Weekly Digest #93
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
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In this digest-
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
Quality over Quantity: Just how many international organisations do we need?
By: Agastya Rao
The need for an effective international organisation is at its peak right now. There are various international alliances such as the Quad Coalition, The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United Nations, and many more. However, considering the Russia- Ukraine war, how effective are these alliances and organisations?
Current International Organisations and Alliances-
1. The United Nations
The United Nations is the biggest international organisation in the world. Founded in 1945, and with 193 countries as its member states, it has been around for an exceedingly long time, but its impact is questionable.
Role: Its key role is international peacekeeping between countries both as a platform of discussion to solve the issue, and with the United Nations Peacekeeping force as an option for when a situation gets extreme. The United Nations also has the power to impose sanctions on countries.
They have various wings:
FAO- The committee for maintaining food security and to fight hunger (Food and Agriculture)
UNEP- The committee for fighting climate change (United Nations Environmental Program)
UNCTAD- The committee for promoting and keeping a check on trade (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
UNHRC- The council to protect human rights across the world. (United Nations Human Rights Council)
UNSC- The council with the goal for helping promote and maintaining international security. (United Nations Security Council).
-In today’s day and age, there is not much that the United Nations can do other than impose a few sanctions, which is already hard to do because the P5 of the UNSC (China, USA, Russia, France, and the UK) have the power to veto a resolution if they do not agree with it. Sanctions have also not had that level of a major impact on many countries yet.
- Money is power: The UN is funded by its member states, with the largest chunks of the funding coming from the developed countries, with the United States of America giving the biggest portion of funding to the UN. This may not necessarily impact decisions but gives an edge to the USA in the UN.
2. The QUAD coalition
Originally formed in 2007 as a coalition of Australia, India, Japan, and the USA to help Indonesia rebuild after their devastating tsunami in 2004. Australia originally left the Quad in 2008 after pressure from the Chinese government, but they re-joined in 2010. The first “official” conversation between the members occurred in 2017.
The goal of the Quad is to keep the Indo- Pacific region free and open (i.e.: without the control of the Chinese Government). The goal is to curtail and end the Chinese influence and power exerted by it in the region, especially due to the increase in the Chinese military presence in the region. Combating climate change is also one of the main agendas of the Quad.
We cannot fully judge the Quad on how useful it is right now, as they have not done anything major just yet and have only just begun talks with each other. While the idea of the Quad is interesting, they must work towards proper implementation of their ideas and hope to not end up as another international alliance that fizzles out and becomes irrelevant.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is a Military and Political alliance that was founded in 1949, post-World War 2. It was made to counter the Soviet forces who were in parts of Europe after WW2. As they are primarily a military alliance, as part of the treaty all members agree that an attack on any one of them is an attack on all of them. NATO has thirty member countries including the USA, Canada, Spain, the UK, and more European countries.
Problems- NATO does not exactly have a clear role any longer and its relevance has decreased. However, it has been brought back into the spotlight, as Finland has announced that it wants to join NATO, angering Russia who do not want Finland to join NATO. NATOs expansion worries Russia. If NATO manages to set a new goal and stick to it, they may become relevant once again.
According to me, NATO should focus on figuring out how to stop the Russia-Ukraine war.
4.World Trade Organisation: -
The WTO is another international organisation, which helps regulate trade by putting rules in place for trade. They consist of 164 member states. The main goal is to promote trade but put rules in place to make trade function properly. It also helps settle trade disputes.
Problems: - The WTO has once again greatly lost its relevance and power in the last two decades. Its ability to manage trade disputes has also worsened, and the WTO needs to make a fairer process for making trade fairer for not just the developed countries but also developing- underdeveloped countries.
Solution- There are now far too many alliances and organisations to even count, and the hard truth is that none of them are moving forward, but collectively moving backward.
What the world really needs is one singular organisation, which gives equal power and weighting to each of its member states, without giving special concessions and powers to certain countries. The main goal of this idealistic organisation would be to help countries grow, fight climate change, and have a proper set of rules and regulations for its member states, with strict repercussions for breaking these rules.
This organisation would also be structured in such a way that it could provide not just financial aid to member states, but give technological aid, by providing new methods and technology to member states. By providing technological aid to lesser developed countries, the world will become a more advanced place.
Lastly, this organisation should also create a team of leading scientists and researchers, scholars and professors from each country, over various fields of science, mathematics, law, and education to get solutions to various problems across climate change, diseases, and humanitarian crises.
And yes, while previous organisations like the League of Nations have failed, if we successfully learn from our mistakes both in the League of Nations, United Nations and the litany of organisations and alliances that exist, it is possible to build a successful international organisation that helps everyone!
While creating such an organisation may sound like an audacious and even naive and idealistic approach, I believe that it will be better than having 200 smaller organisations that don’t do a lot of work, and constantly lead to animosity between countries.
The world works better together.
The idea of one international well functioning organisation may sound naive and may only work in a perfect world, because of a few key problems:
1. Countries may not agree: Most countries will not want to leave an already existing organisation that has been around for many years.
2. Funding- In a post pandemic world, raising funds for an all new organisation will be difficult.
However, we can still hope that an organisation like this may be possible in the future.
By: Abhimanyu Rao
By: Mihir Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
42- The True Story of an American Legend
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