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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - November 2021

Nov 2021

May 26, 2022

Mohinder K. Midha is UK's First Dalit Woman Mayor

  • An Indian-origin politician from the UK's Opposition Labour Party, Mohinder K. Midha, was elected mayor of Ealing Council in west London, becoming the first woman mayor of a local London council belonging to the Dalit community.
  • Midha was elected for the next year's term of 2022-23 at a council meeting. The election is being celebrated by the British Dalit community as a proud moment.

Minister of State for Culture & External Affairs Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Participated in the 7th BR...

  • Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, attended the 7th BRICS Culture Ministers' Meeting via video conference, which was hosted by the People's Republic of China and attended by all BRICS Member Nations. Under the subject Establishing a Cultural Partnership Featuring Inclusiveness and Mutual Learning among BRICS, a discussion was conducted to promote and expand cultural activities among the BRICS countries.
  • The debate focused on boosting cultural digitization growth and collaboration, enhancing cooperation on cultural heritage preservation, and pushing the development of BRICS nations' cultural exchange platforms.
  • The Ministers approved the BRICS Action Plan 2022-2026, which aims to expand cultural cooperation and execute the 2015 BRICS Cultural Cooperation Agreement.

May 25, 2022

Saudi Arabia Bans Citizens from Travelling to 16 Nations, Including India

  • Saudi Arabia banned citizens from travelling to 16 countries, including India, over the Covid-19 situation in those nations. The list of countries comprised Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, and Venezuela.The Directorate emphasised that the validity of the passport of Saudis who intend to travel to non-Arab countries must be more than six months.
  • Further, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has assured the public that there were no monkeypox cases detected in the country so far. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.

Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Health, Addresses at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva

  • Mansukh Mandaviya, the Minister of Health, emphasized the need of creating a robust global supply chain to provide fair access to vaccines and medicines. The Minister, speaking at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva, advocated for simplifying WHO's vaccine and treatment approval procedures and strengthening WHO to establish a more robust global health security infrastructure. Mr. Mandaviya reaffirmed India's commitment to strengthening the global health security framework.
  • Mr. Mandaviya expressed the concern of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare, a representative group of India's Health Ministers, who unanimously supported a resolution criticizing WHO's approach and methodology on excess mortality statistics.

Tedros Re-elected as Head of World Health Organization

  • The World Health Organization's (WHO) members re-elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director General by a strong majority for another five years.
  • The vote by secret ballot, announced by Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh from Djibouti at a major annual meeting, was seen as a formality since Tedros was the only candidate running.
  • Ministers and delegates took turns to shake hands and hug Tedros, a former health minister from Ethiopia, who has steered the UN agency through a turbulent period dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The president had to use a gavel several times to interrupt the applause.

Russian Soldier Jailed for Life in First War Crimes Trial of Ukraine War

  • A court in Ukraine jailed a Russian tank commander for life for killing a civilian at the first war crimes trial since the invasion. Captured soldier Sgt Vadim Shishimarin was convicted of killing Oleksandr Shelipov in the north-eastern village of Chupakhivka on 28 February, 2022. He admitted shooting Mr Shelipov but said he had been acting on orders and asked forgiveness of the man's widow. Many other alleged war crimes are being investigated by Ukraine.
  • Moscow always denied its troops have targeted civilians, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, while Ukraine says more than 11,000 crimes may have occurred.

India-Jordan Sign Agreement to Cooperate in Fertilisers Sector

  • A high-level group led by Mansukh Mandaviya visited Jordan in a first-of-its-kind endeavor with the goal of securing fertilizers and raw materials for the short and long term. The visit took place against the backdrop of the current global fertilizer crisis. Mandaviya noted that the Jordan visit was historic in terms of assuring India's supply of phosphoric and potassium fertilizers. Mansukh Mandaviya called Jordan as India's chosen fertilizer partner during the meetings.
  • Jordan Phosphate Mining Company (JPMC) inked MOUs with Indian public, cooperative, and private sector companies for supplies of 30 LMT Rock Phosphate, 2.50 LMT DAP, and 1 LMT phosphoric acid for the current year.I
  • India has signed a 5-year MOU with Jordan for yearly shipments of 2.75 LMT of MoP, which will gradually increase to 3.25 LMT each year. These shipments will be critical for India's continued fertilizer supply in the coming agricultural seasons.

May 24, 2022

Twelve Countries Join New Indo-Pacific Trade Pact

  • President Joe Biden announced 12 countries joined a new trade pact that the White House says will help the United States work more closely with Asian economies on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy and anti-corruption efforts.
  • The signatories that joined the US in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Along with the United States, they represent 40 per cent of world GDP.
  • The countries said that the pact will help them collectively prepare our economies for the future" following disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden Supports Japan Joining UN Security Council

  • According to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, President Joe Biden supports Japan's bid to join a reformed UN Security Council.
  • If approved by the UN, Japan would join Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US as permanent members of the international body's security council.

World Lost 11.2 crore Jobs in the First Quarter of 2022: ILO

  • Multiple global crises are threatening global labour market recovery, with increasing inequalities within and between countries, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
  • The ninth edition of the ILO Monitor on the 'World of Work' found that after significant gains made during the last quarter of 2021, the number of hours worked globally dropped in the first quarter of 2022, to 3.8% below the pre-crisis benchmark (fourth quarter of 2019). This means that about 11.2 crore jobs might have been lost between this period, according to the report.

Jose Ramos-Horta Sworn in as President of East Timor

  • Former independence fighter and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in as President of East Timor (Timor-Leste) ahead of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of independence for Asia's youngest country. He defeated incumbent Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres, his fellow independence fighter, in the election. Ramos-Horta was Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and President from 2007 to 2012.

Adani, Karuna Nundy Named among TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2022

  • Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy, business tycoon Gautam Adani and prominent Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez have been named among the world's 100 most influential people of 2022 by TIME magazine. The list has been divided into six categories – Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Innovators.
  • While Adani was named under the Titans category along with the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook and American host Oprah Winfrey, Nundy and Parvez found their place under the Leaders category along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukraine counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

May 23, 2022

Anthony Albanese Sworn in as Australia's New Prime Minister

  • Australia's Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the country's new Prime Minister. Albanese ended his wait for power after nine years as he became the country's 31st Prime Minister.
  • Congratulating Australia's Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese for his party's victory in the country's federal election, PM Narendra Modi said that he was looking forward to working towards further strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two allies.

May 22, 2022

G7 Nations Approve to Provide Financial Support to Ukraine

  • Group of Seven (G7) nations agreed to provide financial support to Ukraine. The US Senate approved a 40 billion US dollar aid package of military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Out of this, 7.5 billion US dollar is earmarked for filling gaps in Kyiv's budget.
  • Germany currently hosts the G7's rotating presidency. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced a contribution of 1.1 billion US dollars to Ukraine's budget. It came during a summit of finance ministers from the G7 industrialized nations being held near the German city of Bonn.
  • The European Commission said it would pledge up to 9.5 billion US dollar of macro-financial assistance in the form of loans, to be complemented by support from international partners including the G7.

PM Modi to Attend Quad Summit in Japan

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Tokyo to attend the third Quad Leaders' Summit on May 24. The Summit in Tokyo is the fourth interaction of Quad Leaders since their first virtual meeting in March 2021, in-person Summit in Washington D.C. in September 2021 and virtual meeting in March 2022. The forthcoming Quad Summit provides an opportunity for the Leaders to exchange views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and contemporary global issues of mutual interest.
  • The leaders will review progress of Quad initiatives and Working Groups, identify new areas of cooperation and provide strategic guidance and vision for future collaboration.
  • The PM is likely to have a bilateral meeting with Australian PM Scott Morrison to review the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and exchange views on regional and global developments of mutual interest.

India Hosts SCO-RATS (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Struct...

  • Counter-terrorism experts from India, Pakistan and other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) deliberated on boosting cooperation in combating various regional security challenges at a meeting hosted by New Delhi. The meeting took place under the framework of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
  • A major focus of the discussions was to be on the situation in Afghanistan, especially in dealing with the threat from terrorist groups active in the Taliban-ruled country. Pakistan sent a three-member team for the meeting.
  • India assumed the chairmanship of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO (RATS SCO) on October 28, 2021 for a period of one year.
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