India Elected To UN ECOSOC For 2022-24 Term

India Elected To UN ECOSOC For 2022-24 Term

India recently got elected in the UN ECOSOC for the term of 2022-24. In that light, let us know more about this UN body which is at the centre of sustainable development and also acts as forum for discussions on global issues. 

Crux of the Matter

Recent News
On 8th June, India was elected to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2022-24 term along with Oman, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan in the Asia- Pacific States category.

UN ECOSOC

  • In 1945, the UN charter established The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • ECOSOC is one of the 6 principal organs of the United Nations. 
  • The 54-member council promotes sustainable development in social, economic and environmental dimensions across the World. 
  • The General Assembly elects the 54 members of the council each year for 3-year terms that overlap.

Seat Allocation In ECOSOC

Current Position Of India In UN
Meanwhile, India is serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2021-22 term. In Aug 2021, India will take over the Presidency of this 15-nation UN body.

Curiopedia
  • Along with Italy, China is home to the maximum number (65) of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. Some of the frequently visited sites include The Great Wall of China, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
  •  India was first elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 1950. Since then, India has been elected eight times as a member of the UN Security Council.

What Is Veto Power In UNSC?

What Is Veto Power In UNSC?

In the light of UN condemning violent clashes in Israel, let’s have a look at the trends adopted by the P5 countries to use their veto power in UNSC over the years.

Crux of the Matter

What is Veto?
As per Article 27 of UN Charter, US, China, Russia, UK and France have the power to ‘veto’ any ‘substantive’ resolution. These countries were the founding members of UN amidst WW2.

Russia

  • Due to Soviet Union’s frequent vetoes, Soviet ambassador Andrei Gromyko earned the nickname Mr. Nyet which means “no” in Russian.
  • In 21st century, Russia has vetoed all resolutions against Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, where it has also deployed troops.
  • In 1971, it vetoed all resolutions regarding India-Pakistan War.

China

  • Until 1971, the seat was held by Republic of China (ROC) which was forced to exile in Taiwan.
  • In 1971, People’s Republic of China (PRC) replaced ROC’s the seat.
  • China, along with Russia, has been double vetoing all resolutions pertaining to the Syrian Civil War .

France

  • France has used its veto power the least, using it last in 1989.
  • France has also proposed that the P5 “voluntarily regulate their right to veto” by not using it when the Council has to make a decision “with regard to a genocide or mass crime”.

UK

  • Along with France, UK used its last veto in 1989 to quash a resolution on US invasion of Panama.
  • In 1956, France and UK used a double veto to crush a resolution on the Suez Canal crisis, where Egyptian President Gamal Nasser took full control of the Canal.
  • Troops of the UK, France and Israel were involved in this conflict.

USA

  • Since 1972, US has always vetoed resolutions condemning Israel.
  • During Obama administration, US abstained from voting in Israel related issues.
  • Under Trump, US switched back to using veto.
  • As per analysts, US under Biden is expected to continue using veto power in favour of Israel.

Negroponte Doctrine
The doctrine comes from then US ambassador to UN, John Negroponte, who stated in 2002 that US will always oppose UNSC resolutions against Israel. US wished to counterweight the resolutions passed by the General Assembly which condemned the actions of Israel

Curiopedia
  • The first UN Security Council Meeting took place on 17 January, 1946 at Church House in London. On 24 October, 1945, the United Nations was officially formed.
  • Over the last 16 years, India has been a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It is a member of the G4, a coalition of nations who support each other in their bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council and push for UNSC reformation.
  • T. S. Tirumurti is the current UN ambassador (permanent Representative) of India and is the head of the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York City. He was appointed that position by the President of India.

PM Modi At UNGA: UN Reform Is ‘The Need Of The Hour’

PM Modi At UNGA: UN Reform Is 'The Need Of The Hour'

In the latest address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) by PM Modi of India. the major highlight coming out was his questioning the relevancy of the board as well as the inadequate position provided to India, the largest democracy in the world.

Crux of the Matter

PM Modi Addresses The 75th UNGA
On 26 September 2020, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, made an address to the 75th United Nations General Assembly. Recorded video messages of leaders were played in the virtually held meeting due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

PM Modi raised the issue of the functioning of the UN as well as India’s role in his recorded address.

Key Points Raised By PM Modi

  • Introspection” is required for the UN as the “world of 1945 was significantly different from today’s world”.
  • Questioned efficiency of the organization as the World has “successfully avoided a third world war, but [one] cannot deny that there have been several wars and many civil wars”.
  • Raised doubts over the role of the UN during the pandemic as he asked that “where is the United Nations in this joint fight against the pandemic? Where is its effective response?”

Role Of India In The UN
A country that laid the foundations of the UN, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for 8th time. It would serve its 2-year term from 2021. However, calls for India to be elected as a Permanent Member of the UNSC have increased in recent years.

UN Security Council has 5 permanent members – China, Russia, France, the UK, and the US. Controversies have continued since long as India was reportedly offered a permanent member seat by the US and the Soviet Union to replace China. However, PM Nehru rejected the reports, claiming that he didn’t want India to get embroiled in the Cold War between the two nations and didn’t want enmity with China.

In his address, Modi claimed that “the faith and respect that the United Nations enjoys in India are unparalleled”. However, he also added that “the people of India have been waiting for a long time for the completion of the reforms of the United Nations. For how long will India be kept out of the decision-making structures of the United Nations?

Why Should India Be Added?
At the UNGA, Modi then highlighted facts about India in favour of adding it to the “decision-making structures”:

  • India, currently the largest democracy in the world containing 18% of the world’s population, has prevailed as the “leading global economy for centuries”.
  • India has a tradition of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (whole world is a family) which is also the ideal of the UN.
  • India has sent soldiers to over 50 UN peacekeeping missions. In the process, it has lost 163 peacekeepers since the UN’s inception – more than any country in the world.
  • ‘International Day of Non-Violence’ (2 October) and ‘International Day of Yoga’ (21 June) were initiated by India. It also played a key role in founding the ‘International Solar Alliance’ and the ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’.
  • Modi claimed that “when India strengthens its development partnership, it is not with any malafide intent of making the partner country dependent or hapless”, taking an indirect hint at China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • India supplied “essential medicines to more than 150 countries” even during the Covid-19 pandemic. Modi also provided assurance that as “the largest vaccine producing country of the world…India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis”.

To read about what leaders of other nations said at the 75th UN General Assembly meeting, read this story: 75th UN General Assembly Session Held

Curiopedia
  • Ahimsa is an ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to all living beings. It is a key virtue in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
  • The League of Nations was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. It was founded on 10 January 1920 following the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War.
  • 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.

75th UN General Assembly Session Held

75th UN General Assembly Session Held

As the 75th UN General Assembly meet was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, let us take a look at what the leaders said in context of the worldwide situations as well as their interpersonal relations.

Crux of the Matter

Virtual Meet
The 75th anniversary of the United Nations was marked this year, which was formed when World War II ended in 1945. The UN General Assembly meeting was held online this year from 22 September, with pre-recorded messages from World Leaders being played.

Donald Trump (US President)
Trump continued blaming China for Covid-19 damage while describing the achievements of his tenure. Some of his statements are given here:

We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy, the China virus, which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries.

Even as [China] canceled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes, the Chinese government and the World Health Organization, which is virtually controlled by China, falsely declared that there was no evidence of human to human transmission.

Our military has increased substantially in size. We spent $2.5 trillion over the last four years on our military. We have the most powerful military anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close.

Xi Jinping (Chinese President)
Jinping downplayed China’s expansionism, took covert jibe at the US and made grand promises.

We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.

We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

In particular, major countries should act like major countries. They should provide more global public goods, take up their due responsibilities and live up to people’s expectations

Vladimir Putin (Russian President)
Putin offered aid to the UN members while pushing for more open trading across the world.

Russia is ready to provide the UN with all the necessary qualified assistance; in particular, we are offering to provide our vaccine, free of charge, for the voluntary vaccination of the staff of the UN and its offices.

I would like to draw attention once again to Russia’s proposal to create so-called ”green corridors“ free from trade wars and sanctions.

In general, freeing the world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions and illegitimate sanctions would be of great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment.

Emmanuel Macron (French President)
Macron discussed a multipolar world besides the US and China while highlighting unlawful actions being taken across the world.

The world as it is today cannot come down to simple rivalry between China and the United States, no matter the global weight of these two great powers.

I repeat once more to Russia the need for full light to be shed on the murder attempt on a political opposition figure using a nerve agent, Novichok.

We will not compromise on the activation of a mechanism that the United States is not in a position to activate on its own after leaving the agreement (reactivated sanctions on Iran by the US).

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish President)
Erdogan raised the issue of Kashmir, again.

The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace in South Asia, is still a burning issue. Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu & Kashmir further complicated the problem.

In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbours, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey in 2019 UN General Assembly

Narendra Modi
Modi called for structural reforms while declaring a need for “multilateralism”.

The declaration acknowledges the need for reform in the United Nation itself. You cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures.

Without comprehensive reforms, the UN faces a crisis of confidence. For today’s interconnected world, we need a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities.

T S Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, tweeted that “Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply”.

Curiopedia
  • The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the United Nations. It establishes the purposes, governing structure, and overall framework of the UN system, including its six principal organs.
  • The secretary-general of the United Nations is the chief administrative officer of the United Nations and head of the United Nations Secretariat. As of 2020, the secretary-general is former prime minister of Portugal António Guterres.
  • Trygve Halvdan Lie was a Norwegian politician, labour leader, government official and author. From 1946 to 1952 he was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Indo-China Tensions Boil Over UN Meeting

Indo-China Tensions Boil Over UN Meeting

India and China expressed mutual animosity at the latest UN meeting, with both sides receiving support from their respective allies.

Crux of the Matter

India Speaks Up For Hong Kong
At the latest United Nations Human Rights Council meeting, India supported Hong Kong against China and asked the latter to respect the fundamental rights of the HK citizens. In its statement, India asked China to “address the issues properly, seriously and objectively”.


Pakistan And China
On 29 June 2020, a terrorist attack occurred on the Karachi Stock Exchange. 10 casualties were reported, while the 4 terrorists were eliminated. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army. However, Pakistan PM Imran Khan claimed that the attack was facilitated by India.

China initiated the condemnation of the attacks in the UN Security Council. However, the process was delayed by extensions taken by Germany and US, reported as signs of support to India. Eventually, the UNSC condemned the attacks in Pakistan, but did not mention or blame India.

US Support On India’s Chinese App Ban
Recently, India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country. The step received support from the US, which stated that the move will enhance India’s “sovereignty and security”.

We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps that can serve as appendages of the CCP’s surveillance state. India’s Clean App approach will boost India’s sovereignty. It will also boost India’s integrity and national security, as the Indian Government itself has stated.

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State

Curiopedia
  • The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was established on 11 January 2016 after the merger of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. PSX’s origins were laid with the establishment of the Karachi Stock Exchange in 1947, the Lahore Stock Exchange in 1970 and the Islamabad Stock Exchange in 1992.
  • The Republic of China used its Security Council veto only once, to stop the admission of the Mongolian People’s Republic to the United Nations in 1955 on the grounds it recognized all of Mongolia as part of China. Although as of June 2012, the People’s Republic of China had used its Security Council veto eight times.
  • United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was an international relief agency, largely dominated by the United States but representing 44 nations. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations in 1945, and it largely shut down operations in 1947. The Republic Of China co-founded UNRRA.