‘Right to pro­tect’ talks in UN get In­dia’s vote

RO­HINGYA CRI­SIS On con­di­tion no UNGA res­o­lu­tion will be adopted

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Nation - Jayanth Ja­cob let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 12 YEARS, UN GEN­ERAL ASSEM­BLY VOTED TO INCLUDE TALKS ON ‘RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY TO PRO­TECT’ ON THE FOR­MAL AGENDA

NEWDELHI: In­dia sup­ported dis­cus­sions in the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly (UNGA) on the ‘Re­spon­si­bil­ity to Pro­tect’ and the preven­tion of geno­cide, war crimes and eth­nic cleans­ing as the world body takes up the is­sue af­ter 12 years in the back­drop of Ro­hingya cri­sis.

In­dia has agreed for the talks on the un­der­stand­ing that there won’t be any adop­tion of the res­o­lu­tion by the UNGA.

New Delhi also hopes that “nor­ma­tive con­cepts at stake re­quire care­ful de­lib­er­a­tion”.

As many as 113 coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia, voted in its favour while 21 others, in­clud­ing Pak­istan, Iran and Cuba, op­posed the idea of hav­ing a de­bate, with many of them chal­leng­ing the def­i­ni­tional and po­lit­i­cal as­pects of these is­sues. Seven­teen UN mem­bers ab­stained from vot­ing.

In his ex­pla­na­tion of the vote, Syed Ak­barud­din, In­dia’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN, said that the dis­cus­sions on the con­cept re­quired open, in­clu­sive and trans­par­ent de­lib­er­a­tion.

“The ‘Re­spon­si­bil­ity to Pro­tect’ was one of the fore­most of ev­ery state and, as such, In­dia would sup­port the in­clu­sion of such an item on the agenda for the cur­rent ses­sion,” he said.

Ak­barud­din said that In­dia is vot­ing in sup­port of the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Gen­eral Com­mit­tee to include it on the agenda of the 72nd ses­sion of the Gen­eral Assem­bly with the un­der­stand­ing that the spon­sors of the pro­posal aim to have a de­bate at the cur­rent ses­sion only.

This is for the first time in 12 years that the Gen­eral Assem­bly voted to include the item on the for­mal agenda.

“They have ar­tic­u­lated their ob­jec­tive as want­ing to have a the­matic de­bate and not one that ad­dresses coun­try-spe­cific sit­u­a­tions, and have also in­di­cated that they do not seek the adop­tion of any res­o­lu­tion,” said Ak­barud­din.

“This is in line with our un­der­stand­ing that the grav­ity of the nor­ma­tive con­cepts at stake re­quires care­ful de­lib­er­a­tion rather than pre-emp­tive de­ci­sion-mak­ing,” he said.

Tas­mida (front), an 18­year­old Ro­hingya refugee who spent eight days walk­ing and hid­ing to reach the bor­der, left Myanmar by cross­ing the Naf River near Pa­long Khali in Bangladesh on Septem­ber 4. The UN has said up to 400,000 Ro­hingya, more than half of them chil­dren, have fled Rakhine in Myanmar since Au­gust 25 and are now strug­gling to find food, shel­ter and clean water in Bangladesh. ADAM DEAN/NYT

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