This international institution, this World Forum, must be preserved at all costs, to save the world from ruining and shattering itself through a future all-destructive thermonuclear war, to establish among nations a Peace, based on an understanding of the holy mission and divine purpose of Man not merely to survive, not merely to endure, but to prevail in all the plenitude of his immortality, to reconstruct with the entire humanity a new 20th Century Are of the Covenant.
The United Nations is the only beacon, throwing its light of hope, thereby guiding the vessel of the destiny of the cold-war-tossed humanity. It has to establish a new one-world civilization, a new synthesis for the unification of the peoples of the whole world into one great Nation the Blessed one Family of Man to build up grand bridges of peace and co-existence all the world over and thus, to rebuild and re-shape the world.
The United Nations is the symbol of a new urge, a new aspiration, of modern man to dedicate his life, his very soul, to the sublime cause of bringing about a synthesis among the nations of the world, who, being blinded by the mirage of ideology and ideological differences, have been warring and clashing. Let this international institute of global fraternity be, really, a beacon of hope to the frustrated and war-dazed world.
The question comes to mind whether the U.N.O, will, after all, be able to fulfill its destiny? Will, it whether the storms raging in this fear-ridden world or will it just end up as a shattered and battered replica of the League of Nations, witnessing the Third World War a full-fledged thermonuclear war, having killed 90 p.c of the world population? No, the currents of the time are in favor of seeing a highly accomplished and peacefully-organized United Nations Organization. paving the way for the march of world peace and international fraternity of Nations. We are to build up a U.N.O., which is to foster the sublimest urges of ‘man’s co-operative and peaceful demands or else our so-called United Nations Organization is simply a farce, says the U.N. Secretary-General, U Thant.
The entire structure of the U.N. has been built on the foundation of peaceful co-existence. Its primary and cardinal function is to spread peace by solving various problems which tend to create conflicts between one country and another. If it fails in this mission, it spells its doom, a total eclipse.
The United Nations Organization was brought into being at a time when the minds of men all over the world were filled with horror at the misery caused by war and the possibility of universal devastation by the newly discovered nuclear weapons. It was another expression of the timeless urge of humanity for peace, and the framers of its constitution set before the – Organization several important tasks, viz., to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligation arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all people.
The Organization has been in existence for twenty-four years now, and it would be pertinent to ask how far it has been successful in performing the tasks assigned to it. But while trying to find an answer to this question, we must beware of a most likely pitfall. If we set out to pass judgment on its performance with our eyes fixed on nothing more than the present political portents, we are bound to conclude that it has failed. But such a conclusion would be hardly justified because it would leave out of account the purpose, however limited, which it has been able to serve.
Whatever it may be possible to assert to the contrary, it cannot be gainsaid that the very existence of the United Nations has saved mankind from many dangers and possible conflicts. Over the last two decades, it has been the only forum devoted to exploring ways of peaceful co-operation among nations. That its efforts in this direction have not been entirely futile would be fairly evident if we recollect the successes the Organization achieved in securing the withdrawal of Dutch forces from Indonesia in 1949, in helping to resolve the conflict in Korea, in halting Angle-French aggression on Suez, in rescuing the Congo from disintegration, in securing the peaceful transfer of West Irian to Indonesia and in resolving the Cuban crisis in 1962. To this list, we can add the peace-keeping role it has played in Palestine, Cyprus, Kashmir, and Congo.
Besides helping to resolve or localize these and other international conflicts, the Organization has also been helpful in – securing liquidation of colonialism in Asia and Africa, in codifying universal human rights, in promoting peaceful uses of atomic energy and in preparing the ground for the signing of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.
In addition, the specialized agencies of the U.N.O. devoted to the promotion of the economic and social advancement of people of the world have also done lot of good work which cannot be lightly passed over while we are attempting an assessment of the role which the Organization has played in promoting peace and prosperity on this earth UNESCO has been doing it best to protect and promote the moral personality and the cultural distinctiveness of peoples all over the world, W.H.O, has made the governments of different states aware of their obligation to provide conditions in which their people can live clean and healthy lives. Similarly, the Food and Agriculture Organisation has been helping to modernize methods of agricultural production in under-developed countries.
Thus, we can say that the Organization has quite a few things to show on the positive side of the balance sheet of its working over the last 24 years. It can, of course, be said that it has not been able to do all that could be expected of it, but even then the contribution it has made to the growth of co-operative effort among the nations of the world and to the solution of disputes by peaceful means is not so negligible as to be ignored without seriously jeopardizing our estimate of its performance. And, when we take into account the difficulties which beset its path from the very beginning, these achievements will appear to be considerable.
The preamble to the United Nations Charter says, Wars. begin in the minds of men; it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” But unfortunately, almost from the very beginning, the world body has been obliged to carry on its work in an uncongenial, climate the climate of the cold war. This has imparted a certain amount of equivocation to the utterances of the representatives of Big Powers participating in its work because they have been very often talking of peace while nursing thoughts of war in their minds. As a result, the U.N.O. has not so far been able to secure international agreement on the problems of disarmament. Wars begin in the minds of men; it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. But unfortunately, almost from the very beginning, the world body has been obliged to carry on its work in an uncongenial, climate the climate of the cold war. This has imparted a certain amount of equivocation to the utterances of the representatives of Big Powers participating in its work because they have been very often talking of peace while nursing thoughts of war in their minds. As a result, the U.N.O. has not so far been able to secure international agreement on the problems of disarmament. German reunification, admission of China and many other important issues.
The, blighting effect of the cold war has not only further complicated such issues, but it has also created new problems. The U.N. Charter was originally drawn up on the assumption that the big five-who had been allies in the Second World War would always think alike. But the rapid changes in international alignments which were brought about by the cold war even before the embers of the world conflagration had died out, and the emergence of two formidable power blocs habitually glaring at each other had the effect of seriously disturbing the equilibrium of the world organization. The new dissensions brought in their wake new crises, very often threatening the very existence of the world body.
The refusal of the Soviet Union and France to share the costs of peace-keeping operations in Congo could not but impair the effectiveness of the U.N., because unless the members meet their financial, liabilities squarely and in good time, the U.N.O. cannot L. Hope to fill a peace-keeping role any longer? Similarly, the stubborn opposition offered by the U.S.A. to the admission of communist China to the forum is something else which strikes a blow at the foundations of the Organization. The action deprives. it of universality–its most important attribute.
The cold war has had another damaging effect on the working of the Organization. Exigencies of power politics and the anxiety of big powers to retain their capability of manipulating the vote in the General Assembly have prevented the Organization from moving with the times. With the admission of a large number of newly independent African and Asian nations to its membership, it was natural that the balance of power in the Central Assembly should have undergone profound changes. But so far, these changes are not reflected in the make-up of the organization. The increase in the number of Security Council members is no more than a grudging. acknowledgment of the import of new influences in the world assembly. It falls far short of due recognition of “the sovereign equality of all members,” which has been otherwise endorsed. This is another blow at the presumption of universality with which the U. N. O. had been brought into being.
These impediments in the working of the Organization have given rise to a danger that unless the necessary correctives are applied, it may well have to share the fate of its predecessor the League of Nations which had to go out of business because it failed to develop into a real international forum. It is this very failing which has incapacitated the U. N. 0. in regard to the conflict in Viet Nam–the most dangerous trouble-spot on the globe today. It is unable to do anything in the matter because China, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam are not represented in it and in the circumstances, it can do nothing to discipline them. This naturally gives rise to great – uneasiness in the minds of those who look upon the U. N. O. as the world’s best hope for peace.
The annual report which Secretary Genera! U Thant presented to the General Assembly session reflected grave concern over the present international situation which is the end-product of the opposing forces acting on the U. N. O. But the Organization represents the last hope of mankind and its future is inseparable, linked with the destiny of mankind. Therefore, we cannot afford to allow it to fail. As U Thant once slid, “We must eventually arrive, in the affairs of the world, at a state of political maturity in which it will be considered statesmanlike, rather than weak, for even a great country to alter its course in deference to the will of the majority.” As long as men of goodwill all over the world continue to work in that direction, there is yet hope that the U. N. O. will be able to accomplish the noble tasks assigned to it by a war-torn world twenty-four years ago.
International peace is to be achieved and security for the weaker nations has to be established. This is the foremost duty of the United Nations, or else the world cannot be saved from the recurring perils of wars. Hundreds and thousands of Summit Conferences would be absolutely useless if there is no code of international morality for security of weaker nations, and it is up to the United Nations to draw up and enforce such a code.
The only way to end war is internationalism. Countries of the world, especially the big powers, are afraid of one another though they are too proud to admit this. Each suspects that the other will attack and destroy it. This mutual fear and distrust has led to a race for armaments. Every country today is spending a greater part of its income on the manufacture or purchase of war material. Even those countries which are economically undeveloped are busy increasing their military power. In such an atmosphere war can break out any moment. It is essential, therefore, that there should be international, control on the armed strength of every country. There should be a ban on the nuclear tests and the manufacture of atomic weapons. The U. N. O should see that no power, however great, becomes militarily so strong as to be a possible source of danger to world peace. But, this is possible only when the states are in the habit of obeying an international authority. If the U.N.O. is treated only as a debating society, its decisions will not be binding on the states. They will be conveniently flouted and set at naught. But if it is regarded as the real and only agency for establishing world peace, its decisions will be honored and obeyed. The success or failure of the U. N. O. will depend on whether its member states take it seriously or not, whether they have confidence in its power to maintain peace or not, and whether they are willing to obey its decisions or not. It is the the willingness of the nation-states to obey the decisions of the U. N. O. on which international peace and security will depend.
Till now every country has been concerned only with its own welfare. To achieve internationalism we have to widen our mental horizon, to stretch our vision to the needs of humanity at large and to think in terms of the welfare of the human race. We have to develop an atmosphere of international goodwill in which humanity may progress and prosper. Each nation, no doubt, will be concerned about and strive for its progress and welfare. To this extent, nationalism is permissible and desirable. But, our concern about our country should not make us forget our international obligations. To maintain international peace is as much the concern of a country, as the wellbeing and progress of her own people. Hence, nationalism alone is not enough in our present-day world.
For international order and security it is essential to fulfil certain conditions. In the first place imperialism in all forms must be abolished, because imperialism is the source of unjust oppression of one race by another. The danger of war will not be over so long as imperialism exists. The oppressed people will struggle for freedom, and the unrest created thereby may ultimately lead to war. Every nation of the world must be granted the right of self-government. For, no nation can ever achieve real progress under foreign yoke. The people of India know how demoralizing foreign rule can be.
Secondly, racial discrimination also should be ended. Order and security cannot be established in a world wherein white men oppress the coloured people, as they are doing in South Africa. Racial discrimination is giving rise to widespread discontent and rancor. It is not only the Indians in South Africa who are resenting the barbaric treatment meted out to them, but all the Asian and African countries are smarting under the humiliation to which they are being put. It is unfortunate that the white races consider themselves to be superior to the colored ones. This attitude of theirs augurs ill for international peace and security. The basis of internationalism is a belief in the equality of mankind. The edifice of international security cannot be raised without this foundation. The white men’s sense of superiority, perhaps, results from their armed might. They are in a position to harm the colored people. But perhaps their superiority in this respect will not continue for long. For the countries of Asia and Africa are now rising from their age-long slumber and developing their resources. Soon they will be as strong as the Western nations.
Justice is another requisite for world peace. The Security: Council or the U. N. General Assembly should be bold enough to do justice in all international disputes. Pacts and alliances should not prove to be insurmountable barriers in the way of justice. This is violation of justice for the sake of vested interests, and if it continues there is little hope of international peace and security. If the aggressor is named and punished, no matter whether he is a member of a certain pact or not, there will be no possibility of war.
If international peace is to be achieved we must accept the principle of peaceful co-existence and act in accordance with it. Ideological differences should be no barrier to peaceful co-existence. They should not rob us of our respect for life. Whatever be the political ismprevailing in a country, the basic human problems are the same everywhere. Everywhere man is striving to gain more and nore knowledge, to develop the resources of his country and to expel poverty and disease. Political ‘isms’ cannot make any difference in human nature. If hostile nations try to understand each other, they would find that much of their hostility is baseless, and that they agree on certain points.
Gathered together at last under the leadership of man the student teacher of the Universe, united, disciplined, armed with the secret powers of the atom and with knowledge, is yet beyond dreaming. Life forever dying to be born afresh, forever young and eager, will presently stand upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars.
National barriers are breaking day today and man’s attention is focussed on the creation of an International state-or a Federation of entire mankind. Is this simply a dream or something on which rays of reality are also falling? Shall we remain isolated, separated by the artificial barrier of nationalism or enter into a universal pact whereby to evolve International Brotherhood?
The two Global Wars, with their terribly devastating result, have at last established the fact that the narrow bonds of aggressive nationalism must be broken through, and a free federation of mankind should be brought into being for fostering fellow-feelings and universal brotherhood. These armed blocs-military pacts, are expressions of narrow nationalism, unless this unholy and unhealthy spirit is done away with, the world cannot, and will not have a breath of peace. With this aim and purpose the League of Nations and the U. N. O. were established, and many international conferences and meetings were held all over the world and lofty speeches were made from platforms. But, we have to see how far a One-World State or a Federation of Mankind, can be a reality.
The economic condition of the world is uneven. There is no economic equality between one nation and another. For example, let us take up the U.S.A. and India. In U.S.A. people have wealth; they are rolling in it; while on the other hand, in Pakistan, the common man can hardly make both ends meet. How can the people of these two countries, having such a vast gulf of inequality flowing between, evovle a harmonious outlook. Economic equality is the basic factor for Internationalism.
The world is divided into two armed blocs- Capitalistic or Imperialistic and the Socialistic. The difference between these two blocs is not of degree alone, but of ideology. An ideological difference cannot be bridged up. Unless all the nations of the world adopt a uniform ideology, there cannot be any possibility of an International Brotherhood.
A radical change of outlook on the part of the Big Powers of the world is an essential factor for the establishment of a federation of mankind. The race for armaments between power-blocs must be slopped, and the mania of militarization should be checked. Only a peaceful and harmonious world can evolve an international outlook. So long as there is mutual hatred, distrust, and conflict of ideologies among the nations, a federation of mankind can never be a possibility.
But if such a federation is established and if Internationalism succeeds, the world will have a sigh of relief. The international community, if it ever comes into being, will open up a vista of paradise before us, and the Angel of Peace would once again beat her wings.
A World State and Universal Justice do not mean the imprisonment of our race in any bleak institutional order-lines. There will still be mountains and the sea, there will be jungles and great forests; the great plains will still spread before us and the winds will blow. But men will not hate so much, fear so much, nor cheat so desperately and they would keep their minds and bodies purer and cleaner Whether International Order of Federation of mankind is a myth or reality, one thing is to be distinctly examined that the spirit of the modern man is no longer on the side of narrow and rigid nationalism, There is an urge and an unquenchable thirst in man to evolve a Federation, which should have no national or artificial barriers. One thing is sure that, if not today, a hundred years hence, there will be certainly an International State or Universal Brotherhood.
The United Nations Organization has to create a new order-a new world, stripped of the narrow. borders of nationalism and racialism. It has to build up a new cosmopolitan culture and an international civilization, in short, what Mr. H.G. Wells has called it, a Federation of Mankind. If the United Nations, fails, if this mighty world forum, embodying the will of 124 independent nations collapses, it means the end of human civilization-triumph of the forces of Demon over the sacred claims of Heaven.
Those who claim themselves, defenders of the prestige of the United Nations, if words of just criticism are spoken should consider the grave consequences which their hypocrisy creates for mankind at large. Their so-called efforts to maintain the U.N.’s prestige, as a matter of fact, are inflicting a damaging blow to its prestige. The prestige of the United Nations, truly speaking, is the prestige of human civilization. It is the most basic as well as ultimate question of our time the question of world peace and peaceful co-existence.
I am one with Nietzche when he says with a classic didacticism ‘gaze not too deeply into the abyss, lest the abyss gaze into yet. The power-bloc members of the U.N., as a matter of fact, pose to play the role of philosophers while making tall speeches on the pulpit, claiming themselves as ‘divine harbingers’ of peace. But in the heart of their hearts, they are out to create impasses with the sole object of sustaining the specter of the cold war. They fail to arrive at an agreement in their negotiations because of two facts:
- firstly that they do not genuinely wish to see a peaceful world, and
- secondly that they take a wrong initiative of negotiations.