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A commemorative declaration marking the 75th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter was delayed as member states could not reach an agreement on phraseology.
The Chinese angle
- The Five Eyes — the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada — along with India, objected to the use of a phrase “shared vision of a common future”, associated with China.
- The phrase, “community with a shared future for mankind” is closely associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and especially Chinese President Xi Jinping as an articulation of the country’s vision for the world.
- The ‘silence’ process (a procedure by which a resolution passes if no formal objections are raised within a stipulated time) was broken at the request of the U.K.’s UN Ambassador Jonathan Allen, who wrote a letter dated June 24 on behalf of the six countries to the President of the 74th General Assembly, suggesting alternative wording.
Formation of the UN Charter
- The UN was formed following the devastating aftermath of World War II, with the aim of preventing future global-scale conflicts. It was a successor to the ineffective League of Nations.
- The representatives of 50 governments met in San Francisco on 25 April 1945, to draft what would become the UN Charter. The charter was adopted on 25 June 1945 and came into effect on 24 October 1945.
- In accordance with the Charter, the organisation’s objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.
What is ‘five eyes’?
- The Five Eyes network is an intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.
- As per a former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the Five Eyes is a ‘supra-national intelligence organisation’ and is not accountable to the laws of its countries.
- In 1943, after World War II ended, the United States and the United Kingdom signed an agreement to continue sharing the intelligence inputs between them. The agreement was known as the British-U.S. Communication Agreement (BRUSA) which was later renamed as the United Kingdom-United States of America Agreement (UKUSA).
- The Five Eyes was primarily formed to handle the global threats mainly from the Soviet Union, China and several other eastern European countries. In the following years, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were added and the agreement is known as Five Eyes Alliance. Canada became a part of Five Eyes in 1948 while Australia and New Zealand became its part in 1956.