Multilateralism Digest: August 2023 - Issue 8
Dr Arpita Anant, Research Fellow, VIF

I. India in the UN

  1. India’s submissions on Food Security
  2. India-UNDP Fund announces support to three projects

II. India’s G20 Presidency

  1. Culture Ministerial adopts outcome document unanimously
  2. Trade and Investment Minister’s notable consensus
  3. Y20 adopts a communiqué
  4. WHO holds first conference on traditional medicine

III. Plurilateral Developments

  1. BRICS forum expanded at XVth Summit
  2. 8th ASEAN India STDF meeting held
  3. ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Meet held

IV. Multilateral Institutions

  1. WTO receives contribution from Sweden
  2. World Bank and IDB ink MoU

V. Peace and Security

  1. MINUSMA completes first phase withdrawal
  2. UNOCT sings MoU with Nigeria on counter-terrorism

VI. Miscellaneous

  1. UNCTAD report on Africa
  2. CERD calls out countries not giving up IP rights on COVID vaccines

I. India in the UN

India’s submissions on Food Security

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN participated in a UN Security Council open debate on the subject of famine and conflict induced food security on 3 August 2023. She highlighted the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains and that open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity and promote discrimination. She underscored the need of a multi-stakeholder approach to food security.Click here to read…

India-UNDP Fund announces support to three projects

Through its India-UN Development Programme Fund, India has committed to support three projects in the CARICOM/Pacific Island countries upon their request. First, 700,000 USD will be provided for building a concrete water cistern that will provide safe drinking water to Motufoua Secondary School, which is Tuvalu’s only public school. Second, 246,852.71 USD will be provided to a vital project aimed at bolstering early warning services to communities in Suriname as part of their efforts to enhance resilience against flooding resulting from excessive rainfall. Finally, funding support of 1,000,000 USD will be given for a project aims to undertake a coordinated approach to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis-B in the Caribbean countries.Click here to read…

II. India’s G20 Presidency

Culture Ministerial adopts outcome document unanimously

The G20 Ministers of Culture unanimously adopted the outcome document of the Culture Working Group entitled as the Kashi Culture Pathway on 26 August 2023. Also, the report ‘G20 Culture: Shaping the Global Narrative for Inclusive Growth’ was launched by the G20 Ministers of Culture. It includes insights and recommendations from the expert-driven Global Thematic Webinars on the four priorities articulated by the Indian presidency that were held during March-April 2023.Click here to read…

Trade and Investment Minister’s notable consensus

Under India’s Presidency, the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial was held from 24-25 August 2023, in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The Ministers reached a groundbreaking consensus on five concrete and action-oriented deliverables which have been adopted in the Outcome Document. These include High-Level Principles on digitalization of trade documents, a Jaipur Call for Action, a G20 Generic Mapping Framework for GVC, a Presidency’s Compendium of best practices on MRAs for Professional Services, and holding a G20 Standards Dialogue.Click here to read…

Y20 adopts a communiqué

Youth 20 Summit was held from 17th – 20th August, 2023 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The Summit adopted a Communiqué which dwelt on five themes namely peacebuilding and reconciliation to usher in an era of no war; future of work and the need for skilling; health well being and sports; climate change and disaster risk reduction with a focus on sustainability; and shared future and the role of youth in governance.Click here to read…

WHO holds first conference on traditional medicine

As part of the Health Ministers Meeting of G20, the WHO held its first ever conference on Traditional Medicine from 17-18 August 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Director General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed on the link between traditional medicines, and the environment, and said, “Traditional Medicine is as old as humanity itself, people in all nations have used traditional healing practices at some point in their lives.” He also acknowledged the efforts of India to enhance Universal Health Coverage under the umbrella scheme of Ayushman Bharat.Click here to read…

III. Plurilateral Developments

BRICS forum expanded at XVth Summit

The 15th Summit of the BRICS forum was held in Sandton, South Africa from 22-24 August. The Summit expanded the grouping to include six new members namely Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE. They adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration which called for partnership for inclusive multilateralism, fostering an environment of peace and development, a partnership for mutually accelerated growth and sustainable development, enhancing people-to-people cooperation among the countries and further the institutional development of BRICS.Click here to read…

8th ASEAN India STDF meeting held

The 8th meeting of the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund (AISTDF) was held online on 7 August 2023. Through AISTDF and the Plans of Action for Peace, Progress, and Shared Prosperity, the collaboration extends to various areas like blue economy, healthcare, climate action, and sustainable development. India is the only dialogue partner allocating exclusive development fund for ASEAN-India S&T cooperation which has resulted in several research and capacity building initiatives.Click here to read…

ASEAN-India Economic Ministers meet held

The 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ meeting was held on 21t August 2023 in Semarang, Indonesia. The main agenda of this year’s meeting was the timely review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) which was signed in 2009. The review of the AITIGA was a long-standing demand of Indian businesses and the early commencement of the review would help in making the FTA trade facilitative and mutually beneficial.Click here to read…

IV. Multilateral Institutions

WTO receives contribution from Sweden

Sweden is contributing SEK 15 million (about CHF 1.2 million) in 2023 to finance the participation of government officials from developing and least-developed economies (LDCs) in training and other trade capacity-building activities delivered by the WTO. This donation to the WTO’s Global Trust Fund will help these countries broaden their expertise in WTO matters as well as their ability to negotiate trade rules.Click here to read…

World Bank and IDB ink MoU

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced a groundbreaking four-year partnership to drive stronger results for people in Latin America and the Caribbean. The memorandum of understanding will boost support for net-zero-deforestation efforts in the Amazon, strengthen the Caribbean’s resilience to natural disasters, and bridge the digital-access gap, across Latin America and the Caribbean.Click here to read…

V. Peace and Security

MINUSMA completes first phase withdrawal

The first phase of withdrawal of MINUSMA from Mali was completed on 30 August 2023 with the closing of the outpost in Ménaka. MINUSMA’s withdrawal was requested by the transitional authorities and UN Security Council Resolution 2690 of 30 June 2023. Three other posts were closed during the month. The temporary base in Ogossagou was closed on 3 August, followed by Ber on 13 August and Goundam three days later.Click here to read…

UNOCT sings MoU with Nigeria on counter-terrorism

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Federal Republic of Nigeria signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today aimed to enhance their partnership in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism. This includes initiatives to counter terrorist travel, enhance border and maritime security, and strengthen global, regional and national responses, through the promotion of dialogue and partnerships, and capacity-building activities.Click here to read…

VI. Miscellaneous

UNCTAD report on Africa

A new report of the UNCTAD shows that Africa can become a major exporter of higher value-added goods, creating growth and jobs, and fuelling a rise in productivity and wages. The report analyses “untapped potential” for African countries to strengthen their position in the automobile, solar energy and pharmaceutical industries.Click here to read…

CERD calls out countries not giving up IP rights on COVID vaccines

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) adopted a decision under its “early warning and urgent action” procedures, stating that developed countries’ “persistent refusal” to waive COVID-19 vaccine IP rights – such as patents and trademarks – violated non-discrimination guarantees under international human rights law. The Committee said it was addressing in particular countries such as Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, who were all State parties to the Convention and had developed IP-protected COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and healthcare technologies.Click here to read…

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