United Nations (UN)
Facts about the UN
There are currently 192 members in the UN. The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The current UN peace-keeping operation ranks at 16.
Due to its unique international character, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues. The UN is best known for peacekeeping, peace building, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. The Organization works on fundamental issues such as sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.
United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was set up in 1949 in January to supervise the ceasefire that was agreed upon by India and Pakistan in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, renewed hostilities had the UNMOGIP monitors the ceasefire called for by the United Nations Security Council.
Background Information of the Indian and Pakistan Conflict
When the British withdrew from the India after the World War Two, it was divided, primarily on religious grounds, into the two states of India and Pakistan. Kashmir was included in India, but the issue of which state it should belong to has been contested ever since, largely because Kashmir's population is predominantly Muslim.
India and Pakistan declared independence on August 1947. Under the scheme of partition provided by the Indian Independence Act of 1947, Kashmir belonged to either India or Pakistan. This became a catalyst for the conflict between two countries and fighting ensued the next year.
In January, the Security Council established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to mediate the dispute. In April 1948, the council decided to enlarge the membership of UNCIP to recommend more measures to stop the fighting. In July 1949, India and Pakistan signed the Karachi Agreement establishing a ceasefire line which is supervised. The Council decided that with the termination of the UNCIP, the UNMOGIP should continue with the supervision. Thee UNMOGIP’s functions were to observe, report and investigate complaints of ceasefire violations.
However, hostilities broke out again at the end of 1971. The ceasefire came into effect with a few positions on the 1949 ceasefire line changed. In July 1972, India and Pakistan signed an agreement defining the line of Control with slight deviations established in the Karachi Agreement in 1949. Pakistan, however, did not accept the new agreement.
Both countries had disagreements about the UNMOGIP’s mandate and functions. However, the agreement can only be terminated by the Security Council. The Pakistan Government has continuously lodged complaints about ceasefire violations whereas the Indian military had restricted the activities of UN observers in India. However, both countries have continued to provide accommodation, transport and other facilities to UNMOGIP.
India and Pakistan Relations today
Despite numerous territorial disputes and military conflicts, attempts to warm ties have been made. Agreements talks, confidence building measures and aid in times of disasters have eased strained political ties.
Firstly, India voiced increasing concern over Pakistan’s nuclear weapon programmes and Pakistani arm purchases. Thus, in the effort to curtail tensions, the two countries formed a joint commission to examine disputes. In December 1988, the prime ministers of both countries signed a pact to not attack each other’s nuclear facilities. Agreements on cultural exchanges and civil aviation were also initiated.
Secondly, In June 1997, the foreign secretaries identified eight "outstanding issues" around which continuing talks would be focused. The agreement talks broke down over the structure of how to deal with the issues of Kashmir, and peace and security.
Thirdly, India offered generous aid to Pakistan during the 2005 Earthquake. India pledged monetary and relief material to the victims of the earthquake. This generous gesture opened a channel for co-operation between both India and Pakistan.