Tag Archives: International Politics

Refugees – treaties and India’s obligations – Why India hasn’t signed the refugee convention?

Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster, and seek refuge in another country. The Principle of Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international law, which states that refugees or asylum seekers shall not be forced to return to a country where they are liable to be persecuted.

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee, and also sets out their rights, and the responsibilities of nations towards them, such as fair treatment, free access to courts, public relief, freedom of religion, visa-free travel, non-refoulement, etc.

The original 1951 convention had some limitations: it recognised only those refugees whose circumstances have been caused by an event occuring before 1951, and allowed parties to the convention to interpret this as “events occuring in Europe” or “events occurring in Europe or elsewhere”. The 1967 Protocol to the convention removed both these temporal and geographic restrictions.

Refugee Convention members. wikipedia.
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Regional groupings involving India or affecting India’s interests

Regional groupings are formed to pursue common goals in a collective and cooperative manner, such as economic development, trade, political stability, etc. Some regional groupings have been very successful in achieving their goal, such as the ASEAN, that has enabled southeast asian nations to effectively deal with the rest of the world as a bloc, while some regional groupings are just on paper and yet to be fructified.

India, being a large developing country, is bound to be affected by every significant regional grouping across the world. Here are the most prominent of such organisations:

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation – SAARC

Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal.

SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organisation of nations in South Asia, created for regional integration. It was founded in 1985 in Dhaka. It launched the South Asia Free Trade Area in 2006. But the organisation is stifled in its functioning due to rivalry between India and Pakistan, and is far from achieving its goal of creating a geopolitical union in South Asia.

SAARC has eight member states: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives. It also has another eight observer states, one of them is Myanmar, that is interested in full membership.

SAARC Members. shutterstock.
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United Nations (UN) – Structure, Agencies and Functioning

This article is mainly sourced from wikipedia, and un.org.

United Nations is an intergovernmental organisation tasked to promote international cooperation and to create and maintain international order. It is headquartered in New York, USA. It was set up after World War II, as a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations that was established after World War I to prevent another such conflict.


United Nations’ Reforms

Political equations of the world have changed a lot from the time the United Nations was established. Emerging countries demand reforms and reorganisation within UN to reflect the changed realities. These demands include – expansion of UN Security Council, dilution of veto powers of the five permanent members, etc.


India’s River Water Disputes – Domestic and International

Though blessed with rich water resources, increasing population and growth of water intensive agriculture has aggravated water stress and disputes over sharing of river water between many states in India. India also has some water conflicts with neighbouring countries, which have been partly resolved with agreements. Let us see the history and legal structure to manage river water in India.


Proliferation of Weapons: International agreements and organisations

Prevention of proliferation of weapons has been a major concern of international community since the World War II. Though strategic interests and power struggles of some major powers have hindered attempts of weapons control, below are listed some mechanisms which work to ensure that dangerous weapons (especially nuclear weapons) do not get into the wrong hands.