Civils Marathon-XVI: Refresh your memory
Candidates have already gone through tones of material and are confused with the exact facts. During this two weeks try to refresh your memory.
The South Asian Association for regional cooperation was first mooted in 1979 by the former Bangladesh President Zia ur Rehman with the object of forming an association on the lines of European economic community or Association of Southeast Asian Nations. On 8 December 1985 SAARC was formed at Dhaka. The members of the SAARC are Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The purpose of the organisation is to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to combat terrorism . The first secretary general was Abul Ahsen, senior diplomat of Bangladesh. The first summit was held on 12 August 1986.
Hardly two weeks are left for the Civils prelims examination. Candidates have already gone through tones of material and are confused with the exact facts. During this two weeks try to refresh your memory. Particularly regarding the international organisations it is better to update your memory.
United Nations organisation: During World War II in the summer of 1941 a meeting was held between US President Franklin Roosevelt and prime minister of Britain Winston Churchill. It resulted in the raising of the Atlantic charter. In October 1943 these leaders met again in Teheran along with Russian premier Joseph Stalin and agreed on the need for an effective medium to maintain international peace. At the suggestion of President Roosevelt the name United Nations was adopted in October 1944. The preamble of the chapter was the work of Field Marshal Smuts. UNO came into existence on October 24 1945. The headquarters of UN is located at New York City USA. Membership is open to all peace loving states that accept the obligations of the UN charter.
There are five permanent members of the Security Council- China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and USA. Today the membership has risen to 191 members where by almost all independent nations have become members. The present Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assumed office on January 1st 2017.
The following international days are observed by the UN. February 21st International Mother Language Day, March 8th International Woman's Day, March 21st International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Poetry Day, March 22nd World Day for Water, March 23rd World Metrological Day, March 24th World Tuberculosis Day. Similarly there are several other days observed during the months of April to December.
Agencies Related to UN
There are several important agencies related to UN which are to be remembered. They include – international labour Organisation, international atomic energy agency, Food and agricultural Organisation, UNESCO, world health organisation, international bank for Reconstruction, world meteorological organisation, maritime consultative Organisation, international children's emergency fund, UNDP, international finance Corp, IMF, international telecommunication union, United Nations conference on trade and development ,and United Nations fund for population activities.
Until December 1991 both Belarus and Ukraine were integral parts of USSR and not independent countries, but had separate UN memberships.
Russia assumed the USSR seat in the General assembly and its permanent seat in the Security Council in December 1991 following dissolution of the USSR .The sovereign countries not in the UN are China (Taiwan) Kiribati, Nauru, Switzerland, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vatican City.
The Commonwealth is an association of sovereign and independent states that formally made up the British Empire. The idea of Commonwealth was first accepted at the imperial conference of 1926. In 1947 the office of the dominions was abolished and the secretary of the Commonwealth assumed charge.
54 member countries which include 30% of the world's people constitute the Commonwealth. Members of the Commonwealth are represented in other Commonwealth countries by diplomatic officers called high commissioners. The british monarch Queen Elizabeth II is the symbolic head of the Commonwealth . The Commonwealth has no permanent members as in the case of UNO.
Rt Hon Patrica Scotland QC is the present Secretary General. The meetings are held in different cities and religions within the Commonwealth. India hosted the 1983 meeting at New Delhi from November 23-29 when the late Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi presided over the deliberations.
Fiji was expelled from the Commonwealth following a military takeover of the country in 1987. South Africa joined the Commonwealth as 51 member in May 1994. The Commonwealth heads of government meeting will be held from 20th June to 26 June 2022 . Originally it was scheduled in June 2020 but was postponed twice due to Covid 19 pandemic. The host country is Rwanda.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
In March 1957 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru put forth the novel concept of non-alignment for the common aspirations of the newly liberated countries of Asia and Africa. In order to maintain the freedom of India and other independent nations the concept of NAM was evolved. Conference of like-minded countries was held in April 1955 in Indonesia and it became the form for the birth of NAM.
Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful Co-existence are the basic principles of NAM. The first NAM conference was held in September 1961 at Belgrade .The group of fifteen (G 15) was established in 1989 at BelgradeNAM summit. It was established in order to further the process of South South cooperation and consultation on matters of the material interest to the economic performance of developing countries
Other world organizations
♦ European Union established in 1957 with headquarters at Brussels.
♦ South-east Asia Treaty organisation established on 4 th September 1954 with headquarters at Bangkok.
♦ World trade organisation replaced GATT from 1 January 1995. Around 85 founding members including India backed the organisation.
♦ International Court of Justice
These are some of the international organisations to remember.
(The author is retired additional director general, Doordarshan Delhi.)