THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 May 2020 (Diplomatic jujitsu at WHO (Indian Express))



Diplomatic jujitsu at WHO (Indian Express)



Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: World Health Assembly
Mains level: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests

Context:

  • As India takes a leadership position at the World Health Organisation this week, international attention is riveted on the question of an inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus and the WHO’s response to it. The call for an intern..................................

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Calls for resolution:

  • The first multilateral discussion of the issues raised by the corona crisis at the United Nations Security Council and the G-20 forum in the last few weeks were preliminary and polite. Now the entire international community — the WHA has 194 members — has a voice in addressing the key issues raised by the corona crisis by debating the resolution.
  • Besides a scientific investigation into the origins of the virus, the resolution also calls for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive” evaluation into the international response to the corona pandemic. According to media reports on Monday, the resolution was close to gaining support from two-thirds of the WHA’s 194 members.
  • Australia and the EU hope to have the resolution approved unanimously. Since the resolution does not mention China by name, Canberra and Brussels hope Beijing will not oppose the resolution. They also hope to persuade Washington, which wanted tougher language including references to China, to endorse the resolution.

Wide-ranging support:

  • Whatever the fate of the resolution, the wide-ranging support it has got amidst the vocal Chinese opposition is impressive. To be sure, the resolution was watered down to get the maximum possible backing at the WHO. But it is said to have enough teeth to dig deep into the issues raised by the corona crisis.
  • A few weeks ago, it seemed China and the ........................................

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Diplomatic Setback to Beijing:

  • If the public pressure from the US concentrated minds at the WHO, some quiet diplomacy by middle powers, including India, appears to have created the political basis for learning the right lessons from the pandemic and preventing similar eruptions in the future.
  • Some observers see a unanimous approval of the resolution as a diplomatic setback for Beijing, since limiting the demands for an external inquiry has been a major political priority for Beijing. There are similar demands at home for an investigation into a crisis that led to an enormous loss of life in China and punishing those responsible. The leadership in Beijing is not comfortable with these demands.

India-Role:

  • Beyond the immediate debates, Delhi must look at the deeper issues that have hobbled the WHO.
  • First is the need to develop new international norms that will increase the obligations of states and the powers of the WHO in facilitating early detection and notification of pandemics. This will involve finding .................................

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Conclusion:

  • Any current effort to understand the origin and spread of the COVID-19 virus and a long-term strategy to deal with future pandemics must necessarily involve more than a measure of Chinese cooperation.
  • Sustained engagement with Beijing, then, is as important for Delhi as deeper cooperation with Washington and the “Quad plus” nations(The seven countries — India, US, Australia, Japan, South South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam) as well as more intensive engagement with the non-aligned nations in promoting a new global regime on preventing and managing pandemics.

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Prelims Questions:

Q1.  With reference to the 'Atma-Nirbhar Bharat' Abhiyan, consider the following statements:
1. Prime Minister has recently announced a special economic package worth 20 lakh crore rupees for an 'Atma-Nirbhar Bharat' or self-reliant India.
2. The special economic package is equivalent to almost 10 percent of India’s GDP.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer:

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Mains Questions:
Q1.  Unanimous .........................................


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