Reflecting upon the historical development of global institutions, the first adventure that marked the beginning of a political world organisation was the formation of the League of Nations. Based on the four fundamental pillars for maintaining peace, viz. no general prohibition of war; war as a social wrong; no war without a settlement of dispute procedure and the guarantee of territorial status quo, the League experiment failed due to instability and betrayal by the great powers.
The geopolitical changes post World War II and horrendous human rights violations that followed, the need for a universal international architecture became unassailable for maintaining peace and to establish the principles of sovereign equality. Experience of the horrors of World War made it clear that the legal equality of states could not be generally maintained in practice as long as the Eurocentric international law allowed the use of force as an instrument of policy. The quadripartite conference at Dumbarton Oaks in 1944 attended by the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, paved way for discussions concerning the new world charter, global administrative law and establishing rule of law at the global level.
In 1945, forty-six more Allied Nations were invited to review and rewrite the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. This new conference took place from 25 April to 26 June 1945 in San Francisco and resulted in the creation of the United Nations Charter. The United Nations has catalysed decolonization, promoted freedom, carved norms for international trade, stimulated inclusive development, promoted healthcare, disrupted technologies, advanced democracy and most importantly prevented wars. On 26 June 2020, the UN marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the singing of the United Nations Charter.
To commemorate the 75th Anniversary, the organization stimulated a global dialogue on the role of international cooperation and proposed the declaration on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. By a Modalities Resolution adopted by the UN Member States, the UN will mark its 75th anniversary on the theme, ‘The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism’. The declaration is set to be adopted by the world leaders this September as a renewed vision for collective global action and governance.
The responsibility for facilitating the intergovernmental negotiations was entrusted on Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar and Anna Karin Enestrom, Permanent Representative of Sweden. Adding to the 2005 World Outcome document adopted to mark the United Nations’ 60th anniversary and the United Nations 70 Declaration in 2015, the UN 75 Declaration talks about structural reforms, climate action, women’s rights, terrorism, and the promotion of democratic values and the rule of law. The declaration also facilitates an opportunity to further bridge the gap between national governments and international civil society’s view of the “Future we want, the United Nations we need.”
However, the declaration faced several objections and was delayed. The third last paragraph of the Declaration says, “Through reinvigorated global action and by building on the progress achieved in the last 75 years, we are determined to ensure the future we want. To achieve this, we will mobilize resources, strengthen our efforts and show unprecedented political will and leadership. We will work together with partners to strengthen coordination and global governance for the shared vision for a common future.” The Five Eyes network consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, objected to the use of a phrase “shared vision of a common future”. India too joined the bandwagon to express its resentment against the use of the phrase as it resonated with is the Chinese Communist Party’s articulation to describe its foreign policy aspirations. The phrase was used by former Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao in a 2012 report to the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress.
The final draft of Declaration was circulated on June 17 and the initial deadline of raising objections and the silence period was stretched multiple times till 6 pm on June 26. According to the UN procedure, “Silence process” is a procedure by which a resolution passes if no formal objections are raised within a stipulated time. The United Kingdom Chargé d’Affaires informed the co-facilitators that they along with a group of member-states were breaking the silence on June 23.
The ‘silence’ process was broken at the request of the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Jonathan Allen, who wrote a letter on behalf of the intelligence alliance the Five Eyes viz. the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India, to the President of the 74th General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, suggesting alternative wording. However, China’s geopolitical trade allies Russia, Syria and Pakistan raised objections to the silence being broken. China argued that the phrase “shared vision for a common future” was a part of the 2019 Modalities Resolution that had provided the framework for the commemoration of the 75th-anniversary celebration.
The objecting countries preferred the resolution to be replaced with, “We will work together with partners to strengthen coordination and global governance for the common good of present and future generations and to realize our shared vision for a better future as envisaged in the preamble of the UN Charter.” Following the disapproval by powerful international players, UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande suggested an alternatively phrased declaration.
UNGA President Muhammad-Bande circulated the updated draft declaration to the UN Member States under silence procedure. On June 26, the Declaration of Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations was finalised with no objections after the end of the “silence period”. The replaced wording of the Declaration with “We will work together with partners to strengthen coordination and global governance for the common good of present and future generations and to realize our shared vision for the common future of present and coming generations” was accepted by the six countries as the new phrase resonated the language in the United Nations Charter. The United Nations over the period has become a forum for China to use power politics. This strategic collaboration can be perceived as a major pushback to China’s diplomatic influence.
While this decade also signifies China’s amoral leadership in dealing with COVID-19, with its growing influence in international institutions, heavy militarisation, irresponsible sovereignty and growing territorial ambitions, China’s snowballing influence at the global level is also reckoned a threat to many. China has played a divisive role to exploit today’s crisis of the legitimacy of international institutions. China’s influence in the WHO and China’s transnational efforts to delegitimize Taiwan’s democracy are exemplars of China’s shrewd global influence. The United Nations is now the most acceptable institution in the domain of global governance. China has in the last few years has played a proactive role to influence the United Nations as an institutional tool to foster Chinese global ambitions. Today, China with its economic power controls 4 of the 15 UN specialized agencies and is the secondlargest monetary contributor to the institution.
Amidst the unrest in the western economic structure, at the World Economic Forum in 2017, China emerged as the defender of economic globalization and advocated going global. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is largely perceived as an economic misadventure, has enabled China to emerge as a political voice in the Eurasian system. China’s geo-economic outreach in the region is also challenging the United States – Europe security tie-ups. This economic aggressiveness translates to military aggressiveness in the South China Sea. From a security paradigm, China with its ‘Blue Sea 2020’ Project is covertly securitizing the South China Sea under the guise of ‘special law enforcement campaign to enhance marine environmental protection’. In 2016, China blocked NGOs critical of China from receiving UN accreditation. China’s geopolitical and geo-economic expansion is chaperoned by an auxiliary programme for global administrative law.
To sustain a rule-based order of international law requires strategic collaboration in the participatory world order. India’s objection to the UN 75 Declaration was viewed with scepticism being the only non-western member to raise the issue. In the current multipolar and multicivilizational geopolitical realm, India’s diplomatic allegiance to the Five Eyes in the UN and Japan in the Asia Pacific Group can be sensed as an effort to block Chinese aggression at the diplomatic level amid the recent border tensions. After the violent clash in the area, China has illegitimately laid a formal claim to the entire Galwan Valley area that has been under the control of Government of India.
On 2 July 2020, Germany and United States intervened and blocked China’s antiIndia statement under the UNSC procedure denouncing the Karachi terror attack. There is a clear sense of solidarity in support of India and global political mood to push back China’s aggressiveness. Recently, the Government of India has exerted its ‘digital sovereignty’ by blocking 59 Chinese applications which were prejudicial to the security of the nation. The United States Federal Communications Commission on 30 June 2020 listed Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation as ‘national security threats.’ It is also amply clear that the Indian Government will not allow Chinese 5G project in India.
With India’s eighth term as a non-permanent member in the Security Council beginning from 1 January 2021, India’s efforts to promote global peace, resilience and equity will add impetus to its candidature for a permanent seat in the UNSC. South Asian region is geopolitically sensitive due to the absence of an Asian Union making space for many Asias within Asia. While China’s foreign policy is inexorably linked to challenging the legitimacy of global institutions, India’s newest foreign policy tools like New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System, Indian Ocean diplomacy and BIMSTEC can facilitate India’s emergence as an alternative leader to global economic affairs in the Asian region.
Adithya Anil Variath is a lawyer and researcher based in Mumbai, India.
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Lalu Yadav criticises Amit Shah for attacking Bihar govt
A day before he meets Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday criticised Home Minister Amit Shah for his attack on the Bihar government coalition and emphasised the need for Opposition unity.
“Amit Shah has utterly lost his mind. His administration has been overthrown in Bihar. The BJP will also lost in 2024. That is why he is sprinting there (Bihar) and speaking of jungle raaj. What did he do when he was in Gujarat,” Yadav said.
The former chief minister of Bihar said that “Jungle raaj” was present in Gujarat when he was there.
On Sunday evening, Kumar and Yadav will probably meet Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress.
We are making every effort for Opposition unity,” Yadav, who has been battling poor health, said, adding this will the agenda of their meeting.
The Bihar chief minister was slammed by Shah on Friday for allegedly betraying the BJP and attempting to advance his prime ministerial ambitions while “sitting in the laps of Congress and RJD.”
At a rally in Purnea, Shah predicted that the Kumar-Lalu Prasad jodi would be destroyed (soopda saaf) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and that the BJP will win a majority by itself in the state assembly elections the following year.
In response, Yadav said, “Amit Shah bilkul paglaye hue hain” ( Amit Shah is absolutely insane).
Hollywood star John Cusack supports ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, says solidarity to all anti-fascists
Hollywood star John Cusack on Saturday showed his support to the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, a campaign to reach out to the general public. Cusack tweeted: “Indian parliament member Rahul Gandhi is walking to Kashmir from Kerala.” This was written weeks after the march, which intends to go over 3,500 kilometres across the nation, began.
Expressing his support for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra on Saturday, Hollywood actor Cusack stated that he stands in solidarity with “anti-fascists everywhere.”
Cusack, the leading man in blockbusters like “Serendipity,” “High Fidelity,” “Con Air,” and “2012,” has been outspoken on social media regarding a number of international issues.
Jairam Ramesh, a Congress’s spokesman, shared the post of the Cusack’s tweet.
The actor posted on Twitter that Indian parliament member Rahul Gandhi is walking from Kerala by foot to Kashmir. Cusack responded to a user who complimented him for backing Gandhi’s cause by saying, “Yes – solidarity – to all anti fascists everywhere!” The actor has previously offered support to the farmers’ and students’ demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and three agriculture legislation, respectively.
Rahul Gandhi began his march from Kanyakumari, the southernmost point of the nation’s mainland, and he is currently travelling through the southern states. A verbal battle between the BJP and the Congress has been ongoing since the yatra got underway.
Gandhi has often emphasised that the Yatra is a fight against the BJP’s poor leadership. He has brought up concerns including unemployment, inflation, and women’s safety. However, following numerous polling failures over the past few years, the party is also focusing on the 2024 national elections during the mass contact programme.
Assam CM’s three-day Chintan Shivir to start today
The three-day Chintan Shivir, which is due to start today, will be attended by the Cheif Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as well as all other ministers and senior secretaries of various state government agencies.
The state administration will talk about the departments’ ongoing activities during the brainstorming session. In the shivir, it is probable that the departments’ five-year plans and road map will be prepared.
In August of this year, a cabinet meeting presided over by the CM decided to organise the three-day shivir.
Around 2 pm, the Chief Minister of Assam will attend the Chintan Shivir’s opening session.
All of the BJP’s ministers and legislators from its ally party are likely to attend the Chintan Shivir.
Resort of BJP leader’s son arrested for 19-year-old’s murder demolished at midnight
Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami ordered the demolition of a resort owned by the accused amid outcry over the reported murder of a 19-year-old woman in Uttarakhand by a BJP leader’s son.
Abhinav Kumar, special principal secretary to the CM, said that demolition was underway at the Vanatara Resort in Rishikesh owned by Pulkit Arya on late Friday night on the orders of Dhami.
The son of Vinod Arya, a prominent BJP figure from Haridwar and a former leader of the Uttarakhand Mati Kala Board, is Pulkit Arya.
Three individuals, including Arya, were arrested on Friday for the alleged murder of a woman who worked as a receptionist at his resort on Chilla Road in the Yamkeshwar region. In Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, the woman went missing earlier this week, according to authorities.
Arya was arrested along with Saurabh Bhaskar (35) and Ankit Gupta (19) and all of them have confessed to the crime, police added.
Bhaskar was a manager at the resort, and Gupta was his assistant, according to senior superintendent of police (SSP) Yashwant Singh of Pauri Garhwal.
The senior police officer said Arya on September 20 had approached police with a missing complaint to mislead the investigation.
But once the victim’s father was approached by the woman’s friend with a WhatsApp message implying the trio’s involvement, he began to wonder about Arya and the staff’s involvement.
“During the course of investigation, police learnt the accused and the woman had gone to Rishikesh on Sunday. While on their way back, Pulkit and the woman entered into an argument following which the accused threw her into a canal in Chilla,” the SSP said.
The victim’s body was found in the Chilla Canal, and her relatives were contacted to identify it, according to a representative for the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF).
The BJP leader’s son had pressurized Ankita to enter into prostitution, a police officer said who did not want to be named.
The accused have been booked under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
20th Meeting of Prosecutors General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States organized at Astana, Kazakhstan
The 20th Meeting of Prosecutors General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was held on 23rd September, 2022 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Indian delegation attended the meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan under the leadership of:-
Tushar Mehta, Learned Solicitor General of India, Department of Legal Affairs
Dr. Anju Rathi Rana, Additional Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs
As precursor to the event on 23rd September, 2022 Dr. Anju Rathi Rana, Additional Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice attended the Meeting of the Experts Group for the 20th Meeting of the Prosecutors General of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States on 8th and 13th September, 2022. The Meeting of the Experts Group reaffirmed strengthening of cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels between SCO Member States. The Experts group discussed issues pertaining to the growth of transnational economic crime in the world and thier experience of recovery of proceeds of crime from the states. The discussion between the Member States was held in a constructive and friendly atmosphere fostering the spirit of mutual trust and understanding.
The 20th Meeting of Prosecutors General was attended by the Solicitor General of the Republic of India Shri Tushar Mehta, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan Asylov B.N., Prosecutor of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Jun, Prosecutor General of the Kyrgyz Republic Zulushev K.T., Additional Attorney-General of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Rashdeen Nawaz Kasuri, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Krasnov I.V., Prosecutor General of the Republic of Tajikistan Rakhmon Yu.A., Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan Yuldashev N.T. and the SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming.
A Protocol incorporating the deliberations of the 20th meeting of Prosecutors General of the SCO Member States was signed and adopted by the SCO Member States. The salient features of the Protocol are as under:
To strengthen cooperation between the Prosecutor General’s Offices of the SCO Member States with respect to the recovery of the proceeds of crime particularly in money laundering.
To develop cooperation between the prosecutor’s offices of the SCO member states at international institutions and forums on issues related to combating economic crimes like money laundering, search, seizure and recovery of the proceeds of crime from states.
To use the forums of bilateral and multilateral gatherings to discuss about ways to strengthen the systems in place to combat economic crimes particularly money laundering.
To continue the exchanging of information on domestic laws governing seach seizure and recovery of proceeds of crime. State’s experiences in their prevention as well as references, methodological, information-analytical, scientific and other materials in the field of combating economic crimes.
To develop cooperation between the Prosecutors General offices of the SCO member states in the field of training and advanced training of prosecutors and employees of other law enforcement agencies whose competence includes issues of combating economic crimes.
To conduct and participate in bilateral and multilateral events on combating economic crimes, search, seizure and recovery of proceeds of crime from states.
Addressing the eminent gathering of Prosecutors General from SCO Member States, Tushar Mehta, Learned Solicitor General of India highlighted the initiatives taken by the Government of India to address Transnational Economic Crimes internationally by the ratification of two UN Conventions; the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC) and its three protocols and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). At the national level in order to stop the threat of Transnational Economic Crimes, India has implemented a number of legislative measures over the years to prevent, detect, and penalise money laundering by specialised legislation namely Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA) and the Companies Act, 2013.
Tushar Mehta also underlined the vital role of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties/Agreements for the cases where it is necessary to gather information and conduct formal investigations abroad with the help of foreign government, when the accused person(s) has fled the country after committing a crime, or when a part or the entire crime was committed outside the country.
In order to seek aid in pursuing such crimes India has signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to request assistance in investigating such crimes. India has signed Extradition Treaties/Agreements with 47 and 11 countries respectively and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties/Agreements with 42 nations to seek assistance in the investigation of such instances.
In his concluding remarks, Shri Tushar Mehta, Learned Solicitor General of India, expressed his gratitude to all participating member states and urged them to work together to broaden the scope of the activities of the forum and eliminate the threat of transnational economic crimes by enhancing mutual trust, understanding, cooperation and communication between the member states.
The next (21st) meeting of the Prosecutors General of the SCO Member States will be held in the People’s Republic of China in 2023.
India’s Rice availability position is comfortable
With the amendment in export policy of Broken Rice from “free” to Prohibited”, Government of India has successfully ensured domestic food security, availability of domestic feed for poultry and cattle feed, while keeping a check over inflation as well as domestic price of rice.
Export policy of broken rice has been amended in order to ensure adequate availability of broken rice for consumption by domestic poultry industry and for other animal feedstock; and to produce ethanol for successful implementation of EBP (Ethanol Blending Programme) program.
Due to various reasons, there was need for amending the Policy.
Domestic price of broken rice, which was Rs. 16/Kg in the open market has increased to about Rs. 22/Kg in States because of exports due to higher international prices. Poultry sector and animal husbandry farmers were impacted the most due to price hike of feed ingredients as about 60-65% inputs cost for poultry feed comes from broken Rice and any increase in prices will be reflected in poultry products like Milk, Egg, Meat etc. which resulted in food inflation.
There has been a rise in global demand for broken rice due to geo-political scenario which has impacted price movement of commodities including those related to animal feed. The export of broken rice has increased by more than 43 times in past 4 years (21.31 LMT exported from April-August, 2022 compared to 0.41 LMT in the same period in 2018-19).
The export share of Broken Rice significantly increased to 22.78% as compared to the 1.34% corresponding period of 2019. From the year 2018-19 (FY) to 2021-22 (FY) export of Total Broken Rice increased by 319%.
Some countries (who never imported broken rice from India) have tapped into Indian market to exploit the situation at the cost of Indian consumers.
The government has not made any changes in the policy relating to par-boiled rice (HS CODE = 1006 30 10) and Basmati rice (HS CODE = 1006 30 20).
Parboiled Rice and Basmati Rice constitute around 55% of total rice export from India. So, the farmers will continue to get good remunerative prices and dependent/vulnerable countries will have adequate availability of par-boiled rice as India has significant share in the global rice export.
In domestic production, 60-70 LMT estimated production loss was earlier anticipated. Now, production loss of 40-50 LMT is expected and production output is not expected to be higher this year but only at par with previous year.
Notably, 217.31 LMT rice is in Government buffer stock which is higher than the buffer stock norm. In the upcoming Kharif Season, 510 LMT and in Rabi Season, 100 LMT of rice will be procured. The buffer stock maintained by the country is more than enough to meet the demand for the public distribution system. The Government intervention by prohibiting export of broken rice and imposing 20% duty on the export of basmati and non-par boiled rice will further help in containing the situation.
India commands 40% share in the global rice trade, exported 21.23 MMT of rice in 2021-22 fiscal as against 17.78 MMT in the previous year. Due to the current geo-political situation, the international price of rice was lucrative leading to high export of rice as compared to previous year.
Due to surplus stock of rice, the domestic price of rice will be under control as compared to international market and neighbouring countries where the price is comparatively high. The percentage increase in the MSP of paddy in last year was 5.15% (Rs.2040/qtl. in 2022-23 and Rs. 1940/qtl. in 2021-22). The actual increase in price of rice is around 3%, due to increase in MSP and other input costs. The domestic price of rice is in comfortable position and the prices will remain well under control.
All India Domestic Wholesale prices of Rice and Wheat decreased by 0.08% and 0.43% respectively over the week. Retail price of Sugar is showing a decrease of 0.19% over the week.
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