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.
- 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.
- 4 kinds of contributions:
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.