Reading Time: 8 mins Due to its avoidance of accountability in general, Trump Administration has long been embroiled by the worsened relationship with international organisations like the UNHRC, WHO and now with the International Criminal Court. The US government has blocked assets and imposed travel restrictions against ICC employees who are directly involved in the investigation of war crimes in Afghanistan by the US forces. Though this is not the first time the US opposed ICC’s functioning and powers, its impact is huge as comes at a time when the US is highly unpopular due to its racial tensions and ‘America First’ policy. The recent executive order by the Trump Administration essentially stalls the global fight against impunity for the most serious international crimes, giving scope for other countries to also follow suit.
Reading Time: 12 mins The US is currently having tense relations with the UN bodies; the most recent among them is the UN Human Rights Council after it passed a resolution that condemned discriminatory and violent policing and ordered a report on systemic racism against people of African descent. The Council failed to hold the US accountable for its police’s blatant violation of human rights by not calling for an investigation on Floyd’s death and other similar cases. The US has already left the Council in 2018 after accusing it of its various deficiencies. The lack of strong democratic representation has led to a better representation of authoritarian governments, which have the worst human rights records, to change the narrative of the global human rights norms. Currently, the forum is used by countries like Pakistan as a political tool with no consideration of human rights. Reforms and cooperation, rather than walking out of forums, are necessary steps to address issues like human rights.
Reading Time: 9 mins Quad Plus, which includes Quad countries along with South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam, initiated weekly video conferences since March 20 to discuss the common issues pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic. These discussions have brought Quad back into focus as one of the important groupings in the Indo-Pacific. While the expansion of the alliance to ensure international cooperation to deal with this crisis a step in the right direction, the ultimate objective of countering China’s aggression has been put on the backburner though Beijing has increased its hostility in the South China Sea and Sino-Indian borders.
Reading Time: 6 mins The US President Donald Trump, dubbing the current G7 setup as outdated, had recently called for the expansion of the grouping into a G10 or G11 with the inclusion of India, Australia, Russia and South Korea. Apart from the US, the UK too had advocated for the expansion by pitching for the ‘D10’, a grouping of 10 democratic countries comprising of G7 and India among others to create an alternative source for 5G technology and equipment and curb reliance on China. These proposals come at a time when the major economies are increasingly becoming less influential due to their lack of unity and protectionist ideologies.
Reading Time: 6 mins The Indian Ocean is the 3rd largest ocean in the world. Its geopolitical importance stems from vast and largely unexplored mineral deposits and also serving as shipping highway. It is surrounded by 51 countries representing 25% of the world’s landmass. In the post-COVID world, the world nations will have to step up efforts to make up for the lost economic grounds. For this, IORA is being regarded as one of the possible avenues for improving international ties- especially as its one of the low hanging fruits.
Reading Time: 9 mins World Health Organisation (WHO), the world’s largest coordinating body for healthcare, has the irreplaceable role of integrating global resources. It is the only organisation with the global reach. Being caught amid a tug-of-war between the US and China is therefore not helping the organisation to deal with the pandemic. Apart from losing out vital funds, the WHO is also facing a credibility crisis, which undercuts its ability to fulfil its other roles on global health. Thus, India, in its unique position, must take a stance in rescuing this organisation from the current crisis.
Reading Time: 9 mins The unprecedented pandemic has united SAARC countries as they have come together to promote regional cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. India’s call for collaboration among SAARC countries has revived the grouping after three years of impasse. This is a much-needed initiative as the porous borders and dense population of South Asia makes it one of the most vulnerable regions in the world during a pandemic.
Reading Time: 7 mins Since conducting its second nuclear tests in 1998, India had adhered to a self-imposed commitment to “No First Use” of nuclear weapons on another country. However, on August 16th, 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had hinted that in future India’s “no first use” policy “depends on circumstances”. Following this episode, the Defence Minister had effectively reduced the already bleak chances of India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. However, in the current situation, it matters very little for India as it already has the necessary benefits it needs to expand and operate its nuclear programme.
Reading Time: 6 mins On 17th July 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had delivered its final verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case between India and Pakistan. With a 15-1 majority decision in India’s favour, the ICJ held that Pakistan had violated its obligations under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. This case is a clear victory for India. Yet, the ICJ can provide only limited remedies for India. This brings into question the uncertainty about Jadhav’s detention and his pending death sentence.