India elected a non-permanent member of the UNSC

    • India elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a two-year term, beginning from January 1, 2021.
    • India is the only endorsed candidate from the Asia-Pacific States.
    • India’s 8th term as a non-permanent member at the UNSC.
    • Other countries won SC elections: Ireland, Mexico, and Norway


India’s Priorities at UNSC

        • Ministry of External Affairs: India will be guided by the five priorities under the theme of NORMS: New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.

        These priorities include:

        • New Opportunities for progress
          • An effective response to international terrorism
          • Reforming the multilateral system
          • A comprehensive approach to international peace and security
          • Promoting technology with a human touch as a driver of solutions

        • India to pursue these priorities through a Five-S approach: Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity).

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

    • Created in 1949 by the UN, as a relief and human development agency.
    • Provides shelter, basic food supplies, medical aid, education, and work opportunities for Palestine refugees
    • Five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza Strip, and West Bank including East of Jerusalem.
    • Funding – voluntary contributions from the UN Members States.


WHO Funding

      • 4 kinds of contributions:
        • Assessed contributions
        • Specified voluntary contributions: It forms the largest share of WHO’s funds.
        • Core voluntary contributions
        • Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Contributions
      • US is currently WHO’s the biggest contributor with 14.67% and India’s share is 0.48%.
      • Out of the total funds, the maximum funds are spent in the Africa region.
      • Maximum money allocated: Polio eradication, followed by essential health & nutrition services, and preventable diseases vaccines.


WHO Executive Board

    • Indian Health Minister – chairman of the WHO Executive Board.
    • Executive Board: 34 technically qualified members in health
    • Elected for 3-year terms
    • To implement WHA decisions, advise, and facilitate its work.
    • Chairman post – rotation for 1 year among 6 regional groups.



World Health Assembly (WHA)

    • 73rd World Health Assembly convened. It was the first ever virtual health assembly.

    Key outcomes

    • Resolution adopted – impartial, independent, and comprehensive evaluation of WHO’s response to pandemic and identify “zoonotic” source of coronavirus.
    • Removal of unjustified obstacles inconsistent with agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the flexibilities within Doha Declaration on Trips Agreement and Public Health.



Doha Declaration on the TRIPS agreement and public health

      • Adopted in 2001, by WTO Members.
      • Declaration: TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health.


Arms Trade Treaty

    • First legally binding international agreement
    • Aim: to regulate the global trade in conventional arms by establishing common international standards for member countries.
    • Countries who neither signed nor ratified: Russia, China, India, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
    • Endorsed: UNGA in April 2013
      • Entered into force: December 23, 2014.
    • Regulates ammunition or munitions: fired, launched, or delivered by the conventional arms covered under the treaty.
    • States to monitor their arms exports
      • To ensure their weapons sales do not break existing arms embargoes.
    • To ensure the weapons they export do not end up being used for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or terrorist acts.
      • They need to stop the transfer if their arms are used for any of these.


Conventional Arms which ATT covers:

    • Battle tanks
    • Armored combat vehicles
    • Large-caliber artillery systems
    • Combat aircraft
    • Attack Helicopters
    • Warships
    • Missiles and missile launchers
    • Small arms and light weapons

    News: China said it will join UN arms trade treaty.



Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

        • Implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention.
        • Headquarters in Hague, Netherlands.
        • Convention on Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons, and on their Destruction (the Chemical Weapons Convention or CWC) entered into force on 29 April 1997.
        • Aim – to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer, or use of chemical weapons by States Parties.
        • Four provisions:
        • Destroying all existing chemical weapons
        • Monitoring the chemical industry
        • Providing assistance, and protection to States Parties against chemical threats.
        • Fostering international cooperation.
        • CWC was signed and ratified by 193 countries, including India.
        • Israel has signed but not ratified the Convention.
        • Non-signatory states are Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan.
        • ‘challenge inspection’ – any State Party in doubt about another State Party’s compliance can request a surprise inspection.

        News: for the first time, OPCW explicitly blamed Syria for toxic attacks.


Biological Weapons Convention

    • 1st multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production, and stockpiling of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.
    • It entered into force on March 26, 1975.
    • Total states-parties:183
    • India signed the convention in 1973 and ratified it in 1974.
    • BWC bans The development, stockpiling, acquisition, retention, and production of
      • Biological agents and toxins, that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.
      • Weapons, equipment, and delivery vehicles designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.
      • Transfer of or assistance with acquiring the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment, and delivery vehicles.
    • BWC does not ban the use of biological and toxin weapons.
    • It reaffirms the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which prohibits such use.
    • It also does not ban bio-defense programs.



Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

    • Objectives:
      • To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
      • to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and
      • to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament & general and complete disarmament.
    • Represents the only binding commitment to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
    • Nuclear-weapon states: that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967;
    • United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
    • Four other states believed to possess nuclear weapons – India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea; they are not a party to NPT.
    • NPT Review Conference held every five years
    • To review the operation of the treaty and consider means to strengthen it.


Open Skies Treaty

    • An agreement permitting each state-party to conduct short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over others’ territories to collect data on military forces and activities.
    • Aim: building confidence and familiarity among state-parties.
    • OST was signed in 1992 and came into effect in 2002.
    • Total states: 34
    • India, China are not members of the treaty.
    • Treaty determines specific points of entry and exit.
    • Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC): representatives of all state-parties, responsible for the implementation of OST.



Multilateral Development Banks

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    • India – founding member of ADB.
    • Top 5 shareholders: Japan, United States, People’s Republic of China, India, and Australia. 



Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

    • 93 approved members with India as a founding member.
    • India: second largest shareholder in AIIB

New Development Bank (NDB)

    • NDB: BRICS countries’ initiative.
    • An equal share of five member states.
    • Objective: To mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS  other emerging market economies
    • To developing countries to complement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth.