- Prelims: Current events of international importance, UNGA
- Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests, Important international institutions etc
- National statements by the world’s political leaders during the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) are directed primarily to the international community but take into account domestic political and social constituencies.
INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE
- Popularly known as the parliament of the world, where all the 193 UN member states are represented
- The UNGA is the deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
Roles and functions:
- Takes a decision on important matters: such as peace and security, discusses various global issues and budgetary matters.
- Admission of members: Decides on matters such as the admission of new members.
- Decisions are taken through a vote.
- Voting by majority: Admission of new members and budgetary matters require a two-thirds majority, while the decision on other issues are taken by a simple majority.
- One vote one country: Each sovereign state gets one vote and the votes are not binding on the membership, except in budgetary matters.
- No binding veto powers: The Assembly has no binding votes or veto powers like the UN Security Council.
- Opinion and recommendations: The UNGA can express world opinion, promote international cooperation in various fields and make recommendations to the UNSC and elect the Security Council’s non-permanent members.
Foreign Invasions in India:
- Kushan and Hun invasions of India in the remote past.
- Arab attack in Sindh in the eighth century
- Mahmud of Ghazni and later of Mohammad Ghori.
- The latter’s invasion led to the beginning of the establishment of centuries of Muslim rule in India.
Issues with External Affairs Minister’s speech in UNGA:
- Interpretation of Indian history: First time the basic interpretation of Indian history. has been projected in the UNGA, although in coded language.
- India has always presented nationally unified positions abroad: particularly at the UN and in multilateral forums rather than domestic divide.
- India’s rejuvenation is taking place in a democratic framework now: He overlooked the fact that the Indian Republic introduced adult franchise and that power was exercised only through the representatives chosen by the people after independence.
Five pledges that Prime Minister has set before the people for the next 25 years:
- A developed India
- Freedom from the idea of servility
- Pride in heritage
- Unity and solidarity
- Fulfilling one’s duty
Addressing of pledges in UNGA by External Affairs Minister and related issues:
- We will liberate ourselves from a colonial mindset:
- Externally, this means reformed multilateralism and more contemporary global governance”.
- It is a strange proposition to put before the UNGA that the Indian “mindset” remains “colonial” and needs to be liberated.
- Emphasizing the care and concern” for the environment “ingrained in our traditional ethos: But the general proposition cannot be stretched so far as to deny India’s great achievements in the United Nations itself.
- Liberation from a colonial mindset: It damages India’s record as a pioneer and leader in the global decolonisation process in the 1950s and the 1960s.
- The view of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi: It cannot be denied that they were heroes to the anti-colonial leadership in many countries in Africa and elsewhere.
- Gandhiji as inspiration: An entire generation of human rights workers in the United States and South Africa were also inspired by Gandhiji and his non-violent anti-colonial struggle.
- Words, phrases, arguments and exhortations: They are the tools of diplomacy.
- They cannot and should not be abandoned to promote domestic ideologies in external settings.
QUESTION FOR PRACTICE
- The long-sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized Nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order” Elaborate. (UPSC 2019)
(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)