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India’s Jagjit Pavadia wins re-election in INCB; Iran quits key commitments under nuclear deal – Current Affairs

Pavadia has been a member of the narcotics control board since 2015 and her current term was set to come to an end in 2020.

May 8, 2019 14:32 IST
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Story 1- Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to International Narcotics Control Board

India’s Jagjit Pavadia was on May 7, 2019 re-elected for another term to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

The 60-year-old won the election of the narcotics control board with the highest number of votes at 44. The announcement of her victory was made by India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin after the election results were announced.

Pavadia has been a member of the narcotics control board since 2015 and her current term was set to come to an end in 2020.

Key Highlights

The elections were held by secret ballot by the 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). A total of 15 candidates were competing for five seats.

There were 54 members present and voting and the required majority to win the election was 28.

After the conclusion of the first round of voting, Pavadia with 44 votes topped the voter tally, followed by Jallal Toufiq of Morocco who got 32 votes and Cesar Tomas Arce Rivas of Paraguay, who received 31 votes.

The council then held a second round of voting in which France’s Bernard Leroy and Colombia’s Viviana Manrique Zuluaga were elected after having received the required majority.

Pavadia has been re-elected for a five-year term beginning on March 2, 2020 and expiring on March 1, 2025.

Significance

Pavadia’s re-election adds to India's successful record of winning crucial elections at the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies.

About Jagjit Pavadia

Born in 1954, Pavadia completed her LLB from Delhi University in 1988 and holds a Master's Diploma in Public Administration from the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Jagjit Pavadia has held several senior positions in the Indian Revenue Service in the past 35 years including Narcotics Commissioner of India and Central Bureau of Narcotics (2006-2012).

Pavadia was also member of the Indian delegation to the Commission on Narcotics Drugs, Vienna (2007-2012) and member of the International Narcotics Control Board since 2015.

She was awarded the Presidential Appreciation Certificate for Specially Distinguished Record of Service in 2005, on India's Republic Day.

International Narcotics Control Board

The International Narcotics Control Board is the independent and quasi-judicial control organ, established in 1968,  for the implementation of the United Nations drug conventions.

It plays an important role in monitoring enforcement of restrictions on narcotics and psychotropics and in deciding which precursors should be regulated.

The board also monitors the government’s control over chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and assists them in preventing the diversion of those chemicals into the illicit traffic

The board consists of 13 members who are elected by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), who serve in their personal capacity, not as government representatives.

Ten members of the board are elected from a list of persons nominated by the member nations of the United Nations and by parties that are not its members.

The remaining three members are elected from a list of at least five persons with medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience, nominated by the World Health Organization.

Pavadia was been nominated for the post by the Indian Government.

 

Story 2- Iran withdraws from key commitments under 2015 nuclear deal

Iran on May 8, 2019 announced its withdrawal from some commitments under the 2015 international nuclear deal. The nation stated that it will resume higher enrichment of uranium in 60 days unless a new agreement can be reached.

The announcement was made by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani through a live speech. Rouhani said Iran wanted to negotiate new terms with remaining partners in the deal, but acknowledged the situation was dire. According to Iran, the move has been taken because the European Union and other nations do not have the power to resist the US pressure.

The announcement comes exactly a year after US President Donald Trump decided to pull the US out of the landmark accord and re-introduced sanctions against Iran.

Key Highlights

Iran announced the suspension of two key commitments under the 2015 international nuclear deal, first being the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran was adhering to, which includes the sale of surplus enriched uranium and heavy water.

In the second suspension, Iran gave the European Union, Russia and China 60 days to implement their financial and oil commitments to the deal, upon the failure of which, Iran would resume production of higher-enriched uranium, which is currently capped.

Iran further stated that if the commitments of the remaining parties do not come through within the set time period, it would also begin developing its Arak heavy water reactor based on plans made prior to the deal.

The nation’s Supreme National Security Council stated that the measure was necessary to secure its rights and bring back the balance after the US announced its exit from the agreement.

Iranian President announced that he would be keeping enriched uranium stocks in the country rather than selling them abroad.

However, Iran clarified that it was not pulling out of the deal.

2015 nuclear Deal

The Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a preliminary framework agreement reached in 2015 between Iran and a group of world powers, known as the P5+1 (permanent members of the United Nations-the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France,  China plus Germany) and the European Union.

Under the agreement, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow international inspectors to inspect all of its nuclear facilities, supply chains and uranium mining sites in return for the lifting of all US, EU, UN sanctions on Iran that crippled its economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half.

Iran also agreed to reduce its uranium enrichment activities. The deal had been an effective arms control deal that has kept Iran's nuclear program frozen for three years.

Crisis

US President Donald Trump on May 8, 2018 announced US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Trump stated that the 2015 agreement was a "horrible one-sided deal that should never ever have been made."

Trump also stated that the United States will be instituting the highest level of economic sanctions of the Islamic nation and warned that any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States. The statements came as a blow to US allies, which are supporting the deal.

Ever since the United States has re-imposed sanctions on Iran, the nation’s economy has been severely hit, the value of its currency has since been pushed to record lows, its annual inflation rate quadrupled and foreign investment driven away.

Background

Recently, the United States raised the pressure on Iran, by ending the sanction waivers extended to five Iranian oil importers including China, Japan, India and Turkey

It also blacklisted Iran's elite Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, designating it as a foreign terrorist group.

The US also recently announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East in a warning message to Iran.

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