international - 2017 June

June 1

PM Modi calls for boosting cooperation with Spain to fight terror.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signed seven agreements with Spain PM Mariano Rajoy to strengthen bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism after the visit from Germany
The seven agreements and MoUs are as follows
Agreement for Transfer of Sentence Persons.
MoU on Cooperation in Organ Transplantation.
MoU on Cooperation in Cyber Security.
MoU on Cooperation in Renewable Energy.
MoU on Technical Cooperation in Civil Aviation.
Agreement on visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports.
MoU between Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.

June 2

Five agreements signed by Russia and India during PM Modi's visit to Russia.
An agreement on cultural exchanges for a period of two years (2017-2019) has been signed between the two nations.
An agreement for the construction of the third stage of the Kudankulam NPP (KK5 & KK6) along with the Credit Protocol has been signed between NPCIL and ROSATOM.
An agreement between the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) and the Council of India on Scientific and Industrial Research has been signed to provide access to Rospatent experts to the Indian Digital Library of Traditional Knowledge (TKDL).
Contract between JSC (Russian Railways) and the Ministry of Railways on the preparation of the justification for the implementation of the high-speed service at the Nagpur-Secunderabad section has been signed.
Memorandum of cooperation between ALROSA Joint Stock Company and the Council for the Promotion of the Export of Precious Stones and Jewellery of India has been signed.

June 3

UN Security Council expands sanctions against North Korea.
The UN security council has unanimously passed a resolution expanding targeted sanctions against North Korea after the latter launched its ninth ballistic missile test of the year.
This is the first such resolution which is agreed upon by the United States and China since the US President Donald Trump took office.
The new resolution has slapped even more sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). It has condemned the North Korea’s continued proliferation of its nuclear and ballistic program.
The new sanctions have extended a travel ban and asset freeze on senior officials, core military apparatus as well as the state entities that are directly responsible for North Korea's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Sanctions have been applied on entities like Koryo Bank, Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army, and 14 other people, including the head of North Korea’s overseas spying operations.

June 4

Six Arab countries have declared not to maintain diplomatic relationship with Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and UAE have suspended their diplomatic ties with Qatar. All the six countries have announced that they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar and eject Qatar’s diplomats from their territories. They have also planned to cut air and sea traffic.
Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar for embracing various terrorist and sectarian groups that are aimed at destabilizing the region such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and other groups supported by Iran.
Egypt has accused Qatar for supporting terrorist groups and taking an antagonist approach towards Egypt.
Bahrain has accused Qatar of media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups for its decision. The decision has been taken after Qatar alleged that hackers took over state-run news agency's website and published fake comments from its ruling emir about Iran and Israel. It had angered the Gulf Arab countries who responded by blocking Qatari-based media including Al-Jazeera.

June 5

Nepal has signed a mega hydro project deal with Chinese Company.
Nepal has signed a major deal with a Chinese company to develop a 1,200 MW hydroelectric project, the biggest hydro project in the landlocked country that could resolve its perennial power crisis.
The MoU was signed in the presence of outgoing Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong.
As per the agreement, the storage project would be built under engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model. Under this model, CGGC will help arrange funds required to develop the project.
The funds will be mobilised in the form of soft loan or commercial loan from Chinese financial institutions on terms and conditions acceptable to the Nepal government. CGGC will also undertake the overall responsibility of executing the project.
CGGC, at present is constructing a 30 MW Chameliya Hydropower Project in the far-west and 60 MW Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project in Nepal.

June 6

India signs agreement with Sri Lanka for developing Railway sector.
India has signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to provide USD 318 million as line of credit for developing Sri Lanka's railway sector.
The agreement was signed between Sri Lanka's Ministry of Finance and Mass media, and Managing Director of India’s Export Import Bank in Colombo.
In 2015, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka he had declared a line of credit of USD 318 million for the development of Sri Lanka's railway sector. That visit of Prime Minister Modi was the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister since 1987.
India has already provided four Lines of Credit for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM Bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million.

June 7

Montenegro will become the 29th member of NATO.
Montenegro has officially joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and hence became the 29th member country of NATO. Montenegro Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic submitted the official accession papers in a ceremony at the US State Department.
The move came in the face of bitter opposition from Russia, which says NATO's steady expansion into the former communist states of Eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance will benefit from Montenegro's insight into the Balkans.
The NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty signed in April 1949. It consists of 28 independent member countries across North America and Europe.
It is based on a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
NATO's headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium. Its headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons.
The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70 per cent of the global defence spending.

June 8

India PM of India leaves for Kazakhstan to attend SCO summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Kazakhstan, where he will attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and meet some foreign leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At the summit in Astana, India and Pakistan will become full members of the grouping, which at present comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will also be attending the summit, but the Indian government has ruled out any bilateral meeting between him and Modi in view of the tensions between the two countries.
At this meeting, on completion of the process, India will become a full member of the SCO upon which the SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 percent of the global GDP.

June 9

India, UNOSSC launch partnership fund to promote sustainable development.
India and the UN Office for South - South Cooperation have launched a partnership fund that will support sustainable development projects across the developing world.
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund will implement country-level projects that are catalytic towards achieving the 17 sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda.
The collaborative initiative is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, education and equality, and expanding access to clean water, energy and livelihoods.
The fund was launched on th occasion of the World Oceans Day at a special ceremony held at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in the presence of External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South - South Cooperation and Director of United Nations Office for South - South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Jorge Chediek and India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin.
As a first project, 'Climate Early Warning System in Pacific Island Countries' will be supported from the new partnership. The project has been formulated by India and the United Nations Development Programme in consultation with the Governments of seven Pacific island countries (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Tonga). This project aims at enhancing resilience to natural disasters in these Pacific island countries.

June 10

India moves WTO against US.
India has moved the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US as it has not yet complied with the rulings of the WTO pertaining to imposition of high import duty on certain Indian steel products.
The WTO's appellate body pronounced a ruling against the act of US which is imposing high import duty on certain Indian steel products. It had ruled that the imposition of import duty on steel products was inconsistent with various provisions of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (the SCM Agreement) – addresses two separate but closely related matters - The multilateral disciplines on the use of subsidies and the conditions under which Members may apply countervailing measures.
India has sought consultation with the US for compliance of the WTO's rulings. If the US refuses to comply then India has planned to approach the WTO's compliance panel.
In order to comply with the WTO rulings on countervailing duties on imports of hot-rolled carbon steel products from India, the US needs to amend its domestic norms.
Earlier, the US had moved the arbitration panel of the WTO against India as it complained that India had failed to remove trade restrictions on American poultry.

June 11

EU, France grant 3.5 million euros to curb emissions in India.
Aiming to reduce emissions and promote sustainability to help India's smart city programme, France and the European Union extended a grant of 3.5 million euros under the 'Moblise Your City' (MYC) initiative.
Three Indian cities - Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad - will get the grant as part of the EU's commitment under the Paris Climate agreement, French Development Agency (AFD).
More funds would be provided to India as loan to take forward the smart city and sustainable transport initiatives in the three cities on pilot basis.
The MYC, supported by the French and German government, also has financial support from the European Union (EU).
MYC aims to extend help to 100 cities globally to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by promoting sustainable urban transport and to promote sustainability in urban spaces.

June 12

Over 1,000 People Take Part In Yoga Event In China.
Over a thousand people took part in a yoga event in eastern China as a prelude to the third International Day of Yoga celebrations.
A grand curtain raiser event to launch the celebration of IDY in Wuyi in Chinas Zhejiang province was jointly organised by Consulate General of India (CGI), Shanghai along with Peoples Government of Wuyi County.
The event was launched at the scenic Wuyi Big Red Rock Hot springs area and nearly 1,000 yoga lovers from Wuyi participated in the yoga celebrations.
The Consulate had arranged a Chinese - speaking Indian yoga teacher who conducted the yoga session to the big gathering based on the common yoga protocol sent by the department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

June 13

China launches world's largest floating solar farm.
China launched world's largest floating solar farm in Anhui province. The 40 megawatt power plant has 160,000 panels resting on a lake.
As per the Reports, China has been the world's largest investor in clean energy since 2012, spending $88 billion on the wind and solar power in 2016.
The plant is built in Huainan City, Anhui Province, by Sungrow Power Supply, a Chinese company specialised in renewable energy.
It is part of Beijing's effort to wean itself off a fossil fuel dependency that has made it the world's top carbon emitter, with two-thirds of its electricity still fuelled by coal.

June 14

India ratifies two key ILO conventions on child labour.
India has ratified two key global conventions for combating child labour as a step towards creating full respect for fundamental rights at work.
India has deposited the instruments of ratification of the two fundamental ILO Conventions with the International Labour Office (ILO). The two key conventions are related to the elimination of child labour- the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182).
India has become the 170th member of ILO to ratify the Convention No. 138, which requires the member parties to set a minimum age under which no one should be employed in any occupation, except for light work and artistic performances.
India has become the 181st member of ILO to ratify Convention No 182 which requires state parties to prohibit and eliminate worst forms of child labour, including slavery, forced labour and trafficking; the use of children in armed conflict; the use of a child for prostitution, pornography and in illicit activities such as drug trafficking; and hazardous work.
The elimination of Child Labour from the country is also essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The ratification of these conventions will help in achieving Goal 8 of the sustainable development goals which aim at complete eradication of child labour by 2025 and calls for prohibition and elimination of its worst forms.

June 15

India to be Co-Partner Country in ANUGA 2017.
Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed a Joint Press Conference with the organizers of ANUGA - an international business platform for Food Industry to be held in Cologne, Germany.
ANUGA - an acronym for Allgemeine Nahrungs Und Genußmittel Ausstellung (General Food and Non essential Provisions Exhibition) is the world's biggest and most important trade fair for Food and beverage trade. It takes place biennially (every 2 years). ANUGA 2017 is the 34th edition.
ANUGA offers an extensive supporting programme with Lectures, Special exhibition and attractive industry events.
ANUGA is the leading export platform with 7,189 exhibitors from 109 countries with over 85 per cent of Exhibitors from abroad.
1,60,000 decision makers from the retail and out-of-home market from 192 countries visited during last ANUGA. 66 per cent of the industry visitors are foreigners.

June 16

UN approves creation of new office on counter-terrorism.
The United Nations General Assembly has approved the establishment of a new United Nations office of counter-terrorism to help Member States implement UN's global counter-terrorism strategy.
With the creation of new UN office of counter terrorism, UN will transfer the relevant functions out of the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) into the new body.
The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF) and the UN Counter - Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) currently under the DPA will be transferred to the new office together with existing staff and associated budgetary resources.
The new UN Office of counter-terrorism would he headed up by an Under - Secretary - General. The new Under - Secretary - General would Chair the Task Force and Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre.
To enhance coordination and coherence across the 38 Counter - Terrorism Implementation Task Force entities for ensuring balanced implementation of the four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

June 17

Vivid Sydney breaks Guinness World Record for maximum number of light installations.
The World's largest festival of light, music and ideas, Vivid Sydney has entered into Guinness World Book of Records. The Guinness World Record has given the Vivid Sydney installation Dreamscape the title for the 'Largest interactive lighting display'.
Vivid Sydney installation Dreamscape has been made up of 124,128 lights and links the entire Circular Quay precinct beginning from the Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbour Bridge into one cohesive canvas of light.
Moreover, 3D interactive modelling present in the control room in Circular Quay allows the participants to change the color, texture and pattern of the lighting across the cityscape.
With this record, the Vivid Sydney has trumped its own 2016 predecessor, Dress circle that Circular Quay. This year the Vivid Sydney had added an additional one km of lights to achieve the record.

India, Afghanistan open air freight route.
India and Afghanistan are set to operationalize their first air - freight corridor. The first flight will be operated by Ariana Afghan Airlines, which is the Afghanistan’s national carrier.
The flight which will initially operate once or twice in a month will carry commodities to and from Delhi. Depending upon the supply needs, the frequency of the flight will be increased.
India - Afghanistan discussed the idea of commencing the air-freight corridor during the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's visit in 2016.
The key elements of India's Afghanistan policy include – friendly relations with afghan factions, tacit support for anti-Taliban forces, more focus on economic engagement than military engagement, humanitarian and development assistance etc.

June 18

AIIB approves Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga as new members.
The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga at its second annual meeting of Governors. The AIIB’s Board of Governors adopted resolutions approving the three applicants to join the bank at the second annual meeting, which kicked off earlier in the day in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju.
The first meeting was held in Beijing in 2016.
The approved applicants included one regional prospective member of Tonga and two non-regional members of Argentina and Madagascar.
The three prospective members will officially join the AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank.
The second annual meeting was held under the theme of "Sustainable Infrastructure'', seeking strategic directions of the international infrastructure bank and making major decisions on the bank's management.

June 19

World's second biggest celebrations of International Yoga Day to be held in China.
Yoga fever gripped China ahead of the third International Day of Yoga as thousands of enthusiasts performed 'asanas' in the Communist nation where scores of events have been lined up to organize the second biggest celebrations of the day in the world after India.
Though yoga, which originated in India, has become immensely popular over the years in China vying with ancient indigenous physical fitness martial art form Tai Chi, it got an official sanction when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beijing in 2015 at a joint event during the latter's visit.
China also backed India's move in the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day, giving a fillip to hundreds of yoga clubs and organizations.
Beijing's iconic Great Wall as well as numerous parks, lakes and resorts across China have become venues for the both official and unofficial yoga events being held with active support of the Chinese government.
A first yoga college has come up outside India with joint collaboration of India and China in Yunnan Minzu (Nationalities) University in Kunming, which has also lined up several yoga events.
Arun Jaitely's four days visit to South Korea.
Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley was on an official visit to South Korea from 14 ­ 17 June 2017. During the course of this visit, Arun Jaitley participated in the India­Korea Financial Dialogue and the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB.
The Key Points of the visit are
China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank's first such loan to fund private projects.
India, South Korea agree to increase investment to push infrastructure, bilateral trade.
India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul.
2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the AIIB was held in South Korea's Jeju Island.
India to host 2018 AIIB Annual Meeting.