Multilateralism Digest: January 2024 - Issue 1
Dr Arpita Anant, Research Fellow, VIF

I. India in the UN

  1. India pushes for equitable status for Global South
  2. India to support the 3rd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries

II. Plurilateral Developments

  1. Russia assumes BRICS Presidency
  2. BIMSTEC gets an Indian SG
  3. Cabinet approves India-EC MoU on semiconductors
  4. 1st meeting of IFA Working Group of G20 held

III. Multilateral Institutions

  1. World Bank welcomes 2024 with a sustainable development bond
  2. Draft negotiating text on agriculture readied for WTO’s MC 13

IV. Peace and Security

  1. SC adopts Resolution 2722 against Houthi attacks in Red Sea
  2. ICJ indicates binding provisional measures for Israel

V. Miscellaneous

  1. Ghana benefits from G20 Common Framework for debt treatments
  2. WHO plans for health emergencies in 2024

I. India in the UN

India pushes for equitable status for Global South

In a meeting of the Inter- Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on the reform of the UN, India’s representative highlighted the flaws in the models of a reformed Security Council presented by Mexico and Liechtenstein. It was pointed out that the proposal for a longer tenure for non-permanent members without adding new permanent members would relegate the Global South to a secondary status. The veto initiatives proposed by the two in 2022 restricted the veto power to the P5 in perpetuity, also thereby going against the very idea of equitable geographical representation. Click here to read…

India to support the 3rd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries

In a significant gesture of international cooperation, India has pledged a contribution of $300,000 to the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS). This funding is earmarked to assist in organizing the Third United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC3), scheduled for June 2024 in Kigali, Rwanda. Click here to read…

II. Plurilateral Developments

Russia assumes BRICS Presidency

Russia took over as the Chair of BRICS+, an expanded group including new members Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The motto of the Russian Chairmanship is “Strengthening Multilateralism for Equitable Global Development and Security”. Russia hopes to lead the grouping to contribute to the practical implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 and the Action Plan for BRICS Innovation Cooperation 2021–2024 for ensuring energy and food security, enhancing the role of BRICS in the international monetary system, expanding interbank cooperation and expanding the use of national currencies in mutual trade. Click here to read…

BIMSTEC gets an Indian SG

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, a senior diplomat of India, assumed the position of Secretary General (SG) of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). He is the 4th SG of BIMSTEC and will remain its SG for a period of three years. He has succeeded H.E. Tenzin Lekphell of Bhutan. He reiterated his commitment to expanding and deepening the growing cooperation amongst the BIMSTEC member States, within the framework of seven pillars of collaboration agreed by BIMSTEC Leaders. Click here to read…

Cabinet approves India-EC MoU on semiconductors

The Union Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 21 November, 2023 between the Government of Republic of India and the European Commission on Working Arrangements on Semiconductors Ecosystems, its supply chain and innovation under the framework of EU-India Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The MoU intends to strengthen cooperation between India and EU towards enhancement of semiconductor for the advancement of Industries and digital technologies. Click here to read…

1st meeting of IFA Working Group of G20 held

On 26 January 2024, the first meeting of the G20 International Financial Architecture Working Group, chaired by Brazil, discussed proposals to remodel the global financial order. The focus is on strengthening international financial institutions, addressing the challenges of sovereign debt and promoting resilient capital flows. The quest for a more effective and representative financial architecture is expected to dominate the proposals discussed in the Working Group, with important advancements in terms of the global economic and financial stability. Click here to read…

III. Multilateral Institutions

World Bank welcomes 2024 with a sustainable development bond

The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD priced its first benchmark of 2024 – an Australian dollar 2 billion 5-year bond due January 10, 2029. The transaction attracted over 50 orders totaling more than AUD 2.4 billion from investors drawn to IBRD’s high credit quality while supporting the World Bank’s mission. World Bank Sustainable Development Bonds support the financing of green and social projects, programs and activities in IBRD member countries. Click here to read…

Draft negotiating text on agriculture readied for WTO’s MC 13

The draft text for taking the WTO agriculture negotiations forward was presented on 30 January 2024. It addresses the seven issues in the area of food and agriculture that have not been resolved. These cover domestic support to the farm sector; access to agricultural markets; a proposed new “special safeguard mechanism” (SSM), which would allow developing countries to raise tariffs temporarily in the event of a sudden surge in import volumes or drop in prices; export restrictions on food; “export competition”, covering measures that are seen as similar to export subsidies; cotton; and the procurement of food at government-set prices under developing countries’ public stockholding programmes for food security purposes. Click here to read…

IV. Peace and Security

SC adopts Resolution 2722 against Houthi attacks

Following naval interception by the United States and United Kingdom of a barrage of missiles and drones fired from Houthi-controlled territory into the Red Sea on 9 January, the Security Council adopted a resolution on 10 January 2024, demanding that the Houthis immediately cease all attacks on merchant and commercial vessels. By its terms, the Council demanded that the Houthis immediately release the Galaxy Leader and its crew. It also condemned the provision of materiel to the Houthis in violation of resolution 2216 (2015) and urged caution and restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and the broader region. Click here to read…

ICJ indicates binding provisional measures for Israel

In the case of South Africa vs. Israel on the “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip” to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm…” to the rights of Palestinians, the ICJ pronounced some binding provisional measures on 26 January 2024. The Court ruled that Israel should adhere to some provisional measures in relation to Palestinians living in Gaza. These relate to non-commission of acts of genocide listed under Article 2 of the Convention; preventing its military from committing such acts in the future; preventing and punishing direct and public incitement to commit genocide in Gaza; enabling the provision and basic and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. Click here to read…

V. Miscellaneous

Ghana benefits from G20 Common Framework for debt treatments

On 12 January 2024, the Government of the Republic of Ghana reached an agreement with its Official Creditors under the G20 Common Framework, on a comprehensive Debt Treatment beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. Following the successful completion of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) in 2023, this development constitutes a significant positive step towards restoring Ghana’s long-term debt sustainability. This agreement with the Official Creditors paves the way for IMF Executive Board approval of the first review of the Fund-supported programme, allowing for the next tranche of IMF financing of US$600 million to be disbursed. The IMF Board Approval should also trigger World Bank Board consideration of US$300 million Development Policy Operation (DPO) financing. Click here to read…

WHO plans for health emergencies in 2024

On 15 January 2024, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an appeal for US$ 1.5 billion to protect the health of the most vulnerable populations in 41 emergencies around the globe in 2024. The appeal covers the emergencies that demand the highest level of response from WHO, with the aim to reach over 87 million people. The appeal was issued in a context of complex emergencies cutting across crises of conflict, climate change and economic instability, which continue to fuel displacement, hunger, and inequality. Click here to read…

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