628194Herve_Ladsous
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefs the Security Council on the situation in Mali. UN Photo/Loey Felipe.

Historic Step toward’s Peace UNSC

On 10 April 2015 – The members of the United Nations Security Council welcomed a peace and reconciliation accord between the Malian Government, armed groups and an international mediation team in what the body described as an “Historic Opportunity” for resolving the African country’s ongoing political and security crisis.

In a press statement, Council members said the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation, initialled by representatives of the Government and a coalition of armed groups, known as Platform, on 1 March was “a critical step to achieving lasting peace” in the conflict-ridden country and urged other armed groups to follow suit.

The members of the Security Council encouraged the parties to seize this historic opportunity & to continue to engage constructively with sustained political will and in good faith, supported by the members of the international mediation team, to sign this agreement as soon as possible and commit to its effective, complete and sincere implementation, through the further development of implementation modalities and timelines.

The Security Council

Under the Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The Security Council also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations. And, together with the General Assembly, it elects the judges of the International Court of Justice.

What is the Security Council?

The UN Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened.

According to the Charter, the United Nations has four purposes:

1.To maintain international peace and security;

2.To develop friendly relations among nations;

3.To cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;

4.And to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.

Maintaining Peace and Security:-

When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought before it, the Council’s first action is usually to recommend that the parties try to reach agreement by peaceful means. The Council may:

1.Set forth principles for such an agreement;

2.Undertake investigation and mediation, in some cases;

3.Dispatch a mission;

4.Appoint special envoys; or

5.Request the Secretary-General to use his good offices to achieve a pacific settlement of the dispute.

When a dispute leads to hostilities, the Council’s primary concern is to bring them to an end as soon as possible. In that case, the Council may:

1.Issue ceasefire directives that can help prevent an escalation of the conflict;

2.Dispatch military observers or a peacekeeping force to help reduce tensions, separate opposing forces and establish a calm in which peaceful settlements may be sought.

Beyond this, the Council may opt for enforcement measures, including:

1.Economic sanctions, arms embargoes, financial penalties and restrictions, and travel bans;

2.Severance of diplomatic relations;

3.Blockade;

4.Or even collective military action.

A chief concern is to focus action on those responsible for the policies or practices condemned by the international community, while minimizing the impact of the measures taken on other parts of the population and economy. First Session of the United Nations Security Council in London, United Kingdom on 17 January 1946. Credit: UN Photo/Marcel Bolomey

Organization:-

The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster, London. Since its first meeting, the Security Council has taken permanent residence at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It also travelled to many cities, holding sessions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1972, in Panama City, Panama, and in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1990.

A representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time as the need arises.

Functions and Powers:-

Under the United Nations Charter, the functions and powers of the Security Council are:

1.To maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations;

2.To investigate any dispute or situation which mightlead to international friction;

3.To recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement;

4.To formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments;

5.To determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;

6.To call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;

7.To take military action against an aggressor;

8.To recommend the admission of new Members;

9.To exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in “strategic areas”;

10.To recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges of the International Court of Justice.

United Nations Security Council Reform:-

“Chief responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security lies with the Security Council. It is therefore essential to its legitimacy that its membership reflect the state of the world.”

United Nations Background:-

The United Nations was born out of the turmoil of two devastating world wars. It was established in the hopes that a strong international organization could foster enough cooperation between nations in order to prevent future conflicts. In 1945, representatives from 50 countries met in San Francisco to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States in August and October of 1944. The Charter was signed on June, 26 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.Since then the United Nations has grown significantly. The United Nations General Assembly now consists of 191 Member States.

The predecessor of the United Nations was the ill-fated League of Nations, which was conceived under similar circumstances after World War I. The League of Nations ceased its activities after failing to prevent World War II.

Fifty-eight years after the signing of the Charter, the world has changed dramatically. Its universal character and comprehensiveness make the United Nations a unique and indispensable forum for governments to work together to address global issues. At the same time, there remains a large gap between aspiration and real accomplishment. There have been many successes and many failures. The United Nations is a bureaucracy that struggles – understandably – in its attempt to bring together 191 countries. It must come at no surprise, therefore, that a consensus cannot always be reached with so many different competing voices.

Security Council Background

The Security Council of the United Nations has the primary responsibility under the United Nations Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security. Under the Charter, all Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other parts of the United Nations make recommendations to various States, the Council has the power to make decisions that Member States are obliged to obey. This gives the Security Council a very important and powerful position in the United Nations and in the world.

During the first forty-five years of its existence, the Council was paralyzed by the Cold War, which polarized many of the permanent Security Council members. During this time, world power was concentrated in the United States and the Soviet Union, but there were a few noteworthy Council actions. These include the June 1950 call for United Nations members to help South Koreans – the Soviet Union was not present at the vote.After the thawing of the international political climate, however, the Security Council has been very active.

The Security Council is currently made up of 15 United Nation Member States. Five of the members were designated permanent members in the original charter. These five countries are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These permanent members have the power of veto. This veto power has proved to be extremely controversial in reform debates. The veto is cast much less than during the Cold War, but it is still very much in use as a threat that blocks action.

The remaining ten members of the Council are elected by the General Assembly to two-year non-renewable terms. These seats are allotted regionally so that there is representation in all the major world regions – two to Asia, two to Latin America, two to Western Europe, one to Eastern Europe, and three to Africa.

Membership of Security Council in 2003

Country

Membership Term ends

France

Permanent Member

Germany

31 December 2004

Guinea

31 December 2003

Mexico

31 December 2003

Pakistan

31 December 2004

Russian Federation

Permanent Member

Spain

31 December 2004

Syrian Arab Republic

31 December 2003

United Kingdom

Permanent Member

United States

Permanent Member

Angola

31 December 2004

Bulgaria

31 December 2003

Cameroon

31 December 2003

China

Permanent Member

Chile

31 December 2004

The Security Council’s main responsibility is peace and security. In this realm it performs three major functions: mediation, peacekeeping, and enforcement. Acting under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, the Security Council assists in the peaceful settlement of disputes by mediating conflicts and negotiating settlements. It also establishes and oversees UN peace-keeping forces. After the Cold War when there was greater consensus among the members, the Security Council established numerous peacekeeping operations. In the mid-1990’s there were over 70,000 peacekeepers deployed. Under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council can take enforcement measures against offending States or entities. For example, the Security Council has imposed economic sanctions against countries such as Iraq. Under Article 42 of the Charter, the Security Council also can use military force to promote peace and security.

Member States not on the Coucil are often unsatisfied with the results of Security Council operations. These operations are often seen as selfishly motivated by the powerful states taking part, and not sufficiently reflecting the will of the General Assembly as a whole. For example, the recent and ongoing war in Iraq instigated by the United States came with no United Nations mandate and little international consensus.

Objective:-

The focus of this paper is on the United Nations Security Council reform issue. It will start by giving some history on the United Nations charter and the Security Council. This background will set up a discussion on the past and present proposals to reform the Security Council. I will also offer analysis on the feasibility of these reform proposals. I will then discuss what the key countries think about Security Council reform.

Some Security Council Actions:

The awakening of the Security Council may be dated quite accurately to the Iran-Iraq war when the Security Council’s decision to impose economic penalties on Iran for continuing the war. This was in 1987-1988. The threat of sanctions helped force Ayatollah Khomeini to finally end the war. By the early 1990’s the Council had become effective for mobilizing the world community to repel aggression and maintain peace. The successes did not, however, come without failures.

Since 1945, the Security Council has not been able to stop the deaths of over 30 million people in armed conflict including genocide in Rwanda, wars in Angola, central Africa, Sudan and elsewhere[viii]. The Security Council also did nothing to prevent Britain from going to war to claim the Falkland Islands. Also, the most powerful members of the Security Council, charged with promoting peace, are– ironically enough – the world’s biggest arms traders. For Example, the United States continues to arm Israel and the Security Council does nothing.

The Reform Movement

In this section, I will first look at what is currently wrong with the Security Council and then I will discuss possible solutions.

Iraq fiasco and the bypassing of the Security Council – Catalyst for change?

The entire Iraq crisis has been a depressing period for the United Nations. As Chirac said in front of the UN General Assembly, “the war, embarked on without Security Council approval, has undermined the multilateral system.”Having failed to bully the Security Council into supporting the Iraq invasion, President Bush went ahead and attacked without a mandate. After occupying Iraq, President Bush again pushed to attain a United Nations mandate for the American-led coalition hoping that this would encourage other countries to provide financial aid and soldiers. The United States sought assistance but refused to give up leadership to the United Nations. Even with a United Nations mandate, however, its perceived lack of legitimacy ensures that a mandate will not have a large effect.

Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General, recognized that flaws in the Security Council had been brought to light by the protracted debate over the Iraq war, but he was optimistic about the future. Mr. Annan commented that “in a way, Iraq has more or less driven home to leaders around the world that the United Nations is a precious instrument, the United Nations is important…There are lots of issues that no one country, no matter how powerful, can deal with alone.”The United States in its narrow minded unilateralism needs to work within the United Nations framework in order to be effective. Not only can the United States then share the financial burden but it can also garner international credibility and legitimacy.

Annan stressed that because the United Nations was no longer involved in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the search would continue to lack credibility. “I know that we have the British and American scientists looking for weapons in Iraq. They may find them, they may not find them. But even if they find them would they be credible?”Chances are we can only speculate on this question posed by Anna since so far the United States’ “coalition of the willing” has yet to turn up any WMDs. French President Chirac reiterated Annan’s point when he addressed the General Assembly. He said, “multilateralism is the key, for it ensures the participation of all in the management of world affairs. It is a guarantee of legitimacy and democracy, especially in matters regarding the use of force or laying down [of] universal norms.”

Security Council Representation Imbalance:-

Washington wanted the international community via the United Nations Security Council to take a tougher line on Iraq. The council, however, is far from representative of the international community. Decisions really come down to five countries meeting behind closed doors. This same group of permanent, veto-bearing members has shaped nearly every major international peace and security decision since World War II. Currently, four out of five veto-bearing members are industrialized countries and the fifth, China, is rapidly approaching industrialized status. Many in the rest of the world seethe at their exclusion from this elite group. Africa, Latin America, and the Islamic world, for example, have no permanent voice on the council. Without a voice, it is understandable why many countries are unwilling to send troops or aid whenever the Security Council demands it. This imbalance, highlighted by the Iraq war, has made Security Council reform a hot topic of debate.

Reform History:-

Any change in the membership of the Security Council requires a two-thirds vote from the General Assembly, which includes all the permanent members. The only change so far to the Security Council was in 1965. At that time, non-permanent membership was enlarged from six to its present ten.

It is generally agreed that something still needs to change. Even though everyone seems to agree on the fundamental idea of reform, efforts have been stymied for over a decade. Most reform proposals relate to the work, size, and composition of the Security Council. Concerning size and composition, the General Assembly at the prompting of General Secretary Kofi Annan adopted resolution 48/26 in 1993. This established the Open-ended Working Group to consider all the issue of Security Council membership reform.. For a decade now, diplomats and committees have been working on Security Council reform. Most of the discussion has revolved around technicalities such as how much should it be expanded, should they be permanent members, and whether they should have vetoes or whether vetoes should be abolished altogether.

In 1997, there was a strong push to get Germany and Japan permanent Security Council seats. The initiative faced many hurdles that eventually derailed the effort. Many delegations opposed any more permanent members since they would create more arbitrary distinctions between member states. Other delegations felt it was unfair to only add Germany and Japan since it would elevate yet another European state and make the council even more unrepresentative of the world’s people.[xv] Italy intensely opposed the Germany-Japan initiative and pushed for its own Italian Proposal. This proposal rejected further permanent members in favor of a special class of intermediate states that would be elected periodically by the General Assembly and would rotate in and out of Security Council seats.

Security Council Reform Idea: Expansion of Security Council:-

Many argue for expansion, if only to reflect the steady rise in membership in the United Nations. The General Assembly has grown from 51 to 191! The number of permanent members, however, has remained the same. Most reform proposals suggest expanding the council from five to ten permanent members, and elected members from ten to fourteen. Beyond that there is little agreement. What should the new geographic composition be? Which new members should be awarded permanent seats? Should states be elected by regional groupings?

“If you add another five permanent members, all of them casting vetoes, forget about anything being accomplished,” says James Paul, executive director of the Global Policy Forum. “It’s not just casting a veto, but the threat of casting a veto that keeps the whole issue off the agenda. A lot of council members wanted to act regarding Chechnya, but the Russians wouldn’t even allow any discussion, much less action.”

The countries that will most likely receive a permanent seat on the Security Council if it ever happens would be Germany, Japan, India, and Brazil. Later in this paper I will discuss in further detail the position of individual countries.

Security Council Reform Idea: Giving or taking away the Veto:- 

How did the permanent five secure these privileges in the first place? After World War II, the victors took another crack at forming an international body to bring stability to the globe. Hoping to do better than the ill-fated League of Nations, the victors anointed themselves responsible for providing the money and muscle to “maintain international peace and security.” Others saw them as simply protecting their own interests, but decided that this was a small price to pay if it meant peaceful coexistence. The Cold War unfolded soon after and polarized the globe and effectively froze the Security Council. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, this inactivity changed. There was an outbreak of ethnic, tribal, and religious conflict across the globe which spurred Security Council activism in both peacekeeping missions and punitive sanctions. At that point, the rest of the world, confronted with an active and powerful Security Council began to question the wisdom of the veto.

Use of the veto after the Cold War has dropped off dramatically but the statistics belie the true power of the right to veto. The mere threat of the veto has prevented many actions or talks to ever get under way. For example, the Security Council never acted in Chechnya since it was assured that Russia would veto any measure. Following is a graph that shows how many times each of the Permanent Five countries have used this power. Also included is a chart showing the subjects of recent veto issues.

 Veto Use in the UN Security Council

Subjects of UN Security Council Vetoes

Source: data from the UN and Sydney D. Bailey and Sam Daws “The procedure of the UN Security Council,” 3rd Edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998

 

Year

Date of Vote

Vetoing Member State

Vote
(yes-veto- no or abstain)

Subject

2003

October 14

USA

10-1-4

on the security wall built by Israel in the West Bank.

 

September 16

USA

11-1-3

on the Israeli decision to “remove” PalestinianAuthority leader Asser Arafat.

2002

December 20

USA

12-1-2

on the Israeli killings of several UN employees andthe destruction of the World Food Program(WFP) warehouse

 

June 30

USA

13-1-1

on the renewal of the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and the immunity of US peacekeepers from ICC jurisdiction

2001

December 14

USA

12-1-2

on the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian-controlled land and condemning acts of terror against civilians

 

March 27

USA

9-1-4

on establishing a UN observer force to protect Palestinian civilians

(report of Council meeting SC/7040)

2000

no vetoes

 

 

 

1999

February 25

China

13-1-1

on the extension of UNPREDEP in the Republic of Macedonia

1998

no vetoes

 

 

 

1997

March 21

USA

13-1-1

Demanding Israel’s immediate cessation ofconstruction at Jabal Abu Ghneim

 

March 7

USA

14-1-0

Calling upon Israel to refrain from East Jerusalem settlement activities

 

January 10

China

14-1-0

Authorization for 155 observers for the purpose of verification of the ceasefire in Guatemala

While in recent years the permanent members have shown restraint in using the veto, this guarantees nothing of the future. Moreover, the simple threat to use the veto has been shown to strongly effect the final outcome of Security Council debates. The position of Belgium’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Erik Derycke is that “the right to veto is incompatible with the general interest.Many countries feel the same.

Security Council Reform Idea: More Transparency

The Security Council is an exclusive club and acts the part. Oftentimes their discussions are back-door closed talks. This problem is already being addressed by measures that would enhance the communication between the Council and the General Assembly. There is really no argument against maintaining, improving, and formalizing these measures. Some of these measures include: regular meetings between the Security Council and the General Assembly, briefings on the work of the Security Council, more open meetings of the Council, and transparency of the work of sanctions committees. These efforts will go a long way to bringing the Security Council and the General Assembly closer together.

Security Council Reform: Dissolution

One bold proposal would forget about expansion of the Security Council and just eliminate all permanent membership and create a council of elected representatives from different regional areas. Those advocating this approach point out that permanent members are like presidents for life. The problem with this drastic proposal is its unfeasibility. Any proposal that does pass would have to have the support of the powerful veto-bearing countries. A more pragmatic suggestion would be to add five permanent Security Council members but without veto powers. This idea is based on basic 21st century political reality and not on any ideal concept of equality or fairness. The result of adding more countries would increase global representation and thereby bolster its credibility.

Perspective of the Players:

I have already given an overview of the United Nations and Security Council. I have also discussed why reform is needed and what some possible reforms are. This section will now discuss the various positions that different major countries have taken in the reform debates. The countries discussed will include the current Permanent Members and commonly discussed candidates for expansion.

Keep in mind that changes in the United Nations Charter requires the vote of two-thirds of the General Assembly. Obviously, the support of the veto-bearing members is particularly important since they carry a lot of weight and influence.

The Permanent Five: China

It is in China’s interest not to make any drastic changes probably because it is already a veto-bearing Security Council member. In an official statement to the United Nations Working Group on Security Council of Reform in 1998, Ambassador Shen Goufang crystallized the position of China. First, on the topic of the veto Goufang said that the veto “was formed on the basis of lessons drawn from the experience of the League of Nations. Its existence is a historical necessity as well as an objective reality. Therefore, in our view, the mechanism of veto has both historical and practical rationality.”

Second, Goufang discussed what reforms would be acceptable and effective. He opts for more democratic and inclusive working methods rather than more drastic expansion plans. In essence, Goufang argues for more transparency by further cementing “the Council’s relationship with the General Assembly and the vast number of Member States…so that decisions and actions taken by the Council will be able to reflect the will of the overwhelming majority of Member States.” Referring again in the same statement to the veto, Goufang says that instead of losing veto power, “Permanent Members of the Security Council should exercise caution” when thinking of using the veto.

The Permanent Five: France

Less than three months ago, French President Chirac made a bold statement in support of Security Council expansion. The main motivation cited was strengthening the Security Council so that it would carry more international legitimacy. Chirac also pointed out that since the inception of the Security Council “there are countries that were unknown that have become very important for political reasons, demographic reasons, [and] economic reasons.”Chirac called specifically for the addition of Germany and Japan – two countries often mentioned for inclusion. Chirac also mentioned that he could see Asian, African, and Latin American countries gaining seats as well. He singled out India as a possible candidate saying “it’s very hard to imagine how one could exclude India from the possibility of having a permanent seat in Security Council given its characteristics.”

On the subject of the veto, France is unwilling to give up its right and it is unclear about whether it would be willing to give new Permanent Members the veto power.

The Permanent Five: United Kingdom

Britain has long been consistent in its support for an expanded Security Council. Robin Cook, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, supported expansion in a statement to the General Assembly in 1997. He argued that

“the Security Council must move on if it is not to lose its legitimacy. Japan and Germany should be included in an expanded permanent membership, and there should be a new balance between developed and developing countries in a modernized Security Council. We are all agreed on the need for change; we have been discussing it for four years. It is time that we agreed that a proposal for change which has the backing of the vast majority of Members is better than a status quo which has the backing of none.”

Five years after this statement a proposal for change still has not made it through the General Assembly. Along with Germany and Japan, in early 2002 Britain’s Blair also assured India that Britain supported India’s quest for a permanent seat.

The Permanent Five: Russia:-

The idea of reforming the Security Council is not a top priority of Russia. Russia will neither initiate nor particularly insist upon reform, especially if the power of veto is altered. At this time, Russia is generally seen as not strong enough to dictate anything that is solely in her interest. That is not to say, however, that Russia’s interests will be ignored outright. It still has a formidable collection of nuclear weapons that can not be discounted.

In a 1999 statement to the Working Group on Security Council Reform, a Russian representative said that the veto is “crucial to [the current Council’s] ability to function effectively and to arrive at balanced and sustainable decisions.”I think that this Representative has hit upon a pragmatic truth. The veto provision may ensure that any Council decision that does pass will have a good chance of actual implementation. Russia’s view is that the veto is a reality because with or without it countries can hijack decisions be merely refusing to participate or give up resources.

Russia has stated that it is willing to expand the permanent membership but whether they should be given veto power is another matter that “should be given substantial consideration after the composition…[has] been agreed upon.”[xxiii] Russia has, for example, backed the bid of India. Russia is also keen on the idea of improving the Council’s working methods by way of more transparency.

The Permanent Five: United States

“Whether progress will be made on the council reform issue depends on the U.S.” said a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official.The United States is the most powerful country in the world and carries tremendous influence.

Its inclusion in the Security Council is crucial, but that doesn’t mean that the relationship is one-sided. The United States, as evidenced by the situation in Iraq, also needs the United Nations. The Bush “go it alone” attitude is ineffective and detrimental to peace and security. In a world so dependent on global trade and ties, the United States cannot afford to be arrogant. Perhaps current president Bush will internalize the lesson of the recent WTO steel tariff decision against the United States. The lesson being: the rest of the world has plenty of leverage against the sole superpower of the world.

The United States has, however, supported reform of the Security Council. During the Clinton administration, the United States backed and fought hard for expansion and inclusion of Germany and Japan.The plan eventually stalled after a number of small and weaker states were afraid that their influence would diminish with expansion. With the collapse of this plan the momentum for reform in the mid 1990s was lost. The United States invested a lot in this effort and unfortunately nothing was ever passed.

On the topic of the veto, the conservative leadership in the United States is fearful that they will lose sovereignty if their veto power is ever diluted or taken away. The veto power is also, not surprisingly, used most by the United States – recently to defend its Israeli allies from any formal criticism (see veto history on pg.11). Another concern of the United States, whether under the leadership of liberal internationalists or conservative nationalists, is that the Security Council not be too large and unwieldy that it cannot come to conclusions.

Potentials: Japan

Japan is first or second in line to get a permanent seat on the Security Council if it is ever expanded. Japan has worked very actively to realize reform without ever succeeding. In a 2000 Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs document, Japan’s position was outlined. Here are some of the main points:-

1.“It is absolutely necessary to expand the permanent membership with the addition of both developed and developing countries which possess the ability and will to assume global responsibility for international peace and security. Japan is prepared to assume greater responsibilities as a permanent member of the reformed Security Council.

2.In order to maintain both effectiveness and representativeness, the appropriate size of the expanded Security Council should be twenty-four members, with the addition of two developed and three developing countries to the permanent membership and four non-permanent members.

3.Concerning the veto, as a matter of principle, there should be no differentiation between new and old permanent members. In Japan’s view, the resolution of this issue will require the political judgment of all nations at the final states of negotiation.

4.The Security Council’s work methods should be improved to increase transparency and accountability.”

Another point that Japan has brought up to justify its place on the Security Council is the fact that they are major contributors to the United Nations budget. In fact they shouldered over 20% of the budget in 2000 – second only to the United States.

Japan’s bid is not without opposition. Opposition comes not only from member states but also domestically. In Japan, a large sector of the public fears that a Security Council seat might draw Japan into distant conflicts and strengthen Japanese militarism.

Potentials: Germany

Usually spoken in the same sentence as Japan, Germany is another country that will likely be added if expansion ever occurs. Germany’s situation also shares a lot in common with Japan’s situation.

Both enjoy the support of many member states. One notable exception is Italy. Italy intensely opposes a permanent seat for Germany and has often made harsh references to history in making its case.[xxix] Italy is also probably worried of being the one major industrialized European country left out of the council. Instead, Italy has proposed that no new permanent members be added but an expansion in the number of non-permanent members. Germany also faces some domestic opposition from the conservatives in Germany.  Germany also insist that as second and third largest due-payers they are entitled to special status.

Potentials: Brazil

Brazil is seen as a leading contender for a seat among developing countries and in its South American region. Currently, there is no permanent representation from South America and little representation from developing countries. In a statement to the United Nations Working Group on reform, the Brazilian Government states that it would like to see changes take into consideration “the emergence of countries – developed and developing alike – that are capable and willing to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security. Permanent membership would entail additional responsibilities and costs. One issue that opponents of Brazil’s entry is that it fails to represent the South American region well since the official language is Portuguese and not Spanish.

Potentials: India

Recently (2001-02), India has clamored for Security Council reform. Any expansion of the Security Council would definitely include a developing country since this representation is currently lacking. India is using this argument that the Security Council is “unrepresentative and anachronistic” to push forward its own agenda of gaining a seat on the Security Council. Along with Brazil, India is seen as one of the strongest candidates among developing countries.

A large number of powerful countries have come out in support of India’s bid. Britain, Russia, and France have all made strong statements supporting India in its quest. In the strongest example of support, Britain’s commitment was solidified in the New Delhi declaration signed by Blain and Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee in early 2002. “Britain continues to view India as a natural contender for permanent membership of the Security Council and will work with India to achieve it,” the declaration said.

India believes that the United Nations (UN), especially the UN Security Council (UNSC), must reflect contemporary global realities. For this purpose the reform of the UN including the expansion of the UNSC in both permanent and non-permanent categories is essential. To this end, the Government of India has been actively working along with other like-minded countries for building support among the UN membership for a meaningful restructuring and expansion of the UNSC.

Why UNSC reform is necessary:-

1.UNSC still reflects the geopolitical architecture of the Second World War.

2.Expanded only once in 1963 to add 4 non permanent members.

3.Since then the membership of the United Nations has increased from 113 to 193 without any change in the composition of the UNSC.

4.No permanent member from Africa, despite 75% of work of the UNSC focused on Africa.

5.Unable to respond effectively to situations of international conflict.

India’s credentials:-

The Government of India has strongly put across to the international community India’s case for permanent membership of the Security Council which is based on India’s extensive contribution to the activities of the UN particularly the maintenance of international peace and security. By any objective criteria such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilizational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and on-going contributions to the activities of the UN – especially to UN peacekeeping operations – India is eminently suited for permanent membership of an expanded UNSC. India’s performance as a Non-permanent member of the Security Council during 2011- 2012 has also significantly strengthened India’s claim to permanent membership.

India and the UNSC:- India has served as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for 7 terms, viz. in 1950 – 1951, 1967 – 1968, 1972 – 1973, 1977 – 1978, 1984 – 1985, 1991 – 1992, and 2011 – 2012. India has again put forth its candidature for the 2021-22 term.

Efforts by India:-

India along with Brazil, Japan and Germany (together known as the G-4) has proposed expansion of the membership of the UNSC in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. Separately, India is spearheading a group of around 42 developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America – called the L.69 Group – which has demanded urgent action on the UNSC reform front. With a view to harness the support of the 54-member strong African Group, the L.69 has engaged in discussions with the Committee of C-10 of the African Union to evolve a joint position on UNSC reform. India is also pursuing the matter through bilateral channels with our interlocutors. A large number of countries have supported India’s initiatives for reform of the UNSC as well as endorsed its candidature for permanent membership.

India urges UN for decisive action on Security Council reform in 2015:

UNITED NATIONS: India has told the UN that 2015 is a year for decisive action on the much-delayed reform of theSecurity Council, and called for negotiations to begin on a concise text to achieve meaningful progress.

The 11th round of Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) should not be like the previous rounds where discussions were held without a text and no outcome could be reached, said Ambassador Bhagwant Bishnoi, Acting Permanent Representative to the UN.

Year 2015 :- 

There is also broad support for the idea that there should a concrete outcome on the issue of UNSC reform in 2015, which will mark the 70th anniversary of the UN and the 10th anniversary of the 2005 World Summit which had called for ‘early’ reform of the UNSC.

Obama endorses India’s bid for permanent membership of UN security council:-

WASHINGTON: US President BRACK OBAMA endorses India’s candidature as a permanent member of the reformed UN security council, the White House has said.

“As it relates to India’s membership in the security council, I know the President endorsed that…the security council in the context of a variety of other important reforms to the operations of the United Nations,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said 24TH FEB.2015.

ISLAMABAD: India’s permanent membership in the reformed UN Security Council is unacceptable to Pakistan as it has not complied with UN resolutions on Kashmir, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has told US President Barack Obama.

The US president called Sharif ON 12TH FEB.2015 night and both leaders discussed issues of mutual interest and those related to regional stability and peace for over half-an-hour, officials here said.

During their conversation, Sharif expressed reservations about US support for India’s bid to secure a permanent UN Security Council seat.

Sharif told Obama that India cannot become a UNSC permanent member due to its non-compliance of all the resolutions passed by the UN on Kashmir and has “not fulfilled the commitment to give the right of self-determination to people of Kashmir,” officials said.

India does not deserve to be a permanent member of the UN,” Sharif was quoted as saying.

During his unprecedented second India visit last month, President Obama had reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member.  In his telephonic conversation with Obama, Sharif also said that Pakistan wanted to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  Obama, during his India visit, had also reaffirmed the US’ position that India is ready for NSG membership.  Obama visited India last month and was the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade, the first US President to do so. In his conversation with Sharif, Obama also discussed his India visit.

Sharif asked Obama to impress upon India to resume peace dialogue with Pakistan to address all outstanding issues including Kashmir, the News reported.  The two leaders also exchanged views about bilateral issues including terrorism and Obama congratulated Sharif on the success of operation ‘Zarb-i-Azb’ to wipe out militants from the North Waziristan tribal region.  The two also decided to meet at a convenient date. The White House, in a statement on Obama’s call to Sharif, said, “the President discussed his recent visit to India, and noted the United States supports all efforts by both nations to improve ties.Obama had also telephoned Sharif before going to India and had promised to take him into confidence at the conclusion of the visit.

Conclusion:-

Security Council reform is unlikely to be taken seriously while George Bush is still in office. Hopefully the frustration that has gathered in connection with the unilateral action of the United States in Iraq will translate to momentum at an opportune time. At which time, Security Council reform will have a chance to succeed.

In my own opinion, I believe that moving forward the best reform would be to expand the Security Council by five permanent members who do not get the veto power. I think that this is pragmatically the best idea because it has a realistic chance to pass. Furthermore, it makes the Security Council more representative of the world without making the Council too bulky.

The challenges facing today’s international community, such as tension in the Middle East, AIDS, and the environment, can only be resolved through coordinated and multilateral efforts. The reason being is the global nature of many of these problems. As the United Nations debates possible reform let us not forget the importance of having a strong international organization. As frustrating as it might be for the largest country or the smallest country to work within the United Nations framework the alternatives are not worth considering.

Importance:-G.S.2(International Relationship&Foreign Policy)

20ylogo_en
TRILOK SINGH

 In 2015, the WTO is commemorating its 20th anniversary. Many different activities are planned throughout the year to mark this event. On the occasion of the WTO’s 20th birthday, Director-General Roberto Azevedo said: “20 years ago, on 1 January 1995, the WTO opened its doors for business. Since then this organization, and the system of transparent, multilaterally-agreed rules that it embodies, has made a major contribution to the strength and stability of the global economy. Over the years the WTO has helped to boost trade growth, resolve numerous trade disputes and support developing countries to integrate into the trading system.”

The WTO In brief:-

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

What is the World Trade Organization?

Simply put: the World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the rules of trade between nations at a global or near-global level. But there is more to it than that.

Who we are:-

There are a number of ways of looking at the World Trade Organization. It is an organization for trade opening. It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements. It is a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.

The WTO was born out of negotiations, and everything the WTO does is the result of negotiations. The bulk of the WTO’s current work comes from the 1986–94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is currently the host to new negotiations, under the ‘Doha Development Agenda’ launched in 2001.

Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered, the negotiations have helped to open markets for trade. But the WTO is not just about opening markets, and in some circumstances its rules support maintaining trade barriers — for example, to protect consumers or prevent the spread of disease.

At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations. These documents provide the legal ground rules for international commerce. They are essentially contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits. Although negotiated and signed by governments, the goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental objectives.

The system’s overriding purpose is to help trade flow as freely as possible — so long as there are no undesirable side effects — because this is important for economic development and well-being. That partly means removing obstacles. It also means ensuring that individuals, companies and governments know what the trade rules are around the world, and giving them the confidence that there will be no sudden changes of policy. In other words, the rules have to be ‘transparent’ and predictable.

Trade relations often involve conflicting interests. Agreements, including those painstakingly negotiated in the WTO system, often need interpreting. The most harmonious way to settle these differences is through some neutral procedure based on an agreed legal foundation. That is the purpose behind the dispute settlement process written into the WTO agreements.

What we do:-

The WTO is run by its member governments. All major decisions are made by the membership as a whole, either by ministers (who usually meet at least once every two years) or by their ambassadors or delegates (who meet regularly in Geneva).

While the WTO is driven by its member states, it could not function without its Secretariat to coordinate the activities. The Secretariat employs over 600 staff, and its experts — lawyers, economists, statisticians and communications experts — assist WTO members on a daily basis to ensure, among other things, that negotiations progress smoothly, and that the rules of international trade are correctly applied and enforced.

Trade negotiations

The WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. They spell out the principles of liberalization, and the permitted exceptions. They include individual countries’ commitments to lower customs tariffs and other trade barriers, and to open and keep open services markets. They set procedures for settling disputes. These agreements are not static; they are renegotiated from time to time and new agreements can be added to the package. Many are now being negotiated under the Doha Development Agenda, launched by WTO trade ministers in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.

Implementation and monitoring

WTO agreements require governments to make their trade policies transparent by notifying the WTO about laws in force and measures adopted. Various WTO councils and committees seek to ensure that these requirements are being followed and that WTO agreements are being properly implemented. All WTO members must undergo periodic scrutiny of their trade policies and practices, each review containing reports by the country concerned and the WTO Secretariat.

Dispute settlement

The WTO’s procedure for resolving trade quarrels under the Dispute Settlement Understanding is vital for enforcing the rules and therefore for ensuring that trade flows smoothly. Countries bring disputes to the WTO if they think their rights under the agreements are being infringed. Judgements by specially appointed independent experts are based on interpretations of the agreements and individual countries’ commitments.

Building trade capacity

WTO agreements contain special provision for developing countries, including longer time periods to implement agreements and commitments, measures to increase their trading opportunities, and support to help them build their trade capacity, to handle disputes and to implement technical standards. The WTO organizes hundreds of technical cooperation missions to developing countries annually. It also holds numerous courses each year in Geneva for government officials. Aid for Trade aims to help developing countries develop the skills and infrastructure needed to expand their trade.

Outreach

The WTO maintains regular dialogue with non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians, other international organizations, the media and the general public on various aspects of the WTO and the ongoing Doha negotiations, with the aim of enhancing cooperation and increasing awareness of WTO activities.

What we stand for:-

The WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. But a number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents. These principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system.

Non-discrimination

A country should not discriminate between its trading partners and it should not discriminate between its own and foreign products, services or nationals.

More open

Lowering trade barriers is one of the most obvious ways of encouraging trade; these barriers include customs duties (or tariffs) and measures such as import bans or quotas that restrict quantities selectively.

Predictable and transparent

Foreign companies, investors and governments should be confident that trade barriers should not be raised arbitrarily. With stability and predictability, investment is encouraged, jobs are created and consumers can fully enjoy the benefits of competition — choice and lower prices.

More competitive

Discouraging ‘unfair’ practices, such as export subsidies and dumping products at below cost to gain market share; the issues are complex, and the rules try to establish what is fair or unfair, and how governments can respond, in particular by charging additional import duties calculated to compensate for damage caused by unfair trade.

More beneficial for less developed countries

Giving them more time to adjust, greater flexibility and special privileges; over three-quarters of WTO members are developing countries and countries in transition to market economies. The WTO agreements give them transition periods to adjust to the more unfamiliar and, perhaps, difficult WTO provisions.

Protect the environment

The WTO’s agreements permit members to take measures to protect not only the environment but also public health, animal health and plant health. However, these measures must be applied in the same way to both national and foreign businesses. In other words, members must not use environmental protection measures as a means of disguising protectionist policies.

Principles of the trading system:-

The WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. They deal with: agriculture, textiles and clothing, banking, telecommunications, government purchases, industrial standards and product safety, food sanitation regulations, intellectual property, and much more. But a number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents. These principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system.

1. Most-favoured-nation (MFN): treating other people equally Under the WTO agreements, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners. Grant someone a special favour (such as a lower customs duty rate for one of their products) and you have to do the same for all other WTO members.

2. National treatment: Treating foreigners and locals equally Imported and locally-produced goods should be treated equally — at least after the foreign goods have entered the market. The same should apply to foreign and domestic services, and to foreign and local trademarks, copyrights and patents. This principle of “national treatment” (giving others the same treatment as one’s own nationals) is also found in all the three main WTO agreements (Article 3 of GATT, Article 17 of GATSand Article 3 of TRIPS), although once again the principle is handled slightly differently in each of these.

3. National treatment only applies once a product, service or item of intellectual property has entered the market. Therefore, charging customs duty on an import is not a violation of national treatment even if locally-produced products are not charged an equivalent tax.

4. Promoting fair competition

5. The WTO is sometimes described as a “free trade” institution, but that is not entirely accurate. The system does allow tariffs and, in limited circumstances, other forms of protection. More accurately, it is a system of rules dedicated to open, fair and undistorted competition.

6. The rules on non-discrimination — MFN and national treatment — are designed to secure fair conditions of trade. So too are those on dumping (exporting at below cost to gain market share) and subsidies. The issues are complex, and the rules try to establish what is fair or unfair, and how governments can respond, in particular by charging additional import duties calculated to compensate for damage caused by unfair trade.

7. Many of the other WTO agreements aim to support fair competition: in agriculture, intellectual property, services, for example. The agreement on government procurement (a “plurilateral” agreement because it is signed by only a few WTO members) extends competition rules to purchases by thousands of government entities in many countries. And so on.

8. Encouraging development and economic reform

9. The WTO system contributes to development: On the other hand, developing countries need flexibility in the time they take to implement the system’s agreements. And the agreements themselves inherit the earlier provisions of GATT that allow for special assistance and trade concessions for developing countries.

10 Things the WTO can do:-

The WTO can?

1.Cut living costs and raise living standards

2.Settle disputes and reduce trade tensions

3.Stimulate economic growth and employment

4.Cut the cost of doing business internationally

5.Encourage good governance

6.Help countries develop

7.Give the weak a stronger voice

8.Support the environment and health

9.Contribute to peace and stability

10.Be effective without hitting the headlines

Importance:-G.S.2(International Relationship&Foreign Policy)

A strategy for EU foreign policy

trilok
TRILOK SINGH

The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational institutions and intergovernmental-negotiated decisions by the member states.

The EU’s ability to influence the international order will in future depend not only on its ability to bring together the whole of the EU – i.e. the institutions and, crucially, the Member States, who remain decisive in foreign and security affairs – but just as importantly on drawing up a strategy for EU international policy to guide external action as a whole. The European Union remains essentially a civilian power that confines the use of force to the most exceptional circumstances and broad international legitimacy.

The Lisbon Treaty offers an opportunity for the European Union to take on a world role compatible with its status and aspirations. This implies that, in its own policy formulation and in all areas relating to international policy, the EU must act in accordance with three basic principles – autonomy, consistency and coherence – while striving to shape a multilateral world order.

A multilateral world order:

The ongoing transition of the post-Cold War international system to a new one, marked by the redistribution of power at the global level and deep interdependence, needs to be matched by the reform of the multilateral order. Making multilateral structures more effective and more legitimate is both a matter of principle and a question of interest for the EU. As a collective international actor well suited to manage interdependence but at pains with geopolitical competition, the Union can take a leading role in international cooperation and has a vital interest in promoting effective multilateralism and global governance. EU needs to respond to the growing demand for coherence and joined-up policy making.

1.Linking international peace and justice to human security

2.Disarmament and denuclearization

3.Climate change:- The EU should continue to work towards a new multilateral framework to limit and manage climate change. For the EU this is a matter of principle, a strategic objective and a question of economic interest. As the successful establishment of a globally binding multilateral agreement has been called into question, at least in the near future, it should also search for alternative avenues to facilitate international consensus and promote action at global, regional, national and local levels. This question should be on the agenda of all strategic partnerships summits.

4.Democratic inclusion through enlargement – the first priority of the Union:- Enlargement policy remains a fundamental component of the EU drive for an integrated and free European continent. Successful expansion requires moving the Balkans policy from an agenda dominated by security issues related to the wars that accompanied the dissolution of Yugoslavia to an agenda focused on the future accession of the Western Balkans to the EU.

5.Give a multilateral sense to the Neighbourhood policy :-The Eastern Partnership has, for the first time, introduced a multilateral dimension in EU policy towards the eastern neighbourhood. This is a step in the right direction. The EU should think of new and stronger incentives for the eastern partners to engage in multilateral cooperation

6.Regional policies and priorities: consistent universalism EU foreign policy should be guided by the principle of universalism. For countries and regions beyond its neighbourhood, the EU needs to strike a delicate balance between genuine universalism and the prioritisation of specific geographical areas where the action of the Union can make a difference and where its responsibility is at stake, as in preventing mass violence, supporting democratic regimes under threat or in the event of a serious challenge to international security.

7.Afghanistan and Pakistan: making the civilian approach work

8.The EU and US: close partners for an effective multilateral

9.International order:- The combined efforts of the United States and Europe are no longer sufficient to shape international relations. Recognising this fact, the Obama administration has reverted to the multilateral tradition of the United States. However, transatlantic consensus remains a basic precondition for any effective international coalition. Transatlantic cooperation should nevertheless become more inclusive and take into account the diminished role of the West in the world. The US seems to have adapted better than the EU to the changing reality of the new global order. Few in Europe accept that the EU is over-represented in global bodies, such as the IMF, World Bank, the UN Security Council or even the G20. The US and the EU should make greater efforts in consulting each other about their global initiatives.

10.China: building multilateral partnerships:- The EU has been and should continue to be a partner of China as it continues on its peaceful rise, but it now needs to add a multilateral dimension to its relations with China not only through common participation in international frameworks like the G-20 but also through a number of jointly-promoted multilateral initiatives. The trilateral cooperation between the EU, Africa and China has proved to be a useful instrument for addressing issues of mutual interest and concern. There is a need for the EU to take the initiative in stepping up cooperation with China in areas like climate change and non-proliferation and disarmament. Cooperative frameworks should also certainly involve the United States. Others must also be involved depending on the issues at stake. This could give the EU a voice in what may become a major trend of global governance – ad hoc issue-based groupings of states set on advancing a set of goals – and provide the EU with an opportunity to promote its interests and fundamental values. The EU should be aware, however, of the dangers of an over-abundance of such fora especially if they are based on ChinaUS-EU trilateral frameworks that might be the prelude to a kind of global directoire, and actively work to make the more inclusive global governance initiatives, like the G-20, more effective.

11.India: partners beyond trade:- In as much as it needs to transcend bilateral trade relations, the EU-India partnership should at least guarantee that bilateral commercial interests are compatible with advancing towards fair multilateral trade agreements, in particular at WTO level, which will in turn benefit sustainable development worldwide. But trade is not sufficient to build a genuine strategic partnership with the world’s largest democracy. Genuine commitment can be generated on symbiotic or complementary action in matters of mutual interest and common concern. In this spirit, joint or concerted action in the fields of peacekeeping and peace building, including cooperation on crisis management and particularly maritime security, as well the fight against terrorism under international law should be explored.

Coherence and consistency in the EU’s foreign policy:

1.Delegitimisation of power politics as a prerequisite for world peace:- The process of European integration was born out of the necessity of delegitimising power politics and extreme nationalism in Europe after the tragedy of the Second World War in order to guarantee lasting peace. The Union has developed first and 16 ISSReportNo.07 foremost as a civilian power: the use of military force is legitimate only in the interests of peace and never to advance the EU’s own interests. For the European Union there is no contradiction between the defence of its values and principles and its long-term interests.

2.Multilateralism is a fundamental interest of the Union:- The Union has a fundamental interest in playing a prominent global role and in fostering the international acceptance of its concept of effective multilateralism. First and foremost because its own model of integration constitutes the most advanced form of multilateralism, and its experience equips it with a global reach. Multilateralism for the Union is a means to achieve the resolution of global or regional problems and a commitment to multilateralism is shared by the Member States, as well as by regional organisations and civil society. This commitment is based on the conviction that citizens of different states and regions of the world share common interests.

3.Soft power is real power:- The power of attraction of the Union – what is commonly termed ‘soft power’ – matters in today’s interdependent world with its highly interlinked and networked information society. Powers of influence and persuasion, even in contexts where the use of force is called for, are primarily a function of the EU’s own internal model of democratic peace, association between states, and social cohesion. The Union is in that sense an international public good and an example that has inspired a number of regional initiatives and that generates a lot of goodwill in relation to the Union’s international initiatives. For this reason, for the European Union the internal is external, that is to say that the way it preserves the values it affirms to stand for, its founding values in the internal order, will shape the perceptions of the other international players – as well as its own self-perception. This is particularly the case regarding its unique model of association among national states, of social cohesion and solidarity, and of unity within diversity.

4.Human rights: a guiding principle for all EU policies etc.

CSDP: towards a comprehensive foreign policy

In principle, defence policy forms only one part of a much broader EU foreign and security policy, which uses a wide range of tools from diplomats and development workers to judges and police, and – when necessary – soldiers. As the 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS) explains, none of the threats and challenges in today’s international security environment are purely military, nor can any be tackled by purely military means. In practice, the EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP) is an international crisis management policy, whose aims include helping to prevent conflict and rebuild societies emerging from war. Since their first peacekeeping operation in 2003, EU governments have so far initiated some 24 CSDP missions, mixing both civil and military resources.

The EU in a changing world:

The ongoing transition from the post-Cold War international system to a new one, marked by the redistribution of power at the global level and deep interdependence, needs to be matched by the reform of the multilateral order. Making multilateral structures more effective and more legitimate is both a matter of principle and a question of interest for the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon clearly states that the action of the Union on the international scene is to be guided by the principles that have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, which the EU seeks to advance in the wider world. These include the principles of the UN Charter and international law, and promoting multilateral solutions to common problems. The 2003 European Security Strategy regards an international order based on effective multilateralism as a strategic objective of the Union, an assessment fully confirmed by the 2008 report on the implementation of the strategy. As a collective international actor well suited to manage interdependence but having to cope with geopolitical competition, the Union can play a leading role in international cooperation but is less comfortable at playing a balance-of-power game. In fact, power politics challenges the very purpose of the EU and highlights its weaknesses. More broadly, however, a drift towards unrestrained competition would lead to a ‘loselose’ state of affairs for all major powers and the international community at large.

Building a European regional order A regional order: Europe and its close neighbours:-

The first priority of EU foreign policy is Europe itself – the continent – and its immediate neighbourhood. This is also the region where its tools as a civilian power are most effective and where soft power exercises greater attraction. Enlargement and neighbourhood policy, now under the same Commissioner, are the fundamental tools to achieve this objective but they will still depend on the ability of the Union to use the whole array of foreign and security policy instruments at its disposal to resolve conflicts and crises.

EU support for Regional-Global Cooperation

The paper upon which the third panel presentation was based was written by Stephen Kingah and Aliya Salimzhuarova, and presented at the conference by Kingah. The paper examined the issue of legitimacy in the international development government regime through an assessment of the World Bank and the Regional Development Banks (RDBs). The authors attempt to answer the question of how enhanced coordination between the World Bank and the RDBs can ultimately address inequalities around the world. The paper offers an analytical history of the WB as well as the process that has necessitated its reform. In the second section the paper addresses the criticism around the operation of the World Bank especially its legitimacy to represent the interests of the poorest countries within the global political economy regime. Subsequently, the authors further their argument that the inclusion of RDBs into the global economic and financial system through greater coordination with and integration into the World Bank could mitigate some of the criticism levied against the multilateral loaning agency. The WB has often been criticised for being unrepresentative to the diversity of interest in the global system. Thus, further coordination would make the banking system more legitimate. In linking assessing the added value of RDB inclusion into the global economic and financial system, the authors presents a succinct description of the four existing regional development banks in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia.

International and Regional Organisations

International:

1.OECD

2.UNESCO

3.The United Nations (UN)

4.World Trade Organization (WTO)

5.North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

6.Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

 

Regional:

1.African Union

2.Andean Community

3.Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM)

4.Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN):-The EU and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) share a commitment to regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, building prosperity, and addressing global challenges.  The EU fully supports ASEAN’s renewed efforts to build a closer relationship amongst its member states. The EU wants a strong, united and self-confident ASEAN, proceeding with its own integration.

Overview of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations:-

Introduction

The ASEAN-European Union (EU) dialogue relations were formalised when the 10th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM), held on 5-8 July 1977, agreed on ASEAN’s formal cooperation and relationship with the European Economic Community (EEC), which included the Council of Ministers of the EEC, the Permanent Representative of the EEC countries and the EEC Commission.

The ASEAN-EU dialogue relations were institutionalised with the signing of the ASEAN-EEC Cooperation Agreement on 7 March 1980. The dialogue relations have since rapidly grown and expanded to cover a wide range of areas including political and security, economic and trade, social and cultural and development cooperation.

ASEAN-EU dialogue relations are guided by the Nuremberg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership which was adopted in 2007. The Declaration sets out long-term vision and commitment of both sides to work together for common goals and objectives in the future.

Political-Security Cooperation

1.The EU was the first regional organisation to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) at the sidelines of the 45th AMM/PMC/19th ARF on 12 July 2012 in Phnom Penh. The accession demonstrated the EU’s commitment towards ASEAN and reflected as the important milestones in ASEAN-EU relations to promote peace, security and stability in the region.

2.The Ministers at the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting held on 23 July 2014 in Brussels agreed for both sides to work towards the upgrading of the partnership to a strategic one and tasked their senior officials to develop a roadmap for this goal. The Ministers also welcomed the EU’s commitment to more than double dedicated support for ASEAN’s institution building and 2015 Community building goals to €170 million in the period of 2014-2020.

3.Political and security cooperation between ASEAN and the EU has been progressing well through existing ASEAN-EU mechanisms such as ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN-EU Senior Officials’ Meeting as well as through dialogue and cooperation frameworks initiated by ASEAN, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) 10+1. These regular meetings have helped ASEAN and the EU understand one another and build higher comfort level to further cooperation. ASEAN views these meetings critical in reviewing and guiding ASEAN-EU relations.

4.The 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, which was held on 26-27 April 2012 in Bandar Seri Begawan, adopted the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017) that aims to give a more strategic focus to cooperation at regional cooperation in a wide range of areas – political/ security, economic/ trade and sociocultural.

5.The ASEAN-EU Informal Troika Summit was held at the sidelines of the 10th ASEM Summit on 16 October 2014 in Milan, Italy. The Summit was co-chaired by H.E. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Viet Nam and H.E. Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council. The Summit deliberated over the future perspectives of ASEAN and regional and international issues of common concern and interest.

6.Currently there are 25 Ambassadors from the EU Member States and the Commission accredited their Ambassadors to ASEAN. Those are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, the EU, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Economic Cooperation

1.ASEAN appreciated the EU’s assistance to ASEAN through the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) programme to support the capacities of the ASEAN Member States in harmonising and implementing policies and regulations in economic sectors so as to contribute to the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The Grant Contract for Capacity Building of the ASEAN Secretariat Staff has been signed by the Secretary General on behalf of ASEAN. The signing ceremony of ARISE Programme took place at the conclusion of the 20th ASEAN-EU JCC held on 17 January 2013 at the ASEAN Secretariat.

2.The ASEAN-EU Business Summit (AEBS) continued to attract many business people from both regions and provide the opportunity for public-private sector dialogue. The 3rd ASEAN-EU Business Summit was held on 8-9 March 2013 at the sidelines of the 12th AEM-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations, following to the successful convening of the 1st ASEAN-EU Business Summit in 2011 and the 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit in 2012. So far, the AEBS has focused its discussions and recommendations on the sectors of infrastructure/connectivity, agri-food, healthcare, automotive and services and the recommendations arising from the AEBS have been presented to the AEM-EU Trade Commissioner.

3.In Tourism, the number of visitor arrivals from the EU to ASEAN in 2012 was 8.07 million, an increase from 7.33 million in 2011.

4.Trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the EU remained substantial. Total trade between ASEAN and the EU slightly grew by 1.5%, amounting to US$ 246.2 billion in 2013. Exports to the EU slightly declined by 0.4% amounting to US$124.4 billion, while imports from the EU rose 3.5% totaling US$121.8 billion. During the same period, EU was ASEAN’s third largest trading partner.

5.Foreign Direct Investment flow from the EU into ASEAN increased by 53.2% totaling US$26.7 billion. The EU continues to be ASEAN’s biggest source of Foreign Direct Investment, with a share of 22.3%.

6.Negotiations for an ASEAN-EU FTA were launched in July 2007 with seven ASEAN Member States and both sides agreed to pause the negotiations in March 2009. At the 12th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations on 8 March 2013 in Ha Noi, the EU Trade Commissioner reiterated that the EU would pursue the bilateral FTA negotiations with individual AMS as building blocks towards the regional FTA and the EU would consider resuming negotiations of an ASEAN-EU FTA upon realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015.

7.Recognising the potential for comprehensive aviation cooperation on a region-to-region basis, the 1st EU-ASEAN Aviation Summit was convened on 11-12 February 2014 in Singapore. This event served as a platform to deepen the strategic aviation dialogue between ASEAN and the EU with the aim of concluding a comprehensive air transport agreement between the two regions.

8.The ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Connectivity was held on 24-28 February 2014 in Brussels and Luxembourg. The Dialogue welcomed the establishment of an EU mechanism to engage the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee in supporting the Master Plan on Connectivity (MPAC) and enhancing ASEAN-EU cooperation in connectivity. The inaugural ACCC-EU Meeting was held on 11 September 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw.

 

 Socio-Cultural Cooperation

1.Following the 21st ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting on 24 January 2014, both sides discussed the programming of the 2014-2020 of financial support for ASEAN which would focus on: (i) connectivity: sustainable and inclusive economic integration and trade; (ii) climate change and disaster management; and (iii) a comprehensive dialogue facility.

2.On education, READI provided funding support for the project on the “State of Education Report in ASEAN”, which aims to stock-take ASEAN’s initiatives and chart progress in education in ASEAN in line with the ASEAN 5-Year Work Plan on Education (2011-2015). On Science and Technology, READI is also currently supporting two pilot networks of excellence in the field of green technology and on food security, respectively. On Environment, READI supported the convening of the first ASEAN-EU Roundtable on Climate Change which was held on 27 August 2013 in Jakarta.

3.Cooperation under the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) has rapidly become a vital instrument of support towards the strengthening of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) and it has been very successful in its implementation of activities.

4.In the area of disaster management, the EU is currently providing support to ASEAN through READI in the development of a Monitoring and Evaluation System for the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme (2010-2015). The EU is also providing support through a new programme called the ASEAN-EU Emergency Management Programme (AEEMP), which funded by the Instrument for Stability. This programme is expected to provide support to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat.

5.The EU also provided funding support to the Institutional Capacity Building for ASEAN Monitoring and Statistics (2013-2017), EU Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (2014-2019), ASEAN-EU Migration and Border Management Programme Phase I and II, ASEAN-EU Statistical Capacity Building Programme (2009-2012), ASEAN Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (2009-2018), ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (2010-2016) and Enhancing ASEAN FTA Negotiating Capacity/Support to ASEAN-EU Negotiating Process (2011-2013).

        6.Council of Europe

        7.European Economic Area (EEA)

        8.Gulf Cooperation Council

        9.Mercosur

      10.Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

11.South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC):-The EU and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) is an economic and political regional organisation of countries in South Asia set up in 1985. It aims to accelerate the process of economic and social development in its member states through increased intra-regional cooperation. It has eight member countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka) and eight observer status countries (China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Mauritius, Burma/Myanmar and the United States of America). SAARC Heads of State are scheduled to meet at annual Summits. The last Summit was held in 2010 in Thimphu (Bhutan), with Bhutan becoming the SAARC Chair. The Maldives will be chairing SAARC from 10-11 November, when the 17th Summit will take place in the capital Male.

The EU has observer status since 2006, and greatly values co-operation and regional integration in South Asia. The EU believes that it can help consolidate the ongoing integration process through its economic influence in the region, its own historical experience of economic and trade integration and of dealing with diversity, and its interest in crisis prevention. It is convinced that SAARC could play a useful role in regional co-operation and dialogue.

Cooperation between the EU and SAARC notably seeks to promote the harmonisation of standards; facilitate trade; raise awareness about the benefits of regional cooperation; and promote business networking in the SAARC area.

Key Milestones: 1996: European Commission and SAARC Secretariat sign Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation which has provided the background for technical assistance on trade matters.

1999: EU and SAARC agree to cooperate on improving market access for SAARC products into EU, working towards a cumulation of rules of origin for SAARC products for exports to the EU, giving a Technical support for the establishment of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement and supporting the harmonisation of SAARC standards.

Other:

G7 / G8

G20

 Challenges:-

1.Comprehensive coherence: the political challenge:- Comprehensive coherence and consistency across the board will not be achieved, however, simply by setting up the European External Action Service, following the appointment of the new President of the European Council and of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy whose task it is to supervise and ensure the unity and continuity of EU external action. There will still be a need to get EU Member States to overcome their different perspectives on key foreign policy issues, e.g. concerning the Middle East and Russia, and to develop a common approach. Achieving multidimensional coherence and consistency depends first and foremost on the strategic guidelines and specific priorities to be addressed by the whole foreign and security policy apparatus.

2.Comprehensive coherence: the institutional challenges:- In many respects, the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty is a point of departure and not of arrival. This is certainly the case when it comes to the foreign policy and external action of the European Union. In these domains, the Lisbon Treaty marks the starting point for much-needed innovation. The challenge lies in moving from framework provisions at treaty level to viable, robust and flexible policy-making structures. A concerted effort must be made by all EU Member States in order to guarantee coherence and consistency in the formulation and implementation of EU foreign and security policy. This will require consensus among all EU actors, combining strong central coordination with flexibility.

Conclusions:-

On 15-16/11/2014  G20 summit, Brisbane

With the adoption of the Brisbane Action Plan on Growth and Jobs, G20 members committed to step up their efforts and investments to boost economic growth and jobs creation.

The G20 also focused on taking actions to ensure the fairness of the international tax system and made progress on anti-corruption measures. G20 members support the strengthening of international economic institutions to address changes in the world economy and facilitate trade.

Finally, the G20 also looked at increasing collaboration on energy matters and pushed for a strong and effective action to address climate change.

In the margins of the G20, Presidents Van Rompuy and Juncker also attended a joint meeting with  President Obama and other EU leaders present at the summit. They reconfirmed their commitment to the  transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP).

Statement on Ebola

G20 members committed to do what is necessary to ensure the international effort can stop the outbreak and address its economic and humanitarian costs. They also acknowledged the necessity to support the full implementation of the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR), and to build capacity to prevent or rapidly respond to infectious diseases like Ebola.

Meeting between US President Obama, EU Presidents and EU leaders attending the G20

A meeting between EU leaders and President Obama was organised to discuss the situation in Ukraine, and the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP).

They remain committed to conclude a mutually beneficial and high standard agreement, based on transparency.

On Ukraine, Herman Van Rompuy confirmed that the EU may consider new measures against Russia if Russia does nor comply with the Minsk agreement.

Importance:-G.S.2(International Relationship&Foreign Policy)

U.N. concerned over Yemen’s political crisis

The U.N. Security Council has expressed grave concern after the Shia Houthis announced that they were taking over Yemen and dissolving Parliament.

The Council called “in the strongest terms” on all parties, in particular the Houthis, to abide by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative, the National Dialogue Conference outcomes, and the Peace and National Partnership Agreements which provide for a Yemeni-lead democratic transition, Xinhuareported on Saturday.

The U.N. Security Council said it was ready to take “further steps”, which could mean new sanctions, if Yemen’s Shia Houthi group does not immediately return to the U.N.-led negotiations on a democratic transition.

It also called for the “immediate release” of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and members of the Cabinet from house arrest.

The Shia Houthi group on Friday announced the formation of a presidential council to take over power from the presidency, a move that further deepens the chaos after Yemen’s President and premier submitted resignations last month.

Yemen’s political parties have been holding consultations brokered by U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar for more than two weeks, aiming to reach a consensus.

Despite the formation of a new government in November 2014 aimed at ending a period of political turbulence and bringing about a full transition towards democracy, the impoverished Arab country continues to be plagued by violence and mass political demo.

Importance:-G.S.2(International Relationship&Foreign Policy)

Much more coming soon.

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