Strife and conflict continue to plague Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and the war in Ukraine has gone beyond 500 days; but the United Nations and its agencies are busy drafting reports that damn government policies and come up with their panaceas for various ills.
In the process, a look inside is forgotten. The UN Security Council is too small in size and too ineffective in practice. The size of the body is disproportionate to the total number of UN member countries, which has surged from 51 in 1945 to 193 members today.
Pointing out that the UN needs reforms in accordance with today’s needs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in one of his addresses to leaders at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, “Individuals and organisations that fail to adapt to changing times inevitably lose their relevance.” The two-day summit was attended by leaders of UN member nations and invitees that included heads of various multilateral bodies, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres. No one objected!
UN churns out reports that misinform, and mislead
The relevance, prestige, and utility of the United Nations have received further setback with the release of several ham-handed reports, which have invariably been trashed by the Indian Government. A press release issued in early September by the so-called ‘experts’ of the UN on the situation in
Manipur was declared “unwarranted, presumptive and misleading” by the Permanent Mission of India at the United Nations Office in Geneva. It “betrays a complete lack of understanding on the situation in Manipur and the steps taken by Government of India to address it,” said a statement by the India Mission.
The episode reflects the extent of coordination and cooperation of UN officials, ‘special rapporteurs’, and ‘working groups; with member countries of the global body. The ‘expert’ statement was put together in haste, and it reeked of bias.
Similar are the ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ (SOFI) 2023, and the report on ‘Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty’. While the former is brought out by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, International Fund for Agricultural Development, child rights body Unicef, World Food Programme, and World Health Organisation; the latter is a ‘Policy Research Working Paper” prepared by the World Bank and Unicef.
It is not clear if the groups ever reached out separately to relevant authorities in the concerned nations. Or specific to India, the administrations of 28 states and eight Union Territories in the country.
Consider the authenticity of the data collected for SOFI from a miniscule sample of 3,000 individuals, in a country with a population of 140 crore, living in over 3 million sq km of land! Obviously, the UN agencies did not follow due-diligence before releasing their report.
Based on these reports, Blitz India has raised a fresh set of questions, which the UN and its agencies need to answer.
BLITZ INDIA ASKS
- 1 Were the Union Government, state governments, or the Niti Ayog consulted before drafting these reports?
- 2 Have the UN bodies drafting SOFI taken into account the beneficiaries of schemes like Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna and the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme?
- 3 Have they taken into account the schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojna and various outreach programmes under Anganwadi services?
- 4 Has any of the 17 ‘experts’ named in the UN press release as having raised the alarm on Manipur, ever visited/stayed on ground to cross-check the facts?
- 5 Are these ‘experts’, special rapporteur and the working groups aware of the transgressions and infiltrations at borders by terror groups and drug operators?
- 6 Are they aware of foreign elements creating mischief and sowing seeds of hatred and divisiveness in such areas?