UNSC - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   UNSC on 31st Dec welcomed a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war with which nation?

a. Russia
b. United States
c. Ukraine
d. Crimea
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia

United Nations Security Council on 31st Dec 2016 welcomed a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war.

Rebel groups threatened to abandon the two day old truce if violations persisted. A resolution welcoming the ceasefire, the third truce this year, sought to end 6 weeks of war.

It was unanimously adopted by the 15 member council meeting in New York.

Deal brokered by Russia and Turkey which back opposing sides, reduced violence but firefighters, air strikes and shelling went on in certain areas.

Factors belonging to the Free Syrian army- a loose alliance of militias excluding more radical islamist groups- indicated that government forces and Iranian backed Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have been trying to push rebels back in the Wadi Baradavalley, northwest of Damascus.

Continued violations by the regime and bombardments and attempts to attack areas under control of the revolutionary factions will make the agreement null and void.

Rebels and political opposition said the government side was amassing forces to launch a ground attack in the area.

FSA factions indicated in a separate statement that they would abandon the truce deal if Russia, whose air power has helped President Bashar al-Assad to turn the tide of the war, did not use its influence to halt the Wadi Barada attacks.

Air raids around Wadi Bharadahad stopped and the ceasefire still held, though clashes in the area were continuing.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed there had been fighting in the area, which is the source of capital's water.

The resolution has also welcomed plans for talks in Kazakhstan before the resumption of UN brokered talks.

The war has killed more than 300,000 people and made more than 11 million homeless.

In particular, Turkey is trying to push back Kurdish forcesand the jihadist Islamic State, both excluded from the deal,from areas south of its border.

The position of other Islamist groups such as Jabhat Fatehal-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham with respect to the ceasefire is unclear with both having criticised it.

2)   UNSC on 19th Dec 2016 voted to deploy US observers to which city?

a. Aleppo
b. Damascus
c. Palmyra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aleppo

United Nations Security Council on 19th Dec 2016 voted to deploy UN observers to Syrian city Aleppo for monitoring evacuations and reporting on the wellbeing of civilians.

The council unanimously adopted a French drafted resolution 2328 in 2016 marking the first show of unity amidst world powers on this issue.

This measure ensures that UN will be carrying out neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from eastern Aleppo and other districts of the city.

The observers will take note of efforts to carry out evacuations of fighters and civilians from Aleppo.

Evacuations must be considered in consonance with international humanitarian principles and laws.

The observers will also ensure safe passage of civilians from eastern districts of Aleppo under the UN monitoring and coordination.

All parties have been called to ensure safe and immediate passage of the UN to ensure humanitarian assistance reaches people through the most direct route.

Secretary General must take steps to make arrangements to permit the observation by the UN of the well being of civilians.

Secretary General will report to the UNSC on the implementation of the resolution within 5 days of the resolution adoption.

Strikes in Aleppo

  • Aleppo is the largest city in Syria.
  • It saw major military confrontation between Syrian opposition in cooperation with Army of Conquest and the Syrian Armed Forces of the Syrian government.
  • This is known as the Battle of Aleppo which began on 19th July 2012. It is part of the ongoing Syrian Civil War
  • Syrian Armed forces of the Syrian government are supported by Hezbollah and Shiite militias and Russia.
  • Army of Conquest includes Al Nusra Front, formerly the Al Qaeda branch of Syria.
  • Large scale devastation of the battle has called combatants to name it the mother of battles or Syria‚Äôs Stalingrad.
  • Battle caused catastrophic destruction to the Old City of Aleppo, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • This is one of the longest sieges in modern warfare.
  • Battle has left 31,000 people dead.
  • Overall war casualties estimated at 400,000.

3)   UNSC on 20th November, 2015 has adopted which resolution sponsored by the French calling all nations to take all necessary measures to prevent and suppress the terrorist acts of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria along with other extremist groups?

a. 2248
b. 2259
c. 2249
d. 2229
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2249

UNSC has adopted a French sponsored resolution condemning the terror attacks carried out by IS in Tunisia, Ankara, Sousse. This is the 14th terrorism related resolution the UNSC has adopted since 1999. Resolution 2249 was adopted by UNSC within a week from terror attacks in Paris on 13th November 2015.

4)   Text based UNSC reforms will be continued in the 70th session and this was a decision adopted:

a. By consensus
b. 70% Yes 30% No
c. 51% Yes & 49% No
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: By consensus

No voting was needed on decision to continue with UNSC reforms in the 70th session as the decision was adopted by consensus. UNGA unanimously adopted the negotiating text for UNSC reforms establishing the stage for long pending process at 70th session of the international body. The UNGA President, Sam Kutesa also circulated the position of key nations with respect to the negotiating text.