Monday December 11, 2017
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India re-elected to UNCITRAL seat

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Source : http://www.123rf.com/

United Nations: India has been reelected by the General Assembly to a six-year term on the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

After the election on Monday, India’s Mission to the UN said in a statement that “it would continue to play a constructive role in the UNCITRAL which is recognized as the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.”

India has won all the five elections it contested at the UN this year, following last year’s re-election to the UN Human Rights Council.

In April, the UN Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) elected India to the executive councils of UNICEF and the World Food Programme, the governing council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Along with India, 22 countries including the United States and Pakistan were re-elected to UNCITRAL.

UNCITRAL, which specialises in commercial law reform, says its mission is “the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business.”

(IANS)

(Picture Courtesy: www.123rf.com)

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Food wastage in developed countries inexcusable: India

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United Nations: In a world grappling with the hunger of millions, it was “inexcusable” that consumers in developed countries waste as much food as all of Sub-Saharan Africa produces every year, India said here on Monday.

Speaking at a session of a General Assembly committee dealing with economic matters, Supriya Sule said over 100 kg of food is wasted every year for each person in the developed countries.

“It is indeed a travesty that the world today produces enough food to feed the global population and yet millions of poor go hungry every day,” she said citing Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) figures.

“This happens because over one-third of all food produced — as much as 1.3 billion tonnes — is wasted every year.”

Sule blamed “unsustainable and wasteful consumption patterns” for the “colossal wastage” that is “inexcusable”.

“It is important to focus greater efforts at awareness creation and attitudinal change in the developed world which will enable us to save huge amounts of food,” she added at the discussion on “Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition”.

Sule, a Nationalist Congress Party member of the Lok Sabha representing Barmati in Maharashtra, is currently among parliamentarians in India’s UN delegation.

Turning to the problem in developing countries, she said there was an “unacceptably high level of post-harvest losses”.

This was due to poor infrastructure and lack of advanced technologies for production, processing and transportation, she said.

“This problem needs to be addressed by means of enhanced investments in rural infrastructure and transportation and storage facilities as well as better access to and deployment of technologies,” Sule said.

Sule, whose Barmati constituency is a major farming area, paid tributes to farmers.

“It is a matter of pride for us that Indian agriculture has achieved self-sufficiency,” she said.

“Today it is not only able to meet the needs of India’s population but is also playing a major role in agricultural trade.”

Referring to the UN’s declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils, she said: “In India, a new ambitious scheme has been launched to provide Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country in a time-bound manner.”

Under the programme launched in February, more than 140 million farms will have their soils tested and issued Soil Health cards detailing the fertiliser and nutrient requirements for productivity and preservation.

More directly for combating hunger and malnutrition, Sule said the National Food Security Act, which seeks to ensure access to quality food at affordable prices, “has already started showing positive results in combating hunger and malnutrition”.

(IANS)

 

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India, Africa can’t be excluded from UN Security Council: Sushma Swaraj

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New Delhi: Sushma Swaraj takes charge as the Minister of External Affairs at South Block in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav(PTI5_28_2014_000014B)

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said India and Africa can no longer be excluded from the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

She said the 70th session of the UN General Assembly was an opportune moment to achieve concrete results on this long pending issue.

Speaking at the ministerial meeting of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit here, the minister said that unless there were more democratic global governance structures, a more equitable international security and development framework will continue to elude the world.

She said more democratic global structures were essential for the collective peace and prosperity of the world and there can no longer be pockets of prosperity in vast areas of underdevelopment and insecurity.

“India and Africa can no longer be excluded from their rightful place of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council,” she said.

“How can we expect legitimacy from a governance structure that excludes the entire African continent and a country, which represents one-sixth of humanity?

“The 70th session of the UN General Assembly is an opportune moment to achieve concrete results on this long pending issue,” she added.

The minister said India welcomed the progress achieved during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly under the leadership of Sam Kutesa towards commencing text-based negotiations.

“We look forward to working together in an active negotiating process to take this forward,” she said.

The minister said that the world has just celebrated the 70th year of the establishment of the United Nations.

“Although Indians and Africans comprise nearly 2.5 billion people, our nations continue to be excluded from appropriate representation in the institutions of global governance,” she said.

Referring to UN peacekeeping, she said it is another area where India and Africa have a long history of cooperation.

The minister said that over 180,000 Indian troops have participated in UN peacekeeping missions – more than from any other country.

The minister said that greater involvement of the troops contributing countries in the decision making process, including formulation of mandates and provision of adequate resources, is essential for the success of such endeavours.

She said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced last month that India will further scale up its participation in UN peacekeeping operations, including by providing training for African peacekeepers at facilities in India and in the field.

“Our all-female formed police unit to the UN Mission in Liberia, a first in UN history, has proved to be an inspiration for women everywhere. However, the new international security environment and the evolving nature of conflicts are posing new challenges to the effectiveness of traditional peacekeeping missions,” she said.

(IANS)