UN Security Council Current Affairs - 2019

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UN appoints Indian Army veteran Abhijit Guha as head of Hodeidah mission

Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of United Nations (UN) appointed India’s Lieutenant General (Retired) Abhijit Guha as the head of UN mission in Hodeidah, Yemen. Guha, who has 39 years of national and international military experience will be succeeding Danish Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, who served in these posts from 31 January to 31 July 2019.

Besides leading the UN Mission in support of Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), Guha will also assume the chair of Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC). RCC is responsible for redeploying forces of Yemeni warring parties in accordance with their agreement.

About Abhijit Guha

He is a graduate of India’s Defence Services Staff College, the College of Combat, and National Defence College.

He has held many important commands, staff and instructional appointments within Indian Army which includes leadership of an Infantry Brigade and Infantry Division, and of Mumbai Area.

He retired from Indian Army in 2013 and since then he has served on Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping (2014) and High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (2015).

International Portfolios:

He has also served as a Military Observer as part of United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia during 1992-23.

From 2009-2013: He served as Deputy Military Adviser and Military Adviser within the Office of Military Affairs of United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), while also establishing Office of Peacekeeping and Strategic Partnerships (OPSP) in 2013.

He has also led a number of United Nations’ investigations and boards of inquiry in Africa and Middle East.

About UN Mission in support of Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA)

On 16 January 2019 UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution 2452 (2019) and decided to establish United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), a special political mission that was authorised for an initial period of 6 months to lead and support functioning of Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), assisted by a secretariat staffed by UN personnel, to oversee governorate-wide ceasefire, mine action operation and redeployment of forces.

On 16 July 2019 UNSC extended the mandate of mission overseeing Yemen Ceasefire Accord for 6 months (until 15 January 2020) by unanimously adopting resolution 2481 (2019).

St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019

Russia’s annual Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is being held from 6-8 June 2019. It is an annual international forum that discusses key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and world at large stage. The Saint Petersburg is Russia’s former imperial capital.

Key Highlights of SPIEF

  • Background: The first SPIEF was held in 1997. Now over past two decades, it has become one of leading global platforms for communication between business representatives and discussion of crucial global economic issues. Since 2006 it has been held under auspices and participation for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The SPIEF 2018 edition brought together around 17,000 participants from more than 140 countries. At the event Russia tries to boost its appeal to international businesses and investors.
  • St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019: brought together high-profile politicians, leaders from participating countries, leaders of International organisation, representatives of major international companies and organisations as well as experts from various fields. In 2019 session delegations from nearly all European Union (EU) countries, including Hungary, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Belgium among others and also senior officials from Cambodia, Vietnam, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Central African Republic (CAR) are taking part in various business sessions of forum. Chinese President Jinping will also attend SPIEF 2019 edition.
  • Theme for SPIEF 2019: Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda

Key Features-

  • Following Rusian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and role in pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine, the country has been hit by five years of international sanctions on its economy. It is also not immune to effects of U.S-China trade war which is putting brakes on global growth. The Western sanction over Russia is now followed by Russia’s pivot to the east with gradual dependence on China.
  • The Chinese President Xi Jinping visit to SPIEF 2019 marks a new era of friendship between China and Russia and reinforcement of economic ties that had benefitted from Moscow’s isolation from West. This visit holds milestone significance in development of bilateral relations.
  • Both countries show strong political mutual trust such as politically they seem consistently aligned and often vote in unison as permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They also support each other firmly on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.