev Kutumbakam approach towards the Global world and it is important to make India a permanent member in the organ of the UNSC.



  • Reform in the UN itself is pending since the 1960s
  • Peace and security in the world
  • Increasing terrorism, religious fundamentalism
  • Extremism and radicalism
  • Removing poverty, hunger, and achieving SDGs at a time
  • Handle Refugee crisis, civil war
  • Violence against women
  • Increasing global warming and climate change
  • Financial support from members and poor budget
  • Rising non-state actors in global politics


Some Serious concerns:

As reforms with time is needed to maintain the relevance of any organization but in 1992 UNGA adopted a resolution which reflects 3 concerns;

  1. UNSC no longer represents contemporary world political reality.
  2. The decisions reflect the value and interest of dominated players only.
  3. Lake of equitable representation.


  • fail to curb regional war
  • leadership failure
  • crisis of legitimacy and credibility
  • north-south division on issues
  • unable to curb emerging issues
  • remain talk shop
  • long-overdue reform since 1965
  • inequitable geo-economic and geopolitical representations
  • reflect the architecture of WW2.


  • Lack of political will of the 5 permanent members
  • Unilateral use of veto power
  • Require 2/3rd of majority
  • Lack of consensus among countries for the induction of new permanent seats in the UNGA.
  • Coffee club (Uniting for consensus movement lead by Pakistan, Turkey, Argentina, Italy and South Korea in 1990 which opposed the bids for permanent seats proposed by G4 countries lead by India, Japan, Germany and Brazil)
  • Personal geopolitical interest dominated by permanent members.


Q. Why India should be given permanent membership to UNSC?
  • Founding member of UN
  • The largest democracy in the world.
  • Vasudev Kutumbakam approach for world peace and harmony
  • Responsible country in the world for humanity
  • Always want peace in the world and philanthropic approaches and human rights
  • Nuclear power and regular financial contributors
  • The second-largest population in the world
  • Third-largest economy in the world.
  • One of the largest  peacekeeping forces
  • Major military power


“By strengthening the three pillars of the United Nations – security, development and human rights – we can build a more peaceful, more prosperous and more just world for our succeeding generations.” – Ban Ki-moon


This article is written by;

Mr. Pankaj Kumar Gupta

(Email ID: [email protected])