Context:

Palestine’s Foreign Minister said India’s abstention from the latest resolution on the Palestinian issue suppresses human rights of “all people”.

India’s latest abstention on a Palestine-related resolution at the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations is not a “new” stand, said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (International Institutions, Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests, Effect of Foreign Policies on India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  2. About the recent UNHCR Resolution

Click Here to read all about the Israel-Palestine conflict and India’s stand on the Conflict

Click Here to read more about the understanding the territory of the region: West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a UN agency mandated
  • To aid and protect:
    • refugees,
    • forcibly displaced communities, and
    • stateless people, and
  • To assist in their:
    • voluntary repatriation,
    • local integration or
    • resettlement to a third country.
  • The UNHCR was established in 1950 in the wake of the mass displacements caused due to the Second World War in Europe.
  • Since then, it has provided relief to thousands of refugees and displaced persons in many parts of the world – and also won the Nobel Prize for Peace twice (1954 and 1981).
  • The chief legal document that governs the work of the UNHCR is the 1951 Refugee Convention and its parent organisation is the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and works in 135 countries and in India, has offices in New Delhi and Chennai.

About the recent UNHCR Resolution

  • The resolution called on the UNHRC to set up a permanent commission to probe human rights violations in Gaza, West Bank and Palestine.
  • It was adopted with the vote of 24 members. Nine voted against, and 14, including India, abstained.
  • Among the countries that abstained on the vote, along with India, were France, Italy, Japan, Nepal, the Netherlands, Poland, and South Korea.
  • China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Russia were among those who voted in favour; Germany, the UK, and Austria voted against the resolution.
  • As it was passed, an independent commission of inquiry was formed to investigate violations of international law by Israel.

Palestine’s Stand

  • The resolution is not an aberration to the Human Rights Council. It is the by-product of extensive multilateral consultations.
  • It is the consolidation of years and thorough investigations into and reporting on Israel’s grave violations by States, UN’s experts, Human Rights Treaty bodies, and international organisations.
  • According to Palestine, the Palestinian people were deprived of applicability of international human rights law and the root causes of the injustice against the Palestinian people was dispossession, displacement, colonisation by Israel.
  • Therefore, India’s abstention stifles the important work of Human Rights Council at advancing human rights for all peoples, including those of the Palestinian people.

-Source: The Hindu

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