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United Nations
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/6/20

United Nations
Flag of United Nations Arabic: منظمة الأمم المتحدة‎ Chinese: 联合国组织 French: Organisation des Nations unies Russian: Организация Объединённых Наций Spanish: Organización de las Naciones Unidas
Emblem of United Nations Arabic: منظمة الأمم المتحدة‎ Chinese: 联合国组织 French: Organisation des Nations unies Russian: Организация Объединённых Наций Spanish: Organización de las Naciones Unidas
Headquarters New York City (international territory)
Official languages
Type Intergovernmental organization
Membership 193 member states
2 observer states
• Secretary‑General
António Guterres
• Deputy Secretary-General
Amina J. Mohammed
• General Assembly President
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
• Economic and Social Council President
Mona Juul
• Security Council President
Dang Dinh Quy
• UN Charter signed
26 June 1945 (74 years ago)
• Charter entered into force
24 October 1945 (74 years ago)

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.[2] It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.

The UN was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars, succeeding the ineffective League of Nations.[3] On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, which was adopted on 25 June 1945 and took effect on 24 October 1945, when the UN began operations. Pursuant to the Charter, the organization's objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.[4] At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; this number grew to 193 in 2011,[5] representing the vast majority of the world's sovereign states.

The organization's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted primarily of unarmed military observers and lightly armed troops with primarily monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles.[6] UN membership grew significantly following widespread decolonization beginning in the 1960s. Since then, 80 former colonies have gained independence, including 11 trust territories that had been monitored by the Trusteeship Council.[7] By the 1970s, the UN's budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.[8]

The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly; the Security Council; the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the Trusteeship Council; the International Court of Justice; and the UN Secretariat. The UN System includes a multitude of specialized agencies, such as the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, and UNICEF. Additionally, non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work. The UN's chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, since 1 January 2017. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN, its officers, and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes, though other evaluations of its effectiveness have been mixed. Some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called it ineffective, biased, or corrupt.


Main article: History of the United Nations


In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross were formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.[9] In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, and in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months later, the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies. The League of Nations was approved, and in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification. On 10 January 1920, the League of Nations formally came into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, took effect.[10] However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria.[11] It also failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had already conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed.[12] After Italy conquered Ethiopia, Italy and other nations left the league. But all of them realized that it had failed and they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war.[13] Although the United States never joined the League, the country did support its economic and social missions through the work of private philanthropies and by sending representatives to committees.

1942 "Declaration of United Nations" by the Allies of World War II

Main article: Declaration by United Nations

1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states

The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939.[14] The text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on 29 December 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins. It incorporated Soviet suggestions, but left no role for France. "Four Policemen" was coined to refer to four major Allied countries, United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and Republic of China, which emerged in the Declaration by United Nations.[15] Roosevelt first coined the term United Nations to describe the Allied countries.[a] "On New Year's Day 1942, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Maxim Litvinov, of the USSR, and T. V. Soong, of China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures."[16] The term United Nations was first officially used when 26 governments signed this Declaration. One major change from the Atlantic Charter was the addition of a provision for religious freedom, which Stalin approved after Roosevelt insisted.[17][18] By 1 March 1945, 21 additional states had signed.[19]


The Governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Great Britain dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,


1. Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.

2. Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

— The Washington Conference 1941–1942

During the war, "the United Nations" became the official term for the Allies. To join, countries had to sign the Declaration and declare war on the Axis.[20]


The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue

The UN was formulated and negotiated among the delegations from the Allied Big Four (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China) at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference from 21 September 1944 to 7 October 1944 and they agreed on the aims, structure and functioning of the UN.[21][22][23] After months of planning, the UN Conference on International Organization opened in San Francisco, 25 April 1945, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the UN Charter.[24][25][26] "The heads of the delegations of the sponsoring countries took turns as chairman of the plenary meetings: Anthony Eden, of Britain, Edward Stettinius, of the United States, T. V. Soong, of China, and Vyacheslav Molotov, of the Soviet Union. At the later meetings, Lord Halifax deputized for Mister Eden, Wellington Koo for T. V. Soong, and Mister Gromyko for Mister Molotov."[27] The UN officially came into existence 24 October 1945, upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.[28]

The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented,[ b] and the Security Council took place in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London beginning on 10 January 1946.[28] The General Assembly selected New York City as the site for the headquarters of the UN, construction began on 14 September 1948 and the facility was completed on 9 October 1952. Its site—like UN headquarters buildings in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi—is designated as international territory.[31] The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Trygve Lie, was elected as the first UN Secretary-General.[28]

Cold War era

Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in 1961.

Though the UN's primary mandate was peacekeeping, the division between the US and USSR often paralysed the organization, generally allowing it to intervene only in conflicts distant from the Cold War.[32] Two notable exceptions were a Security Council resolution on 7 July 1950 authorizing a US-led coalition to repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea, passed in the absence of the USSR,[28][33] and the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement in 27 July 1953.[34]

On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly approved a resolution to partition Palestine, approving the creation of the state of Israel.[35] Two years later, Ralph Bunche, a UN official, negotiated an armistice to the resulting conflict.[36] On 7 November 1956, the first UN peacekeeping force was established to end the Suez Crisis;[37] however, the UN was unable to intervene against the USSR's simultaneous invasion of Hungary following that country's revolution.[38]

On 14 July 1960, the UN established United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC), the largest military force of its early decades, to bring order to the breakaway State of Katanga, restoring it to the control of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by 11 May 1964.[39] While travelling to meet rebel leader Moise Tshombe during the conflict, Dag Hammarskjöld, often named as one of the UN's most effective Secretaries-General,[40] died in a plane crash; months later he was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[41] In 1964, Hammarskjöld's successor, U Thant, deployed the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which would become one of the UN's longest-running peacekeeping missions.[42]

With the spread of decolonization in the 1960s, the organization's membership saw an influx of newly independent nations. In 1960 alone, 17 new states joined the UN, 16 of them from Africa.[37] On 25 October 1971, with opposition from the United States, but with the support of many Third World nations, the mainland, communist People's Republic of China was given the Chinese seat on the Security Council in place of the Republic of China that occupied Taiwan; the vote was widely seen as a sign of waning US influence in the organization.[43] Third World nations organized into the Group of 77 coalition under the leadership of Algeria, which briefly became a dominant power at the UN.[44] On 10 November 1975, a bloc comprising the USSR and Third World nations passed a resolution, over strenuous US and Israeli opposition, declaring Zionism to be racism; the resolution was repealed on 16 December 1991, shortly after the end of the Cold War.[45][46]

With an increasing Third World presence and the failure of UN mediation in conflicts in the Middle East, Vietnam, and Kashmir, the UN increasingly shifted its attention to its ostensibly secondary goals of economic development and cultural exchange.[47] By the 1970s, the UN budget for social and economic development was far greater than its peacekeeping budget.

Post-Cold War

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006

Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007

After the Cold War, the UN saw a radical expansion in its peacekeeping duties, taking on more missions in ten years than it had in the previous four decades.[48] Between 1988 and 2000, the number of adopted Security Council resolutions more than doubled, and the peacekeeping budget increased more than tenfold.[49][50][51] The UN negotiated an end to the Salvadoran Civil War, launched a successful peacekeeping mission in Namibia, and oversaw democratic elections in post-apartheid South Africa and post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia.[52] In 1991, the UN authorized a US-led coalition that repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[53] Brian Urquhart, Under-Secretary-General from 1971 to 1985, later described the hopes raised by these successes as a "false renaissance" for the organization, given the more troubled missions that followed.[54]

Though the UN Charter had been written primarily to prevent aggression by one nation against another, in the early 1990s the UN faced a number of simultaneous, serious crises within nations such as Somalia, Haiti, Mozambique, and the former Yugoslavia.[55] The UN mission in Somalia was widely viewed as a failure after the US withdrawal following casualties in the Battle of Mogadishu, and the UN mission to Bosnia faced "worldwide ridicule" for its indecisive and confused mission in the face of ethnic cleansing.[56] In 1994, the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda failed to intervene in the Rwandan genocide amid indecision in the Security Council.[57]

Beginning in the last decades of the Cold War, American and European critics of the UN condemned the organization for perceived mismanagement and corruption.[58] In 1984, US President Ronald Reagan, withdrew his nation's funding from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over allegations of mismanagement, followed by the UK and Singapore.[59][60] Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General from 1992 to 1996, initiated a reform of the Secretariat, reducing the size of the organization somewhat.[61][62] His successor, Kofi Annan (1997–2006), initiated further management reforms in the face of threats from the US to withhold its UN dues.[62]

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, international interventions authorized by the UN took a wider variety of forms. The UN mission in the Sierra Leone Civil War of 1991–2002 was supplemented by British Royal Marines, and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was overseen by NATO.[63] In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq despite failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution for authorization, prompting a new round of questioning of the organization's effectiveness.[64] Under the eighth Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the UN intervened with peacekeepers in crises such as the War in Darfur in Sudan and the Kivu conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sent observers and chemical weapons inspectors to the Syrian Civil War.[65] In 2013, an internal review of UN actions in the final battles of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 concluded that the organization had suffered "systemic failure".[66] In 2010, the organization suffered the worst loss of life in its history, when 101 personnel died in the Haiti earthquake[67]

The Millennium Summit was held in 2000 to discuss the UN's role in the 21st century.[68] The three day meeting was the largest gathering of world leaders in history, and culminated in the adoption by all member states of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a commitment to achieve international development in areas such as poverty reduction, gender equality, and public health. Progress towards these goals, which were to be met by 2015, was ultimately uneven. The 2005 World Summit reaffirmed the UN's focus on promoting development, peacekeeping, human rights, and global security.[69] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[70]

In addition to addressing global challenges, the UN has sought to improve its accountability and democratic legitimacy by engaging more with civil society and fostering a global constituency.[71] In an effort to enhance transparency, in 2016 the organization held its first public debate between candidates for Secretary-General.[72] On 1 January 2017, Portuguese diplomat António Guterres, who previously served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, became the ninth Secretary-General. Guterres has highlighted several key goals for his administration, including an emphasis on diplomacy for preventing conflicts, more effective peacekeeping efforts, and streamlining the organization to be more responsive and versatile to global needs.[73]


Main article: United Nations System

The UN system is based on five principal organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Court of Justice and the UN Secretariat.[74] A sixth principal organ, the Trusteeship Council, suspended operations on 1 November 1994, upon the independence of Palau, the last remaining UN trustee territory.[75]

Four of the five principal organs are located at the main UN Headquarters in New York City.[76] The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague, while other major agencies are based in the UN offices at Geneva,[77] Vienna,[78] and Nairobi.[79] Other UN institutions are located throughout the world. The six official languages of the UN, used in intergovernmental meetings and documents, are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.[80] On the basis of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the UN and its agencies are immune from the laws of the countries where they operate, safeguarding the UN's impartiality with regard to the host and member countries.[81]

Below the six organs sit, in the words of the author Linda Fasulo, "an amazing collection of entities and organizations, some of which are actually older than the UN itself and operate with almost complete independence from it".[82] These include specialized agencies, research and training institutions, programmes and funds, and other UN entities.[83]

The UN obeys the Noblemaire principle, which is binding on any organization that belongs to the UN system. This principle calls for salaries that will draw and keep citizens of countries where salaries are highest, and also calls for equal pay for work of equal value independent of the employee's nationality.[84][85] In practice, the ICSC takes reference to the highest-paying national civil service.[86] Staff salaries are subject to an internal tax that is administered by the UN organizations.[84][87]

Principal organs of the United Nations [88]

UN General Assembly
— Deliberative assembly of all UN member states —
• May resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states or suggestions to the Security Council (UNSC);
• Decides on the admission of new members, following proposal by the UNSC;
• Adopts the budget;
• Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary General (following his/her proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Each country has one vote.

UN Secretariat
— Administrative organ of the UN —
• Supports the other UN bodies administratively (for example, in the organization of conferences, the writing of reports and studies and the preparation of the budget);
• Its chairperson – the UN Secretary General – is elected by the General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the UN's foremost representative.

International Court of Justice
— Universal court for international law —
• Decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction;
• Issues legal opinions;
• Renders judgment by relative majority. Its fifteen judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for nine-year terms.

UN Security Council
— For international security issues —
• Responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security;
• May adopt compulsory resolutions;
• Has fifteen members: five permanent members with veto power and ten elected members.

UN Economic and Social Council
— For global economic and social affairs —
• Responsible for co-operation between states as regards economic and social matters;
• Co-ordinates co-operation between the UN's numerous specialized agencies;
• Has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly to serve staggered three-year mandates.

UN Trusteeship Council
— For administering trust territories (currently inactive) —
• Was originally designed to manage colonial possessions that were former League of Nations mandates;
• Has been inactive since 1994, when Palau, the last trust territory, attained independence.

General Assembly

Main article: United Nations General Assembly

Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988

The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the UN. Composed of all UN member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions, but emergency sessions can also be called.[89] The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents.[90] The first session convened 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.[28]

When the General Assembly decides on important questions such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required.[91][92] All other questions are decided by a majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under consideration by the Security Council.[89]

Draft resolutions can be forwarded to the General Assembly by its six main committees:[93]

• First Committee (Disarmament and International Security)
• Second Committee (Economic and Financial)
• Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural)
• Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization)
• Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary)
• Sixth Committee (Legal)

As well as by the following two committees:

• General Committee – a supervisory committee consisting of the assembly's president, vice-president, and committee heads
• Credentials Committee – responsible for determining the credentials of each member nation's UN representatives

Security Council

Main article: United Nations Security Council

Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraqi chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003

The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the UN can only make "recommendations" to member states, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member states have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 25.[94] The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions.[95]

The Security Council is made up of fifteen member states, consisting of five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term date)—Belgium (term ends 2020), Côte d'Ivoire (2019), Dominican Republic (2020), Equatorial Guinea (2019), Germany (2020), Indonesia (2020), Kuwait (2019), Peru (2019), Poland (2019), and South Africa (2020).[96] The five permanent members hold veto power over UN resolutions, allowing a permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, though not debate. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms, with five member states per year voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis.[97] The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.[98]

UN Secretariat

Main articles: United Nations Secretariat and Secretary-General of the United Nations

Current secretary-general, António Guterres

The UN Secretariat is headed by the secretary-general, assisted by the deputy secretary-general and a staff of international civil servants worldwide.[99] It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by UN bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies.[100]

The secretary-general acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The position is defined in the UN Charter as the organization's "chief administrative officer".[101] Article 99 of the charter states that the secretary-general can bring to the Security Council's attention "any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security", a phrase that Secretaries-General since Trygve Lie have interpreted as giving the position broad scope for action on the world stage.[102] The office has evolved into a dual role of an administrator of the UN organization and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between member states and finding consensus to global issues.[103]

The secretary-general is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommended by the Security Council, where the permanent members have veto power. There are no specific criteria for the post, but over the years it has become accepted that the post shall be held for one or two terms of five years.[104] The current Secretary-General is António Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon in 2017.

Secretaries-General of the United Nations[105]

No. / Name / Country of origin / Took office / Left office / Notes

1 Trygve Lie Norway 2 February 1946 10 November 1952 Resigned
2 Dag Hammarskjöld Sweden 10 April 1953 18 September 1961 Died in office
3 U Thant Burma 30 November 1961 31 December 1971 First non-European to hold office
4 Kurt Waldheim Austria 1 January 1972 31 December 1981
5 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Peru 1 January 1982 31 December 1991
6 Boutros Boutros-Ghali Egypt 1 January 1992 31 December 1996 Served for the shortest time
7 Kofi Annan Ghana 1 January 1997 31 December 2006
8 Ban Ki-moon South Korea 1 January 2007 31 December 2016
9 António Guterres Portugal 1 January 2017 Incumbent

International Court of Justice

Main article: International Court of Justice

The court ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the UN. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms and are appointed by the General Assembly; every sitting judge must be from a different nation.[106][107]

It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, sharing the building with the Hague Academy of International Law, a private centre for the study of international law. The ICJ's primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing, and other issues.[108] The ICJ can also be called upon by other UN organs to provide advisory opinions.[106] It is the only organ that is not located in New York.

Economic and Social Council

Main article: United Nations Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members, which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or middle powers represented on ECOSOC. The council has one annual meeting in July, held in either New York or Geneva. Viewed as separate from the specialized bodies it co-ordinates, ECOSOC's functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making recommendations.[109][110] Owing to its broad mandate of co-ordinating many agencies, ECOSOC has at times been criticized as unfocused or irrelevant.[109][111]

ECOSOC's subsidiary bodies include the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which advises UN agencies on issues relating to indigenous peoples; the United Nations Forum on Forests, which co-ordinates and promotes sustainable forest management; the United Nations Statistical Commission, which co-ordinates information-gathering efforts between agencies; and the Commission on Sustainable Development, which co-ordinates efforts between UN agencies and NGOs working towards sustainable development. ECOSOC may also grant consultative status to non-governmental organizations;[109] by 2004, more than 2,200 organizations had received this status.[112]

Specialized agencies

Main article: List of specialized agencies of the United Nations

The UN Charter stipulates that each primary organ of the United Nations can establish various specialized agencies to fulfil its duties.[113] Some best-known agencies are the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN performs most of its humanitarian work through these agencies. Examples include mass vaccination programmes (through WHO), the avoidance of famine and malnutrition (through the work of the WFP), and the protection of vulnerable and displaced people (for example, by UNHCR).[114]

Organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations

No. / Acronym / Agency / Headquarters / Head / Established in

1 FAO Food and Agriculture Organization Italy Rome, Italy China Qu Dongyu 1945
2 IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency Austria Vienna, Austria Argentina Rafael Grossi 1957
3 ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization Canada Montreal, Quebec, Canada China Fang Liu 1947
4 IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development Italy Rome, Italy Togo Gilbert Houngbo 1977
5 ILO International Labour Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland United Kingdom Guy Ryder 1946 (1919)
6 IMO International Maritime Organization United Kingdom London, United Kingdom South Korea Kitack Lim 1948
7 IMF International Monetary Fund United States Washington, D.C., United States Bulgaria Kristalina Georgieva 1945 (1944)
8 ITU International Telecommunication Union Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland China Houlin Zhao 1947 (1865)
9 UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization France Paris, France France Audrey Azoulay 1946
10 UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization Austria Vienna, Austria China Li Yong 1967
11 UNWTO World Tourism Organization Spain Madrid, Spain Georgia (country) Zurab Pololikashvili 1974
12 UPU Universal Postal Union Switzerland Bern, Switzerland Kenya Bishar Abdirahman Hussein 1947 (1874)
13 WBG World Bank Group United States Washington, D.C., United States United States David Malpass (President) 1945 (1944)
14 WFP World Food Programme Italy Rome, Italy United States David Beasley 1963
15 WHO World Health Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Ethiopia Tedros Adhanom 1948
16 WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Australia Francis Gurry 1974
17 WMO World Meteorological Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Finland Petteri Taalas (Secretary-General)
Germany Gerhard Adrian (President) 1950 (1873)


Main article: Member states of the United Nations

With the addition of South Sudan 14 July 2011,[5] there are 193 UN member states, including all undisputed independent states apart from Vatican City.[115][c] The UN Charter outlines the rules for membership:

1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states that accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.

2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. Chapter II, Article 4.[116]
In addition, there are two non-member observer states of the United Nations General Assembly: the Holy See (which holds sovereignty over Vatican City) and the State of Palestine.[117] The Cook Islands and Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand, are full members of several UN specialized agencies and have had their "full treaty-making capacity" recognized by the Secretariat.[118]

Group of 77

Main article: Group of 77

The Group of 77 (G77) at the UN is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN. Seventy-seven nations founded the organization, but by November 2013 the organization had since expanded to 133 member countries.[119] The group was founded 15 June 1964 by the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The group held its first major meeting in Algiers in 1967, where it adopted the Charter of Algiers and established the basis for permanent institutional structures.[120] With the adoption of the New International Economic Order by developing countries in the 1970s, the work of the G77 spread throughout the UN system.


Peacekeeping and security

Main articles: United Nations peacekeeping and List of United Nations peacekeeping missions

Bolivian "Blue Helmet" at an exercise in Chile, 2002

The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states. These soldiers are sometimes nicknamed "Blue Helmets" for their distinctive gear.[121][122] The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.[123]

In September 2013, the UN had peacekeeping soldiers deployed on 15 missions. The largest was the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which included 20,688 uniformed personnel. The smallest, United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), included 42 uniformed personnel responsible for monitoring the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. UN peacekeepers with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) have been stationed in the Middle East since 1948, the longest-running active peacekeeping mission.[124]

A study by the RAND Corporation in 2005 found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts. It compared efforts at nation-building by the UN to those of the United States, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as compared with four out of eight US cases at peace.[125] Also in 2005, the Human Security Report documented a decline in the number of wars, genocides, and human rights abuses since the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism—mostly spearheaded by the UN—has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict in that period.[126] Situations in which the UN has not only acted to keep the peace but also intervened include the Korean War (1950–53) and the authorization of intervention in Iraq after the Gulf War (1990–91).[127]

The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions. Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent the Bangladesh genocide in 1971,[128] the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s,[129] and the Rwandan genocide in 1994.[130] Similarly, UN inaction is blamed for failing to either prevent the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 or complete the peacekeeping operations in 1992–93 during the Somali Civil War.[131] UN peacekeepers have also been accused of child rape, soliciting prostitutes, and sexual abuse during various peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[132] Haiti,[133] Liberia,[134] Sudan and what is now South Sudan,[135] Burundi, and Ivory Coast.[136] Scientists cited UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the likely source of the 2010–13 Haiti cholera outbreak, which killed more than 8,000 Haitians following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[137]

In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also active in encouraging disarmament. Regulation of armaments was included in the writing of the UN Charter in 1945 and was envisioned as a way of limiting the use of human and economic resources for their creation.[94] The advent of nuclear weapons came only weeks after the signing of the charter, resulting in the first resolution of the first General Assembly meeting calling for specific proposals for "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction".[138] The UN has been involved with arms-limitation treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (1967), the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968), the Seabed Arms Control Treaty (1971), the Biological Weapons Convention (1972), the Chemical Weapons Convention (1992), and the Ottawa Treaty (1997), which prohibits landmines.[139] Three UN bodies oversee arms proliferation issues: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission.[140]audiobooks)
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Human rights

One of the UN's primary purposes is "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion", and member states pledge to undertake "joint and separate action" to protect these rights.[113][141]

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949

In 1948, the General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by a committee headed by American diplomat and activist Eleanor Roosevelt, and including the French lawyer René Cassin. The document proclaims basic civil, political, and economic rights common to all human beings, though its effectiveness towards achieving these ends has been disputed since its drafting.[142] The Declaration serves as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations" rather than a legally binding document, but it has become the basis of two binding treaties, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[143] In practice, the UN is unable to take significant action against human rights abuses without a Security Council resolution, though it does substantial work in investigating and reporting abuses.[144]

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, followed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.[145] With the end of the Cold War, the push for human rights action took on new impetus.[146] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was formed in 1993 to oversee human rights issues for the UN, following the recommendation of that year's World Conference on Human Rights. Jacques Fomerand, a scholar of the UN, describes this organization's mandate as "broad and vague", with only "meagre" resources to carry it out.[147] In 2006, it was replaced by a Human Rights Council consisting of 47 nations.[148] Also in 2006, the General Assembly passed a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,[149] and in 2011 it passed its first resolution recognizing the rights of LGBT people.[150]

Other UN bodies responsible for women's rights issues include United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a commission of ECOSOC founded in 1946; the United Nations Development Fund for Women, created in 1976; and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, founded in 1979.[151] The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, one of three bodies with a mandate to oversee issues related to indigenous peoples, held its first session in 2002.[152]

Economic development and humanitarian assistance

Millennium Development Goals[153]

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Another primary purpose of the UN is "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character".[141] Numerous bodies have been created to work towards this goal, primarily under the authority of the General Assembly and ECOSOC.[154] In 2000, the 192 UN member states agreed to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015.[155] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[70] The SDGs have an associated financing framework called the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), an organization for grant-based technical assistance founded in 1945, is one of the leading bodies in the field of international development. The organization also publishes the UN Human Development Index, a comparative measure ranking countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors.[156][157] The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), also founded in 1945, promotes agricultural development and food security.[158] UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) was created in 1946 to aid European children after the Second World War and expanded its mission to provide aid around the world and to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[159][160]

Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are independent, specialized agencies and observers within the UN framework, according to a 1947 agreement. They were initially formed separately from the UN through the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944.[161] The World Bank provides loans for international development, while the IMF promotes international economic co-operation and gives emergency loans to indebted countries.[162]

In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which focuses on international health issues and disease eradication, is another of the UN's largest agencies. In 1980, the agency announced that the eradication of smallpox had been completed. In subsequent decades, WHO largely eradicated polio, river blindness, and leprosy.[163] The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), begun in 1996, co-ordinates the organization's response to the AIDS epidemic.[164] The UN Population Fund, which also dedicates part of its resources to combating HIV, is the world's largest source of funding for reproductive health and family planning services.[165]

Along with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN often takes a leading role in co-ordinating emergency relief.[166] The World Food Programme (WFP), created in 1961, provides food aid in response to famine, natural disasters, and armed conflict. The organization reports that it feeds an average of 90 million people in 80 nations each year.[166][167] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), established in 1950, works to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people.[168] UNHCR and WFP programmes are funded by voluntary contributions from governments, corporations, and individuals, though the UNHCR's administrative costs are paid for by the UN's primary budget.[169]


Since the UN's creation, over 80 colonies have attained independence. The General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960 with no votes against but abstentions from all major colonial powers. The UN works towards decolonization through groups including the UN Committee on Decolonization, created in 1962.[170] The committee lists seventeen remaining "Non-Self-Governing Territories", the largest and most populous of which is Western Sahara.[171]

Beginning with the formation of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1972, the UN has made environmental issues a prominent part of its agenda. A lack of success in the first two decades of UN work in this area led to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which sought to give new impetus to these efforts.[172] In 1988, the UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), another UN organization, established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assesses and reports on research on global warming.[173] The UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, set legally binding emissions reduction targets for ratifying states.[174]

The UN also declares and co-ordinates international observances, periods of time to observe issues of international interest or concern. Examples include World Tuberculosis Day, Earth Day, and the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.[175]


The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by its gross national income (GNI), with adjustments for external debt and low per capita income.[177] The two-year budget for 2012–13 was $5.512 billion in total.[178]

The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be unduly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a "ceiling" rate, setting the maximum amount that any member can be assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments in response to pressure from the United States. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%.[179] For the least developed countries (LDCs), a ceiling rate of 0.01% is applied.[177] In addition to the ceiling rates, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation (or "floor" rate) is set at 0.001% of the UN budget ($55,120 for the two year budget 2013–2014).[180]

A large share of the UN's expenditure addresses its core mission of peace and security, and this budget is assessed separately from the main organizational budget.[181] The peacekeeping budget for the 2015–16 fiscal year was $8.27 billion, supporting 82,318 troops deployed in 15 missions around the world.[124] UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale that includes a weighted surcharge for the five permanent Security Council members, who must approve all peacekeeping operations. This surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less developed countries. the largest contributors for the UN peacekeeping financial operations for the period 2019–2021 are : the United States 27.89% China 15.21%, Japan 8.56%, Germany 6.09% , the United Kingdom 5.78%, France 5.61%, Italy 3.30% and the Russian Federation 3.04%.[182]

Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget, such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme, are financed by voluntary contributions from member governments, corporations, and private individuals.[183][184]

Evaluations, awards, and criticism

Main articles: Reform of the United Nations and Reform of the United Nations Security Council

See also: Criticism of the United Nations

The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City

A number of agencies and individuals associated with the UN have won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their work. Two Secretaries-General, Dag Hammarskjöld and Kofi Annan, were each awarded the prize (in 1961 and 2001, respectively), as were Ralph Bunche (1950), a UN negotiator, René Cassin (1968), a contributor to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1945), the latter for his role in the organization's founding. Lester B. Pearson, the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, was awarded the prize in 1957 for his role in organizing the UN's first peacekeeping force to resolve the Suez Crisis. UNICEF won the prize in 1965, the International Labour Organization in 1969, the UN Peace-Keeping Forces in 1988, the International Atomic Energy Agency (which reports to the UN) in 2005, and the UN-supported Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2013. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded in 1954 and 1981, becoming one of only two recipients to win the prize twice. The UN as a whole was awarded the prize in 2001, sharing it with Annan.[185] In 2007, IPCC received the prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."[186]

Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

Since its founding, there have been many calls for reform of the UN but little consensus on how to do so. Some want the UN to play a greater or more effective role in world affairs, while others want its role reduced to humanitarian work. There have also been numerous calls for the UN Security Council's membership to be increased, for different ways of electing the UN's Secretary-General, and for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Jacques Fomerand states the most enduring divide in views of the UN is "the North–South split" between richer Northern nations and developing Southern nations. Southern nations tend to favour a more empowered UN with a stronger General Assembly, allowing them a greater voice in world affairs, while Northern nations prefer an economically laissez-faire UN that focuses on transnational threats such as terrorism.[187]

After World War II, the French Committee of National Liberation was late to be recognized by the US as the government of France, and so the country was initially excluded from the conferences that created the new organization. The future French president Charles de Gaulle criticized the UN, famously calling it a machin ("contraption"), and was not convinced that a global security alliance would help maintain world peace, preferring direct defence treaties between countries.[188] Throughout the Cold War, both the US and USSR repeatedly accused the UN of favouring the other. In 1953, the USSR effectively forced the resignation of Trygve Lie, the Secretary-General, through its refusal to deal with him, while in the 1950s and 1960s, a popular US bumper sticker read, "You can't spell communism without U.N."[189] In a sometimes-misquoted statement, President George W. Bush stated in February 2003 (referring to UN uncertainty towards Iraqi provocations under the Saddam Hussein regime) that "free nations will not allow the UN to fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society."[190][191][192] In contrast, the French President, François Hollande, stated in 2012 that "France trusts the United Nations. She knows that no state, no matter how powerful, can solve urgent problems, fight for development and bring an end to all crises ... France wants the UN to be the centre of global governance."[193] Critics such as Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, Robert S. Wistrich, a British scholar, Alan Dershowitz, an American legal scholar, Mark Dreyfus, an Australian politician, and the Anti-Defamation League consider UN attention to Israel's treatment of Palestinians to be excessive.[194] In September 2015, Saudi Arabia's Faisal bin Hassan Trad has been elected Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel that appoints independent experts,[195] a move criticized by human rights groups.[196][197]

Since 1971, the Republic of China on Taiwan has been excluded from the UN and since then has always been rejected in new applications. Taiwanese citizens are also not allowed to enter the buildings of the United Nations with ROC passports. In this way, critics agree that the UN is failing its own development goals and guidelines. This criticism also brought pressure from the People's Republic of China, which regards the territories administered by the ROC as their own territory.[198][199]

Critics have also accused the UN of bureaucratic inefficiency, waste, and corruption. In 1976, the General Assembly established the Joint Inspection Unit to seek out inefficiencies within the UN system. During the 1990s, the US withheld dues citing inefficiency and only started repayment on the condition that a major reforms initiative be introduced. In 1994, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was established by the General Assembly to serve as an efficiency watchdog.[200] In 1994, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN to Somalia Mohamed Sahnoun published "Somalia: The Missed Opportunities",[201] a book in which he analyses the reasons for the failure of the 1992 UN intervention in Somalia, showing that, between the start of the Somali civil war in 1988 and the fall of the Siad Barre regime in January 1991, the UN missed at least three opportunities to prevent major human tragedies; when the UN tried to provide humanitarian assistance, they were totally outperformed by NGOs, whose competence and dedication sharply contrasted with the UN's excessive caution and bureaucratic inefficiencies. If radical reform were not undertaken, warned Mohamed Sahnoun, then the UN would continue to respond to such crises with inept improvization.[202] In 2004, the UN faced accusations that its recently ended Oil-for-Food Programme — in which Iraq had been allowed to trade oil for basic needs to relieve the pressure of sanctions — had suffered from widespread corruption, including billions of dollars of kickbacks. An independent inquiry created by the UN found that many of its officials had been involved, as well as raising "significant" questions about the role of Kojo Annan, the son of Kofi Annan.[203]

In evaluating the UN as a whole, Jacques Fomerand writes that the "accomplishments of the United Nations in the last 60 years are impressive in their own terms. Progress in human development during the 20th century has been dramatic, and the UN and its agencies have certainly helped the world become a more hospitable and livable place for millions."[204] Evaluating the first 50 years of the UN's history, the author Stanley Meisler writes that "the United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless", citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.[205] The British historian Paul Kennedy states that while the organization has suffered some major setbacks, "when all its aspects are considered, the UN has brought great benefits to our generation and ... will bring benefits to our children's and grandchildren's generations as well."[206]


The United Nations has inspired the extracurricular activity Model United Nations (MUN). MUN is a simulation of United Nations activity based on the UN agenda and following UN procedure. MUN is usually attended by high school and university students who organize conferences to simulate the various UN committees to discuss important issues of the day. [207] Today Model United Nations educates tens of thousands on United Nations activity around the world. Model United Nations has many famous and notable alumni, such as former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.[208]

See also

• International relations
• List of country groupings
• List of current Permanent Representatives to the United Nations
• List of multilateral free-trade agreements
• Model United Nations
• United Nations Headquarters
• United Nations in popular culture
• United Nations Memorial Cemetery
• United Nations television film series
• World Summit on the Information Society


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• Ball, Howard (2011). Genocide: A Reference Handbook. Contemporary World Issues. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-488-7.
• Coulon, Jocelyn (1998). Soldiers of Diplomacy: The United Nations, Peacekeeping, and the New World Order. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-0899-2.
• Fasulo, Linda (2004). An Insider's Guide to the UN. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10155-3.
• Fomerand, Jacques (2009). The A to Z of the United Nations. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5547-2.
• Gold, Dore (2004). Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos. New York: Crown Forum. ISBN 978-1-4000-5475-6.
• Grant, Thomas D. (2009). Admission to the United Nations: Charter Article 4 and the Rise of Universal Organization. Legal Aspects of International Organization. 50. Leiden, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-900417363-7. ISSN 0924-4883.
• Hoopes, Townsend; Brinkley, Douglas (2000) [1997]. FDR and the Creation of the U.N. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-08553-2.
• Kennedy, Paul (2007) [2006]. The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-70341-6.
• Manchester, William; Reid, Paul (2012). The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill. Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940–1965. New York: Little Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-54770-3.
• Meisler, Stanley (1995). United Nations: The First Fifty Years. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-0-87113-616-9.
• Mires, Charlene (2013). Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations. New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-0794-4.
• Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2004). Mango, Anthony (ed.). Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. 4. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-93924-9.
• Schlesinger, Stephen C. (2003). Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations: A Story of Super Powers, Secret Agents, Wartime Allies and Enemies, and Their Quest for a Peaceful World. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-3324-3.
• Sherwood, Robert E. (1948). Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History. New York: Harper and Brothers.
• Weiss, Thomas G.; Daws, Sam, eds. (2009) [2007]. The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-956010-3.
• Wistrich, Robert S. (2010). A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6097-9.
Further reading
• Lowe, Vaughan; Roberts, Adam; Welsh, Jennifer; Zaum, Dominik, eds. (2008). The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-953343-5.
• Roberts, Adam; Kingsbury, Benedict, eds. (1994). United Nations, Divided World: The UN's Roles in International Relations (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-827926-6.

External links

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:28 pm

The Mothers' Research Group
by The Theosophical Society in America, The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai. India

Freda was concerned that the Indian authorities simply didn't understand the tradition of incarnate lamas, and their critical place in Tibetan society and spiritual practice. Little was done to identify these young lamas, some little more than infants. 'Nobody knew quite what to do with them,' Freda lamented to Olive Shapley. 'In the lamas we have inherited a tradition that dates back to the seventh century -- spiritual richness we can only as yet partially realise,' she wrote to friends. 'I am sure the whole world will ultimately be enriched.'

There are perhaps 200 high 'incarnate' lamas in the country now headed by His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] (including 40-60 child or adolescent incarnations: many of them young people of extraordinary intelligence and physical beauty) ... dedicated monks and lamas of a high standard of learning and spirituality number perhaps 2,500; in addition we have junior and simpler country monks, over 1,500 of whom have volunteered for roadwork. We all pray ultimately we may be able to settle the bulk of the refugees in big land settlements.32

Nehru had taken a diplomatic risk by hosting the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of those who followed in his wake. But there was a limit to the amount of official support and funding that could be expected for the refugees' welfare, with the most urgent and unmet need being the upkeep and education of the young lamas.

Freda was entirely comfortable soliciting money and support from the rich and well connected. She had also established links with Buddhist and similar groups in London and elsewhere. Within weeks of returning to Delhi from the camps, she sought to turn her extensive network to the Tibetans' advantage. In mid-August 1960, she wrote a long letter to Muriel Lewis, a California-based Theosophist with whom she had corresponded for several years. Muriel ran the Mothers' Research Group principally for American and Western Theosophists, a network which had an interest both in eastern religions and in parenting issues.

I should like to feel that the 'Mothers' Group' was in touch with all I do (Freda wrote). Do you think it would be possible for some of your members to 'Adopt' in a small way -- write to, send parcels to -- these junior lamas? Friendships, even by post, could mean a great deal. We could work out a little scheme, if you are interested. The language barrier is there, but we can overcome it, with the help of friends.

Freda's family had, she recounted, already taken a young lama under their wing.

Last year my son [Kabir] 'adopted' one small lama of 12, sent him a parcel of woollen (yellow)clothes, sweets and picture books, soap and cotton cloth. This time when I went to Buxa, Jayong gave me such an excited and dazzling smile. He was brimming over with joy at seeing me again! It is very quiet away from your own country and relations for a small lama with a LOT TO LEARN. It was of course most touching to see the 'Mother-Love' in the faces of the tutor-lamas and servant lamas who look after the young ones. They are very tender with them.

Freda's letter was included in Muriel's research group newsletter and subsequently reprinted by the Buddhist Society in London. This was the founding act of the Tibetan Friendship Group, which quickly established a presence in eight western countries and was the conduit by which modest private funds were raised for the refugees.34 It outlasted Freda and ... it helped give prominence to the Tibet issue as well as the well-being of the Tibetan diaspora.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Chapter 1: The Influence and Work of the World Mother

Christianity, Hinduism (see note) and other great World Faiths all teach that there exists a Being here on our earth Who embodies in perfection all the highest attributes of the Feminine Aspect of both the creative Deity and the human race, including human motherhood. She, the all-compassionate One, gazes with infinite tenderness and concern upon life on earth. What must She see? A frankly ruthless and nakedly cynical violation and desecration by man -- chiefly, though not entirely, by the male -- of everything holy and beautiful for which She stands. She must see everywhere throughout the world irreverence, abuse and cruelty -- the continual infliction of unnecessary suffering by man upon man, and by man upon the animal kingdom

If it were not that She must also know that this epoch is a phase out of which there will grow a nobler, a fairer, a kinder and a more gentle civilization, surely Her heart would be unbearably torn by what She must see. If we add that in Her divine love She voluntarily remains near to humanity, that She is not only an outside observer, not only a great Spirit removed from us, not only an ascetic Adept who long again attained to a spiritual mountain top, but that in a mysterious way She is actually present within our hearts, and especially within the hearts of every woman and child, what an almost unbearable experience such nearness to mankind would be!

I am myself profoundly convinced that such a Being exists and that, beyond human understanding. She is the perfected embodiment of all that is highest and noblest in womanhood. Her heart, I believe, is filled with love and compassion for us all and, while She does see our sins, She does not condemn us. Rather does She draw nearer to enfold us in Her arms of love, even whilst we transgress.

St. Catherine of Sienna, when for a time she had lost contact with her Lord and in her own eyes had fallen deeply, asked, "Lord, where wast Thou amidst all that failure?" In what is called the mystic locution, when the devotee communes with God and hears His voice, the Lord answered, "Daughter, I was there with thee in thy heart." So She, the Mother of the World, is here with us in our hearts, as well as brooding maternally over all humanity, especially now when a new racial birth is occurring, the racial Christ-consciousness being "born". (See Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life -- also by Geoffrey Hodson)

Let us now look at our world and see some of the problems with which we -- and so the World Mother, since She is one with us -- are confronted.

In the world of today we observe a great reliance on force and cunning. "Let him take who has the power and let him keep who can" is the general philosophy, particularly under totalitarian regimes. I am aware of the existence of the United Nations and its wonderful subsidiary agencies, but it must be confessed that, by some people, honour, morality and goodwill have come to be regarded only as useful means to a selfish ends. In the ultimate, all right still tends to be founded on power.

Then consider the greatest casualty of the Second World War -- loyalty. When the Spanish Commander outside Madrid said he could easily conquer the Capital City because he had four columns outside and a fifth column within, the world pounced on the phrase like a writer who had been seeking a word. "Fifth Column" has since come to connote the great corroding influence in the world today. Other times have had their traitors but never before have such large numbers of people been willing to band themselves together in disloyalty to bring about the downfall of the system within which they live and are nourished, and to act secretly and subversively even while under the protection of the National they seek to destroy. "Fifth Column" "Fifth Column" is now a fear-inspiring phrase, a tocsin of calamity, if ever there was one; for how can we build a brave new world unless we have loyalty?

The world She loves and serves is also deeply sullied by organized crime and vice, such as drug peddling, even to children and adolescents, prostitution, white slavery- horrible to contemplate when thinking of the World Mother and ideal womanhood. Other evils deeply affecting the progress, happiness and health of mankind, particularly the birth of a new and nobler race of man, with which process the World Mother may also be presumed to be concerned, consist of monopolies, cartels, price fixing, corruption in public, professional and business life, soil exploitation and timber denudation. All these bring gain to the few but result in poverty, and in some parts of the world in famine, to the many.

Other serious evils must be known to Her. The colossal consumption of alcohol, for example, takes more lives than war, ruins homes, degrades men and women, brings immeasurable sorrow and loss everywhere, but very great gain to a few who do not hesitate to foster the evil in order to acquire that gain. Then think of the wholly unnecessary and brutal annual slaughter of hundreds of millions of animals for food which also brings immense profit to the few, ugliness to civilization, ill-health to millions, agonized suffering to food animals and degradation to the slaughterman.

All these wickednesses are voluntary and quite deliberate. The infliction of the greatest possible disaster to one's fellow-men and to animals in order to bring gain for oneself is deliberately chosen by all too many people as a most desired way of life and means of making money.

Such are some of the plainly discernible phenomena of the particular phase of evolution through which mankind is now passing. In consequence, most people go on living their everyday life half-frightened, half indifferent, not daring to think into the future and, as Thoreau said, "in quiet desperation". So we, the people of the world see -- as She, the World Mother, must also see -- the ghastly, tragic comedy that is being performed on the international, national, political and economic stages, where the fate of mankind is being largely decided and individuals find themselves relatively helpless. No wonder disillusionment, bitterness and cynicism characterize the thinking and the outlook of youth and adult alike.

Hence the deep significance of those Movements which focus attention on certain aspects of this problem, particularly those concerning the birth of a new and higher Race of men and the life and work of woman in the world. There are all too few of such Movements on earth, born our of tenderness and compassion for humanity, out of a spiritual vision and a recognition of the existence of a Feminine Principle in God, in all Nature and in man.

If I may here introduce a personal note, I well remember how the vision of the veritable existence of the World Mother first dawned upon me many years ago. I think I was privileged to see Her, however faintly, not only as an ideal, or even as One in the succession of Personifications of the Mother Aspect of Deity, but also as a wondrous living Being, the Exquisite Jewel in the Hierarchy of Earth's Adepts, the World Mother for this epoch, the Star of the Sea, as She is severally named.

Some thirty years ago it fell to my lot to try and collaborate with certain physicians in London in a search for the root cause of disease. Our thoughts were constantly led back to prenatal life where it seemed that the seeds of disease, the tendency to disease, latent disease, first appear. In consequence, it was decided that I should attempt clairvoyant (clairvoyance, an extension produced by self-training and used in full waking consciousness, of the normal range of visual response, now known as Extra-Sensory Perception or ESP) investigations (see "The Miracle of Birth, also the description of Plates 29 and 30, and Chapter IV of The Kingdom of the Gods by Geoffrey Hodson). Two of the doctors owned a large Maternity Hospital, and so ample opportunity for observation was provided. In certain cases, investigations were made day by day and week by week into the prenatal development of the new mental, emotional, etheric and physical bodies of the reincarnating Egos. In certain cases the studies were followed right through to the birth itself. Some of the principles of human incarnation were observed and support gained for the view that susceptibility to disease can be observed in the human embryo.

Gradually, as the time of delivery came near, a sheen of beautiful pure blue began to unveil and tinge the auras of both the mother-to-be and the devas (Sanskrit word) meaning "shining ones", the Angelic Hosts) responsible for part of the work of building the new bodies. As the last weeks went by, this blue deepened in the auras of the devas, who began to assume Madonna-like forms. This culminated in the appearance at the time of birth of the Mother of the World as a veritable Presence, presiding over the "miracle" of human motherhood and childbirth.

As a result of these experiences, I feel that I came to know at least that She Exists and a little of what may be seen in Her eyes and in her Heart -- a divinely tender, maternal solicitude for all mankind. I learned, I think, that motherhood should ideally be as conscious as possible, though never at the cost of undue pain: for certain expansions of consciousness can then be experienced which can effect, can exhalt, the consciousness of the mother and through her that of the whole Race.

Infancy: Mothers' Occult Digest, Volume 4, Number 4, Summer 1951, by Muriel Lewis

How may She be truly envisaged? Whilst the beautiful Madonna blue is probably universal, the form in which She presents Herself is apparently adapted to those who see Her. Possibly their own minds shape the vision of Her into a familiar form. As those of us who were then studying prenatal life were all Christians, She in Her compassion may have deliberately adopted the Madonna form so that we might recognize her.

A Chinese lady once invited me to her home and showed me her beautiful garden. Amongst the trees were statues of Kwan Yin, Goddess of Wisdom and Compassion, the Feminine Logos of Chinese Buddhism. My hostess said to me, "I have had thirteen children and on more than one occasion Kwan Yin Herself saved my life. When the pangs of birth became unendurable and I would die, I saw Her there beside my bed. She stretched out Her hand towards me and immediately the pain was eased and the lost poise and steadiness restored, not once, but many times."

Thus I have come to believe, even to know, that there is such a wondrous and glorious Being on our Earth as the World Mother, that She is very near to human mothers during pregnancy and at the time of birth. I have also learned that She ever seeks human agents and human helpers who will serve in Her name and endeavour to live in Her presence. Whilst women especially represent Her, She also needs men of honour to be her knights, ever ready to fight for the weak and the exploited and to guard with knightly loyalty all women and children, as true knights should. Unhappily, men tend to forget the ideals of chivalry, save those who are still knightly in their nature.

A great Mahatma once wrote: "Not till woman bursts the bonds of her sexual slavery, to which she has ever been subjected, will the world obtain an inkling of what she really is and of her proper place in the economy of Nature." (See The Paradoxes of the Highest Science, by Eliphas Levi, page 171)

On one other memorable occasion an Angel Teacher opened my consciousness into some realisation of the present holder of the Office of World Mother, who is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She also attained perfection and chose that one of the seven roads open to the Adept which leads out of the human into the Angelic Kingdom of Nature. The Angel showed me that "She labours ever for the cause of human motherhood, and even now is bending all Her mighty strength and calling her Angel Court to labour for the upliftment of womanhood throughout the world. Through Her angel messengers, She Herself is present at every human birth, unseen and unknown, it is true, but if men would but open their eyes She would be revealed.

"She sends this message through the Brotherhood to men:-

"In the Name of Him whom long ago I bore, I come to your aid. I have taken every woman into my heart, to hold there a part of her that through it I may help her in her time of need.

"Uplift the women of your race till all are seen as queens, and to such queens let every man be as a king, that each may honour each, seeing the other's royalty. Let every home, however small, become a court, every son a knight, every child a page. Let all treat all with chivalry, honouring in each their royal parentage, their kingly birth; for there is royal blood in every man; all are the children of the KING."

"All nations have recognized, honoured and worshipped this Maternal Principle in Nature. All their exoteric religions have personified it as a Goddess, an Archangel Mother of universes, races, nations and men. These personifications of the World Mother are amongst the very noblest concepts of the human mind, which in creating, reverencing and serving them reaches its highest degrees of idealism, devotion and religious self-expression. Such reverence, such devotion and such worship as are offered to World Mothers are therefore worthy of the deepest respect and, gross superstition apart -- ever to be resisted -- may usefully be encouraged. For through human devotion, human beings may be reached from on high. Through human aspiration, higher love and supplication, man is susceptible to both his own Spiritual Self and the influence of the Adept Ministrants of mankind. The Madonna ideal, for example, has been and still is of incalculable value in consoling, purifying and ennobling humanity. Through it, a realisation of the Mother-Love of God has been brought within reach of millions of suffering and aspiring people. The concepts of Kwan Yin, Isis, Ishtar, Parvati and other Goddesses are similarly founded upon the existence, nature and function of the same great Being. Perhaps, because I am a Christian and the cases I was examining were also Christian, the Madonna-like forms here pictured presented themselves to my mind.

"The planetary World Mother is conceived in certain schools of occult philosophy as a highly evolved, Archangel Representative and Embodiment on earth of the Feminine Aspect of the Deity. She is also thought of as an Adept Official in the Inner Government of the World, in whom all the highest qualities of womanhood and motherhood shine forth in their fullest perfection." (See Kingdom of the Gods pages 242-243 )

Such are some of the thoughts and the ideals which have awakened in me since I passed through those experiences of many years ago, followed as they have been by others. Is it not worthwhile to be associated with such an ideal and with such a work as Hers? I feel strongly urged to appeal to those similarly moved, that they will participate and contribute to the best of their ability that this, Her Work, shall not only live on and prosper, but that it shall enter on a great era of activity in Her Name, which is the Name of Compassion, Wisdom and Universal Love.

-- The Spiritual Significance of Motherhood, by Geoffrey Hodson
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:04 am

Sangharakshita [Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20

Alongside this noticeable success, Freda faced some acute disappointments. She made enemies as well as friends, and sometimes these rivalries became vicious. Lois Lang-Sims commented, without saying what prompted the observation, that Freda's enemies 'were not only numerous but of an almost incredible malevolence'. That intense animosity seems to have been behind the most wounding public assault on Freda and her integrity. The stiletto was wielded by D.F. [Dosabhai Framji] Karaka, an Oxford contemporary of the Bedis. He was a writer and journalist of some distinction, though by the early 1960s he was the editor of a not-so-distinguished Bombay-based tabloidstyle weekly, the Current. This was awash with brash, sensationalist stories, reflecting Karaka's fiercely polemical style, his crusading anticommunism and his impatience with Nehru, India's prime minister, for his supposed lack of zeal in standing up for the national interest. The weekly paper bore the slogan 'God Save the Motherland' on its front page.

The front page of 'Current' in September 1963 which caused Freda great distress.
Saturday, September 28, 1963 GOD SAVE THE MOTHERLAND
THE CURRENT, VOL. XV, NO. 3 All India Edition 30 N.P. WEEKLY
On Govt. of India notepaper ...
... Noted Communist appeals to unwary Americans for funds for
by D.F. Karaka
According to an All India Radio news bulletin, Mr. Ghulam Mohammed Bakshi recently stated in Srinagar that Communism was infiltrating into Kashmir through Buddhism. This statement was later confirmed by Mr. Kusho Bakula, Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs, who is himself a Ladakhi and a Buddhist monk.
Information reaching CURRENT through reliable sources indicates that an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities.
This Englishwoman, whose name is FREDA BEDI, and her husband, BABA P.L. BEDI, have been most active workers for Communism for nearly 30 years.
Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford. She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.
They were at one time said to be card-holding Communists, and their police records in this country would certainly testify that before Partition they were not mere sympathisers, but active workers of the C.P.I.
Comrade Bedi was the leader of the Communist Party in Lahore, where in pre-Independence ...

In September 1963, Freda's photograph graced the front-page of the Current, accompanying a story which also took up much of the following page. It was a hatchet job. Under his own byline, Karaka asserted that 'an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities'. He insisted that 'Mrs Freda Bedi ... will always, in my opinion, be a Communist first, irrespective of her outwardly embraced Buddhism.' This was an absurd accusation. Freda's days as a communist sympathiser had come to a close almost twenty years earlier. Her husband had abandoned communism a decade previously.

By 1951, the thorny political issue of offering the people of Kashmir a plebiscite to let them decide whether they wanted to join Pakistan or accede to India hung heavily in the air. Freda was torn. While she believed in the people’s right to choose, she was adamantly against Pakistan’s propaganda, with its call for Islamic separation and the holocaust she feared would irrevocably follow, with Hindus and Sikhs the losers.

“There will be a tough fight when and if a plebiscite takes place. The other side uses low weapons – an appeal to religious fanaticism and hatred, which can always find a response. We fight with clean hands. I am content as a democrat that Kashmir should vote and turn whichever way it wishes, but I know a Pakistan victory would mean massacre and mass migration of Hindus and Sikhs – and I hate to face it. God forbid it should happen,” she said.

For the first time she revealed an anticommunist leaning. “I feel the British Press –- with the exception of our friend Norman Cliff on the News Chronicle -– is Pakistan minded, and while I realize that Pakistan and Middle East oil interests are linked, I think it is a great injustice to Kashmir. While a very brutal invasion and a lot of propaganda from the Pakistan side has been trying to make the state communist minded, it has valiantly stuck to his democratic ideas and built up this very war-torn, hungry world.”

BPL was valiantly doing his part in promoting counterpropaganda (a role given to him by Sheikh Abdullah’s administration), churning out publicity and articles both in Delhi and in Kashmir. One day in 1952, things went catastrophically wrong. BPL had a huge argument with his old friend Sheikh Abdullah, who was about to make a speech ratifying the plebiscite.

Kabir said, “My father warned him that India would never accept such a move and that Sheikh Abdullah would be jailed. He was also afraid that a plebiscite would deepen the split already existing in the state and would destroy the work that he, Mummy, and others had been carefully building up over the fragile early years to promote harmony and improve the living conditions of all the people. Kashmir had a huge Muslim majority, but anti-Pakistan feeling was also very high In Kashmir. That was what my father was working with, especially with his counterpropaganda. His ultimate commitment and hope was that Kashmir would be joined to secular India, with its democratic principles. Sadly the best of friendships ended in a bitter battle.”

The minute his argument with Sheikh Abdullah was over, BPL went home, packed up all his household goods and his family, and within twenty-four hours had moved everyone to Delhi. He could no longer stay in a Kashmir that he felt was heading for trouble, and in the employ of a man whose policies he no longer believed in. His prediction was right. In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed as prime minister, arrested on charges of conspiracy against the state, and jailed for eleven years.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

[1954] As with Freda, Bedi's crisis had a lasting spiritual aspect. He developed a keen interest in the occult, establishing the Occult Circle of India; he became attracted to the mystical Sufi tradition within Islam and -- re-engaging with the religion he was born into -- in Sikh mysticism; he believed he had acquired special powers, and took to hands-on spiritual healing. He dressed in a smock and carried a staff; as his hair became increasingly unkempt, he looked like a latter-day Moses. He chose to be known as Baba, which carried with it an echo of a mystical or spiritual identity. It was a reinvention almost as complete as those that marked out the phases in Freda's life; he had gone from gilded youth, to communist and peasants' rights activist, to political apparatchik, to prophet and visionary. Bedi had largely broken links with the organised left and although he remained active in a Delhi-based Kashmir support group, he moved decisively away from active politics. 'I had been under an impulsion to take to spiritual life,' he recalled a decade later. 'I resigned at once from all organisations .... It was like a realization that now [the] time had come to quit all this work and take to a new form of life.' Bedi insisted... that his embrace of a spiritual purpose did not involve any repudiation of his socialist beliefs. 'The statue of Lenin I loved still lies on my mantelpiece, and not a dent on [my] Marxist convictions exists.' But several of his old associates felt uncomfortable with Bedi's new look and message and kept their distance. Ranbir Vohra, who had known the Bedis in Lahore and Srinagar as well as Delhi, recalled that his old friend offered to help him communicate with anyone who had passed on: 'He suggested that I talk to Marx. I declined the generous offer.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

But the accusation of being a concealed communist was deeply wounding especially when the Tibetan refugees regarded communist China as their arch enemy -- the occupiers of their homeland and destroyers of their culture, faith and tradition -- and when India had recently been at war with China.

The idea to write Red Shambhala developed gradually as a natural offshoot of my other projects... By chance, I found out that in a secret laboratory in the 1920s Gleb Bokii -- the chief Bolshevik cryptographer, master of codes, ciphers, electronic surveillance -- and his friend Alexander Barchenko, an occult writer from St. Petersburg, explored Kabala, Sufi wisdom, Kalachakra, shamanism, and other esoteric traditions, simultaneously preparing an expedition to Tibet to search for the legendary Shambhala. A natural question arose: what could the Bolshevik commissar have to do with all this? ...

Meanwhile, I learned that during the same years, on the other side of the ocean in New York City, the Russian emigre painter Nicholas Roerich and his wife, Helena, were planning a venture into Inner Asia, hoping to use the Shambhala prophecy to build a spiritual kingdom in Asia that would provide humankind with a blueprint of an ideal social commonwealth. To promote his spiritual scheme, he toyed with an idea to blend Tibetan Buddhism and Communism. Then I stumbled upon the German-Armenian historian Emanuel Sarkisyanz's Russland and der Messianismus des Orients, which mentioned that the same Shambhala legend was used by Bolshevik fellow travelers in Red Mongolia to anchor Communism among nomads in the early 1920s.

I came across this information when I was working on a paper dealing with the Oirot/Amursana prophecy that sprang up among Altaian nomads of southern Siberia at the turn of the twentieth century. This prophecy, also widespread in neighboring western Mongolia, dealt with the legendary hero some named Oirot and others called Amursana. The resurrected hero was expected to redeem suffering people from alien intrusions and lead them into a golden age of spiritual bliss and prosperity. This legend sounded strikingly similar to the Shambhala prophecy that stirred the minds of Tibetans and the nomads of eastern Mongolia. In my research I also found that the Bolsheviks used the Oirot/Amursana prophecy in the 1920s to anchor themselves in Inner Asia. I began to have a feeling that all the individuals and events mentioned above might have somehow been linked...

Shambhala... was a prophecy that emerged in the world of Tibetan Buddhism between the 900s and 1100s CE, centered on a legend about a pure and happy kingdom located somewhere in the north; the Tibetan word Shambhala means "source of happiness." The legend said that in this mystical land people enjoyed spiritual bliss, security, and prosperity. Having mastered special techniques, they turned themselves into godlike beings and exercised full control over forces of nature. They were blessed with long lives, never argued, and lived in harmony as brothers and sisters. At one point, as the story went, alien intruders would corrupt and undermine the faith of Buddha. That was when Rudra Chakrin (Rudra with a Wheel), the last king of Shambhala, would step in and in a great battle would crush the forces of evil. After this, the true faith, Tibetan Buddhism, would prevail and spread all over the world....

In the course of time, indigenous lamas and later Western spiritual seekers muted the "crusade" notions of the prophecy, and Shambhala became the peaceable kingdom that could be reached through spiritual enlightenment and perfection. The famous founder of Theosophy Helena Blavatsky was the first to introduce this cleansed version of the legend into Western esoteric lore in the 1880s. At the same time, she draped Shambhala in the mantle of evolutionary theory and progress: ideas widely popular among her contemporaries. Blavatsky's Shambhala was the abode of the Great White Brotherhood hidden in the Himalayas. The mahatmas from this brotherhood worked to engineer the so-called sixth race of spiritually enlightened and perfect human beings, who possessed superior knowledge and would eventually take over the world. After 1945, when this kind of talk naturally went out of fashion, the legend was refurbished to fit new spiritual needs. Today in Tibetan Buddhism and spiritual literature, in both the East and the West, Shambhala is presented as an ideal spiritual state seekers should aspire to reach by practicing compassion, meditation, and high spirituality. In this most recent interpretation of the legend, the old "holy war" feature is not simply set aside but recast into an inner war against internal demons that block a seeker's movement toward perfection....

Lama Phuntsok was one of the dozens of lamas we had met, or were going to meet, in our future. It was already starting to get boring; all these amazing, enlightened Tibetan lamas and their cookie-cutter teachings we had access to, for free, because of our circumstances taking care of Trungpa's son. Although I wouldn't admit it, these lamas were all starting to sound the same and quite dull to me. This old lama from Tibet was different, however, being straight from the old country; unskilled in the strategic charms the lamas had learned for western audiences.

Phuntsok, we were told, was the incarnation of every great lama of the past, which was always the case for any new lamas who needed the boost, and this one seemed incoherent and all over the place. But, one thing was for sure, he was teaching us the real Kalachakra prophecy and its inner and secret teachings; how Trungpa's Shambhala legacy was embedded within it. It was not the Camelot Kingdom terma of Trungpa, nor the Shangri-la paradise of Saint Dalai Lama, filled with peace, love, and harmony, that we had come to believe.

This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, we had never heard about before. Not in this direct and non-evasive way.

The Dalai Lama had finished giving his fourth, U.S. Kalachakra Wheel of Time empowerment in 1991, in New York City, to crowds of unsuspecting thousands, with the usual pitch that it was about bringing peace throughout the world. This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, straight from this Lama Phuntsok's mouth, straight from Tibet, wasn't talking peace. He was talking about a third world war, the idea of which he seemed to relish, when Tantric Lord Chakravartins, as Rigden Kings, like Trungpa, would come to rule the world.

Lama Phuntsok told us we were the "special" Trungpa students of the "Shambhala Kingdom" and that Trungpa was a lama, who was not just a great bodhisattva, but a great military leader, connected to Gesar of Ling; an emanation of Rigden Kings who would come to rule the earth, in the near future. We were the future army of Shambhala warriors. Nothing new here; the usual teaching by Trungpa and his early students, but told were simply symbolic. We, as his students in this life, and part of his military branch, his kasung, were going to be reborn in the pure land of Shambhala. Yes, that was the same, but then Phuntsok continued: 'when you will come back to fight as Shambhala warriors, some of you as generals, in this great Wheel of Time war between heretics and Shambhala.'

When this war ended, he told us, it would usher in the Age of Maitreya, the Adi-Buddha world of Shambhala and its enlightened society, after this future great apocalyptic war, predicted by these lamas and their ancient prophesies, had destroyed the enemies of their 'dharma.' It was starting to sound like being reborn as kamikaze in a great, epic bloody battle. Not something you would wish for, for any of your next lives, as Lama Phuntsok was describing it. I just flinched, and filed it away.

What remained clear, however, was this great coming war was very real to this old lama from Tibet, and not symbolic at all; not an internal fight, or struggle within us, to tame our own demons -- our egoistic propensities, -- as we had been taught.

It was the first red flag, waving madly before my eyes, about why these lamas are building all their centers and temples, around the world. I realized, that they really believe they will rise up, at the end of this apocalypse they are all predicting; as the new Lord Chakravartins, the Rigden God Kings, ruling over the earth.

Lama Phuntsok, unskilled in donning a 'peaceful' mask for western consumption, had just told us that Tibetan Buddhism is an apocalyptic cult, that believes it will be the world religion in the not too distant future; once it has conquered the other heretic religions. The lamas had been telling us the same thing; but always making sure it was seen as just a metaphor; in a twilight language; about the war inside us, caused by that bug-a-boo: ego. Lama Phuntsok, straight from Tibet, and therefore straight from the thirteenth century, was telling us the truth about his Tibetan Buddhism; this religion of peace.

In a few short years, in Digby, Nova Scotia, at my last graduate Shambhala retreat -- Trungpa's Kalapa Assembly -- I would learn that Trungpa's ambitions to rule the world were as real for him as it was for Lama Phuntsok, transmitting the prophecy of Shambhala before me, now. Clearly, all these lamas believed and wished for the same thing.

-- Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism, by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.

Red Shambhala is the first book in English that recounts the story of political and spiritual seekers from the West and the East, who used Tibetan Buddhist prophecies to promote their spiritual, social, and geopolitical agendas and schemes. These were people of different persuasions and backgrounds: lamas (Ja-Lama and Agvan Dorzhiev), a painter-Theosophist (Nicholas Roerich), a Bolshevik secret police cryptographer (Gleb Bokii), an occult writer with leftist leanings (Alexander Barchenko), Bolshevik diplomats and revolutionaries (Georgy Chicherin, Boris Shumatsky) along with their indigenous fellow-travelers (Elbek-Dorji Rinchino, Sergei Borisov, and Choibalsan), and the rightwing fanatic "Bloody White Baron" Roman von Ungern-Sternberg. Despite their different backgrounds and loyalties, they shared the same totalitarian temptation -- the faith in ultimate solutions. They were on the quest for what one of them (Bokii) defined as the search for the source of absolute good and absolute evil. All of them were true believers, idealists who dreamed about engineering a perfect free-of-social-vice society based on collective living and controlled by enlightened spiritual or ideological masters (an emperor, the Bolshevik Party, the Great White Brotherhood, a reincarnated deity) who would guide people on the "correct" path. Healthy skepticism and moderation, rare commodities at that time anyway, never visited the minds of the individuals I profile in this book. In this sense, they were true children of their time -- an age of extremes that gave birth to totalitarian society.

-- Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, by Andrei Znamenski

'Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford,' Karaka reported. 'She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.' The article resorted to innuendo, suggesting that 'the alleged indoctrination of Sheikh Abdulla [sic] was largely to be traced to his very close association with Freda Bedi'. It suggested that some former associates of the Bedis in Kashmir had 'mysteriously disappeared'. Freda was alleged to have been caught up in controversy about Buddhist property and funds before turning, 'with the active encouragement of Shri J. Nehru, the Prime Minister', to the running of the Young Lamas' Home School. The article suggested that Freda was getting money from the Indian government, and using government headed paper to appeal for funds from supporters in America and elsewhere. Karaka suggested that the Tibetan Friendship Group was a 'Communist stunt' and he alleged that 'noted Communists, with the usual "blessings" of Mr. Nehru, are using the excuse of helping Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monks for furthering the cause of Communism in strategic border areas.'

Aside from the venomous smears, the only evidence of inappropriate conduct that the article pointed to was her use of official notepaper to appeal for funds for her school and other Tibetan relief operations. It cited a letter of complaint, sent by an unnamed Buddhist organisation which clearly was antagonistic to Freda, stating that she had been using the headed paper of the Central Social Welfare Board which bore the Government of India's logo. A civil servant's response was also quoted: 'Mrs Bedi is not authorised to use Government of India stationery for correspondence in connection with the affairs of the "Young Lama's Home" or the "Tibetan Friendship Group". This has now been pointed out to Mrs. Bedi.'

Even if Freda has been using government headed paper to help raise money -- which those who worked with her say is perfectly possible -- it was hardly a major misdemeanour. But detractors were able to use this blemish to damage her reputation. She was, it seems, distraught at this vicious personal attack and took advice about whether to take legal action. She was advised, probably wisely, to do nothing, as any riposte would simply give further life to accusations so insubstantial that they would quickly fade away. 'The accusation was that Freda was a communist in nun's clothing -- not that Freda was a nun at that time,' recalls Cherry Armstrong. 'I remember her being particularly distressed and "beyond belief' when she believed she had identified the culprit. Freda was totally dumbfounded about it.'

Freda was convinced that another western convert to Buddhism, Sangharakshita (earlier Dennis Lingwood), was either behind the slur or was abetting it. They had much in common -- including a deep antipathy to each other. Lingwood encountered Theosophy and Buddhism as a teenager in England and was ordained before he was twenty by the Burmese monk U Titthila, who later helped Freda towards Buddhism. During the war, he served in the armed forces in South and South-east Asia and from 1950 spent about fourteen years based in Kalimpong in north-east India, where he was influenced by several leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers. In the small world of Indian Buddhism, the two English converts rubbed shoulders. More than sixty years later, Sangharakshita -- who established a Buddhist community in England -- recalls coming across Freda, then new to Buddhism, living at the Ashoka Vihar Buddhist centre outside Delhi. 'She was tall, thin, and intense and wore Indian dress. She had a very pale complexion, with light fair hair and very pale blue eyes. In other words, she looked very English! I also noticed, especially later on, that she was very much the Memsaheb ... During the time that I knew Freda she knew hardly anything about Buddhism, having never studied it seriously .... She had however developed what I called her "patter" about the Dalai Lama, compassion, and the poor dear little Tulkus. So far as I could see, Freda had no spiritual awareness or Enlightenment. She may, of course, have developed these later.' His view of the Young Lamas' Home School is also somewhat jaundiced -- 'some of [the tulkus] developed rather expensive tastes, such as for Rolex watches.'

In 1989 he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, he is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism -– and he, himself is a self-confessed watch lover. The speech is of course by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Granted, the ascetic monk is not the first name that comes to mind in connection with luxury watches. But the Dalai Lama has a weakness for mechanical watches and has been happy to disassemble and reassemble them for years. His personal collection consists of over 15 watches, about which, however, little is known....

However, three of his watches can be clearly seen in photos and we are able to identity them. In addition to a Patek Philippe pocket watch, given to him as a young boy from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the monk also has two Rolex models whose origin is unknown.

His love of mechanical watches began very early: At the age of 6 or 7, the Dalai Lama received his first watch, from none other than the U.S. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt....Eric Wind identified the watch... in a Hodinkee article as a pocket watch with Ref. 658, of which only 15 were made between 1937 and 1950, a truly special gift!... Roosevelt did not hand over the gift personally. Two agents of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of today’s CIA, offered the watch along with a letter from the president. Brooke Dolan and his colleague Ilia [Ilya Andreyevich] Tolstoy, who was allegedly the grandson of the famous author Leo Tolstoy, strictly followed the protocol: visitors silently handed over their presents and received a so-called 'katha‘, a prayer shawl traditionally handed over. The two had a mission to find out more about the possibility of building a road from India to China, which was strategically important to the United States for supplying China during the war with Japan.

The Dalai Lama’s watch is a complex and rare specimen that displays the moon phases, date, day of the week and months. It aroused his enthusiasm for mechanical watches and watchmaking. A well-known photograph shows him working on watches....

If you are interested in mechanical watches, there is no way around a classic Rolex. The Dalai Lama owns two models that are well-known: A Rolesor Rolex Datejust made of gold and stainless steel with a Jubilee bracelet and a Rolex Day-Date, both presumably gifts. The latter is made of yellow gold and has a blue dial, as seen in some photographs. Some people say that they are a sign of proudness among a monk, but if you look at the meaning of the colours in Tibetan Buddhism, you will see a beautiful picture: blue stands for heaven and spiritual insights, yellow for earth and the experiences of the real world. Thus, the watch purely by chance reflects the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

-- The Dalai Lama and his [Rolex] watches, by Manuel Lütgens

Sangharakshita's recollection is that he and Freda 'got on quite well, even though I did not take her "Buddhism" very seriously' as they were both English and (in his view) of working-class origin. He was not impressed by her husband: 'he struck me as a bit of a humbug ... I was told (not by Freda) that he was then living with one of his cousins.' In his memoirs, he recycled one of the allegations that featured in Current, that an 'Englishwoman married to a well-known Indian communist' was trying to 'wrest' control of Ashoka Vihar outside Delhi from the Cambodian monk who had founded it. Decades later, he continues to recount this and other of the items on the Current charge sheet, describing Freda as 'a rather ruthless operator' while in Kashmir. He recalls the furore over the Current article, but says that he had no reason to believe that Freda was using the Lamas' School for a political purpose. Freda never tackled him over her suspicions, but he does not deny a tangential involvement. 'It is possible,' he concedes, 'that certain reservations about the Young Lamas' Home School eventually reached the ears of Current.'

The incident was a reflection of the intense rivalries within the Tibetan movement and its supporters. 'Strong personalities do seem to draw opposition by their very nature,' Cherry Armstrong comments, 'and there is a lot of personal politics amongst the Tibetan groups -- not all light and loveliness as one might like to think.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

At the Western Buddhist Order men's ordination course, Guhyaloka, Spain, June 2002
Born: Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood, 26 August 1925, Tooting, London, England, U.K.
Died: 30 October 2018 (aged 93), Hereford, Herefordshire, England, U.K.
Religion: Buddhism
Nationality: British
Dharma names: Urgyen Sangharakshita
Occupation: Buddhist teacher, writer
Senior posting
Based in: Coddington, England, United Kingdom

Sangharakshita (born Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood, 26 August 1925 – 30 October 2018) was a British Buddhist teacher and writer. He was the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community, which was known until 2010 as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, or FWBO.[1][2]

He was one of a handful of westerners to be ordained as Theravadin Bhikkhus in the period following World War II,[3] and spent over 20 years in Asia,[4] where he had a number of Tibetan Buddhist teachers.[5] In India, he was active in the conversion movement of Dalits—so-called "Untouchables"—initiated in 1956 by B. R. Ambedkar.[4] He authored more than 60 books, including compilations of his talks, and was described as "one of the most prolific and influential Buddhists of our era,"[6] "a skilled innovator in his efforts to translate Buddhism to the West,"[7] and as "the founding father of Western Buddhism"[8] for his role in setting up what is now the Triratna Buddhist Community,[9] but Sangharakshita was often regarded as a controversial teacher.[3] He was criticised for having had sexual relations with Order members,[10] which allegedly amounted to abuse and coercion.[11]

Sangharakshita retired formally in 1995 and in 2000 stepped down from the movement's ostensive leadership, but he remained its dominant figure and lived at its headquarters in Coddington, Herefordshire.[12]

The Triratna Order Office announced the death of Sangharakshita after a short illness on 30 October 2018.[13][14]

Early life

Sangharakshita was born Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood in Tooting, London, in 1925.[15] After being diagnosed with a heart condition he spent much of his childhood confined to bed, and used the opportunity to read widely.[16] His first encounter with non-Christian thought was with Madame Helena Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled,[17] upon reading which, he later said, he realised that he had never been a Christian.[18] The following year he came across two Buddhist texts—the Diamond Sutra and the Platform Sutra—and concluded that he had always been a Buddhist.[18]

As Dennis Lingwood, he joined the Buddhist Society at the age of 18,[19] and formally became a Buddhist in May 1944 by taking the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from the Burmese monk, U Thittila.[16]

He was conscripted into the army in 1943, and served in India, Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) and Singapore as a radio engineer[20] in the Royal Corps of Signals.[21] It was in Sri Lanka, while in contact with the swamis in the (Hindu) Ramakrishna Mission, that he developed the desire to become a monk.[22] In 1946, after the cessation of hostilities, he was transferred to Singapore, where he made contact with Buddhists and learned to meditate.[23]


Having been conscripted into the British Army and posted to India, at the end of the war Sangharakshita handed in his rifle, left the camp where he was stationed and deserted.[23] He moved about in India for a few years, with a Bengali novice Buddhist, the future Buddharakshita, as his companion, meditating and experiencing for himself the company of eminent spiritual personalities of the times, like Mata Anandamayi, Ramana Maharishi and Swamis of Ramakrishna Mission. They spent fifteen months in 1947-48, in the Ramakrishna Mission centre at Muvattupuzha with the consent of Swami Tapasyananda and Swami Agamananda. In May 1949 he became a novice monk, or sramanera, in a ceremony conducted by the Burmese monk, U Chandramani, who was then the most senior monk in India. It was then that he was given the name Sangharakshita (Pali: Sangharakkhita), which means "protected by the spiritual community."[23] Sangharakshita took full bhikkhu ordination the following year,[21] with another Burmese bhikkhu, U Kawinda, as his preceptor (upādhyāya), and with the Ven. Jagdish Kashyap as his teacher (ācārya).[23] He studied Pali, Abhidhamma, and Logic with Jagdish Kashyap at Benares (Varanasi) University.[19] In 1950, at Kashyap's suggestion, Sangharakshita moved to the hill town of Kalimpong[17] close to the borders of India, Bhutan, Nepal. and Sikkim, and only a few miles from Tibet. Kalimpong was his base for 14 years until his return to England in 1966.[20]

During his time in Kalimpong, Sangharakshita formed a young men's Buddhist association and established an ecumenical centre for the practice of Buddhism (the Triyana Vardhana Vihara).[20] He also edited the Maha Bodhi Journal and established a magazine, Stepping Stones.[24] In 1951, Sangharakshita met the German-born Lama Govinda, who was the first Buddhist Sangharakshita had known "to declare openly the compatibility of art with the spiritual life", and who gave Sangharakshita a greater appreciation for Tibetan Buddhism.[25] Govinda had begun his explorations of Buddhism in the Theravada tradition, studying briefly under the German-born bhikkhu, Nyanatiloka Mahathera (who gave him the name Govinda), but after meeting the Gelug Lama, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche, in 1931, he turned towards Tibetan Buddhism.[26] Sangharakshita's spiritual explorations were to follow a similar trajectory.

Sangharakshita was ordained in the Theravada school, but said he became disillusioned by what he felt was the dogmatism, formalism, and nationalism of many of the Theravadin bhikkhus he met[5] and became increasingly influenced by Tibetan Buddhist teachers who had fled Tibet after the Chinese invasion in the 1950s. Two years after his meeting with Lama Govinda he began studying with the Gelug Lama, Dhardo Rinpoche.[5] Sangharakshita also received initiations and teachings from teachers who included Jamyang Khyentse, Dudjom Rinpoche, as well as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.[5] It was Dhardo Rinpoche who was to give Sangharakshita Mayahana ordination.[19] Later, Sangharakshita also studied with a Ch'an teacher, Yogi Chen (Chen Chien-Ming), along with another English monk, Bhikkhu Khantipalo.[27] Together, the three men turned their ongoing seminar on Buddhist theory and practice into a book, Buddhist Meditation, Systematic and Practical.[28]

In 1952, Sangharakshita met Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar[29] (1891–1956), the chief architect of the Indian constitution and India's first law minister. Ambedkar, who had been a so-called Untouchable, converted to Buddhism, along with 380,000 other Untouchables (now known as "dalits") on 14 October 1956.[30] Ambedkar and Sangharakshita had been in correspondence since 1950, and the Indian politician had encouraged the young monk to expand his Buddhist activities.[31] Ambedkar appreciated Sangharakshita's "commitment to a more critically engaged Buddhism that did not at the same time dilute the cardinal precepts of Buddhist thought".[32] Ambedkar initially invited Sangharakshita to perform his conversion ceremony, but the latter refused, arguing that U Chandramani should preside.[32] Ambedkar died six weeks later, leaving his conversion movement leaderless, and Sangharakshita, who had just arrived in Nagpur to visit dalit Buddhists,[32] continued what he felt was Ambedkar's work by lecturing to former Untouchables,[29] and presiding over a ceremony in which a further 200,000 Untouchables converted.[30] For the next decade, Sangharakshita spent much of his time visiting dalit Buddhist communities in western India.[33]

Return to the West

In 1964, Sangharakshita was invited to help with a dispute at the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in north London,[34] where he proved to be a popular teacher.[15] His ecumenical approach and failure to conform to some of the trustees' expectations was said to contrast with the strict Theravadin-style Buddhism at the vihara.[15] Although originally planning to stay only six months, he decided to settle in England, but after he returned to India for a farewell tour, the Vihara's trustees voted to expel him.[15]

Sangharakshita returned to England and in April 1967 founded the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.[15] The Western Buddhist Order was founded a year later, when he ordained the first dozen men and women. The first ordinations were attended by a Zen monk, a Shin priest and two Theravadin monks.[35]

Satisfied neither with the lay-Buddhist approach of the Buddhist Society, nor the monastic approach of the Hampstead vihara—the two dominant Buddhist organisations in Britain at that time—he created what he said was a new form of Buddhism. The order would be neither lay nor monastic,[36] and members take a set of ten precepts[35] that are a traditional part of Mahayana Buddhism.[37]

Initially, Sangharakshita led all classes and conducted all ordinations.[35] He gave lectures drawing on what he felt were the essential teachings of all the major Buddhist schools.[34] He led major retreats twice a year and frequent day and weekend events.[34] As the order grew, and centres became established across Britain and in other countries, order members took more responsibility until, in August 2000, he devolved his responsibilities as the head of the Western Buddhist Order to eight men and women who formed what was called the "College of Public Preceptors."[38] In 2005 Sangharakshita donated all of his books and artefacts, with an insurance value of £314,400, to the charitable trust dedicated to his 'support and assistance' as well as enabling his office to 'maintain contact with his disciples and friends worldwide' and to 'support them in activities'.[39] In 2015 this trust had an income of £140K, and for 2016 it was £73K.[40][41]

Sangharakshita died, aged 93, on 30 October 2018 after a short illness.[42]

Sexual misconduct

Main article: Triratna Buddhist Community

In 1997, Sangharakshita became the focus for controversy when The Guardian newspaper published complaints concerning some of his sexual relationships with FWBO members during the 1970s and 1980s.[43] For a decade following these public revelations, he declined to give any response to concerns from within the movement that he had misused his position as a Buddhist teacher to sexually exploit young men. He later addressed the controversy, stressing that his sexual partners were, or appeared to be, willing, and he expressed regret for any mistakes.[44]

Contributions and legacy

Ven. Rewata Dhamma, Sangharakshita and Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Buddhist Union Congress, Berlin, 1992

Sangharakshita has been described as "among the first Westerners who devoted their life to the practice as well as the spreading of Buddhism" and also as a "prolific writer, translator, and practitioner of Buddhism".[45] As a Westerner seeking to use Western concepts to communicate Buddhism, he has been compared to Teilhard de Chardin,[46] termed "the founding father of Western Buddhism,"[8] and noted as "a skilled innovator in his efforts to translate Buddhism to the West."[7]

For Sangharakshita, as with other Buddhists, the factor that unites all Buddhist schools is not any particular teaching, but the act of "going for refuge" (sarana-gamana), which he regards "not simply as a formula but as a life-changing event"[17] and as an ongoing "reorientation of one's life away from mundane concerns to the values embodied in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha."[47] Any decisive act upon the spiritual path—renunciation, ordination, initiation, the attainment of Stream Entry, and the arising of the bodhicitta—are manifestations or examples of Going for Refuge.[48]

Among his distinctive views is his use of the scientific theory of evolution as a metaphor for spiritual development, referring to biological evolution as the "lower evolution" and spiritual development as being a form of self-directed "higher evolution". Though he considers women and men equally capable of Enlightenment and ordained them equally right from the start, he has also said he had "tentatively reached the conclusion that the spiritual life is more difficult for women because they are less able than men to envisage...something purely transcendental..."[49] He also criticised heterosexual nuclear relationships as tending to neuroticism. The FWBO has been accused of cult-like behaviour in the 1970s and 80s for encouraging heterosexual men to engage in sexual relationships with men in order to get over their fear of intimacy with men and obtain spiritual growth.[48] He has drawn parallels between Buddhism and the spirit of the Romantics, who believed that what art reveals has great moral and spiritual significance, and has written of "the religion of art."[50]

Including compilations of his talks, Sangharakshita has authored more than 60 books. Meanwhile, the Triratna Buddhist Community, which he founded as the FWBO, has been described as "perhaps the most successful attempt to create an ecumenical international Buddhist organization".[51] The community is one of the three largest Buddhist movements in Britain,[52] and has a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. More than a fifth of all Order members, as of 2006, were in India,[53] where Dr. Ambedkar's mission to convert dalits to Buddhism continues.[54] Martin Baumann, a scholar of Buddhism, has estimated that there are 100,000 people worldwide who are affiliated with the Triratna Buddhist Community.[54]

For Buddhologist Francis Brassard, Sangharakshita's major contribution is "without doubt his attempt to translate the ideas and practices of [Buddhism] into Western languages."[55] The non-denominational nature of the Triratna Buddhist Community,[35] its equal ordination for both men and women,[56] and its evolution of new forms of shared practice, such as what it calls team-based right livelihood projects, have been cited as examples of such "translation", and also as the creation of a "Buddhist society in miniature within the Western, industrialized world".[4] For Martin Baumann, the Triratna Buddhist Community serves as proof that "Western concepts, such as a capitalistic work ethos, ecological considerations, and a social-reformist perspective, can be integrated into the Buddhist tradition".[57]



• Anagarika Dharmapala: A Biographical Sketch
• Great Buddhists of the Twentieth Century

Books on Buddhism

• The Eternal Legacy: An Introduction to the Canonical Literature of Buddhism
• A Survey of Buddhism: Its Doctrines and Methods Through the Ages
• The Ten Pillars of Buddhism
• The Three Jewels: The Central Ideals of Buddhism
Edited seminars and lectures on Buddhism[edit]
• The Bodhisattva Ideal
• Buddha Mind
• The Buddha's Victory
• Buddhism for Today – and Tomorrow
• Creative Symbols of Tantric Buddhism
• The Drama of Cosmic Enlightenment
• The Essence of Zen
• A Guide to the Buddhist Path
• Human Enlightenment
• The Inconceivable Emancipation
• Know Your Mind
• Living with Awareness
• Living with Kindness
• The Meaning of Conversion in Buddhism
• New Currents in Western Buddhism
• Ritual and Devotion in Buddhism
• The Taste of Freedom
• The Yogi's Joy: Songs of Milarepa
• Tibetan Buddhism: An Introduction
• Transforming Self and World
• Vision and Transformation (also known as The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path)
• Who Is the Buddha?
• What Is the Dharma?
• What Is the Sangha?
• Wisdom Beyond Words

Essays and papers

• Alternative Traditions
• Crossing the Stream
• Going For Refuge
• The Priceless Jewel
• Aspects of Buddhist Morality
• Dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity
• The Journey to Il Covento
• St Jerome Revisited
• Buddhism and Blasphemy
• Buddhism, World Peace, and Nuclear War
• The Bodhisattva Principle
• The Glory of the Literary World
• A Note on The Burial of Count Orgaz
• Criticism East and West
• Dharmapala: The Spiritual Dimension
• With Allen Ginsburg In Kalimpong (1962)
• Indian Buddhists
• Ambedkar and Buddhism

Memoirs, autobiography and letters

• Facing Mount Kanchenjunga: An English Buddhist in the Eastern Himalayas
• From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra: A Western Buddhist's Encounters with Christianity
• In the Sign of the Golden Wheel: Indian Memoirs of an English Buddhist
• Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a New Buddhist Movement
• The Rainbow Road: From Tooting Broadway to Kalimpong
• The History of My Going for Refuge
• Precious Teachers
• Travel Letters
• Through Buddhist Eyes

Poetry and art

• The Call of the Forest and Other Poems
• Complete Poems 1941–1994
• Conquering New Worlds: Selected Poems
• Hercules and the Birds
• In the Realm of the Lotus
• The Religion of Art


• Forty Three Years Ago: Reflections on My Bhikkhu Ordination
• The FWBO and 'Protestant Buddhism': An Affirmation and a Protest
• The Meaning of Orthodoxy in Buddhism
• Was the Buddha a Bhikkhu? A Rejoinder to a Reply to 'Forty Three Years Ago'.


• The Dhammapada

See also

• Dharmachari Subhuti - Senior associate of Sangharakshita


1. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 333, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
2. George D. Chryssides; Margaret Z. Wilkins (2006). A Reader in New Religious Movements: Readings in the Study of New Religious. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0826461674.
3. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 326, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
4. Baumann, Martin (May 1998), "Working in the Right Spirit: The Application of Buddhist Right Livelihood in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order" (PDF), Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 5: 132.
5. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 329, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
6. Smith, Huston; Novak, Philip (2004), Buddhism: A Concise Introduction, HarperCollins, p. 221, ISBN 978-0-06-073067-3
7. Doyle, Anita (Summer 1996), "Women, Men, and Angels (review)", Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 5: 105
8. Berkwitz, Stephen C (2006), Buddhism in world cultures: comparative perspectives, ABC-CLIO, p. 303, ISBN 978-1-85109-782-1
9. Kay, David N (2004), Tibetan and Zen Buddhism in Britain: transplantation, development and adaptation, Routledge, p. 25, ISBN 978-0-415-29765-3
10. Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (2000), Innovative Buddhist women: swimming against the stream, Routledge, p. 266, ISBN 978-0-7007-1253-3
11. Doward, Jamie (21 July 2019). "Buddhist, teacher, predator: dark secrets of the Triratna guru". The Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
12. "Adhisthana". Triratna Buddhist Order. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
13. "Urgyen Sangharakshita 1925-2018".
14. Littlefair, Sam (30 October 2018). "Sangharakshita, founder of Triratna Buddhism, dead at 93". Lion's Roar. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
15. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 46, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
16. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 47, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
17. Lopez Jr, Donald S (2002), A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West, Beacon Press, p. 186, ISBN 978-0-8070-1243-7
18. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 323, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
19. Snelling, John (1999), The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History, Inner Traditions, p. 230, ISBN 978-0-89281-761-0
20. Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 225, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
21. Prebish, Charles S. (1999), Luminous passage: the practice and study of Buddhism in America, University of California Press, p. 47, ISBN 978-0-520-21697-6
22. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, pp. 47–48, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
23. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 48, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
24. Oldmeadow, Harry (1999), Journeys East: 20th century Western encounters with Eastern religious traditions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 280, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
25. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, pp. 328–329, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
26. Lopez, Donald (2002), A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West, Beacon Press, p. 98, ISBN 978-0-8070-1243-7
27. Khantipalo, Laurence (2002), Noble Friendship: Travels of a Buddhist Monk, Windhorse Publications, pp. 140–142, ISBN 978-1-899579-46-4
28. Chen, C.M. (1983), Buddhist Meditation, Systematic and Practical (Volume 42 of Hsientai fohsüeh tahsi), Mile ch'upanshe, p. xiii
29. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 331, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
30. Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 226, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
31. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, pp. 167–168, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
32. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, p. 168, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
33. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, p. 169, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
34. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 49, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
35. Rawlinson, Andrew (1997), The Book of Enlightened Masters, Open Court, p. 503, ISBN 978-0-8126-9310-2
36. Queen, Christopher S.; King, Sallie B. (1996), Engaged Buddhism, SUNY Press, p. 86, ISBN 978-0-7914-2844-3
37. Keown, Damien (2003), A Dictionary of Buddhism, Oxford University Press US, p. 70, ISBN 978-0-8126-9310-2
38. "Have Map, Can Unravel". Retrieved 23 June 2011.
39. ADM of Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana), 2015, Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
40. "Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana)". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
41. "Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana)". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
42. Triratna Buddhist Order Website. Sangharakshita Memorial Space. ... splay=team
43. Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (2000), Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream, Routledge, pp. 266–267, ISBN 978-0-7007-1219-9
44. Vajragupta (2010), The Triratna Story: Behind the Scenes of a New Buddhist Movement, Windhorse, ISBN 978-1-899579-92-1
45. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, SUNY Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
46. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, SUNY Press, p. 23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
47. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 334, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
48. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 335, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
49. Transforming Self and World, 1995, p117
50. McMahan, David L. (2008), The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford University Press US, p. 334, ISBN 978-0-19-518327-6
51. Oldmeadow, Harry L. (2004), Journeys East: 20th century Western encounters with Eastern religious traditions, World Wisdom, Inc, p. 280, ISBN 978-0-941532-57-0
52. Beckerlegge, Gwilym (2001), From Sacred Text to Internet, Ashgate, p. 147, ISBN 978-0-7546-0748-9
53. McAra, Sally (2007), Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand, University of Hawaii Press, p. 18, ISBN 978-0-8248-2996-4
54. King, Sally B. (2005), Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, University of Hawaii Press, p. 79, ISBN 978-0-8248-2935-3
55. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Śāntideva's Bodhícaryāvatāra, SUNY Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
56. McAra, Sally (2007), Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand, University of Hawaii Press, p. 60, ISBN 978-0-8248-2996-4
57. Baumann, Martin (May 1998), "Working in the Right Spirit:The Application of Buddhist Right Livelihood in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order", Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 5: 135.

External links

• Official website
• FWBO files
• Works by Sangharakshita at Project Gutenberg
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Royal Corps of Signals
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20

Royal Signals
Cap Badge of the Royal Corps of Signals
Active: 1920 – present
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Branch: British Army
Garrison/HQ: Blandford Camp, Dorset
Motto(s): Certa Cito (Swift and Sure)
March: Begone Dull Care (Quick); HRH The Princess Royal (Slow)
Colonel-in-Chief: The Princess Royal
Master of Signals: Lieutenant General Sir Nick Pope
Corps Colonel: Col J Gunning ADC
Corps Sergeant Major: WO1 D Corcoran

Arms of the British Army
Combat Arms: Royal Armoured Corps and Household Cavalry; Infantry; Guards Division, Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division, King's Division, Queen's Division, Parachute Regiment, Royal Gurkha Rifles, The Rifles; Special Air Service; Army Air Corps; Special Reconnaissance Regiment
Combat Support Arms: Royal Artillery; Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals: Intelligence Corps
Combat Services: Royal Army Chaplains' Department; Royal Logistic Corps; Army Medical Services; Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Army Dental Corps,Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps; Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; Adjutant General's Corps, Educational and Training Services Branch, Army Legal Services Branch, Provost Branch (Royal Military Police, Military Provost Staff, Military Provost Guard Service); Small Arms School Corps; Royal Army Physical Training Corps; General Service Corps; Corps of Army Music

The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals - abbreviated to R SIGNALS) is one of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing the battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations. Royal Signals units provide the full telecommunications infrastructure for the Army wherever they operate in the world. The Corps has its own engineers, logistics experts and systems operators to run radio and area networks in the field.[1] It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems, providing command support to commanders and their headquarters, and conducting electronic warfare against enemy communications.



In 1870, 'C' Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers, was founded under Captain Montague Lambert. The Troop was the first formal professional body of signallers in the British Army and its duty was to provide communications for a field army by means of visual signalling, mounted orderlies and telegraph. By 1871, 'C' Troop had expanded in size from 2 officers and 133 other ranks to 5 officers and 245 other ranks. In 1879, 'C' Troop first saw action during the Anglo-Zulu War.[2] On 1 May 1884, 'C' Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers, to form the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers;[2] 'C' Troop formed the 1st Division (Field Force, based at Aldershot) while the two Royal Engineers companies formed the 2nd Division (Postal and Telegraph, based in London). Signalling was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908, when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed.[3] As such, it provided communications during the First World War. It was about this time that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless sets were introduced into service.[3]

Royal Warrant

A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920. Six weeks later, King George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals.[4]

Subsequent history

Before the Second World War, Royal Signals recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 2 inches tall. They initially enlisted for eight years with the colours and a further four years with the reserve. They trained at the Signal Training Centre at Catterick Camp and all personnel were taught to ride.[5]

During the Second World War (1939–45), members of the Royal Corps of Signals served in every theatre of war. In one notable action, Corporal Thomas Waters of the 5th Parachute Brigade Signal Section was awarded the Military Medal for laying and maintaining the field telephone line under heavy enemy fire across the Caen Canal Bridge during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.[6]

In the immediate post-war period, the Corps played a full and active part in numerous campaigns including Palestine, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, Malaya and the Korean War. Until the end of the Cold War, the main body of the Corps was deployed with the British Army of the Rhine confronting Soviet Bloc forces, providing the British Forces' contribution to NATO with its communications infrastructure. Soldiers from the Royal Signals delivered communications in the Falklands War in 1982 and the first Gulf War in 1991.[7]

In 1994, The Royal Corps of Signals moved its training regiments, 11th Signal Regiment (the Recruit Training Regiment) and 8th Signal Regiment (the Trade Training School), from Catterick Garrison to Blandford Camp.[8]

In late 2012, 2nd (National Communications) Signal Brigade was disbanded.[9] Soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals saw extensive service during the eight years of the Iraq War before withdrawal of troops in 2011,[10] and the 13 years of the War in Afghanistan before it ended in 2014.[11]

In 2017 the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, then in its 90th year, was disbanded; senior officers had complained that it "failed to reflect the modern-day cyber communication skills in which the Royal Signals are trained".[12]


Training and trades

Main article: Royal Signals trades

Royal Signals officers receive general military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, followed by specialist communications training at the Royal School of Signals, Blandford Camp, Dorset. Other ranks are trained both as field soldiers and tradesmen. Their basic military training is delivered at the Army Training Regiment at Winchester before undergoing trade training at 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment. There are currently six different trades available to other ranks,[13] each of which is open to both men and women:

• Communication Systems Operator: trained in military radio and trunk communications systems
• Communication Systems Engineer: trained in data communications and computer networks
• Royal Signals Electrician: trained in maintaining and repairing generators and providing electrical power
• Communication Logistic Specialist: trained in driving and accounting for communications equipment
• Installation Technician: trained in installing and repairing fibreoptics and telephone systems
• Electronic Warfare Systems Operator: trained in intercepting and jamming enemy communications

Staff Sergeant & Warrant Officers work in one of five supervisory rosters:

• Yeoman of Signals - trained in the planning and deployment and management of military tactical/strategic communications networks;
• Yeoman of Signals (Electronic Warfare) - trained in the planning, deployment and management of military tactical/strategic electronic warfare assets;
• Foreman of Signals - trained in the installation, maintenance, repair and interoperability of military tactical/strategic communications assets;
• Foreman of Signals (Information Systems) - trained in the installation, maintenance, repair and interoperability of military tactical/strategic Information Systems;
• Regimental Duty - trained in the daily routine and running of a unit.
Whilst SSgts are generally regarded as being Regimental Duty, this roster does not start until WO2 and therefore all SSgts in the Royal Signals who are not supervisory are still employed "in trade".


The Royal Signals Museum is based at Blandford Camp in Dorset.[14]

Dress and ceremonial

Tactical Recognition flash

The Corps wears a blue and white tactical recognition flash. This is worn horizontally on the right arm with the blue half charging forward.

Airborne elements of the Royal Signals wear a Drop Zone (DZ) flash on the right arm of their combat jacket. It is square in shape with its top half white and the bottom half blue. When 5 Airborne Brigade was re-formed for the Falklands War, Signal elements adopted the Airborne Bridges Headquarters DZ Flash but this changed back to its original colours in the mid 1980s.

Cap badge

The flag and cap badge feature Mercury (Latin: Mercurius), the winged messenger of the gods, who is referred to by members of the corps as "Jimmy". The origins of this nickname are unclear. According to one explanation, the badge is referred to as "Jimmy" because the image of Mercury was based on the late mediaeval bronze statue by the Italian sculptor Giambologna, and shortening over time reduced the name Giambologna to "Jimmy". The most widely accepted theory of where the name Jimmy comes from is a Royal Signals boxer, called Jimmy Emblem, who was the British Army Champion in 1924 and represented the Royal Corps of Signals from 1921 to 1924.

It is one of the eight chalk hill figure military badges carved at Fovant, Wiltshire. It is the latest one to be made, as it was placed in 1970 following the Corp's 50th anniversary.


On Nos 2, 4 and 14 Dress, the Corps wears a dark blue lanyard on the right side signifying its early links with the Royal Engineers. The Airborne Signals Unit wears a drab green lanyard made from parachute cord. This dates back to the Second World War, when, following a parachute drop into France, the unit's Commanding Officer ordered all Signal personnel to cut a length of para-cord from their chutes in the event they may need it later in the fighting.


The Corps motto is "certa cito", often translated from Latin as Swift and Sure . It is easily seen on any of the Corps Badges.


The Colonel in Chief is currently the Princess Royal.


Main article: British Armed Forces communications and information systems

The Corps deploys and operates a broad range of specialist military and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) communications systems.[15] The main categories are as follows:

• Satellite ground terminals
• Terrestrial trunk radio systems
• Combat net radio systems
• Computer networks
• Specialist military applications (computer programs)

Royal Corps of Signals units


There are now two signal brigades:

• 1st Signal Brigade: The Brigade Headquarters is co-located with HQ ARRC at Gloucester and the ARRC Support Battalion. The Brigade is made up of four specialist units, each trained to carry out a unique and challenging role in support of the overall brigade mission and is prepared to deploy at short notice anywhere in the world. The Brigade consists of ARRC Sp Bn, 16 Sig Regt, 22 Sig Regt, 30 Sig Regt, 32 Sig Regt, 39 Sig Regt and 299 (SC) Sig Sqn.[16]
• 11th Signal Brigade: The Brigade Headquarters is located in MoD Donnington, near Telford. The Brigade is divided into one Signal Group: 7 Signal Group comprises 1 Sig Regt, 2 Sig Regt, 3 (UK) Div Sig Regt, 21 Sig Regt, 15 Sig Regt (IS), 37 Sig Regt, 38 Sig Regt, 71 Y Sig Regt. 2 Signal Group comprises 10 .[17] 2 Signal Group however disbanded on 31 July 2018 as part of Army 2020 Refine.[18]

The structure of the Royal Signals has changed under Army 2020.[19] The listing below shows the present location of units and their future location:[20][21][22]

Regular Army

• 1st Signal Regiment - Supporting 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade at Beacon Barracks (moving to Swinton Barracks)
o 200 Signal Squadron
o 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 2nd Signal Regiment - Supporting 2nd Strike Brigade at Imphal Barracks (moving to Catterick)
o 214 Signal Squadron
o 219 Signal Squadron
o 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 3rd (United Kingdom) Divisional Signal Regiment supporting 3rd (UK) Division HQ at Picton Barracks
o 202 Signal Squadron
o 206 Signal Squadron
o 228 Signal Squadron
o 249 Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 10th Signal Regiment depth signals support at Basil Hill Barracks
o 225 Signal Squadron (ECM (FP)) at Lisburn
o 241 Signal Squadron (IT Support) at Bicester
o 243 Signal Squadron (ICS and IA Support) at Andover
o 251 Signal Squadron (COu ICS Suport) at Aldershot
o 81 Signal Squadron (V) [Corsham][23]
• 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment, Blandford
o Royal School of Signals
• 13th Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity Signal Regiment (to be formed)
• 14th (Electronic Warfare) Signal Regiment, Cawdor Barracks
o 223 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o 226 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare) - supporting HQ 16 AA Brigade
o 237 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o 245 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o Support Squadron
o JESC Troop at RAF Digby
• 15th Signal Regiment (Information Support) at Blandford Camp (moving to Swinton Barracks)
o 233 (GCN) Squadron at Corsham
o 259 (GI Support) Squadron
o 262 (LS Support) Squadron at Bicester
o 254 (SGIS) Signal Squadron at Corsham
o Land Information Assurance Group at Corsham
• 16th Signal Regiment at Beacon Barracks (supporting 12 AI Brigade)
o 207 (Jerboa) Signal Squadron
o 230 (Malaya) Signal Squadron
o 247 (Queen's Gurkha Signals) Squadron
o 255 (Bahrain) Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 18th (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Regiment, Hereford
o Special Boat Service Signal Squadron
o 264 (Special Air Service) Signal Squadron
o 267 (Special Reconnaissance Regiment) Signal Squadron
o 268 (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Squadron
o 63 (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Squadron (Reserve)
• 21st Signal Regiment, Colerne
o HQ Squadron
o 215 Signal Squadron[24]
o 220 Signal Squadron[25]
o Support Squadron
• 22nd Signal Regiment, Stafford
o 217 Signal Squadron
o 222 Signal Squadron
o 248 (Gurkha) Signal Squadron
o 252 (Hong Kong) Signal Squadron (based at Imjin Barracks, Innsworth alongside HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
o Support Squadron
• 30th Signal Regiment, Bramcote
o 244 Signal Squadron (Air Support)
o 250 Signal Squadron
o 256 Signal Squadron[26]
o 258 Signal Squadron (early entry squadron)[27]
o Support Squadron
• 1st Signal Brigade Headquarters and 299 Signal Squadron (Special Communications), Bletchley[28]
• 16 Air Assault Brigade Headquarters and 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron, Colchester
• HQ 38 (Irish) Brigade Headquarters and Signal Troop, Northern Ireland
• 600 Signal Troop - (Attached to 15 Signal Regiment (Information Support))
• 628 Signal Troop (GBR DCM D) - 1st NATO Signal Battalion (Formerly 280 (UK) Signal Squadron 4 Dec, formerly (28th Signal Regiment)
• 643 Signal Troop (COMSEC) - (Attached to 10th Signal Regiment)
• 660 Signal Troop (Attached to 11 EOD&S Regt RLC for support in ECM and communications)
• Joint Service Signal Unit, Cyprus (Ayios Nikolaos Station, Cyprus) (electronic intelligence gathering)
o Regimental Headquarters
o 234 Signal Squadron
o 840 Signal Squadron RAF
o Engineering Squadron
o Support Squadron
• Cyprus Communications Unit (British Forces Cyprus)
• Joint Communications Unit (Falkland Islands)
o 303 Signals Unit RAF[29]
• Band of the Royal Corps of Signals (Corps Band)
• Royal Corps of Signals Pipes and Drums (P&D)

Army Reserve

• 32 Signal Regiment [RHQ Glasgow]
o Kohima Troop [Imphal Barracks]
o 2 (City of Dundee and Highland) Signal Squadron [Dundee/Aberdeen]
o 51 (Highland) Signal Squadron [Edinburgh/East Kilbride]
o 52 (Lowland) Support Squadron [Glasgow]
o 40 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron [Belfast/Derry]
• 37 Signal Regiment [RHQ Redditch]
o 33 (Lancashire) Signal Squadron [Liverpool and Manchester]
o 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron [Birmingham/Coventry]
 Stafford Signal Troop [Stafford]
o 50 (Northern) Signal Squadron [Darlington/Leeds]
o 54 (Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry) Support Squadron [Redditch]
o 64 (Sheffield) Signal Squadron [Sheffield/Nottingham]
• 39 Signal Regiment [RHQ Bristol]
o 43 (Wessex and City and County of Bristol) Signal Squadron [Bath/Bristol]
o 53 (Wales and Western) Signal Squadron]] [Cardiff/Gloucester]
o 93 (North Somerset Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Support Squadron [Bristol]
o 94 (Berkshire Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Signal Squadron [Windsor]
• 71 (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment [RHQ Bexleyheath]
o 31 (Middlesex Yeomanry and Princess Louise's Kensingtons) Signal Squadron [Uxbridge/Coulsdon]
o 36 (Essex Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Signal Squadron [Colchester/Chelmsford]
o 68 (Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) Signal Squadron [Lincoln's Inn/Whipps Cross]
o 265 (Kent and County of London Sharpshooters Yeomanry) Support Squadron [Bexleyheath]
• Central Volunteer Headquarters Royal Signals (CVHQ Royal Signals) [Corsham]
• 63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron (Reserve) [Thorney Island] (part of 18th (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Regiment)
• Royal Signals (Northern) Band [Darlington] – attached to 32 Signal Regiment
• Joint Forces Command
o Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) [Corsham], as part of Joint Force Cyber Group

Corps changes under Army 2020 Refine

The future structure of the Royal Signals will change under Army 2020 Refine.[30][31] A presentation by the Masters of Signals indicates that 16 Signal Regiment will shift from 11 Signal Brigade to 1 Signal Brigade and focus on supporting communications for logistic headquarters. Similarly, 32 and 39 Signal Regiments will shift to 1 Signal Brigade. 15 Signal Regiment will no longer be focused on Information Systems but will support 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade while 21 and 2 Signal Regiments will support the 1st and 2nd Strike Brigades respectively. Furthermore, a new regiment, 13th Signal Regiment, will form up under 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade and work with 14th Signal Regiment on Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity.[32]

Cadet Forces

The Royal Corps of Signals is the sponsoring Corps for several Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force units, such as in Blandford Forum, home to the Royal School of Signals.[33]

Order of precedence

Preceded by
Corps of Royal Engineers Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Foot Guards

See also

• CIS Corps (Ireland)
• Bermuda Volunteer Engineers
• 97 Signal Squadron (Volunteers)


1. Career paths
2. The Royal Signals Museum: Telegraph TP & Boer War
3. The Royal Signals Museum: Corps History
4. "Royal Corps of Signals". National Army Museum. Retrieved 27 September2016.
5. War Office, His Majesty's Army, 1938
6. "Pegasus Bridge hero honoured in exhibition". Dorset Echo. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
7. "No. 52589". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1991. p. 45.
8. "Blandford Garrison". Army Garrisons. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
10. "Chilcot report: Who were the 179 British soldiers who died during the Iraq War?". The Independent. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
11. "UK ends its war in Afghanistan: These are the 453 British men and women who died fighting the Taliban". The Independent. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
12. Sawer, Patrick (1 September 2017). "'Old fashioned' White Helmets display team wound up as Army looks to promote more high tech role". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
13. Royal Signals Careers - Soldier Trades Archived 29 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
14. "About us". Royal Signals Museum. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
15. Royal Signals Equipment Archived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
16. "1st United Kingdom Signal Brigade - British Army Website". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
17. "HQ 11 Sig Bde - British Army Website". Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
18. "The Wire Autumn 2018" (PDF). August 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
19. "Royal Signals Journal" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
20. "Army 2020 listing" (PDF).
21. "Royal Signals Changes" (PDF).
22. "The Wire".
23. "81st Signal Squadron (Volunteers)". The National Archives. 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
24. "21 Sig Regt - British Army Website". Retrieved 27 September2016.
25. "21 Sig Regt - British Army Website". Retrieved 27 September2016.
26. "The Wire" (PDF). October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2016.
27. "The Wire" (PDF). August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016.
28. "299 Sig Sqn (SC)". British Army. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017.
29. at 2:18pm, 21st June 2019. "Falkland Islands: Signals Unit Gets Its Own Crest For Protecting The Islands". Forces Network. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
30. "Army 2020, p. 56-57" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2013.
31. "Royal Signals Journal, p. 42-45" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014.
32. "Royal Signals The Caduceus Programme A Corps for the 21st Century" (PDF). Royal Signals. October 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
33. "Homepage of ACF/CCF Signals Training". Retrieved 28 October 2008.

Further reading

• Lord, Cliff; Watson, Graham (2003). The Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and Its Antecedents. West Midlands: Helion & Company Limited. ISBN 9781874622925.
• Warner, Philip (1989). THE VITAL LINK : The Story of Royal Signals 1945-1985. London: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0850528828.

External links

• The Royal Corps of Signals official website
• Royal Corps of Signals RSTL
• Royal Signals Museum
• Royal Signals Association
• Royal Signals ACF and CCF
• Royal Engineers Museum - Origins of Army Signals Services
• 32 Signal Regiment
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:17 am

Intelligence Corps (United Kingdom)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20

Intelligence Corps
Badge of the Intelligence Corps
Active: 1914–1929; 19 July 1940 – present
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Branch: British Army
Role: Military intelligence
Size: 7 Battalions
HQ: Chicksands
Directorate: Templer Barracks
Intelligence Corps: Maresfield
Nickname(s): Int Corps
Motto(s): Manui Dat Cognitio Vires Knowledge gives strength to the arm
Beret: Cypress green
March: Rose & Laurel (quick); Purcell’s Trumpet Tune and Ayre (slow)
Colonel-in-Chief: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT, OM, GBE, AC, QSO, PC
Colonel Commandant: General Sir Nick Houghton

The Intelligence Corps (Int Corps) is a corps of the British Army. It is responsible for gathering, analysing and disseminating military intelligence and also for counter-intelligence and security. The Director of the Intelligence Corps is a brigadier.


In the 19th century, British intelligence work was undertaken by the Intelligence Department of the War Office. An important figure was Sir Charles Wilson, a Royal Engineer who successfully pushed for reform of the War Office's treatment of topographical work.[1]

In the early 1900s intelligence gathering was becoming better understood, to the point where a counter-intelligence organisation (MI5) was formed by the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DoMI) under Captain (later Major-General) Vernon Kell; overseas intelligence gathering began in 1912 by MI6 under Commander (later Captain) Mansfield Smith-Cumming.[2]

First World War

Although the first proposals to create an intelligence corps came in 1905, the first Intelligence Corps was formed in August 1914 and originally included only officers and their servants. It left for France on 12 August 1914.[3] The Royal Flying Corps was formed to monitor the ground, and provided aerial photographs for the Corps to analyse.[4]

Irish War of Independence

During the Irish War of Independence, Intelligence Corps operatives were used in an unsuccessful battle to defeat the Irish Republican Army. The Cairo Gang were overwhelmingly Intelligence Corps operatives. On Bloody Sunday, 1920, twelve of these agents were assassinated at their lodgings by Michael Collins' Squad. Due to this and similar failures, the Intelligence Corps was disbanded in 1929.[4]

Second World War

On 19 July 1940 a new Intelligence Corps was created by Army Order 112 and has existed since that time. The Army had been unprepared for collecting intelligence for deployment to France, and the only intelligence had been collected by Major Sir Gerald Templer. The Corps trained operatives to parachute at RAF Ringway; some of these were then dropped over France as part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Intelligence Corps officers were involved in forming the highly-effective Long Range Desert Group, and Corps officer Lt Col Peter Clayton was one of the four founders of the Special Air Service (SAS). Around 40 per cent of British Army personnel at Bletchley Park were in the Intelligence Corps.[5]

The Combined Allied Intelligence Corps as it was known in Malta, began recruiting in 1940 following Italy’s entry into the war on the side of Germany.[6] Among its many responsibilities in the Mediterranean Theatre were debriefing and interrogation of high-ranking prisoners of war in East Africa following Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia (“Eldoret” P.O.W. Camp no. 365 being one example), counter-intelligence operations following Operation Husky the Allied invasion of Sicily in August 1943, and implementation of the Allied Screening Commission. [7] The Commission was established by Field-Marshal Sir Harold Alexander a few days after the fall of Rome in June 1944 to identify and reimburse Italian civilians who had assisted Allied escapees.[8]

Cold War

The Corps gained its regimental march in 1956, first played at Kneller Hall, the home of the Royal Military School of Music. From August 1957, the Corps first had a permanent cadre of officers; previously all personnel serving in the corps were officers from other parts of the army, on occasional tours. Throughout the Cold War, Intelligence Corps officers and NCOs (with changed insignia) were posted behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, to join in the intelligence-gathering activities of the British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany (Brixmis).[9]

Northern Ireland

Many members of the Intelligence Corps served in Northern Ireland during "the Troubles". Units such as the Military Reaction Force, Special Reconnaissance Unit, Force Research Unit and 14 Intelligence Company contained Corps soldiers and officers.[10]


On 1 February 1985 the corps was officially declared an 'Arm' (combat support) instead of a 'Service' (rear support).[5]

Corps traditions

Intelligence Corps personnel wear a distinctive cypress green beret with a cap badge consisting of a union rose (a red rose with a white centre) between two laurel branches and surmounted by a crown. (According to the late Gavin Lyall, the Intelligence Corps cap badge is referred to jokingly as "a rampant pansy resting on its laurels".) Their motto is Manui Dat Cognitio Vires ("Knowledge gives Strength to the Arm"). The corps' quick march is The Rose & Laurel while its slow march is Henry Purcell's Trumpet Tune & Ayre.[11] Due to the colour of the beret, Intelligence Corps personnel are often referred to as 'Muppets', 'Green Slime', or simply 'Slime' by fellow soldiers.[12]


Their headquarters, formerly at Maresfield, East Sussex, then Templer Barracks at Ashford, Kent, moved in 1997 to the former Royal Air Force station at Chicksands in Bedfordshire along with the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC) and the Intelligence Corps Museum.[11] DISC was renamed as Joint Intelligence Training Group in January 2015.[13]

Training and promotion

The corps has a particularly high proportion of commissioned officers, many of them commissioned from the ranks, and also a high percentage of female members. Non-commissioned personnel join as an Operator Military Intelligence (OPMI) or Operator Military Intelligence (Linguist) (OPMI(L)). They do basic 14-week military training at either the Army Training Centre, Pirbright, or the Army Training Regiment, Winchester.[14] OPMI soldiers then will complete a 20-week special-to-arm training at Templer Training Delivery Wing, Chicksands, at the end of which they are promoted to Lance Corporal and posted to a battalion.[15]

Chicksands camp


1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade:

• 1 Military Intelligence Battalion – Catterick (Regular Army)[16]
o 5 x MI Companies
• 2 Military Intelligence (Exploitation) Battalion – Trenchard Lines, Upavon (Regular Army)[17]
o 6 x MI Companies
• 3 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – London
o HQ Company – London
o 31 MI Company – London
o 32 MI Company – London
o 33 MI Company – London
o 34 MI Company – London
o 35 MI Company
• 4 Military Intelligence Battalion – Bulford (Regular Army) - supports 3rd UK Division[18]
o Headquarter Company
o 3 x Multi-Functional Military Intelligence (MFMI) Companies
o Operations Support Military Intelligence Company
o Land Intelligence Fusion Centre, Hermitage
• 5 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – Coulby Newham
o HQ Company – Coulby Newham
o 51 MI Company – Edinburgh
o 52 MI Company – Gateshead
o 53 MI Company – Leeds
• 6 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – Manchester
o HQ Company – Manchester
o 61 MI Company – Manchester
o 62 MI Company – Lisburn
o 63 MI Company – Stourbridge
• 7 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – Bristol
o HQ Company – Bristol
o 71 MI Company – Bristol
o 72 MI Company – Southampton
o 73 MI Company – Thatcham

1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade is part of 6th Division.

Notable personnel

• Category:Intelligence Corps officers
• United Kingdom portal
• War portal


1. "Major General Sir Charles William Wilson, 1836-1905". Palestine Exploration Fund. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
2. "The spymaster who was stranger than fiction". The Independent. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
3. Clayton 1996, p. 18-20.
4. "History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 3" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
5. History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 4
6. Recorded interview with Captain “C.M.” (Rtd) (1941–1946) of the Combined Allied Intelligence Corps (Sliema, Malta on 7 November 2012)
7. Recorded interview with Captain “C.M.” (Rtd) (1941–1946) of the Combined Allied Intelligence Corps (Sliema, Malta on 7 November 2012)
8. Roger Absalom (2005) Allied escapers and the contadini in occupied Italy (1943 – 5), Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 10:4, 413-425, DOI: 10.1080/13545710500314603
9. Gibson 2012, p. 57
10. "PREM 16/154: Defensive Brief D - Meeting between the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach, 5 April 1974 "Army Plain Clothes Patrols in Northern Ireland"" (PDF). The National Archives. London. Retrieved 15 April 2015.[permanent dead link]
11. History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 5
12. "Military Slang and Acronyms". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
13. "Bedfordshire - Joint Intelligence Training Group Chicksands". Sanctuary (44): 74. 2015. ISSN 0959-4132.
14. "ATC Pirbright". Retrieved 5 May 2014.
15. "Intelligence Corps opportunities". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
16. "1 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BATTALION". British Army. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
17. "2 Military Intelligence (Exploitation) Battalion". British Army. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
18. "4 Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion". British Army. Retrieved 23 August 2018.

External links and further reading

• Official website
• Intelligence Corps Association
• 3 MI Bn (V) – London
• 5 MI Bn (V) – Coulby Newham
• Military Intelligence Museum
• The Intelligence Corps in the Second World War The Services 1930 – 1956 at
• Clayton, Anthony (1996). Forearmed: History of the Intelligence Corps. Brassey's (UK) Ltd. ISBN 978-0080377018.
• Gibson, Steve (2012). Live and Let Spy: Brixmis the Last Cold War Mission. The History Press, Stroud, Glos. ISBN 978-0-7524-6580-7.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:52 am

Tibet Relief Fund: About Us
by Tibet Relief Fund
Accessed: 3/7/20


We've been having a bit of re-organise here in the office and, with kind help from volunteers Carole and Neil, we have unearthed some fascinating documents and photos dating all the way back to Tibet Relief Fund's beginnings in 1959. One such photo was of Francis Napier Beaufort-Palmer, the founder and first chairman of Tibet Relief Fund.

Mr. Beaufort-Palmer was a remarkable man with a strong sense of social justice and was particularly motivated by helping people in small countries who suffered at the hand of foreign powers. Following news of the Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet, in April 1959 he wrote a letter to The Times suggesting that a society be set up to support Tibet. In July, a further letter was sent to The Times informing readers that the newly formed Tibet Society had opened a "Tibet Relief Fund" to bring practical relief to Tibetan refugees; from this Tibet Relief Fund was established. Now, over 50 years later, our work covers a broader brief including projects inside Tibet.

Francis Beaufort-Palmer was Chairman of Tibet Relief Fund for 15 years and remained a trustee until he died ten years later in 1984.




Sir. – Recent devastating events in Tibet caused over 15,000 Tibetans to cross the perilous Himalayas into India. It may be a long time before these unfortunate people can safely return to their overrun country. Our own consciences should allow us neither to neglect nor forget them.

The Indian Government has manfully coped with this addition to its own problems at home. In this country we are bound in honour to help relieve needs of the Tibetan refugees, because from 1905 to 1947 there was a special relationship between Tibet and the United Kingdom – a relationship handed on to the new India.

On balance we think it wisest to concentrate chiefly on collecting money which can be used for the benefit of the refugees, not least in the purchase of necessary antibiotics and other medicaments. The Tibet Society has opened a Tibet Relief Fund for which we now appeal in the hope of a generous response. Donations should be sent to the address below or direct to the National Bank Ltd. (Belgravia Branch), 21 Grosvenor Gardens, S.W.I.

Yours faithfully,

Thubten Jigme Norbu; F.M. Bailey; Birdwood; J.D. Boyle; [Indian Foreign Secretary Sir] Olaf Caroe; Clement Davies; A.D. Dodds-Parker; Peter Fleming [Master of Deception: The Wartime Adventures of Peter Fleming, by Alan Ogden]; Thomas Moore; [Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere] Harmsworth; Marco Pallis; Hugh E. Richardson; Francis Napier Beaufort-Palmer, Chairman; Major J.C.W. Napier-Munn [Tac HQ Calcutta (Advanced HQ ALFSEA)], Hon. Secretary; D.C. Nicole, Hon. Treasurer, The Tibet Society.
The Tibet Relief Fund, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W. I., Letter to the Times, July 31, 1959, p.7.

-- The Founding of Tibet Relief Fund, Tibet Matters, Issue 17, Autumn 2013, by Tibet Relief Fund

In 1950, the remote country of Tibet, high in the Himalayas, was invaded by the People’s Liberation Army of China. Over 60 years later, Tibet remains occupied and Tibetans live in fear of political and religious persecution, imprisonment and torture.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama made the agonising decision to leave Tibet, to live in exile and work towards justice for his people. Over the ensuing years thousands of Tibetans have followed him into exile.

Founded within months of the Dalai Lama arriving in India, Tibet Relief Fund has been working with Tibetans since then to help give them a sustainable future, both in Tibet and in exile.

Since 1959 Tibet Relief Fund has funded vital projects, including the construction of schools, old people’s homes, medical centres and libraries; provision of water pumps and irrigation systems and a major youth initiative for employment and career development.

Today, the need is as great as ever; every year many Tibetans still choose to risk their lives to escape China’s rule by undertaking the hazardous journey across the Himalayas to India. Inside Tibet, rural communities and nomads live in grinding poverty with little or no healthcare or access to education.

Tibet Relief Fund continues to work with Tibetans to support and develop humanitarian aid projects within Tibet, India and Nepal, funding initiatives in education, healthcare, self-sustainable community building and youth development.

Through the generosity of our supporters, since 1959 Tibet Relief Fund has financed over £4 million worth of vital projects and helped tens of thousands of Tibetans, both inside Tibet and in exile. Our projects have included …

• Building schools, medical centres, old people’s homes and libraries in Tibet, India and Nepal
• Facilitating a broad sponsorship programme for Tibetan children, monks, nuns and elderly people in India and Nepal
• Developing a groundbreaking Tibetan-run youth initiative providing mentoring, career development and vocational training in India
• Promoting health and medical programmes, travelling eye clinics and providing materials for grassroots healthcare in Tibet, India and Nepal
• Partnering with NGOs in Tibet to provide access to clean water, community water pumps and solar kettles for nomadic families
• Providing Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal essential tools and equipment including tractors, ambulances and water tanks

Charity trustees

Tibet Relief Fund is a registered charity and is managed by a board of trustees. The charity operates from a small and vibrant office in Hackney, London with six full-time staff.

UK registered charity: No. 1061834

Patron: Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Chair: Philip Wilson
Treasurer: Thomas Madelin
Trustees: Gary Heads, Peter Gordon Muffett, Professor Dibyesh Anand, Philip Wilson, Rebecca Chick, Thomas Madelin, Tashi Gyaltsen

Our mission:

Tibet Relief Fund works to empower Tibetans to build sustainable communities and better futures through education and innovative practical grassroots initiatives.

Our vision:

A world where Tibetans can live and work with equality and security and celebrate their rich culture and traditions.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:24 am

Young Lamas Home School
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/9/20

The Young Lamas Home School was a school established by the 14th Dalai Lama and Freda Bedi in 1960.[1] Its funding was provided by Christopher Hills and its early abbot was Karma Thinley Rinpoche.

Freda Bedi asked Chogyam Trungpa to train young Tibetan monks, and then he became the spiritual advisor of them.[2] In addition to Chogyam Trungpa, there were Thubten Zopa Rinpoche,[3] Akong Rinpoche, Tulku Pema Tenzin, Gelek Rimpoche, Yeshe Losal, and the sons of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima and Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche who attended the school.[4] Freda Bedi was the principal of the school in Delhi which later moved to Dalhousie.

Tenzin Palmo and Robert Thurman were teachers there.[5][6]


1. Chögyam Trungpa, Sam Bercholz, Meditation in Action
2. Diana J. Mukpo, Carolyn Rose Gimian, Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, p. 71
3. Jamyang Wangmo, The Lawudo Lama: stories of reincarnation from the Mount Everest region p. 191 : "The Young Lamas Home School started in Delhi in 1961 in the house of Frida Bedi, with Chogyam Trungpa, Akhong Rinpoche, Tulku Pema Tenzin, and Geleg Rinpoche as the first students. After a while, Mrs. Bedi rented a beautiful new house at L-7, Green Park, in the Hauz Khas area of New Delhi. When I joined the school in 1962 there were twelve tulkus attending."
4. Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie
5. Vicki Mackenzie, Cave in the snow: a western woman's quest for enlightenment, 1999, ISBN 1-58234-045-5
6. Why the Dalai Lama Matters, interview by Claude Arpi, 21 April 2010
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:42 am

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:42 am

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