NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 30 The United Nations

NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 30 The United Nations, Solutions to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 30 The United Nations and select need one. NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 30 The United Nations Question Answers Download PDF. NIOS Study Material of Class 12 Political Science Notes Paper 317.

NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 30 The United Nations

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Also, you can read the NIOS book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of NIOS All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 30 The United Nations, NIOS Senior Secondary Course Political Science Solutions for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

The United Nations

Chapter: 30




A. Fill in the blanks:

1. The United Nations charter was signed in 1945 at the city of …………….. (Geneva, New York, San Francisco).

Ans. San Francisco.

2. ………….. countries were the original members of the United Nations. (45, 51,191).

Ans. 51.

3. The main purpose of the United Nations charter is …………..

Ans. Maintenance of international peace and security.

B. Mark the following sentences as True or False:

1. Sovereign equality among the member states is a cardinal principle of the United Nations. (True/False)

Ans. True.

2. The United Nations cannot normally take up domestic problems of its member countries. (True False) 

Ans. True.

3. The United Nations membership has not increased since its existence. (True/False) 

Ans. False.


Fill in the blanks:

1. The permanent members of ………… enjoy the veto in …………. (all organs of the UN/ the Security Council) 

Ans. The Security Council.

2. How many territories did The Trusteeship Council used to administer? (4,11,15)

Ans. 11.

3. Which organ of the United Nations performs the functions of coordinating the activities of the specialised agencies? (General Assembly / Security Council/Economic and Social Council)

Ans. The Economic and Social Council.

4. Private individuals can bring disputes before the World Court. (True/False)

Ans. False.

5. ………… present the UN Secretary General. (Bam Kimoon/Kofi Annan) 

Ans. Ban Kimoon.

6. The judges of the World Court are elected by ………….. (General Assembly/Security Council/both Security Council and General Assembly)

Ans. Both the Security Council and the General Assembly.


Q. Answer the following questions:

1. The declaration on decolonisation was adopted in ………… (1945,1960,1995)

Ans. 1960.

2. The UN was responsible for the administration of the trust territories. (True/False)

Ans. True.

3. The native leader of the resistance movement against apartheid in South Africa was ………….. (Mahatma Gandhi/Nelson Mandela) 

Ans. Nelson Mandela.

4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is binding on all member countries of the UN. (True/false)

Ans. False.

5. Which day every year is observed as the HR Day? (26 January/10 December/15 August)

Ans. 10 December.

6. The two covenants on human rights came into force in ………….. (1948/1976/1997)

Ans. 1976.

7. Which important office was established on the recommendation of the 1993 UN Conference on Human Rights. (Ombudsman/ High Commissioner for Human Rights)

Ans. High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Q.1. Discuss the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.


Describe the principles of United Nations.


Discuss UN role in securing World Peace.

Ans. I. The purpose (objective) of the United Nations: The Charter indicates at the very beginning four broad objectives of the United Nations.They are;

(i) to maintain international peace and security through collective measures for suppression of aggression and through peaceful settlement of disputes.

(ii) to develop friendly relations among countries based on full respect for the principle of equality and self-determination.

(iii) to achieve international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural or humanitarian fields. and

(iv) to encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

II. Guiding Principles of UN: In pursuit of the above objectives,both the United Nations and its member states are required to adhere to a set of important guiding principles.

(i) No interference in domestic affairs of member countries: The foremost among them is the principle of equality among countries whether big or small, strong or weak.The United Nations will not interfere in the domestic matters of the member countries.

(ii) Provision of table talk: The member states of the United Nations are expected to resolve their disputes with other states in a peaceful manner without endangering international peace and security.Further,the member states should refrain from threats or use of force against another member. It is the duty of the members to assist the United Nations in the enforcement of peace.

(iii) To stop immediately fighting and seek withdrawal of troops to pre-war location:

(a) The maintenance of international peace and security is a very important purpose of the UN. Other purposes are complementary to the purpose of peace. In discussing the role of the UN we should bear in mind one basic aspect of the world body: it is a political body serving its member governments in the context of global politics.

(b) Neither the preferences of governments nor the trends in international politics are static; they change from time to time. Hence, in the exercise of its powers, the UN cannot be rigid, mechanical or uniform.

(c) The role of the UN is marked, therefore, by flexibility and pragmatism. Generally, the UN preferred not to take harsh view or condemn the aggressor country whenever it received complaints on a breach of peace. Instead, it directed its efforts to stop the fighting immediately and to seek withdrawal of troops to pre-war locations.

Q.2. Compare and contrast the composition and functions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.


Describe the composition of the UN Security Council.

Ans. We can easily study the same and different points regarding composition and functions of the two major organs of the United Nations i.e.,General Assembly and Security Council.

I. Composition of the General Assembly: The General Assembly is the central body.The principles of sovereign equality and universality are embodied in its composition. All members of the United Nations (presently 191) are members of the General Assembly and irrespective of size or strength, every member has one vote in the Assembly. A vote cast by the United States, for example, is equivalent to the vote of Bhutan or Cuba.

II. Composition of Security Council:

(a) The Security Council is the most powerful and decision-making body of the United Nations. It has the main responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

(b) The Council is a contrast from the General Assembly, in respect of both its composition and the decision-making procedure.

(c) Unlike the Assembly, the membership of the Council is limited to 15 countries only, out of which five are permanent members. These five countries are China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA.

(d) The remaining ten members called nonpermanent members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. They represent different geographical regions of the world like Asia, Africa, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe.

III. The Functions of General Assembly:

(i) The Assembly discusses problems brought to it, makes recommendations on peace and security questions, admits new members, and adopts UN budget. On important matters it adopts resolutions with the support of twothirds majority. Procedural decisions require only a simple majority.

(ii) The Assembly meets in regular session every year. It has convened 59 such sessions so far. The Assembly also meets, when need arose, in special sessions and emergency special sessions.

(iii) The General Assembly is some times called as the world parliament. It can discuss any matter. It discusses matters, which includes peace and security questions, environment protection, economic development, problems of colonial administration, disarmament, refugees, population explosion, use of global commons like outer space and deep seaboard. It can only make recommendations.

(iv) As part of this function, the Assembly has adopted a number of important declarations containing principles of international cooperation in political, economic, social and other matters..

(v) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) the Declaration on Decolonisation (1960), Declaration on New International Economic Order (1974), Declaration on Rights of the Child (1989), Declaration on International Terrorism (1994) are only a few examples.

(vi) They are common goals desirable for governments to implement in their national policies and programmes. The Declaration are not binding on countries. Yet they carry great moral and political weight. Therefore, governments find it difficult to ignore them.

(vii) The Assembly has also adopted several laws like the covenant on civil, political, economic rights of individuals to be ensured throughout the world, the laws of exploitation of seas, laws prohibiting or controlling chemical and biological weapons, and so on.

(viii) But these laws are not like the laws of our Parliament, which are automatically binding on all of us. Whereas these international laws and conventions are legally binding only on those states that agree to comply with them.

(ix) Electoral Function: The Assembly, elects members various organs. It appoints the Security General.

(x) It supervises the work of the economic and social council, the Security Council the trusteeship Council, and other bodies.

(xi) The Assembly has the power to approve the budget of the United Nations and to apportion the amount among all the member countries.

IV. Powers and Functions of the Security Council: The security council takes most important decision related with international peace and security.

(i) It was initially hoped that its small size could make it easy for the Council to take decisions on procedural matters by nine affirmative votes (simple majority). On substantive questions the nine affirmative votes should include concurring vote of the permanent members. In other words, the Council cannot take decisions of major significance if any one of the five permanent members casts a negative vote.

(ii) This special privilege of the permanent members is popularly known as the veto power. To abstain from voting in the Security Council is not veto. The veto provision has faced criticism from the very beginning. The veto power dilutes the principle of sovereign equality of member countries.

(iii) The power and functions of the Security Council are limited to the task of maintenance of international peace and security. In case a dispute arises between two or more countries the Council can make appropriate recommendations in the interest of peaceful settlement of the dispute. Nevertheless, these recommendations are not binding on the unwilling states.

Example: For instance,on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,the Security Council resolutions are not legally binding on either India or Pakistan unless both countries willingly accept them.

(iv) The Council can use extraordinary power to deal with war or threats of war between countries. In such an event, the Council can determine who the aggressor is and can call for necessary steps to restore peace. These steps may include, at the discretion of the Council, economic sanctions like freezing of assets abroad, banning of exports and imports, or military action by land,sea or air.

(v) Notably, whenever,the Security Council takes such steps, are binding not only on the states directly involved in the war but also on all members of the United Nations. Once the Security Council takes a decision, t is the duty of the member countries to carry out decisions.

(vi) Imposing of the Sanctions: Obviously the Council can take such important decisions only with the agreement among the permanent members. In the recent years, after the end of the cold war, the Council has frequently used its binding powers to deal with various problems of international peace and security.

(vii) The role of the Security Council in discharging its functions depends on the specific circumstances of each case and the existence of broad agreement among the five permanent members. It is important to note that the Security Council has imposed varying sets of economic and diplomatic sanctions against 25 countries so far.

(viii) These sanctions included cutting off diplomatic relations, stopping of oil imports and exports, banning weapons supplies, freezing of assets abroad, etc. Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Africa were among the targets of these sanctions.

(ix) Collection of Military or troops of peacekeeping operations: Since no armed forces are placed under the UN to fight an aggressor even after five decades of the Charter’s commitment to it.It has requested member countries to contribute towards such a force to take military action for restoring peace.The UN authorised military action to push North Korean forces from South Korea in 1950 and Iraq from Kuwait in 1990.

(x) Notability in a recent case, the Council refused to authorise the US to carry on war against Iraq. Therefore, the US war on Iraq (2003) was illegal.The Security Council sent soldiers of member countries to a troubled area,with the agreement of the governments concerned,to bring calm and normally.This largely successful activity is known as “peace keeping operations”.

Q.3. Discuss the importance of the UN role in the decolonisation effort.

Ans. I. Introduction: Most of parts of Africa and Asia were not free in 1945 when the United Nations was set up. For UN ending colonial rule became essential for achieving world peace and progress.

II. Two types of colonial territories:

(i) Freeing millions of people from foreign colonial rule is an historic achievement of the UN. The UNS anti-colonial with covered two categories of dependent population. They were the trust territories for which UN was directly responsible.

(ii) Then these were several territories administered by western colonial powers like Britain, France, etc. ‘Trust’ territories were placed under the responsibility of the UN until the people of the territories concerned would be able to determine freely their future status.

III. End of colonialism in Trustee Countries Cameroon, Nauru,New Guinea, the pacific islands,Rwanda-Urundi, Somaliland,Tanganyika, Togoland were among them. By 1994 all trust territories became free with the help provided by the UN.Seven have become independent and four chose to merge with the neighbouring countries.

IV. Freedom of 60 Countries: The UN interest in the liberation for subject people extended beyond trust territories. It built up this campaign against colonialism was the adoption of the Declaration of Decolonisation by the General Assembly in 1960 demanding immediate independence of all colonial territories and populations. Since that time, 60 territories have become free under the sustained pressure built in the UN.

V. Recently achievement of freedom by these countries and right to self determination: Namibia,Eritrea,East Timor are among the recent examples of successful fight against colonialism.There are now only very few like western Sahara waiting to exercise their free choice. There is some confusion that the fight against colonialism blesses the right of some disgruntled people to separate from their newly formed independent state.Right to “self-determination” applies to people under foreign colonial rule only.

Q.4. Explain the need for restructuring the Security Council.

Ans. Need for restructuring the Security Council:

(i) Including more countries as permanent of the Security Council: The permanent membership of the Security Council is limited to 15 countries only. Out of that,05 (China,France,Russia,UK and USA) are permanent. They were given permanent status in 1945 due to some historical and political reasons.

(ii) The remaining ten members are nonpermanent members elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. This arrangement is six decades old, when most of Africa and Asian countries were not part of the United Nations. Now with membership of the world body rising by fur times, the council’s composition needs to be suitably changed. There is a strong case to add a few countries like India as permanent members.

(iii) Increase the non-permanent members of the Security Council: And the member of non-permanent members also should be increased so that different countries can get feeling that the Council works for their future.

(iv) To correct the image of UN: The Third World countries are of the opinion that United Nations is an agent of Western countries especially the United States. To correct this image, the number of Permanent members has to be increased. Japan, India, Germany, Brazil and Nigeria are the claimant for it. Japan and Germany are no longer enemy states and because of their economic strength and contribution to the UN budget are considered as the most eligible for permanent membership of the Security Council.

(v) Claim of India for permanent membership of Security Council: India’s contribution in several UN Peacekeeping forces and its active role in peace making processes facilitates its obvious claim to be a permanent member of the Council. India has been a founder member of the United Nations. Besides India is the second largest populous country and is the largest democracy in the world.

Q.5. Write a short note on the following: 

(a) UN Secretary General.

(b) Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(c) Trusteeship Council.

(d) Economic and Social Council.

Ans. (a) UN Secretary General: The Secretariat General who comprises the international staff posted at the UN headquarters, New York and other locations throughout the world.They are expected to be impartial and independent in the discharge of their responsibilities the United Nations and not any particular member country. The Chief of the Secretariat i.e. the Secretary General is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a term of five years.

Since the inception of the Organization, six persons have served as the Secretary-General. They are; Trygve Lie of Norway, Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden (1953-61) U Thant of Myanmar (1961-71) Kurt Waldheim of Austria (1972-96) Javier Perez De Cuellar of Peru (1982-91) and Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt (1992-96) Presently, Kofi Annan from Ghana is occupying (1997-July 2007 and further) this prestigious office.

(b) Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Promotion of human rights culture through worldwide human rights standards has been another major contribution of the United Nations. Nearly 80 declarations and conventions touching upon various facets of human rights have been adopted by the UN in the past five decades.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first among the UN declarations. The day of its adoption-10 December 1948 is observed every year as the Human Rights day.The Declaration contains a broad range of civil, political,economic,social and cultural rights that all peoples are entitled to without any discrimination. Admittedly,the Universal Declaration,as any declaration, is not binding on governments.

However,it gave inspiration to the drafting of two legally binding covenants,one on economic, social and cultural rights and the other on civil and political rights.Both these covenants became applicable to the signatory states from 1976 onwards.These two covenants,together with the universal declaration,are known as “the International Bill of Rights”.

(c) Trusteeship Council: The Trusteeship Council was created to supervise the working of the international trusteeship system. All the 11 territories, originally placed under the trusteeship system have become free. Now that there is no trust territory to be administered, the Trusteeship Council has ceased to play an important role in the UN system and does not hold meetings. The Charter has to be amended to dissolve this organ.

(d) Economic and Social Council: The Economic and Social Council works to promote international cooperation in economic and social fields. It comprises 54 members all of whom are elected for a term of three years by the General Assembly, giving representation to various geographical regions. Decisions are taken by a simple majority of members present and voting. It considers international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems.

The Council has set up commissions to study and advise on the status of women, population, human rights, etc. It has the power to coordinate the activities of various specialised agencies like the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization (which are discussed in a separate lesson in this book).

Another important function of the Council is to bring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to take part in its deliberations. The powers of the Council are quite modest as compared to its responsibilities. By means of study, discussion and coordination, the Council is expected to promote full employment, higher standards of living and solution of international economic and social problems.


(A) Write true or false in bracket against the number of given statement:

(a) The United Nations is an important international institutions of our times.

Ans. True.

(b) The UN was set-up in October,1955.

Ans. False.

(c) The UN was set up with 193 countries in 1945.

Ans. False.

(d) There are five member nations as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Ans. True.

(e) India is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Ans. False.

(B) Fill in the blanks:

(i) The first half of the …………. century witnessed two World Wars. 

Ans. Twentiet.

(ii) Both two great world wars caused to death of ……….. million people.

Ans. 80.

(iii) The US President …………… and the British Prime Minister ………….. signed the Atlantic Charter in August 1941.

Ans. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill.

(iv) We observe on …………. every year as the United Nations Birthday.

Ans. 24 October.

(C) Multiple Choice Answer Questions: 

Q.1. The United Nations Organization was set up in ……………. year.

(a) 1945. 

(b) 1950. 

(c) 1955. 

(d) 1960.

Ans. (a) 1945.

Q.2. The UN was set up with how many countries?

(a) 11.

(b) 51.

(c) 31.

(d) 101.

Ans. (b) 51.

Q.3. Current membership of the UN is 

(a) 191.    

(b) 201.

(c) 151.

(d) 101

Ans. (a) 191.

Q.4. In which country two world wars were fought?  

(a) 18th. 

(b) 19th. 

 (c) 20th. 

(d) 21th.

Ans. (c) 20th. 

Q.5. Two world wars caused death to …………

(a) 80 million people.

(b) 10 million people.

(c) 05 million people.

(d) 50 million people.

Ans. (a) 80 million people.

Q.6. The United Nations came into bein on ……………..

(a) 02nd October 1945.

(b) 24 October 1945.

(c) 14 October 1940.

(d) 24 October 1939. 

Ans. (b) 24 October 1945.

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