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Jerusalem vote will affect UN budget, fear diplomats

Braving threats of retaliation from Washington, India and 128 countries voted in favour of the resolution in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that called upon the US to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But officials now say that it could have been a ploy by the US to scale down its budgetary commitments to the UN.The Committee on Contributions at the UN uses estimates of each member state’s gross national product (GNP) and a number of adjustments, including data for external debt and for low per capita incomes for their financial commitments to the regular and peace-keeping budget of the world body. The percentage shares range from a minimum of 0.001% to a maximum of 22%, and a maximum of 0.01% for those nations designated as “least developed countries.The US is the biggest economy in the world with the highest share of 22%, followed by Japan with 9.68% and China (7.921%). According to the assessment made for the years 2016-18, India has to contribute 0.737% to the UN regular budget, placing it at 24th position in the list of highest contributors. Officials here attributed the US’s intransigence coupled with unparalleled threatening communications to countries to a ploy to scale down its commitments to the UN and its various programmes particularly the peace-keeping efforts. The US contributions to the UN regular budget in 2017 stood at $611 million. It is also committed to providing $2 billion annually to peacekeeping, and hundreds of millions more to programs, including the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program. The US had already conveyed to cut $150 million next year to peace-keeping budget.At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump asserted, “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they’re doing.” Expressing “deep regret” over recent decisions over the status of Jerusalem, the resolution did not specifically mention the US, but states that the final status of the city will be “resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions”.Officials here agree that the US communications to the smaller nations intimidating them to vote in its favour were highly inappropriate and the only explanation could be the US attempting to run away from its financial commitments. The resolution, which was tabled by Turkey and Yemen and supported by a slew of Muslim and non-aligned movement countries, was approved by 128 votes – two-thirds of the 193-member UNGA. While 35 countries abstained, only nine countries voted against the resolution – the US, Israel, Honduras, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Togo and Micronesia. Twenty-one countries did not vote at all.While officials here stated that India’s position on Palestine was unchanged, the lack of reiteration of East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital over past many months had raised questions. The ambassadors of Arab countries posted to Delhi meeting with the minister of state for external affairs, M.J. Akbar to discuss the issue. Arab countries were also apprehensive of India’s stand, apprehending that Modi government may change its policy in the wake of hosting Israeli PM early next year in New Delhi. Diplomats, who attended the meeting said there was no explicit demand made by the Arab envoys to take a stronger position, but they only reminded Akbar to convey the PM the 2016 Manama Declaration, which India signed with Arab countries, recognising East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and also called for the sanctity of UNSC resolutions.India’s positionAccording to the assessment made for the years 2016-18 by the United Nations, India has to contribute 0.737% to the UN regular budget, placing it at 24th position.

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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.

Dalveer Bhandari re-elected as ICJ judge; UK says pleased to see ‘close friend’ India win

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected as the fifth judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after the United Kingdom withdrew the nomination of Christopher Greenwood on Monday.Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.Expressing her happiness over the victory of Indian nominee at the ICJ election, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took to her Twitter page to say, “Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind. #ICJ”On November 9, the UNGA and Security Council members had elected judges to four of the five seats up for re-election this year, with the fate of candidates from India and the UK hanging in the balance. The UK had tried use every trick in the trade to ensure that India’s nominee did not make it to the ICJ.Justice Bhandari will be among the judges who will hear the pending case pertaining to India’s Kulbhushan Jadhav, currently in a Pakistan jail.Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history. Meanwhile, Britain has congratulated Justice Dalveer Bhandari on being re-elected to the International Court of Justice and said it will continue to cooperate closely with India at the United Nations and globally.Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said, “We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates. “If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead.””We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally,” he said.Based in The Hague, the ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term.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.

Indian Army, Hafiz Saeed, petrol, diesel home delivery and BHU: DNA evening must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1: Soon, petrol and diesel will be home-delivered, says governmentUnion Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday announced that petrol and diesel would not be delivered at the convenience of your home. “Using the technological advancements in the IT & Telecom Sector we will soon be starting online home delivery of Diesel & Petrol,” he tweeted. Read full story here2: Heavy casualties inflicted on NSCN(K) during fire-fight along Myanmar border: Indian ArmyThe Indian Army on Wednesday morning carried out a major operation against Naga insurgent group NSCN(K) near the Indo-Myanmar border in which several militants were killed. “Firefight occurred along Indo-Myanmar border at 04:45 hours today, said Eastern command in a series of Tweets. Read full story here3: Don’t blame us for Hafiz Saeed, says Pakistan FM Khawaja AsifCornered after a blistering attack by India at the UNGA, Pakistan said that it can’t be ‘blamed for terrorists like Hafiz Saeed’, who masterminded the Mumbai terror attack, saying Washington had considered these men ‘darlings’. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister was quoted saying by NDTV at seminar in New York, “They are liabilities. I accept, they are liabilities but give us time to get rid of these liabilities because we don’t have assets to match these liabilities and you are increasing them further.” Read full story here 4: Won’t spare those involved in spreading anarchy on campus: Yogi AdityanathAmid ongoing row over violence in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday blamed anti-social elements in vitiating the atmosphere. A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a baton-charge by the police in BHU where a protest on Saturday night against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent. Read full story here5: Dalit priest preparing to perform ‘maha yagna’ stabbed in his homeA Dalit priest has been hospitalised after he was stabbed in Kerala’s Palakad district. The priest has been identified as Biju Narayanan and is believed to be the first Dalit priest in the country. Biju was stabbed on Wednesday by an unknown person. The incident took place when he was resting at his home early in the morning. Read full story here

‘When greed exploits nature, it explodes’: Sushma Swaraj on challenges posed by climate change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the challenge posed by climate change requires more “serious action than talk” and asked the leaders of the developed world to help the less fortunate ones through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing.Arguing that countries like China and India are benefiting the most from the Paris Accord, President Donald Trump had said that the agreement on climate change was unfair to the US, as it badly hit its businesses and jobs.Addressing the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Swaraj said that it was not just mere coincidence that the world has witnessed hurricanes, earthquakes, rains that inundate storms which terrify.”Nature sent its warning to the world even before the world’s leadership gathered in New York at the United Nations through Harvey,” she said, adding that once the gathering of world leaders at the UNGA began, an earthquake struck Mexico and a hurricane landed in Dominica.”We must understand, this requires more serious action than talk. The developed world must listen more carefully than others, because it has more capacities than others.”It must help the less fortunate through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing – that is the only way to save future generations,” Swaraj said.The central aim of the Paris Accord is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.The landmark agreement, which entered into force last November, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.Referring to her last year’s address to the UNGA, Swaraj said she had identified climate change as “one of the significant dangers to our” existence.”India has already said that it is deeply committed to the Paris Accord. This is not because we are afraid of any power, influenced by friend or foe, or tempted by some imagined greed,” the External Affairs Minister said.”This is an outcome of a philosophy that is at least 5,000 years old. Our Prime Minister has, on his personal initiative, launched the International Solar Alliance as witness to our abiding commitment to a cause,” said the top Indian diplomat.”When we talk of world peace, we mean peace not only among human beings but also peace with nature. We understand that human nature is sometimes inimical to nature, but we would like to amend human nature when it tends in the wrong directions.”When we inflict our greed upon nature, nature sometimes explodes. We must learn to live with the imperatives, cycles and creative urges of nature; in that lies, our own salvation,” she observed.

BRICS Ministerial Meeting: Sushma Swaraj hits out at Pakistan, says some ‘using terror as instument of state policy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lashed out at Pakistan while addressing Brics Ministerial Meeting in the sidelines of UNGA. in New York. Sushma Swaraj in her speech advocated for reforms in IMF and UNSC. She said that terror is a major challenge, and many of the groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia. EAM said that terrorists get support from countries which uses terrorism as instrument of state policy. Sushma said, ” We must condemn efforts, including by States, to use religion to justify, sustain & sponsor terrorism against other countries.”Sushma Swaraj said that, ” There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement.” To unshackle the region from threats of terrorism, Swaraj suggested that, “Terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support must be systematically cut off”. Another big focus of Swaraj’s speech was formation of alliance between International Solar Alliance & New Development Bank. She hoped that the goal can be achieved in the coming days. On Wednesday, Swaraj maintained her tough stance against terror in a meet of the SCO countries. Addressing a meeting of foreign ministers of the grouping on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Swaraj also emphasised on connectivity with member nations. “India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justification for any acts of terrorism,” Swaraj said.The SCO countries include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan as its founding members. India and Pakistan joined the grouping as full members in June in Astana. “Connectivity with SCO countries is India’s priority. We want connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between our societies,” the minister said.

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.

PM-Modi-discusses-bilateral-relations-with-S.-Korea,-Italy,-Norway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held discussion with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. During the meeting, both leaders expressed their commitment to further develop the special strategic partnership between India and South Korea, particularly through participation in programmes such as ?Make in India?, ?Digital India? and ?Start up India?. Prime Minister Modi also extended an invitation to President Moon to visit India, which the latter accepted. Prime Minister Modi also held discussions with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentolini and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. The Indian and Italian leaders focussed on promoting bilateral relations, particularly trade and investment and people-to-people ties. Prime Minister Modi invited Italy’s participation in World Food India – the food processing exhibition to be held in India in November this year. The two leaders stressed on the significance of promoting interaction between medium enterprises of the two countries for strengthening bilateral economic cooperation. The Prime Minister of Italy appreciated Indian investments in his country, including in industrial sector. The two leaders also discussed ways and means to work together for providing sustainable solutions to prevent climate change and promote development in Africa. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi and the Prime Minister Solberg discussed bilateral matters, especially strengthening of economic relations. The Indian leader invited participation of Norwegian pension funds in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. Prime Minister Solberg on his part invited India to participate in the Oceans’ Conference on the sidelines of the UNGA. In a gesture symbolising cooperation for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Prime Minister Solberg presented to Prime Minister Modi, at the end of the meeting, a football with SDGs inscribed on it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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