Guatemala Current Affairs - 2020

Guatemala unilaterally terminate the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) agreement

The Foreign Minister of Guatemala Sandra Jovel had notified the UN secretary-general of the Government’s decision to terminate the agreement which established the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The International Commission had mandate till 3rd September this year.

Guatemala is a Central American Country bordered by  Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Why the termination?

The President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales terminating the agreement had reasoned that the CICIG has put at risk the nation’s security, public order, governance, respect for human rights and above all the sovereignty of the state of Guatemala.

But the speculation was that the decision of termination was taken by the President because the commission was investigating Guatemala’s business and political elite, including Morales and his family.

Termination Suspended by the Court

But the Guatemala constitutional court had suspended the president’s decision to unilaterally terminate the government’s pact with the United Nations. The UN has made it clear that the commission would continue with the mandate respecting the rule of law in Guatemala and the decision of the Constitutional Court.

International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was set up as an international body to examine and investigate the serious crime in Guatemala.

The commission was established in response to a request for assistance from the Government of Guatemala to investigate illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in Guatemala and criminal groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions, fostering impunity and undermining democratic gains in Guatemala since the end of the country’s armed conflict in the 1990s.

The commission was set by UN in conjunction with the Guatemalan Government had successfully highlighted corruption cases involving hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats and business people.

Jordan gets UNSC seat as its non-permanent member

Jordan has been elected as a non-permanent member of United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Jordan has replaced Saudi Arabia which was recently elected for the position but rejected the seat in protest at the UN council’s failure to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues.

Which are the new members on UNSC?

Jordan is the latest entrant on the UNSC as its non-permanent member. Besides, Lithuania, Chile, Nigeria and Chad will also join as new members of the council, replacing Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Morocco and Togo. The other five temporary council members that will remain next year are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.

Some key points about UNSC

The UNSC was established in 1946 as per Article 23 of Chapter V of United Nations Charter. The council has 15 members which are further categorized into 5 permanent and 10 non –permanent members of the Council. The non-permanent members have term of 2 years.

Permanent Members:

  1. China
  2. France
  3. Russian Federation
  4. The United Kingdom
  5. The United States of America  
What are the key responsibilities of the UNSC?

The UNSC is one of the six key organs of the United Nations and is entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.