Multilateralism Digest: December 2023 - Issue 12
Dr Arpita Anant, Research Fellow, VIF

I. India in the UN

  1. India’s inputs for the Pact of the Future
  2. India reinforces the need for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

II. Plurilateral Developments

  1. Brazil begins its G20 Presidency
  2. Brazil launches new initiative
  3. BRICS Disability Forum meets
  4. India-ASEAN exercise on peacekeeping for women

IV. Multilateral Institutions

  1. World Bank to support high intensity carbon markets
  2. World Bank in the fight against climate change
  3. WTO cautions against G20 trade restrictions
  4. WTO suggestions on climate action

V. Peace and Security

  1. Security Council lifts arms embargo on Somalia
  2. UN funding for African-led peace missions
  3. South Africa drags Israel to ICJ

VI. Miscellaneous

  1. COP28 culminates with global stock-take

I. India in the UN

India’s inputs for the Pact of the Future

At the second informal consultation on Pact for the Future focused on SDGs held at the ECOSOC on 1 December 2023, India’s PR suggested that the SDGs be treated as indivisible so as not to tamper the balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects of the SDGs. She also emphasized on the need for focus on the developmental priorities for the South, the need for finances from the developed world and reform of the multilateral system. Click here to read…

India reinforces the need for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

Participating in a UNSC meeting on Afghanistan, India’s PR emphasised the importance of continued humanitarian assistance to the country. She said India has delivered material humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and has also continued its educational scholarships for the Afghan students. India has also partnered with various UN agencies, including UNWFP and UNODC in their humanitarian efforts. Click here to read…

II. Plurilateral Developments

Brazil begins its G20 Presidency

Brazil has commenced its year of G20 Presidency. Under the main theme of “Building a Just World and a Sustainable Planet”, the three priorities of the presidency are the fight against hunger, poverty and inequality; the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental); and global governance reform. For the first time, a joint meeting of the Sherpa and Finance track was held to initiate better coordination between the two tracks from the very beginning. Click here to read…

Brazil launches new initiative

Brazil launched a new initiative under its G20 Presidency. The Global Bioeconomy Initiative aims to develop a concept for the bioeconomy as fundamental for social inclusion and the generation of decent and sustainable jobs. It is structured around debates that unite science, technology and innovation, and the use of biodiversity resources to promote sustainable development. In addition, it will launch the Global Alliance Against Poverty and Hunger during the Summit in November 2024. Click here to read…

BRICS Disability Forum meets

The inaugural meeting of the BRICS Disability Forum was held online on 13 December 2023. Given the integral role persons with disabilities play in economic, social, and cultural development, the BRICS Disability Forum emphasises their empowerment as a crucial part of addressing challenges like food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. An Indian delegation, led by Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, actively participated in the event. Click here to read…

India-ASEAN exercise on peacekeeping for women

In a landmark initiative to promote gender inclusivity and enhancing the capabilities of women military personnel in peacekeeping operations, the Indian Army conducted a Table-Top Exercise (TTX) for the Women Officers of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in New Delhi from 4-8 December 2023. This TTX is a follow up exercise of ongoing joint military training between India and ASEAN member states. Click here to read…

III. Multilateral Institutions

World Bank to support high intensity carbon markets

On 1 December 2023, the World Bank announced ambitious plans for the growth of high-integrity global carbon markets, with 15 countries set to earn income from the sale of carbon credits generated from preserving their forests. By next year, these countries will have produced over 24 million credits and as many as 126 million by 2028. These credits could earn up to $2.5 billion in the right market conditions, with much of that going back to communities and countries. Click here to read…

World Bank in the fight against climate change

The World Bank Group is pushing to do more to battle climate change and do it faster, devoting 45 percent of its annual financing to climate-related projects for the fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. This increased ambition is more than just a laudable percentage—it’s putting to work more than $40 billion—around $9 billion more than previously programmed. In 2021, the Bank announced a goal to reach an average of 35 percent by 2025 and is currently ahead of schedule, running at an average of 36.3 percent since July 2022. Click here to read…

WTO cautions against G20 trade restrictions

Trade measures introduced by G20 economies have become more restrictive in recent months, according to the 30th WTO Trade Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures issued on 18 December 2023. The report shows that between mid-May and mid-October 2023, G20 economies introduced more trade-restrictive than trade-facilitating measures on goods, although the value of traded merchandise covered by facilitating measures continued to exceed that covered by restrictions. Click here to read…

WTO suggestions on climate action

The WTO Secretariat on 2 December 2023 launched a 10-point set of “Trade Policy Tools for Climate Action” at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai to present governments with a toolkit to draw from in their efforts to meet global climate targets. The new publication explores how integrating the trade policy options, such as reviewing import tariffs on low-carbon solutions, into national strategies can help economies mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to its consequences. Click here to read…

IV. Peace and Security

Security Council lifts arms embargo on Somalia

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on 1 December 2023 lifting the arms embargo on the Federal Government of Somalia. The decision was taken recognizing the benchmarks reached on implementing the security transition, the Somalia Transition Plan and the national security architecture. Alongside, it renewed the sanctions regime and arms embargo against the Al-Shabaab. Click here to read…

UN funding for African-led peace missions

The Security Council unanimously agreed on 21 December 2023 to consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests from the African Union Peace and Security Council seeking for authorisation to access United Nations assessed contributions for African-led peace support operations. By the terms of the resolution, the support extended to African Union-led peace support operations will include costs and reimbursement of all categories of support as negotiated between the troop-police contributing country, the African Union and the United Nations. Click here to read…

South Africa drags Israel to ICJ

On 29 December 2023, South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”) in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Click here to read…

V. Miscellaneous

COP28 culminates with global stock-take

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) was held from 30 November to 13 December. The stock-take contains every element that was under negotiation and can now be used by countries to develop stronger climate action plans due by 2025. Parties reached a historic agreement on the operationalisation of the loss and damage fund and funding arrangements. Parties agreed on targets for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and its framework. Click here to read…

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