UNGA Current Affairs - 2020

India attends Hormuz Peace Initiative

India recently attended the Hormuz Peace Initiative that was held in Tehran. The initiative aimed at stabilizing one of world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Strait of Hormuz amidst US-Iran tensions. It was attended by leading trade partners of Iran namely China, Oman, India and Afghanistan.

Highlights

The countries that attended the initiative reviewed the “Hormuz Peace Endeavor” (HOPE) that was proposed by Tehran. It was proposed by Iran at the UN General Assembly that was held in September 2019. The meet was held to discuss tensions escalating in the Persian Gulf due to US-Iran tensions.

Strait of Hormuz

Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most crucial choking points. Around two-thirds of India’s oil imports and half of LNG imports come through the strait.

Everyday around 18 million barrels of world oil pass through the strait. This accounts to one-third oi trade in the world. Also, one-third of world LNG pass through the strait.

The Strait connects Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It is also important to maintain peace and security in the region. This is because the ship traffic in the strait is high.

Traffic Separation System

The Traffic Separation system is followed at Strait of Hormuz. It was ruled by International Maritime Organization. The system is used to regulate traffic at the strait. It is used almost at all major straits in the world. It includes Strait of Gibraltar, Strait of Malacca, etc. The system aims at preventing collisions between the ships at sea.

The rules of the system say that if a ship has to cross a traffic-lane, it should cross at right angle. The right angle is between the lane direction and keel direction.

Geneva to host first Global Refugee Forum

The first ever Global Refugee Forum is being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 17-18 December 2019. It is being jointly hosted by United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) along with Government of Switzerland. At GRF the international community will showcase and exchange good practices at national, regional or global levels.

About Global Refugee Forum 2019

Objective: To give impetus to efforts to achieve compact’s objectives and translate international solidarity into concrete action.

Six Thematic Areas on which First Global Refugee Forum will focus: Arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, Solutions, Energy and Infrastructure, Protection Capacity, Jobs and Livelihoods and Education.

A successful GRF will see more states and other actors joining the response to refugee situation as donors, hosts and partners. GRF also hopes to enlist the ‘missing middle’- that is, those states that could either contribute more or host more refugees.

Participants: GRF will be convened at the ministerial level and participants will gather to address current refugee situation. It will be a high-level gathering of states and other stakeholders including UN member states, together with private businesses, nonprofits and nongovernmental organisations (including Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)). High-level delegations from co-host Switzerland and from co-convening countries Germany, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Turkey and Pakistan as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres are scheduled to attend forum.

Background

This first ever Global Refugee Forum meeting practical implementation of the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees (GCR)– which is a framework that represents political will and ambition of international community as a whole for strengthened cooperation and solidarity with refugees as well as affected host countries. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees in New York in December 2018. GCR seeks to improve world’s response to refugee situations by ensuring that refugees and nations hosting them receive the support they need.

Four objectives of GCR:

  • Share responsibilities more equitably
  • Enhance refugee self-reliance
  • Expand access to third-country solutions (i.e., permanent resettlement or other opportunities such as scholarships or work permits)
  • Support conditions in countries of origin for safe, voluntary, dignified repatriation