India beats China in hotly contested election of UN commission on women

DHARAMSALA, 15 Sept: Amidst escalating border standoff with China, India has scored a diplomatic victory by beating the former in a hotly-contested election to a UN commission on women.

India and Afghanistan secured the two seats of the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women(CSW) for the Asia-Pacific States category as they pipped China with 38 and 39 votes respectively of the 54 ballots cast by the council at the plenary meeting of its 2021 session in the UN General Assembly hall on Monday, according to a report on PTI.

The Commission on the Status of Women is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council. It is the principal global body focussed on gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. India and Afghanistan will now join Argentina, Austria, Dominican Republic, Israel, Latvia, Nigeria, Turkey and Zambia as the member of the commission from 2021-2025.

“India wins seat in prestigious #ECOSOC body! India elected Member of Commission on Status of Women #CSW. It’s a ringing endorsement of our commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all our endeavours. We thank member states for their support,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti tweeted after the victory.

The development came as a major setback for China, a nation deeply engaged in dollar diplomacy by offering money or financial assistance such as waving debts of developing countries to support them on international stage. 

As such, over the past few years, Beijing has systematically positioned Chinese nationals at the head of a wide range of UN agencies. 

As it stands, China leads 4 of the 15 UN specialised agencies. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, International Telecommunication Union, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the International Civil Aviation Organization are all heeded by Chinese diplomats.

Last month, in spite of strong objection from the US,  a Chinese diplomat was elected as a judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention to hear and settle maritime disputes. 

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