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China, Russia hand-in-glove to derail India’s UNSC dream?

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photo credit: www.thehindu.com

New Delhi: A report appeared on Friday claiming that both China and Russia tried to scuttle the process of  the UN General Assembly which recently adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-pending Security Council reforms.

photo credit: defencetalk.net
photo credit: defencetalk.net

 

The report further said had the Chinese and Russian diplomats succeeded in their ‘stealth operation’, it would have diluted the entire negotiations on unnecessary technicalities which would have meant the UN would be negotiating UNSC reform for years and years without a decision in sight.

However, India, supported by a number of countries, got wind of the ‘stealth operation’ and vehemently opposed the move.

The group led by India even launched a protest at UNGA president, Sam Kutesa’s residence over the weekend, forcing him to remove the offending paragraphs.

The Chinese, however, were not ready to give up without a bigger fight.

The Chinese diplomats approached a number of national capitals to get the text amended before it reached the floor on Monday – the day when it was finally adopted by the UNGA.

Some countries even agreed to support the Chinese, but Bejiing eventually failed to get the numbers that India had.

Interestingly, when all this was happening, the US strangely remained silent – either to see whether could win on its own, or because they are keeping their powder dry to kill the process later, or because they silently supported the Sino-Russian move.

Due to India’s hard lobbying, it apparently became an India-China battle in those last frenzied moments in the UN.

However, seeing the Russians backing the Chinese, after supposedly supporting India’s case for almost half a century, came as a big shocker for New Delhi.

This week, Russia sent its deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov to meet Sujata Mehta in the MEA, after their performance in the UN.

A statement from the Russian embassy said, the two “exchanged opinions on the main aspects of intergovernmental negotiation process considering the current various options for the increase in the United Nations Security Council membership. The Russian Side reaffirmed the readiness to support the Indian candidature for the United Nations Security Council.”

However, India this time has taken the Russian betrayal hard.

As per the report, China and Russia are now planing to take the battle forward and the two are now said to be working on the Jamaican government to remove Courtney Rattray – the main brain behind the UNSC reform text.

If they succeed, Rattray will not be able to head the negotiations on the text and it can be given to someone unfamiliar with the history of the text. If this happens, it would come as a big blow to India.

The UNGA decision to negotiate UNSC reform succeeded on two counts. First, after 23 years there is a text on which the UN can negotiate a reform agenda. Second, in a fair fight, the 13-country group led by China and including Pakistan and Italy called United for Consensus could not drum up enough support for stalling the process.

(with inputs from Zeenews)

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UNHRC Chief Michele Bachelet: India’s Lockdown Has Implementation Challenges

UN Human Rights chief criticises India's quarantine measures

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Michele Bachelet
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, on Thursday criticised the quarantine measures put in place in the country, saying they stigmatise people. IANS

BY ARUL LOUIS

While India is fighting to stop the spread of Covid-19, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, on Thursday criticised the quarantine measures put in place in the country, saying they stigmatise people.

She “expressed regret at the measures that have the effect of stigmatising sections of society, including migrants, such as the practice in some states of stamping hands of those quarantined in their homes, reportedly to ensure that they stay home, and sticking notices outside the homes of people quarantined,” the statement said.

She added, “It is important to weigh such measures against the right to privacy and avoid measures that would unduly stigmatise people within the community, who may already be vulnerable due to their social status or other factors.” She has been silent on other places which use electronic monitoring of those under quarantine. Bachelet also had strong criticism for the impact of the lockdown on migrant workers.

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“She was distressed by the plight of millions of internal migrants affected by the sudden announcement of a lockdown,” according to a statement released by her office in Geneva.

The statement said, “Without the ability to sustain themselves in urban centres and in light of the almost complete shutdown of public transportation, hundreds of thousands of migrant men, women and children were forced to walk hundreds of kilometres trying to reach their villages and home states. Some have died making the journey.”

Michele Bachelet
Michele Bachelet had strong criticism for the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on migrant workers. Pixabay

“Supreme Court of India’s subsequent instruction on March 31 to ensure that migrants are provided enough food, water, beds and supplies as well as psychosocial counselling in shelters that should be run by volunteers instead of security forces, and that they should be treated in a humane manner,” the statement said.

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It quoted her as saying, “The Supreme Court’s order and its implementation will go a long way to ensuring the safety and rights of these vulnerable migrants. Many of these people’s lives have been suddenly uprooted by the lockdown, placing them in very precarious situations.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric highlighted Bachelet’s statement at his daily briefing on Thursday.

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Bachelet, however, acknowledged, that

“the lockdown in India represents a massive logistical and implementation challenge given the population size and its density and we all hope the spread of the virus can be checked.”

She added, “It is nonetheless important to ensure that measures in response to Covid-19 are neither applied in a discriminatory manner nor exacerbate existing inequalities and vulnerabilities.” (IANS)