United Nations: A Journey from Hope to Despair

Sitaram Sharma

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“UN: An Anthology” is a part of Sitaram Sharma’s continuing efforts to bring the UN closer to the public, both at the regional and global levels. This is only appropriate since the Charter of the UN begins with the words, “We, the People of the United Nations”. This informative work will contribute to deepening the understanding of and building support for the United Nations, especially among the younger generation.

The United Nations has faced several crises of expectations. Its lofty ideals can neither be fully attained nor abandoned, resulting in an eternal credibility-achievement gap. Nevertheless, the purpose of the UN is never in doubt and this is acknowledged by all the nations in the international community as the cornerstone of international architecture. It will continue to have a major role in the preservation of global peace and security and its good works, its developmental, social, educational and cultural agenda, its humanitarian efforts, norm-setting roles, its coordination of the specialised agencies and peacekeeping operations will continue to make the world a better place.

This anthology of speeches and statements on UN-related issues is most useful for academics and general readers alike. It highlights the ongoing efforts to reform the UN system but acknowledges that achieving success will be a long and arduous task that will keep diplomats and activists engaged in the foreseeable future.

Sitaram Sharma is a journalist, diplomat, author, UN activist, community leader, thinker, political observer, entrepreneur and has many more facets.

He began his career in journalism as Assistant Editor of a local Hindi fortnightly Vichar Pravah and of a Hindi weekly Jan-Sansar. His debut in English journalism was as Editor of Caldust, a tabloid English weekly from Kolkata, special correspondent of Onlooker of the Free Press Journal Group Publication from Mumbai. At present, he is the editorial advisor of Business Economics.

Sharma headed the Government of India’s think tank MAKAIAS – Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, an autonomous body under Ministry of Culture and Chaired a Defence think tank CENERS-K, Centre for Eastern and North-Eastern Regional Studies, Kolkata.

As an UN activist, he was the Deputy Secretary-General and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Geneva. Presently Vice-President of Indian Federation of UN Associations and Chairman of West Bengal Federation of UN Associations. He has been Honorary Consul of Republic of Belarus in Kolkata for over 15 years and was honoured with the state medal, the highest civilian award by the Government of Republic of Belarus.

Sharma edited a two-volume compendium capturing India’s association with the United Nations India in the United Nations General Assembly—Vol. I 1945-1970; Vol. II 1971-2018. He has authored more than 10 books both in English and Hindi including his popular autobiography Jeevan Ke Mod in Hindi and widely hailed West Bengal: Changing Colours, Changing Challenges in English, a comprehensive and authoritative take on paradigm shifts in Bengal politics, published by Rupa Publications, New Delhi.




1. Politicisation of Human Rights
2. Climate Change: The Biggest Humanitarian Crisis
3. UN’s 75th Anniversary
4. Civilisation vs the Clash of Civilisations
5. Global Citizenship and the Essence of Education
6. The Peoples of the United Nations
7. UN Day: Time for Introspection
8. UN: Crises of Expectations
9. Reforming the United Nations
10. Civil Society and its Impact on the UN
11. Conflict around Responsibility to Protect
12. Global Action to Address Climate Change
13. UN’s Role in International Peace and Development
14. Restructuring the UN
15. UN in a Changing World Economic Order
16. Culture of Peace and Tolerance
17. UN at 60: Time for India to Project its Own Interests
18. UN in a Multipolar World
19. Time to Reform Policies of Major Countries
20. UN: 100 Popular Q&As (Preface to the Second Edition, 2005)
21. United Nations and Civil Society
22. International Year for a Culture of Peace
23. WFUNA: A Millennium Role
24. Creating an Independent NGO Network: Report on the 1999 Seoul International Conference of NGOs, October 10-15, 1999
25. The NGO within the UN System
26. UN at 50
27. UN and the Diversity Efficiency
28. UN and the Art of Creating Peace
29. Democratising the UN
30. Why a New World Information Order
About the Author



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