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Rohit Jigyasu first Indian to be elected to ICOMOS board

The newly elected board of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which includes an Indian on the board of members for the first time, held its first meeting in Delhi recently. ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17.Headquartered in Paris, France, ICOMOS organised its 19th Triennial General Assembly in Delhi and the theme of the assembly was ‘Heritage and Democracy’. This event of heritage professionals from around the world was held for the first time in India and third time in Asia. It was attended by nearly 900 professionals from more than 80 countries.During the assembly, elections of the new ICOMOS board were also held. Dr Rohit Jigyasu, conservation and risk management professional and president of ICOMOS India was elected as the Vice-President of ICOMOS. He is the first Indian to get elected to the bureau of ICOMOS. Toshiyoko Kono from Japan has been elected as the President.This year’s General Assembly elected 20 members of the board by a secret ballot for a term of three years. The members then elected a president, a secretary geICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17neral, a treasurer, and five vice- presidents.India supported the ICOMOS India initiative and hosted the General Assembly through the engagement of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Survey of India, and Wild Life Institute of India. Regional states, such as the government of Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha and Bihar too supported the initiative.”It is a great honour to be selected as the vice-president. It is very important to bring Indian perspective to world heritage. I will do my best to do the same,” said Jigyasu.Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, gave a concluding speech at the session and emphasised on the importance of protecting and managing living heritage through engagement of communities.WHAT IS ICOMOS?ICOMOS is an association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world and offers advice to UNESCO on world heritage sites.

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India stands ‘isolated’ on Kashmir issue, claims Pakistan

Pakistan today said India has been “isolated” on the Kashmir issue after a UN General Assembly committee recently adopted a resolution in support of the right to self-determination.The committee last month unanimously passed the Pakistan- sponsored draft resolution, co-sponsored by 75 countries, over the right to self-determination for peoples who are subject to colonial domination and foreign occupation.It was a “testimony to the fact that on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, India stands isolated”, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.The resolution, which is being adopted every year for the past four decades, signified that India “had failed to convince the world and its obfuscate facts trying to pass off its crime against humanity as counter-terrorism efforts had also failed”, it claimed.The only way for India to end its international isolation on Kashmir is to implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council that call for a free and fair election under the auspices of the UN and allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to choose their own destiny, it added.
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Bhandari’s ICJ win reflective of India’s strong constitutional integrity and independence of judiciary: MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Tuesday welcomed the re-election of Dalveer Bhandari to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and said that the extraordinary support from the UN members was reflective of the respect for India’s strong constitutional integrity of the polity.Hailing Bhandari’s re-election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed it as a proud moment and credited External Affairs Ministry Sushma Swaraj and her ministry’s officials for their efforts in ensuring his success.On her part, Swaraj made a special mention of India’s Permanent Representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin while hailing her ministry’s team.”Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari on his re- election as a Judge of the ICJ. Huge efforts by Team – MEA. Syed Akbaruddin, our Permanent Representative in the UN deserves a special mention,” she said on Twitter.In a statement, the MEA said the UN Security Council and the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of India and Judge Bhandari received all 15 votes in the UN Security Council and 183 out of the 193 votes in the UN General Assembly.”The extraordinary support from the UN membership is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and the independence of the judiciary in India,” it said.It may be recalled that the Indian National Group to the Permanent Court of Arbitration had re-nominated Judge Dalveer Bhandari as India’s national candidate in June 2017, the ministry said.”India has been supporting the campaign of Judge Bhandari through diplomatic efforts at different fora. The UK decided to withdraw its candidate after a closely fought electoral process. We appreciate the UK decision. We thank all those governments who supported India in this election.In a series of tweets, the prime minister also expressed gratitude to members of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council for “their support and trust in India.””Congratulations to EAM SushmaSwaraj and her entire team at MEA and diplomatic missions for their untiring efforts that have led to India’s re-election to ICJ,” Modi tweeted.Bhandari, 70, and UK’s Christopher Greenwood were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election as the UN could not decide between them after electing four out of five judges to the ICJ.Terming Bhandari’s re-election as a “huge diplomatic win”, BJP president Amit Shah said his win is a reflection of a “strong and decisive” leadership.

Humiliating blow for UK, sign of India’s ascendancy: Britain media mourns ICJ loss to India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Dalveer Bhandari’s victory over Britain’s candidate in the world court is a “humiliating blow” for the UK, the media said today, even as India asserted that the hard-fought race will not impact the bilateral ties.India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik also reiterated that diplomats of both countries had been in contact with each other from the very start, which reflects the strong bond between India and the UK.”A senior representative from the UK Foreign Office has been in contact from the beginning and expressed the view that it is two friendly countries with similar legal systems in the running. The whole process has been very cordial and it will not impact the bilateral relationship in any way,” he said.Just minutes after an 11th round of voting was scheduled to begin in New York on Monday, a letter was released by the UK mission to the UN announcing that Sir Christopher Greenwood would accept defeat and allow his Indian rival to fill the vacancy in the UN s principal legal body based in The Hague.The UK media has branded the “acrimonious” vote as a sign of Britain’s eroding stature on the world stage.”The UK will not have a judge on the bench of the International Court of Justice for the first time in its 71- year history,” reports the Guardian in dismay.”The decision to bow to mounting opposition within the UN General Assembly is a humiliating blow to British international prestige and an acceptance of a diminished status in international affairs,” it notes.Political observers believe the UK had no choice but to back off as it cannot be seen to continue to use its position in the UN Security Council to muscle its way in on important global affairs.It is also reflective of a wider chain of events triggered by the vote for Brexit in last year’s European Union referendum, which has already lost London two prestigious EU institutions the European Banking Authority to Paris and the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam.The ICJ blow hits harder as the UK is one of the founding members of the United Nations and has had a representative on the ICJ bench since its inception in 1946.”The UK’s failure to guarantee a place on the court of an organisation it helped to found has been interpreted as a sign of its increasingly irrelevance on the world stage following the decision to leave the European Union,” notes the Independent newspaper.”In contrast India, with its status as the world’s biggest democracy and with a growing economy, is seen as in the ascendancy,” it adds.Greenwood and Bhandari were both hoping to win re- election but this time Lebanon’s former ambassador was an unexpected sixth candidate for the five slots.His victory had left Bhandari fighting for a spot normally reserved for Europeans, and in this case the UK.In a statement, UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said: “The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections.”We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates.”Many attributed Britain’s decision to remove itself from the race to the potential impact an intensified battle would have on the economic relationship between India and the UK.But there is no doubt that when Greenwood steps down at the end of his term early next year, it will reflect a shift in the balance of power at the UN away from the Security Council.”The so-called Group of 77 which represents a coalition of mostly developing nations has long been pushing for greater influence. The victory of India over the UK will be seen as a huge success for the G77 in pushing back against the traditional northern powers on the Security Council,” notes the BBC.Almost unanimously, the UK media laments what this defeat at the UN means for the UK a significant diplomatic setback and a symbol of Britain’s reduced status on the world stage.

Win wouldn’t have been possible without PM Modi and Sushma Swaraj: Dalveer Bhandari after ICJ re-election

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India’s Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama in the hard-fought race to the world court.In one of the country’s “biggest diplomatic victories” in the multilateral arena, Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based International Court of Justice after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters here.”The win wouldn’t have been possible without the support of PM Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj,” Dalveer Bhandari said, adding,”the win happened due to coincidence.”Reflecting on the victory, Bhandari said India is known as an “emerging nation worldwide”.Bhandari, 70, was declared re-elected for a fresh nine- year term at the ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the race about an hour before the scheduled voting.According to observers, Bhandari’s victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.The ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term. To be elected, the candidate needed majority in both the chambers.Established in 1945, the role of the ICJ is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions.Soon after the election results were announced, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.”Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.In the previous 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari had consistently polled nearly two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.With Bhandari’s election, Britain will not have a judge on the world court’s 15-member panel for the first time.Also for the first time in 70 years, a permanent member of the Security Council lost to a non-permanent member for a seat in the ICJ.The British move to block voting in the Security Council and go for the joint consultation mechanism, which was last used some 96 years ago, also felt flat yesterday.This is because, many of the Security Council members including some Permanent Members which were consistently supporting Britain in the secret ballot, backed off from voting in favour of the UK move to stop next rounds of voting as this required open voting, observers said.”It is actually perhaps the biggest diplomatic victory we have in a multilateral arena,” a long-time friend of India at the United Nations said.In a dramatic move, British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm (local time) for the 12th round of voting.Rycroft said in his letter the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting and the UK therefore has decided to withdraw Greenwood’s nomination.”In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and we will continue to enjoy…,” Rycroft said.Noting that Britain is a major player in the UN system, sources said the “signal to all the membership is clear that Indians are now a force to reckon with”.According to informed sources, three hours before the voting, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak and Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi in his capacity as Security Council President for the month of November convened a consultative meeting with the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Rycroft and Akbaruddin.India refused to budge against any kind of pressure and insisted to complete the democratic process, sources said.It was unclear what transpired in the next two hours that forced Britain to withdraw from the race.In Washington, US President Donald Trump in between had a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Indian- origin Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.It is learnt that many of the Britain’s supporters at this point of time clearly told them that they would vote for Greenwood only in a secret ballot but could not be seen voting in open against India and that too at a time when two-thirds of the world community was backing New Delhi.Reading the writing on the wall, Britain decided to withdraw from the race, sources said.At the start of the General Assembly and the Security Council meeting both Lajcak and Cardi read similar letters from Rycroft informing them about UK’s decision to withdraw from the race.Thereafter Lajcak and Cardi announced to complete the rest of the election process by having the name of just Bhandari on the ballot. Soon Bhandari was declared elected.In the last 10 days, it is learnt that India mounted an unprecedented diplomatic campaign to win the ICJ seat.Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is believed to have taken up the matter with some of the world leaders.

Inside Story: Here’s how India ensured Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election as ICJ judge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The re-election of Indian nominee Justice Dalveer Bhandari to the last seat of the world court has sown India’s strategic connect as well as the new world order based on democratic processes and principles.Ahead of the election, where Bhandari was pitted against the British nominee Christopher Greenwood, India pulled all stops to ensure his victory with the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj contacting some of her 100 counterparts mostly from African and Latin American countries. Officials at her ministry were also in constant touch with the envoy of developing countries stationed in New Delhi.“They had all ensured support, but were skeptical whether India will be able to pull support at the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) dominated by world powers,” a source said.For a victory, it was necessary to enlist majority both at the UN General Assembly as well as at the UNSC.After former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case (currently on a death row in Pakistan) reached to the world court, there was an understanding that having an Indian judge in the ICJ was a political priority. Insiders said that till early 2017, the South Block had almost made up mind to demit the Indian seat in the current election cycle, as they had assessed there were not many chances for their nominee to get re-elected with Britain and other countries joining the race. Bhandari’s nomination was officially backed by India, along with Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Israel.In a carefully crafted strategy involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swaraj, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and India’s representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin, India sought to enlist the support of countries raising the issue of democratic process.“We convinced countries that the democratic process needs to play its full course in both the Security Council and the General Assembly and there should not be an intervention or adoption of a process that has never been used before or the one that undermines the voice of the majority,” officials said.The strategy clicked with a number of developing countries pledging their support to India against the nominee of a former colonial power and member of the UNSC. Admitting that there were pulls, pressures, and allurements, asking India to withdraw its candidature in favour of powerful UK, but it was firmly put down. In a typical disruptions style of PM Modi, the team overlooking the election ruled out any compromise asserting that the candidate who enjoys the overwhelming support of the General Assembly members can be the only be a legitimate candidate to go through. As the lobbying has intensified, the campaign took an ugly turn with Greenwood’s supporters trying to break Bhandari’s growing support in the Assembly by carrying out a stealth campaign to make it appear that India was giving up, according to diplomats.But Indian officials maintained that voting in the General Assembly which overwhelmingly favoured India is reflective of the new global order, which is not pleasant to the world powers. In earlier rounds Bhandari has nearly a two-thirds majority with 121 votes in the 193-member Assembly, while Greenwood has a slender majority of nine in the 15-member Council. Both the 193-member UNGA and the 15-member UNSC have to vote independently to elect the members of the ICJ.A beaming Syed Akbaruddin admitted that a huge diplomatic effort had gone into electing Bhandari to the world court. “There was a crucial meet before the vote. We put forward our view and stuck to it. It was apparent that vote will be in our favour. We are grateful that the UK judge recused and recognised that the Indian judge was doing good in UNGA,” he said in New York.Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj congratulated Justice Bhandari this morning. “Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari on his re-election as a Judge of the ICJ. Huge efforts by Team – MEA. Syed Akbaruddin, our Permanent Representative in UN deserves a special mention,” she said in a tweet.President Ram Nath Kovind also congratulated Bhandari, posting on Twitter. “Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari for his re-election to the ICJ. A diplomatic milestone for India.”India officially began the process of re-nominating Bhandari in late June, which kick-started the lobbying process to get him on back on the bench in The Hague’s Peace Palace. With the ICJ to adjudicate the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav over the next few years, the perception in New Delhi is that having an Indian judge on the bench is a national priority. Pakistan, the other party in the ‘Jadhav Case’, also has the right to nominate an ad-hoc judge to the bench since the ICJ has a serving Indian judge, but not one with Pakistani nationality.Sources here said that the lobbying had already begun at the highest level at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg in the first week of July, when Modi solicited support for Bhandari in all his diplomatic interactions with foreign leaders. He also got support from BRICS leaders during the summit in Xiamen, China, and then raised the issue again during his bilateral trip to Myanmar, while calling for just international order.Swaraj, who led an Indian delegation at the UNGA’s annual session, stayed in New York last September for seven days. Her top priority was to directly speak to her counterparts and get as many committed votes for Bhandari as possible. As one source here confirmed that there was a very high level of effort being put in by the Indian government. “Instructions had gone out to ensure that Bhandari’s candidature finds mentions at India’s diplomatic interactions, whether they involve just diplomats or the country’s top leaders,” they said.Plans were also drawn up to draft personal letters from the prime minister to his counterparts. Diplomats were also sent to the critical countries to garner support. India decided on Bhandari’s re-nomination only a few weeks before the July 3 deadline. This despite that India’s seat for Asia Pacific group already had a contender in the form of Lebanon’s permanent representative, Nawaf Salam. Egypt, currently a non-permanent UNSC member was the first to announce that it will support Bhandari. In return, India agreed to back the Egyptian candidate for the post of director general of UNESCO.The current diplomatic push for the world court seat reminded the 2010 elections for the UNSC non-permanent seat when the government of Manmohan Singh also pulled all stops to win the election. Due to those efforts, India won the seat that it held for two years with an overwhelming number of countries including Pakistan endorsing its sole candidature from the Asian group. India received the highest number of votes — 187 out of 192 — among all countries in the fray.

Ahead of ICJ election, UK resorting to ‘dirty politics’ at UN to beat India: Sources

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UK is trying to ‘misuse’ its UN Security Council membership by pushing for a joint conference mechanism, which was last used 96 years ago, in the election to the last seat in the World Court tomorrow in which India’s Dalveer Bhandari is a front-runner, diplomatic sources said.Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the ICJ.One-third of the court’s 15-member bench are elected every three years for a nine-year term, elections for which are held separately but simultaneously in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council in New YorkBritain is aggressively pushing in the UN Security Council for resorting to the joint conference mechanism which was last used some 96 years ago and against which there exists an unequivocal legal opinion, the diplomatic sources said.The “dirty politics” being played by India’s former colonial ruler, as one UN insider put it, has sent a sense of “uneasiness” among other members of the powerful UN Security Council, many of whom are aware of the long-term implications of a move to ignore the voice of the majority of the United Nations General Assembly.In all previous incidents, the candidate getting majority in the General Assembly has eventually been elected a judge of The Hague-based International Court of Justice.Bhandari, 70, has support of nearly two-thirds of 193 UN members. Greenwood, who has already served one nine-year term in ICJ, is trailing behind more than 50 votes in the General Assembly. However, he received nine against five for Bhandari in the Security Council.To win ICJ election a candidate needs to get majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, which has not been the case in the 11 rounds of voting so far.Both the General Assembly and the Security Council have convened separate meetings at the UN headquarters tomorrow (3 p.m. local time) to hold the 12th round of voting.At a reception for Bhandari at the UN headquarters here on Friday, representatives of 160-member countries were present reflecting the overwhelming majority India enjoys in the General Assembly.Sensing that majority is not on its side, almost at the same time, the United Kingdom went to the Security Council for an informal consultation with other 14 members.Observing that there is a deadlock situation on the ICJ election, Britain is learnt to have proposed that voting in the Security Council be stopped after first round tomorrow and they go for joint conference mechanism. It is understood that this was opposed by some members of the Security Council.However, the British diplomats on Friday appeared confident to push its agenda through on Monday.Britain needs nine votes for the voting be stopped.Their calculation is based on the fact that in multiple rounds of the elections in UNSC, Britain has been getting nine votes for its candidate. But it is yet to be seen if the same countries support such an undemocratic move to stop voting.The British proposal is against all legal advices, which basically says that this option has never been used in the entire history of seven decades of the ICJ, the sources said.The only time it was used was prior to the establishment of the UN in 1921, when Deputy Judges for the Permanent Court of International Justice were selected, they said.A point in this regard was made by Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, at the ICJ reception at the UN headquarters.He had strongly opposed the joint conference mechanism.”Those who talk of bringing the UN and updating it to the 21st Century world cannot look back to the toolkit of 100 years ago and try to take out a tool which has never been used in the history of the UN and perhaps for valid reasons,” he had told the diplomats from more than 160 countries.”Because it opens a can of worms. We will forget about the electoral process and go after a can of worms? You are diplomats, you are sagacious people. Diplomacy is the solution. Voting is the way that diplomats resolve their differences, rather than through convoluted, cabalistic solutions of a bygone era,” Akbaruddin had said.Legal opinions also point out that there have been several instances of deadlocks between the General Assembly and the Security Council during ICJ elections.On these occasions, the balloting took place in many more rounds than what has been completed this time.On each such occasion, the candidate who was consistently leading in the General Assembly, was elected ultimately.In fact, there exists an unequivocal legal opinion provided in the 1984 UN Juridical Yearbook that argues against the resorting to the Joint Conference mechanism.Under this, three members each from the General Assembly and Security Council would be formed to come out with a name, which would again have to be voted through both the Security Council and the General Assembly.Britain, informed sources said, is now suggesting something which has never been tried and no one knows what its implications are.Its move raises a series of question, as to what happens if the three representatives of the General Assembly stick to the voice of the majority, or if it does not provide any names or every time says that it does not agree with the names being proposed by the Security Council, they said.”There is unease among several countries on the move to stop voting,” an informed source said.These countries feel that such a move would unnecessarily pitch Security Council against the General Assembly.”No one is certain how it will play out,” sources said.Once Security Council stops voting, the General Assembly has to comply. This is because under the ICJ election rules the candidate needs to get majority in General Assembly and Security Council.”This is their hope to stall the trend which is moving against them,” informed UN sources said.The British fear that as the voting goes into multiple rounds tomorrow, it might snowball into India getting more than two-thirds of the votes, which could be humiliating for them and would become “morally difficult” for the UN Security Council to stop voting.

ICJ: Dalveer Bhandari gets overwhelming backing in UNGA but not in UNSC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Dalveer Bhandari, India’s nominee for the last seat in the World Court, has received an overwhelming support from the UN General Assembly members who defied permanent members of the Security Council to back him against Britain’s candidate, resulting in a deadlock.The battle between Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seat remained deadlocked yesterday as neither could get the requisite numbers of votes in the latest face-off. Bhandari, 70, and Greenwood are seeking re-election at the Hague-based ICJ. One-third of the court’s 15-member bench are elected every three years for a nine-year term, elections for which are held separately but simultaneously in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council in New York.Last Thursday, four of the six candidates in the fray were elected as per the UN laws, got absolute majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council. Ronny Abraham of France, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia, Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade of Brazil and Nawaf Salam of Lebanon were elected after four rounds of elections on Thursday. Yesterday, the UN General Assembly and the Security Council met separately to elect the remaining one candidate for the ICJ.In each of the five rounds of elections, Greenwood of Britain received nine votes and Bhandari got five in the UN Security Council. The winner must secure 8 votes in the Security Council.Given that Britain is a Permanent member of the Security Council, Greenwood has an advantage over Bhandari. Bhandari received absolute majority in the General Assembly elections in all the five rounds. In fact, he increased his vote tally from Thursday’s 115 to 121 votes in the General Assembly elections yesterday against the absolute majority number of 97.The vote tally of Greenwood dropped from 76 to 68 yesterday.Both the General Assembly and the Security Council announced to adjourn the meeting for the election to be convened at a later date. Ahead of the yesterday’s voting, Congress leader and former top UN official Shashi Tharoor said that the “voice of the General Assembly” has been ignored for too long. He accused the “UK of trying to stall the will of the majority of the UN General Assembly”.”As the UN Security Council (SC) & General Assembly (GA) vote to choose a judge for the International Court Of Justice (#ICJ) between Indian & UK candidates, the legitimacy & effectiveness of the UN are at stake. The voice of the GA has been ignored too long,” he said in a tweet.”This time a nominee of a Permanent member of the SC has failed to get an absolute majority of the GA, for the first time in a direct contest to a major @UN organ. GA vote has turned into a protest against an unwarranted extension of privilege for 70+ years. P5 lost by 40votes!” he said. Tharoor said the election is no longer about the judge or the country he hails from, but about the General Assembly standing up against a member of a privileged club who has lost comprehensively among the Members at large but still leads 9-6 in the Security Council.”The UK is trying to stall the will of the majority of the GA,” he charged. Decisions at the UN, he said, must reflect the voice of the majority of Members and cannot continue to be decided by a few states with long-held privileges. Noting that this is not about India or any single country, he said this is about the idea of justice, of equality and fairness.

Dalveer Bhandari, Christopher Greenwood locked in major battle for ICJ seat; stakes high for both India and Britain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s Dalveer Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).Based out of The Hague, the ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term.Along with justice Bhandari and justice Greenwood, three others — Ronny Abraham of France, Ant nio Augusto Can ado Trindade of Brazil and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia — were seeking re-election. Their terms expire on February 5, 2018.Nawaf Salam of Lebanon was also in the fray, making a total of six candidates for five positions.Judges of France, Somalia, Lebanon and Brazil were elected after fourth round of voting late in the afternoon, as they received absolute majority in both the General assembly and the Security Council elections.Stakes are now high for both India and Britain for the last seat.In the fourth round, Bhandari received a majority — 115 votes — in the General Assembly, while Greenwood received 76 votes.However, in the 15-membered Security Council Greenwood got majority (nine) of the votes as against six votes by Bhandari.As a result, another round of votes have been scheduled for Monday.As per the United Nation’s ICJ election rules, the candidates need to get absolute majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council.Both elections are held simultaneously but independently of each other.That means 97 votes in the Assembly and eight votes in the Security Council are required to win the ICJ election.Several rounds of elections were held today at the General Assembly and the Security Council in the absence of any candidates getting absolute majority.A former judge of the Supreme Court, Bhandari, 70, was elected to the International Court of Justice in April 27, 2012 following a vacancy after the resignation of sitting court judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh from Jordon on being appointed as the Prime Minister.Bhandari had received 122 votes in the UN General assembly as against 58 for Florentino Feliciano from the Philippines.

Pak rakes up Kashmir issue at UN, India calls it ‘lonely voice from the wilderness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Tuesday raked up the Kashmir issue again at the UN with its envoy accusing India of spreading terrorism in the Valley, drawing a strong reaction from India which described her diatribe as a “lonely voice from the wilderness”.Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, during a debate of the General Assembly, also alleged that India made a “false claim” of conducting surgical strike across the LoC to provoke conflict with Pakistan.She warned New Delhi that “any aggression” by it would receive a “matching and effective response”.”This claim, and India’s repeated threats to conduct such strikes across the LoC, constitute flagrant violations of the UN Charter’s injunction against the use or threat of use of force,” Lodhi said during the debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the work of the world body.Continuing her tirade against India on the Kashmir issue, Lodhi alleged, “To cover up its crimes against the Kashmiri people, and to divert world attention, India resorts to daily violation of the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir.”Lodhi said the international community represented in the United Nations cannot allow “India impunity to conduct “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir under the “flimsy cover” of combating terrorism.”The only terrorism in Kashmir is India’s state terrorism. State terrorism is, in fact, considered as the gravest form of terrorism by the Non-Aligned Movement, comprising almost two thirds of the General Assembly s membership,” she alleged.Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, exercising the country’s right to reply said, “We have heard a lonely voice from the wilderness articulate a narrative of the past.”Pakistan, Gambhir said, has “focused on a topic that has not even been deliberated upon for decades” at the UN.”An issue which that delegation tries to keep alive by procedural stratagems even while the world has moved on.Yesterday’s people reflecting antiquated mindsets of the bygone times are symbolic of what holds us all back,” she said.The Indian delegation does not wish to “waste the precious time of this August Assembly” in engaging further with such distractions, Gambhir said.Lodhi also said India’s claim of carrying out the surgical strike provides Pakistan “sufficient reason” to respond and exercise its right to self-defence.Lodhi went ahead to warn India, saying it should not “underestimate Pakistan’s resolve and capacity to defend itself”.The top Pakistani diplomat said that the UN should not “ignore these open threats to use force” by India.The international community should take urgent action to ask India to halt its provocations against Pakistan, she said.During the General Assembly debate last month which was addressed by leaders from more than 100 countries, not a single country supported Pakistan’s Kashmir policy.Unmindful of that, Lodhi reiterated her allegation with regard to non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir.In her address to the UN General Assembly last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had responded to a similar allegation raised by the Pakistani Prime Minister on Un Security Council resolution.”Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the ShimlaAgreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally,” Swaraj had said.

Sushma Swaraj made India extremely proud at world stage: PM Modi hails incredible speech by EAM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her speech at the UN General Assembly saying she delivered a strong message on the dangers of terrorism.”Incredible speech by EAM (external affairs minister) Sushma Swaraj at the UN! She has made India extremely proud at the world stage,” Modi said in a series of tweets.”A strong message was given by Sushma Swaraj ji on the dangers of terrorism and why we have to unite and fight this menace,” he added. The Prime Minister also said Swaraj was insightful in identifying global challenges and strongly reiterated India’s commitment to create a better planet. During her speech, Swaraj slammed Pakistan for creating terror groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network.Swaraj also asked Pakistani leaders to introspect as to why India is recognised as a global IT superpower while the neighbour is infamous as the “pre-eminent export factory for terror”.In her address to the 72nd UN General Assembly session, Swaraj spoke on issues like terrorism, climate change, maritime and cyber security, UN Security Council reforms, poverty and unemployment. ALSO READ Sushma Swaraj mesmerises UNGA with her brilliant oratory, calls out Pak’s terror bluff

‘Terroristan’ Pakistan & climate change likely to be Swaraj’s focus in UN address

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In her second consecutive United Nations address, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will not only demolish Pakistan’s Kashmir narrative but also talk about range of other issues.A day after India’s bold and blunt statement at the United Nations terming Pakistan as ‘Terroristan’, the Union Minister is expected to take the it forward and unmask Islamabad’s doublespeak on extremism.Swaraj is listed 7th in the list of speakers of the United Nations General Assembly debate that would begin at 6.30 pm (India time).On an average, a speaker addresses the general assembly for 10 minutes, but most of the time leaders take more time than that.When the 65-year-old leader takes the podium she would be addressing the UN General Assembly in Hindi like the last year.Teh External Affairs Minister is expected to raise issues like the global fight against terrorism, climate change and the Security Council’s reform in her address.Swaraj, who arrived New York last Sunday, spent a major part of her day on Friday giving final touches to her speech, in which if there is any indication, based on her remarks at other multilateral forums and bilateral meetings, among other things is expected to include fight against terrorism, reform of the UNSC, climate change and an emerging India’s role and responsibilities in the 21st century.On Friday, Swaraj had only one bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during which she raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B.They also discussed strengthening of the US-India political and economic partnership.In all, the External Affairs Minister had as many as 27 bilateral meetings with her foreign counterparts.Swaraj attended 12 multilaterals and two trilateral meetings.”Our goals are broad. They are global in nature. Some of them are inspirational. There are some of them where we are working for several years and there are some where we hope to have an outcome this year,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, told Indian reporters last week.In addition to the reform of the United Nations, in particular that of the Security Council, Akbaruddin said that issues of climate change, terrorism, people-centric migration and peacekeeping are other key focus areas for India this year.Indian officials remained tight-lipped on the content of Swaraj s speech.However, her speech is expected to be reflective of the mood of a new India.

Sushma Swaraj ‘strongly raises’ HIB visa issue in meeting with Rex Tillerson

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day before her speech at United Nations General Assembly, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday held a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The big focus of the meeting was measures taken to curb terrorism and regional issues with a focus of Pakistan, Afghanistan. This comes a day after Pakistan PM Abbasi upped the ante at UNGA by accusing India of indulging in cross-border terrorism and of human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir. Contentious issues for Indian- Americans like H1B visa and DACA were also discussed during the meeting. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session here. This was the highest-level meeting between the leaders of the two countries since June when Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with US President Donald Trump. Swaraj and Tillerson discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including the situation in the neighbourhood and the Indo-Asia Pacific region, officials said. he meeting also comes ahead of the visit of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to India next week. Swaraj is scheduled to address the world body on Saturday.”This morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New York City,” the US State Department said in a tweet along with a picture of the two leaders greeting each other.Later External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the two leaders reviewed all aspects of the bilateral relationship, including expanding our trade and investment relations. “Deepening global strategic partnership, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets with Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State in their first standalone meeting,” Kumar tweeted.The joint statement given by Modi and Trump had no mention of the contentious H1B Visa issue. Changing of the status quo by US authorities can potentially affect many white collar Indian workers particularly in IT industry. However Sushma Swaraj made her concerns clear to Tillerson according to MEA. The issue of Dreamers, who are children of undocumented migrants who entered US illegally was also discussed. Dreamers were protected by the DACA Act, which will cease to exist within the next six months if US Congress fails to reach an agreement.

Pakistan will just waste time by raising Kashmir issue in UNGA: India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Pakistan mulling to raise Kashmir issue in United Nations General Assembly in New York, India on Sunday said it would be wasting its time by raising an old issue.Syed Akbaruddin, India’s permanent representative to the United Nation, said that Pakistan is planning to raise Kashmir issue which has not been discussed in UNGA for around last 40 years.”In UNGA there has been no formal debate on Kashmir since 40 years. So, if such issues are raised on which no debate has been done ever then they (Pakistan) are wasting their time,” he said in an exclusive interview to ANI.He further said that India’s main issues are global and future-centric unlike Pakistan’s.Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is set to attend the UN General Assembly on Monday and will raise Kashmir issue in the United Nations General Assembly.The Pakistan Foreign Minister said that they will continue its engagement at the UN to protect national interests, including on core issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, reform of the Security Council, counter-terrorism, human rights, peacekeeping.

24th Congress of International Union of Crystallography begins

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 24th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) 2017 began here today. The inauguration of the Congress will be followed by seven days of scientific sessions, a media release said. Crystallography is the study of crystals such as sugar, ice and grains of common salt. This Congress will offer new networking opportunities amongst scientists and crystallographers from all over the world and is expected to create immense outreach for academia and industry, especially in India, it said. GR Desiraju, an eminent Crystallographer and Chair, Organising committee said the triennial series of Congress will be attended by more than 1700 participants, which includes 500 Indians and 1200 foreigners from 75 countries. “This science event will showcase 900 presentations by world leading crystallographers and more than 600 poster presentations by young scientists,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UNGA approves creation of new office on counter-terrorism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UN General Assembly has approved the establishment of a new office to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts, a move welcomed by India as a “much awaited first step” that will align the world body with needs of the global community in the fight against the menace. The 193-member General Assembly adopted a consensus resolution yesterday creating the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism that will be headed by an Under-Secretary- General. India welcomed the creation of the new UN counter- terrorism office, saying it demonstrates the importance member states place on collective and coordinated action on terrorism, which remains the most complex threat faced by the international community. “India believes that the creation of the Office of Counter Terrorism Coordinator is a much awaited first step in our efforts to enhance coordination of the UN’s CT (counter- terrorism) efforts,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said in the General Assembly after the resolution s adoption. He said the office’s creation “will align the UN with the changed global reality and needs of the international community” as was articulated by Secretary General Antonio Guterres himself in Kabul where he said support to terrorism entails a high price. Addressing reporters in Kabul, Guterres had warned that any country that supports terrorism anywhere in the world in relation to other countries, “sooner or later the price paid will be high in relations to terrorism within the country itself”. Welcoming the creation of the counter-terrorism office, Guterres expressed hope that this reform of the UN counter- terrorism architecture will contribute to the world body’s broader efforts to promote conflict prevention, sustainable peace and development. Akbaruddin noted that “an all of UN” approach and a certain convening power on counter-terrorism issues will be crucial for the new office to fulfil its functions effectively. He said terrorist organisations are not bound by the borders, norms, legal frameworks and bureaucratic inertia that bind nations as member states and the UN at all levels. “While terrorist networks use modern platforms such as social media, cyber space and exist in parallel worlds alongside us in hidden trans-national networks, we cannot work in silos created either by boundaries or bureaucracy,” he said. Akbaruddin underscored that there was never a stronger case today for more multilateral action, coordination and cooperation on any matter amongst all stakeholders than on terrorism. “The office should not only engage member states at a higher political level but also cooperate with other international organisations dealing with issues relating to terrorism for fulfilling its mandate effectively,” he said adding that it is important to build the UN narrative on counter terrorism for the ordinary people who are threatened by this scourge. A statement issued by Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Secretary-General considers counter- terrorism and prevention of violent extremism to be one of the highest priorities of the United Nations to address a growing threat to international peace and security. “The Secretary-General expects the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre within the new Office of Counter- Terrorism to play a central role in the provision of enhanced capacity building assistance to Member States,” the statement added. India had repeatedly stressed on the need for “coherence and coordination” at the UN in dealing with terrorism. It had lamented that as many as 31 entities within the United Nations deal with some aspect of countering terrorism, calling it a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth”. Under the new structure, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF) and the UN Counter- Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), currently in the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) will be transferred to the new office, together with their existing staff and all associated regular and extra-budgetary resources. The Secretary-General had proposed that the new Under-Secretary-General would Chair the Task Force and Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre. The main functions of the new office would include enhancing coordination and coherence across the 38 Counter- Terrorism Implementation Task Force entities, strengthening the delivery of UN counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States, improving visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for UN counter-terrorism efforts and ensuring that due priority is given to counterterrorism across the United Nations system and that the important work on preventing violent extremism is firmly rooted in the strategy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

G4 nations call for ‘political give and take’ talks for UNSC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The G4 nations of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have made a strong call for moving beyond discussions to “political give and take” negotiations for achieving UNSC reforms, asserting that a quarter century of talks on the issue is enough to act and achieve results. “In the next session, we would be entering into the 10th year of the IGN (Inter-Governmental Negotiations) process and the 25th year of the consideration of this issue by the General Assembly. “Is there a silver lining to the efforts that we have made in 25 years…is 25 years of conversation not time enough for us to heed that call for a little more action? We certainly think so,” India s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said yesterday on behalf of the G4 nations at the informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform. He outlined key issues that need to be addressed and added that for that there is a need for moving “beyond discussions to political give and take negotiations.” On the Security Council, he said while theoretically a body of 15 should be run by 15, “politically, we know that is not the case with the Council,” a veiled reference to the concentration of power in the hands of the five permanent veto-wielding members. The G4 statement further said that while, academic discussions indicate that the veto is the most unpopular aspect of the Council’s functioning, politically its abolition is acknowledged as being extremely difficult. Further, while in debates it is accepted that the views of the Troop Contributing Countries need to be taken into account in framing peace operations, “the political reality is that they do not have an effective platform for expression on such matters,” he said. India is among the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping operations and has repeatedly raised objections to troop contributing countries not being consulted before mandates are finalised by the Security Council. The G4 highlighted several issues that need to be redressed in the revised version of the Food for Thought paper, the document tabled for consideration on UNSC expansion. The grouping said that in section relating to Categories of Membership, the correct factual position on proposals concerning this issue be reflected. “All proposals offered thus far for the expansion of the 2-year term non-permanent seats are linked to expansion of other categories also and none exists in a stand-alone mode. So, our specific suggestion is, at the end of the first sentence of sub-section 4 ending with ‘accepted by all Member States’, the clause ‘as part of an expansion that includes other categories’ is added, the G4 statement said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India objects to Pak raising Kashmir issue at UN forum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has strongly objected to Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at a UN General Assembly session here, asserting that it is a bilateral matter which should not be brought up in the UN forum. Minister in Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN Masood Anwar raised the Kashmir issue in his statement to the UN General Assembly session of the Committee on Information on April 25. He said Pakistan appreciates the efforts by the UN s Department of Public Information in arranging coverage of events related to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. “We would urge you to do the same for the people of Kashmir who continue to suffer under foreign occupation, Anwar said. As soon as these remarks were made, Minister in India s Permanent Mission to the UN S Srinivas Prasad interrupted Anwar s speech and strongly raised objections to the mention of Kashmir by the Pakistani delegate. “It is a bilateral issue which should not be brought here, Prasad told the Chair of the session. Pakistan s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, also present during the session, was heard prodding Anwar to “carry on” speaking even as Prasad raised his objections with the session’s Chair. Later, before delivering India’s statement at the session, Prasad said the Kashmir issue was totally unrelated to the forum. “Before I begin my statement, I would like to thank the Chair for its deft handling and not allowing the elaboration of a subject which is totally unrelated to this forum as was tried by a member state,” Prasad said. The Committee on Information is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly established to deal with questions relating to public information. It is responsible for overseeing the work of the Department of Public Information and for providing it with guidance on policies, programmes and activities of the Department.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lack of political will in funding UN peacebuilding efforts:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has voiced concern over the insufficient political commitment by nations for “substantive” support to UN peacebuilding efforts, saying marginal funding severely limits the ability of the world body’s intergovernmental agency focussed on peace efforts in conflict affected countries. “…There is little political commitment for commensurate action and substantive support to peacebuilding efforts. The funding available for such efforts remains marginal, severely limiting the ability of the Peacebuilding Commission, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said here. Participating in a General Assembly debate on the Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding fund yesterday, Lal said there is no agreement on increasing funding for the Commission to even a one per cent level of that for peacekeeping operations annually. “In the absence of funds, despite an understanding of the task at hand, there is little hope of it being achieved,” he said, adding that there are tendencies to re-allocate the already grossly inadequate international development cooperation funds to humanitarian and other emergency assistance. This further reduces the overall development funding and is not helping the longer term development efforts required for peacebuilding. He noted that according to the Report of the Secretary General on the issue, the Peacebuilding Fund’s financial health remains in question. The total amount of USD 71 million allocated during 2016 for 17 countries, including the six countries where the Peacebuilding Commission is active, is grossly inadequate for the scale of the tasks at hand. Despite landmark resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, the ministerial level pledging conference in September last year could only elicit USD 152 million, half of the USD 300 million goal, which was projected as the minimum amount needed to sustain operations for three years. India has contributed USD five million to the fund, according to the fund’s website. Stressing on the changing nature of conflict, Lal said conflicts are increasingly intra-state and also involve non- state actors including international terror networks. In an interdependent world, conflicts in any part of the world have much wider implications through such terror networks or large movements of refugees. We, therefore, have a collective interest in building and sustaining peace, he said. It is also essential for the peacebuilding efforts to align themselves with national priorities and participation, which would ensure sustainable gains and ownership. The changing environment underscores the importance of long-term commitment and sustained investment, including a vastly expanded funding, that are required for the all round development and inclusive political dialogue for building and sustaining peace, he added. “The complexity of peacebuilding activities points to the need for greater coherence not only between various UN organs, but also related agencies and special and regional bodies, he said, adding that the Commission should also continue to discuss ways to build synergies with the fund.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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