When the League of Nations failed to have any significant impact on the events leading to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, there was a renewed concern for the establishment of an organisation for the guardianship of world peace and security. On October 24, 1945, the United Nations was founded accordingly.
As an association of sovereign countries, the UN is a universal platform where world leaders assemble and discuss issues of global importance, particularly concerns related to peace, security, development and international cooperation. Representatives of 51 nations gathered in San Francisco of the United States and signed the UN Charter on June 26, 1945. The important document contains 111 Articles, 19 Chapters and 10,000 words. The charter was ratified by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the People's Republic of China, former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the US and France. The working languages of the UN are English and French. It has designated six principal organs -- General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice and Secretariat. Till now, UN has 195 members and two permanent observers.
All independent and peace-loving nations which accept the obligation of UN Charter can be members of this global body. Nepal is one of the peace-loving and independent nations. The country was not colonised by any nation. Nepal became its member on December 14, 1955. Since then, the country has been actively involved in the activities of the UN with commitment despite being small in terms of size, geography, demography and economy. Nepal has been internalising the people's sovereign right and right to autonomy and self-rule, while maintaining freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and dignity.
Rishikesh Shah was appointed as the first Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations in 1956. Nepal has been amazingly contributing to the UN peacekeeping operations around the globe since 1958. Currently, the country is the fifth largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping. The first group sent from Nepal was from Nepal Army in UNOGIL in 1958 and the Nepal Police team to Yugoslavia in 1992. Nepali peacekeepers have shown better performances. Many Nepali security personnel have lost their lives while serving in the UN over the past six decades. As of June 2013, Nepal participated in 39 UN peacekeeping operations with more than 95,000 Nepali peacekeepers, including the army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police and other civilians such as doctors and engineers.
Nepal became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 1969-70 and 1988-89 and other different positions. It was an important landmark in the development of Nepal's international stature. The affiliation to the UN has assisted Nepal to be recognised as a sovereign and peace-loving nation across the world. Nepal is also one of the nations to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948
Nepal has hosted the UN Regional Centre for peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific in Kathmandu. The event was an obvious manifestation of the recognition of Nepal by the UN for her active role. Being a small landlocked country, Nepal has incessantly called for the protection of the rights of landlocked nations. Nepal is a part of six international conventions relating to terrorism, and advocates for early conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and also supports the early entry into force of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
The country has already served in the capacity of UNGA Vice-president in the years of 1958, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1983, 1984, 1988, 2001, 2009 and 2016 sessions. Nepal was also entrusted with the responsibility of chairing the Commission of Investigation formed by the UN on the tragic death of the then UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold in 1961. Nepal was elected vice-president of ECOSOC twice in 1982 and 2003. That shows Nepal has actively been participating in the UN’s mission and activities for peace, security, development and friendly relations among nations.
UNDP and other UN agencies have been carrying out various programmes in the areas of their expertise and mandate in Nepal. The United Nations Missions in Nepal (UNMIN) was started to work our country on January 23, 2007 at the request of the Government of Nepal. UNMIN's main objective was to monitoring the management of arms and the Maoist combatants. It was mandated to assist in monitoring ceasefire and providing technical support for the conduct of the election of a Constituent Assembly in a free and fair atmosphere.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all UN member nations in 2015 as a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Nepal has adopted the goals with commitment to balanced social, economic and environmental sustainability.
(Magrati is a sociologist, youth activist and fellow of Women LEAD Nepal. firstname.lastname@example.org)