News headlines

from Rons Bantwal
for Daijiworld Media Network – Mumbai (SM)

Mumbai, Jul 23: A book ‘Reforming and Restructuring the United Nations’ edited by Dr P M Kamath, formerly professor of Politics in University of Bombay and at present honorary director of Vidya Prasarak Mandal’s Centre for International Studies, Mulund, here was released on Saturday July 21 evening.

The book was released by Suresh Prabhu, former union minister of industry, environment and forests, chemical and fertilizers, heavy industries & public enterprises and Power and at present an MP.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kamath stated that he thought of inviting Prabhu to release this book on UN for two reasons. First, despite holding such heavy positions, power has not corrupted him. That shows he is still humane and believes in the protection of human rights.

Second, he has done lot of work on the issues such as global study of water resources; its conservation, environment, global warming and greenhouse effect etc in UN related bodies, as he was the chairman of the task force to link rivers in India. He is connected with various UN committees in this area. For instance, he is the member of UN reference group to study policies of water in 11 African countries. He is a member of global water partnership, Stockholm and chairs South Asia group within it.

The book stresses these as the newer areas, which need to be looked into by a reformed and restructured United Nations. The book is not totally focused on them. But it highlights the traditional areas where the UN was vitally concerned when the international organization came into force in 1945- viz. world peace and security.

Dimensions and nature of threats to global peace and security have changed radically in the 21st century. Thus for instance, ethnicity has raised its ugly head practically in every state. Ethnic groups, threatening disintegration of existing stable states or when state adopts brutal methods, ethnic groups face wrath of state power inviting global condemnation on violation of human rights. Civil wars and terrorism have been major problems faced by the UN today.

On the other hand, the cold war period from 1945 to 1989 saw mostly inter state conflicts while today in the post cold war period it is mostly intra state conflicts, which draw the attention of the UN.

One interesting phenomenon is that during the cold war the two super powers used the interstate conflicts to spread their own influence in developing societies. During the post cold war period of the 21st century it is often the sole surviving super power—the United States that uses its power to bend or break the existing states to sub serve its interests.

The book contains papers presented by 13 eminent participants in the International Seminar organized by the VPM’s centre for international studies in May 2005. 

M V Kamath who gave inaugural address suggested an extreme remedy of Afro-Asian nations breaking away from the UN, now based in New York to form UN of Asia and Africa. But other contributors have made various suggestions as to how the UN could be made more effective and purposeful by reforming and restructuring it, as the title of the book suggests.

In a city like New Delhi you find every retiring diplomat, now even major Generals and professors establish centres for promoting whatever they are interested in. But in Mumbai, the financial capital of India—the VPM’s CIS is the only of its kind.

Laxmi Ramalingam welcomed the chief guest and Dr R G Gidadhubli introduced Prabhu.

Releasing the book, Prabhu lauded the efforts of VPM’s CIS and of Dr Kamath in promoting discussion and study of foreign policy in Mumbai. 

The talk of reforming and restructuring the UN largely arises because large financiers like the US and Japan wants to control uncontrolled expenditure of the UN. Reforming the UN has been agenda of last several secretary generals of the UN.

On this occasion Prabhu also released another book authored by a member of the Governing Council of the CIS, Dr S K Asopa, former professor of Political Science of Rajasthan University on the subject of Struggle for Spheres of interest in Trans Caucasia, Central Asia and Indian Stakes. The book was introduced by Dr Vasundhara Mohan, who highlighted Indian stakes in central Asia in the sphere of energy sector. Dr Mohan proposed vote of thanks to the esteemed guest and other dignitaries. 


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