It needs to become more relevant
The 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) comes at a time when the world is looking at the UN for answers to many complex issues. The relevance of the United Nations has been dependent on various factors, not the least being the way the superpowers cooperate with it. For a while it seemed that the world body has become somewhat ineffectual, but recent events, including the crisis in Syria, have again pitched it centre stage. There has been a growing voice for reforms at the premium world body. Among them, perhaps, the most important one is that of expansion of the UN Security Council, which India has long supported, along with Brazil, Germany and Japan.
These nations have earned the right to be on the Security Council, and it is indeed important for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stress on UN reforms. The Prime Minister is also likely to appeal to the international community to jointly combat the menace of terrorism, both in his interaction with world leaders as well as his forthcoming address to the UNGA. The world needs to put up a united effort to combat terrorist activities, and the UN can play a unique, proactive role in coordinating and effectively tackling terror. Nations that face terror need information that can help them thwart the designs of the perpetrators of such activities. More coordination is needed for curtailing the illicit arms trade and the illegal movement of funds. India has advocated a zero- tolerance approach on terror but it needs more push. India has a powerful voice in the United Nations; the world listens when the Prime Minister speaks. This UNGA meeting with its ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage’ focus is exactly what the developing countries need, and the Prime Minister will surely utilize the occasion to garner as much support for India as he can. It is time for the UN to undertake necessary reforms and adapt to a changing world. India must support the world body in this Endeavour.