UN Security Council welcomes resumption of talks between the two Sudans; Rio+20 draft document seen as mere beginning, UN manages to obtain pledges worth $513 billion; India’s concern of giving eradication of poverty the priority upheld, HCC became the on
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  • (JUNE 18-24)

    According to reports, the UN Security Council welcomed the resumption of negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan but simultaneously expressed concern over the implementation of measures that were aimed to reduce tensions. The Council also voiced ‘strong concern’ about delays and the unresolved elements of resolution 2046 and urged the resolution of outstanding issues within the time-frame laid out by the AU Roadmap. “Security Council welcomes resumption of talks between Sudan and South Sudan”, UN News Centre, June 19, 2012 at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42269&Cr=Sudan&Cr1=

    In another development, the UN conference on sustainable development held at Rio de Janeiro witnessed the participation of leaders from around the globe. Contentious issues such as technology transfers from rich to poor nations and new financing for developing countries were set aside. There was widespread agreement among diplomats who saw the summit as a mere beginning. The draft document placed before the leaders was criticized on the grounds that the language used turned demands into goals that the individual nations should aspire for. The absence of US President Barack Obama, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and German leader Angela Merkel suggested that the action taken in Rio was not getting the global spotlight. “Big UN environmental summit opens in Rio”, The Times of India, June 21, 2012 at http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-21/developmental-iss... However, UN managed to obtain pledges worth $513 billion from governments and companies for projects that aimed at reducing the strain on the planet’s resources. “UN reaps sustainability pledges of $513 billion in Rio”, Business Standard, June 24, 2012 at http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/un-reaps-sustainability-pled...

    Meanwhile, India’s concern of giving the eradication of poverty the highest priority was agreed to by the other 192 nations. The Rio+20 document noted that the eradication of poverty was the greatest global challenge and was an indispensible requirement for sustainable development. “India’s eradication of poverty ground sweeps the day at Rio”, Zeenews.com, June21, 2012 at http://zeenews.india.com/news/rio-summit-2012/indias-eradication-of-pove... Separately, Hindustan Construction Company became the only Indian company to be featured in the climate report issued by the UN Global Compact and UN Environment Programme. “HCC only Indian firm featured in UN climate report”, Business Standard, June 19, 2012 at http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/hcc-only-indian-firm-feature...

    According to the UN Secretary General’s annual report on children and armed conflict, the Maoists recruit and indoctrinate children for squads and associations in Chattisgarh and in adjoining states. The report also noted that vigilante groups like the Salwa Judum also recruit children. “Maoists recruiting child soldiers: UN report”, The Times of India, June 20, 2012 at http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-20/india/32334420_1_...

    Following a request for a UN mandate for the deployment of an African stabilization force to Mali, the UNSC took it up for further examination. The African Union and the ECOWAS requested the mandate to ensure the protection of the state institutions in Mali and provide assistance in upholding the territorial integrity of the country. “Security Council examining request for UN mandate for African troops in Mali”, UN News Centre, June 18, 2012 at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42266&Cr=+mali+&Cr1=

    In other developments, according to reports, Kuwaiti and Iraqi governments were urged by the Council to step up their engagement with the UN envoy that is currently helping the countries resolve issues since the 1990 Iraqi invasion. It also urged the countries to begin exploring other arrangements to consolidate and ensure continued cooperation in the search for missing persons and property. “Security Council urges greater efforts by Iraq, Kuwait to resolve post-invasion issues”, UN News Centre, June 20, 2012 at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42291&Cr=kuwait&Cr1=iraq

    In the interim, the UNSC met to discuss the challenges that UN peacekeepers face. Among other issues discussed, the Force Commander of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Lt Gen. Chander Prakash noted that the peacekeeping environment is becoming increasingly complex and challenging and is being increasingly scrutinized. “Security Council discusses challenges facing UN peace operations”, UN News Centre, June 20, 2012 at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42284&Cr=Peacekeeping&Cr1=