- Prelims: Current events of international importance, UNGA
- Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests, Important international institutions etc
- The League of Nations, set up in 1920, was the first intergovernmental organization with the aim to promote international cooperation and outlived its utility with World War II.
INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE
- Popularly known as the parliament of the world, where all the 193 UN member states are represented
- The UNGA is the deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
Roles and functions:
- Takes a decision on important matters: such as peace and security, discusses various global issues and budgetary matters.
- Admission of members: Decides on matters such as the admission of new members.
- Decisions are taken through a vote.
- Voting by majority: Admission of new members and budgetary matters require a two-thirds majority, while the decision on other issues are taken by a simple majority.
- One vote one country: Each sovereign state gets one vote and the votes are not binding on the membership, except in budgetary matters.
- No binding veto powers: The Assembly has no binding votes or veto powers like the UN Security Council.
- Opinion and recommendations: The UNGA can express world opinion, promote international cooperation in various fields and make recommendations to the UNSC and elect the Security Council’s non-permanent members.
Upcoming opportunities for India to showcase leadership:
- India’s Presidency of the Group of 20
- UN Security Council (UNSC) in 2022
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2023
Challenges to Multilateralism:
- The United States: It opted for partnerships, with the most important areas being the worst affected.
- The G7 Summit: It endorsed the goals of a cooperative international Climate Club to accelerate climate action outside the UN.
- The dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO: without the quorum of its members has rendered the institution dysfunctional.
- Climate funding: The promise made in 2009 to provide at least $100 billion per year in climate finance remains unfulfilled.
- Multilateral institutions: China has opted for a rival set of multilateral institutions.
- China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): It seeks to achieve policy, infrastructure, trade, financial, and people-to-people connectivity by building a new platform.
- China’s Global Development Initiative, 2021 and linked Global Security Initiative, 2022: It is developing a conceptual frame responding to an urbanizing world, i.e. digital governance and non-traditional security.
- Clash of institutions: It reflects the deepening divide between the Atlantic powers and the Russia-China combine is the diffusion of wealth, technology and power.
- Time is ripe for a ‘big idea: that both keeps away from the current multilateral focus on global rules, amount of aid and inviolability of IPR’s.
- Recognising role for competing institutions: Countries can now secure the best terms themselves without bargaining.
- Vasudhaiva kutumbakam(‘world as one family): focusing on comparable levels of wellbeing can be the core of a set of universal socio-economic principles for a dialogue between the states.
- Lifestyle for Environment: seeing climate change as a societal process and combating it devoid of trade-offs characteristic of the Climate Treaty.
- India has also offered India’s payments and linked digital ID technology without IPR restrictions.
- Redefining ‘common concerns: In terms of felt needs of the majority rather than interests and concerns of the powerful.
- It will shift the focus of a much slimmed down United Nations squarely to human wellbeing.
QUESTION FOR PRACTICE
- The long-sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized Nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order” Elaborate. (UPSC 2019)
(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)