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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - February 2024

Feb 2024

May 26, 2024

G7 Commits to Net Zero Emissions by 2050

  • The leaders of the G7 have recently kept their word to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Along the same lines, the government of Albanese has put forward a plan to create a Net Zero Economy Authority in order to encourage more investment in green technologies. Following the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which tried to keep global warming below 1.5°C as required by the Paris Agreement, there has been a rise in net zero commitments.
  • Net zero means balancing the amount of greenhouse gases released with the same amount stored or offset so that the temperature has no effect at all. This idea came about when people realised that cutting down on emissions alone is not enough to stop climate change.

Rare Indian Banknotes from 1918 Shipwreck to be Auctioned in London

  • A pair of rare 10-rupee banknotes that were recovered as they floated away from a shipwreck on their way from Bombay to London in 1918 are to be auctioned next Wednesday.
  • Noonans Mayfair auction house in London will offer the notes as part of their World Banknotes sale and are estimated to fetch between GBP 2,000 and 2,600. The two 10-rupee banknotes were recovered from the wreck of the SS Shirala, which was sunk by a German U-boat on July 2, 1918, and bear the date of 25 May 1918 on them.

May 25, 2024

Oxford Economics' Global Cities Index: Delhi Leads Indian Rankings

  • In the latest Oxford Economics' Global Cities Index, Delhi emerges as the highest-ranked Indian city, securing the 350th position among the world's 1000 largest cities. However, no Indian city managed to break into the top 300. The index, encompassing cities from 163 countries, evaluates cities across five key categories: Economics, Human Capital, Quality of Life, Environment, and Governance. New York clinches the top spot, with London, San Jose, Tokyo, and Paris following suit.
  • Indian Cities Rankings: Delhi Leads, Bengaluru, Mumbai Follow
  • In India, besides Delhi, other major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Chennai make appearances in the index. Bengaluru secures the 411th position, while Mumbai and Chennai follow at 427 and 472, respectively. Notably, South Indian cities seem to fare relatively better in the rankings.

May 24, 2024

Spain Becomes 99th Member of International Solar Alliance

  • Spain has become the 99th member of the International Solar Alliance. Spain handed over the International Solar Alliance Instrument of Ratification during the meeting between Spain's Ambassador to India, Jose Maria Ridao Domkinguez, and Head of Depository, Joint Secretary (ED and MER), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Abhishek Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday, MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.
  • India and France jointly launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) during COP21 in Paris. The ISA aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through the rapid and massive deployment of solar energy, according to MEA press release.

May 23, 2024

British PM Rishi Sunak Declares July 4 as UK General Election Date

  • In a surprise move, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the King has granted the request for dissolution of parliament and the general election will be held on July 4. The announcement came as the governing Conservatives are widely expected to lose after 14 years in power.

Ireland, Spain and Norway Recognize a Palestinian State

  • Ireland, Spain and Norway announced plans to formally recognize a Palestinian state next week, in a move that is likely to bolster the global Palestinian cause but further strain relations between Europe and Israel.
  • The three European nations say their landmark decision is the best way to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East, but it sparked swift condemnation from Israel, as its foreign minister ordered the immediate recall of its ambassadors from those countries.
  • Most of the world already recognizes Palestinian statehood. More than 140 out of 193 member states of the United Nations have made their recognition official. But only some nations in the 27-member European Union are among them.

To Lam New President of Vietnam

  • To Lam, Vietnam's former Minister of Public Security, was confirmed as the nation's new President by the National Assembly. His rise came amid an ongoing anti-corruption campaign that has shaken the country's political establishment and business elites, resulting in multiple high-level government changes.
  • While the Vietnamese presidency is largely ceremonial, analysts suggest that Lam's new role as head of state puts him in a strong position to become the next Communist Party general secretary, the most powerful political position in the country. The current party chief, Nguyen Phu Trong, is 80 years old and may not seek another term after 2026.

May 22, 2024

Delhi Ranks 350 in Oxford Global Cities Index Report 2024

  • Delhi was placed 350 in the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024, making it the highest ranked Indian city. The ranking compares the world's 1000 cities.
  • Bengaluru, India's IT hub, stood at 411, higher than the country's financial capital Mumbai, which stood at 427.
  • On the other hand, Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh ranked last in the index, at 1000th place.
  • the Global Cities Index Report is an annual report that ranks roughly 1,000 largest cities across the world, spanning 163 different countries in five crucial categories.
  • The index is calculated based on scores across categories such as Economics, Human Capital, Quality of Life, Environment, and Governance. These scores are combined to generate an overall rank for each city. In 2023, cities in the report accounted for 60% of global GDP and 30% of the world's population.
  • Once again, New York achieved the highest ranking in all five categories with a score of 100, followed by London and San Jose securing the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively.
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