The United Nations is losing its relevance, prestige, and utility. And those responsible for tarnishing its credibility and eroding its dignity are its officials, and the so-called ‘experts’. The global body’s mandate – that its agencies and officers will work in collaboration with governments of the member nations – is being blatantly ignored.
These officials, without truly understanding the geopolitical environment and ground realities, resort to easy methods and come up with reports based on hearsay and biased statements rather than dwelling on facts and statistics. There is no effort at getting the authentication done by respective governments either.
Recent UN reports in the context of India and the gap between the North and the Global South that it intends to bridge are some examples to ponder over. A careful study of these reports prompted Team Blitz India to raise a few questions (see box alongside), which the global body must answer.
Member nations hit
These reports reflect the intent of their authors to erase the glory and dignity of member nations, which is condemnable. Not without reason, has there been a chorus of demand for the world body to reform, perform or perish.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised this concern with rationale time and again ever since he came to power in 2014. He has brought up this issue at all international forums with full responsibility and has won the support of many member nations.
- Do the UN agencies consult the Government of India, state governments, bureaucrats and department heads while conducting their studies?
- Do they contact/consult the Niti Ayog? Do they consult statistical departments of the Centre or the states; CAG or public account committees of the states?
- Do these agencies take views of elected public representatives into account?
- How many officials camp on ground, collect data and authenticate inputs before releasing their studies?
- Do they ponder what has the UN or its arms done in related fields before passing on the buck to a particular government?
- When commissioning studies to agencies, do they ensure that these entities understand the intrinsic and complex issues peculiar to a region?
- Are all documents part of an exercise to meet schedules and deadlines, rather than publishing bona fide reports?
- Are these reports cross-checked with official data? If so, are the anomalies prominently highlighted?
Recently, addressing the world leaders at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, PM Modi said: “To take the world towards a better future, it is necessary that global systems are in accordance with the realities of the present. Today the United Nations Security Council is also an example of this. When the UN was established, the world at that time was completely different from today.
At that time there were 51 founding members in the UN. Today the number of countries included in the UN is around 200.” He then pointed out: “Despite this, the permanent members in UNSC are still the same. From then till today the world has changed a lot in every respect. Be it transport, communication, health, education, every sector has been transformed. These new realities should be reflected in our new global structure.”
The issue was also raised by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in his address at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 26. “The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over,” Jaishankar emphasised.
Foreign Ministers of the L69 group of countries highlighted the urgency of reforming the UN Security Council in order to better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities. Meeting on the sidelines of the UN session on September 21, the ministers reiterated the demand for expansion of the Council and underscored the need for an enhanced role of the developing countries.