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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Concluding on a high note, in Manhattan

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance(UNSC, CTC, NMFT, FATF etc)
  • Mains GS Paper II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate etc

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • India concluded its eighth stint in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the end of December 2022.

unsc

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

United Nations Security Council(UNSC):

  • The Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945.
  • It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
  • Its primary responsibility is to work to maintain international peace and security.
  • The council is headquartered at NewYork.
  • The council has 15 members:
    • Five(5) permanent members
    • Ten(10) non-permanent members elected for two-year terms
  • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term.
  • The ten non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis.
  • The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.
  • Permanent members: United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom

 

India’s focus areas:

  • Maritime security
  • Terrorism
  • UN peacekeeping
  • Reformed multilateralism and the Global South.

 

India was elected Chair of three important UNSC Committees:

  • Taliban Sanctions Committee
  • Libyan Sanctions Committee
  • Counter-terrorism Committee.

 

India’s stand:

  • The Prime Minister of India chaired for the first time a UNSC meeting on maritime security.
  • The Presidential Statement
    • The first holistic document on this issue
    • It, for the first time, had a direct reference to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as international law setting out the legal framework in the context of maritime activities.
  • It also called for, inter alia, freedom of navigation, anti-piracy and combating terror and transnational crime at sea.

 

Old conflicts on the UNSC agenda festered and new conflicts:

  • Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mali or Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Haiti, Libya, the Sahel, and of course Ukraine.
  • The Council stood polarized, unable to act decisively.
  • India strove to bring them on the same page.
  • On Myanmar Issue:
    • The Permanent-5 (P-5) were pulling in opposing directions
    • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) counseled caution.
    • India ensured balanced and comprehensive Council pronouncements, which finally culminated in a resolution on Myanmar (adopted under our presidency) in December 2022.

 

Key theaters and terror:

  • In August 2021, the Taliban forcefully seized power in Afghanistan.
  • India was able to steer the negotiations which resulted in UNSC Resolution 2593 laying down benchmarks
    • on stopping cross-border terrorism from Afghan soil, including from proscribed UN terrorist entities in Pakistan;
    • Protecting the rights of women, minorities and children
    • ensuring an inclusive government
    • Providing humanitarian assistance.
  • UN Secretariat and the West trying to engage the Taliban without success, a firm position on the Taliban upholding these benchmarks continues to be the best course of action.

 

Ukraine conflict(India’s independent stand):

  • India called for dialogue and peace struck a chord with many developing countries, since they themselves were affected by unilateral sanctions.
  • India spoke out against such sanctions inter alia on oil, food and fertilizers.

 

Stand on terrorism:

  • India has enhanced the focus on terrorism.
  • As Chair of the UNSC Counter-terrorism Committee (CTC) India brought the CTC meeting to India in October 2022.
  • India’s attempt to list terrorists under UNSC Resolution 1267 sanctions (along with the U.S.)
  • The proposal to list Abdul Rehman Makki, Deputy Amir/Chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba was approved by the UNSC.

 

UNSC- Counter-Terrorism Committee:(Delhi Declaration):

  • Adopted the Delhi Declaration on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.
  • Three themes: Continue working on recommendations on the three themes of the Special meeting.
    • Terrorism financing
    • Cyberthreats
    • Use of drones
  • Non-binding principles: Develop a set of non-binding guiding principles to assist Member States to counter the threat posed by the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.

Aim:

  • Cover the main concerns surrounding the abuse of drones, social media platforms, and crowdfunding
  • Create guidelines that will help to tackle the growing issue.

 

On peacekeeping:

  • India has been the largest contributor of UN peacekeepers, including as a pioneer in women peacekeeping.
  • UNITE Aware technology platform to strengthen real-time protection of peacekeepers is to be noted.
  • In August 2021: India piloted the first UNSC resolution by India in more than five decades
    • accountability for crimes against peacekeepers.
    • India gifted two lakh vaccines to all UN peacekeepers.

 

Other steps by India:

  • In December 2021: India thwarted a move by the West to wrest climate change from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change-led process and bring it under the ambit of the UNSC.
    • A change in the climate change architecture would have shut out the voice of the Global South, especially Small Island Developing States.
  • India’s stand on contemporary form of religiophobia in the Council when, while condemning phobia against Abrahamic religions, it forcefully put forth the need to combat rising hate crimes and phobias against non-Abrahamic religions as well.

 

Way Forward

  • With this conflict spilling over into India’s G-20 Presidency, it is time for India, as a credible voice, to launch an initiative to convert its proactive position into action.
  • The focus on the developing world, especially Africa and West Asia, was enhanced, given our close historical relations.
  • With hate crimes being fuelled abroad by vested interests, India’s stand needs to be robustly taken forward.
  • The Indian team’s performance over two years is testimony to why India needs to be at the horseshoe table permanently.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

What are the different elements of cyber security ? Keeping in view the challenges in cyber security, examine the extent to which India has successfully developed a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)