February 2022: Issue 1

International Human Rights

Several human rights organizations condemn India’s foreign funding law

Several human rights groups such as Amnesty International, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Front Line Defenders, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned the use of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and several other laws relating to foreign funding which are being used by India’s government to decrease the strength of such organizatiobs which have criticized the BJP government in the past. The human rights organizations claim that the use of these laws is an attempt to suppress the civil society in India. To read more, click here and here

India condemns the UAE terror act at the UNSC

India has condemned the Abu Dhabi attacks at the United Nations security council calling it a ” blatant violation of international law and is also against all civilized norms.” Two Indians died and two were injured in the attack claimed by Yemen-based Houthi rebels. Indian Envoy to United Nations TS Tirumurti, in a “strong condemnation of the recent terror attack” in the United Arab Emirates’ capital said that “such an attack on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure is completely unacceptable.” This was the first such attack by Houthis in UAE and targeted Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)’s a storage facility. To know more, click here and here.

Conflicts and Security

Tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine

The Russian Federation continued to amass large forces along its border with Ukraine, including its latest movement of troops to Belarus for “joint military exercises”. The fears regarding a full-blown invasion were exacerbated as Russia has also moved crucial medical supplies which is seen as another hint of military readiness. Russian attempts were met with resistance from NATO and its allies with U.S. President Joe Biden warning of that Russia would pay “a serious and dear price” if it invades Ukraine. In contrast, Chinese President Xi Jinping supported Russia’s actions with both States issuing a joint statement that declared a “no limits partnership. For more, click here, here, and here.

U.S. grants sanctions relief to Iran as nuclear talks enter final phase

In a major relief to Iran, the U.S. restored a sanctions waiver to Iran as talks between them entered their final phase. The negotiations relate to attempts at returning to the 2015 agreement formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that related to Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The waiver, which allows Chinese, European, and Russian companies to carry work at Iranian nuclear facilities was earlier repealed by the Trump administration, as a part of its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. To read more, click here and here.

International Maritime Law

India calls for boosting India-German cooperation for Indo-Pacific maritime issues

Foreign Secretary Shringla calls for boosting India-German cooperation against maritime challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. He said, “We are happy to note the commitment of the new coalition government in Germany for a free and open Indo- Pacific region based on global norms and international law.” The event was held to mark the arrival of the German Frigate Bayern in Mumbai as a symbol of European and Germany’s pivot towards the Indo-Pacific by the Observer Research Foundation, the National Maritime Foundation and the India Office of the Konrad- Adenauer- Stiftung. India will be hosting the third “No money for Terror” conference this year and will be looking forward to Germany’s participation. To know more, click here

International Trade Law

India to support the TRIPS waiver on Covid-19 drugs

India will push for a waiver of certain provisions of the global intellectual property rights agreement for Covid-19 medicines and products at a mini ministerial meeting called by the World Trade Organization to firm up its pandemic response. India and South Africa, supported by 64 WTO members, want the TRIPS waiver proposal to be part of the pandemic response but the European Union has been blocking the proposal. India has pitched for a global pandemic response system that would map manufacturing capacities and demand of medicines and medical equipment and allow special visas or permits for healthcare professionals. To know more, click here and here.

USA seeks to initiate action against India at the WTO

28 members of the US Congress have sent a letter to the President of the United States (POTUS), Joe Biden urging him to take action against India for its non-compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) domestic support requirements. This is the second letter which has been sent to the POTUS in the past two years relating to India’s non-compliance. It is claimed that the support that India is providing to its farmers by subsidizing over half of the wheat and rice production gravely disadvantages the American wheat producers. At the moment, the WTO regulations allow only a ten percent subsidization of such commodities. To read more, click here and here.

USA and EU downgrade their dispute on steel and aluminum 

As per the documents submitted by the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) to the World Trade Organization (WTO), it appears that the two parties have decided to terminate the proceedings of the WTO panel and have agreed to solve the dispute informally through the mode of arbitration. The dispute was originally filed in the WTO by the Trump administration of the USA in 2018 which was then retaliated by the EU. However, after the Biden administration took charge in the USA, the two parties have put in effort to amicably resolve the issue through several measures such as pausing the WTO panel proceedings as well as the original tariffs by both the countries. To read more, click here and here.

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