Lesson 1:Democracy in the Contemporary World
Democracy at Global Level 0Is it possible to have democracy at global level? Not at present. 0The UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are global associations of the world. They attempt to maintain peace and security among the countries of the world. 0 They give loans and money to governments. 1 These organisations cannot command countries and citizens in a way a government can, but they do make rules that put limits on what governments can do
l Case of UN N Every one of the member states of the UN has one vote in the UN General Assembly 0 General Assembly is like the parliament where all the discussion takes place. It meets in regular yearly sessions under a president elected from among the representatives of the member countries. D But the General Assembly cannot take any decision about what action should be taken in a conflict between different countries. 0 The fifteen-member Security Council of the UN takes such crucial decisions. The Council has Five permanent members -US, Russia, UK, France and China and ten other m mbers are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The real power is with five permanent members.Each permanent member has veto power. It means that the Council cannot take a decision if any permanent member says no to that decision. I This system has led more and more people and countries to protest and demand that the UN becomes more democratic 0 The permanent members, especially the US, contribute most of the money needed for the maintenance of the UN
Case of IMF International Monetary Fund (IMF) is one of the biggest moneylenders for any country in the world. 0ts 188 member states (as on 1 September 2012) do not have equal voting rights 0 The vote of each country is weighed by how much money it has contributed to the IMF. More than 52% of the voting power in the IMF is in the hands of only ten countries (MS, Japan, Germany, France, UK, China, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Russia). The remaining 178 countries have very little say in how these international organisations take decisions Case of World Bank 0 World Bank also has similar system of voting. 0 The President of the World Bank has always been a citizen of the US, conventionally nominated by the Treasury Secretary (Finance Minister) of the US government
Promotion of Democracy D Many powerful countries like the United States of America believe that democracy should be promoted in the world even by force. D Powerful countries have launched attacks on non- emocratic countries. Iraq is the biggest example. USA and its allies attacked and occupied Iraq without UN sanction, on the pretext of Iraq possessing nuclear weapons. They have even held forced elections. 0The urge for democracy should come from the people and should not be imposed.
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