16th ASEAN-India Summit 2019 held in Thailand

The 16th ASEAN-India Summit 2019 was held in Thailand in November 2019. The summit was chaired by H.E. General Prayut Chan-oCha, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Thailand. Along with 16th ASEAN-India Summit 2019, there are other summits that took place such as 35th ASEAN Summit, 14th East Asia Summit and 3rd meeting of RCEP.

The honorable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended and co-chaired the summit along with the heads of member countries – Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, and Laos. The summit brought up and discussed topics related to promotion on ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and ways to increase maritime cooperation, trade, investments, connectivity and partnership in science, technology and innovation. At the summit, India extended USD $ 1 billion as line of credit for the improvement of physical and digital connectivity.

India-Germany Strengthen Bilateral Ties, Sign 17 MOUs & 5 Joint Declaration

In November 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India and met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and co-chaired the 5th InterGovernmental Consultations (IGC).

Both countries acceded to sign seventeen agreements in the fields of agriculture, ayurveda, maritime technology, migration, occupational diseases and yoga. Five Joint Declarations of Intent were also exchanged on strategic projects, partnership for green urban mobility, research and development on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cooperation in the field of prevention of marine litter.

Following are some significant India-Germany MoUs: An Implementing Arrangement on Exchange of Personnel between ISRO and German Aerospace Centre – Joint Declarations of Intent and MoUs on:

  1. Cooperation in the Field of Civil Aviation
  2. Cooperation within the International Smart Cities Network
  3. Cooperation between the Field of Skills Development and Vocational Education and Training
  4. Strengthening Economic Cooperation in the field of Start-ups
  5. Establishment of Bilateral Cooperation Project regarding Agricultural Market Development
  6. Exchanged between Siemens Limited, India and MSDE and German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on Skills for Sustainable Growth
  7. Occupational Diseases, Rehabilitation and vocational training of Insured Persons & workers with disabilities

Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva appointed new IMF Chief

The International Monetary Fund has appointed Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva as its new Managing Director for a term of five years.

With her appointment, she became the first person from an emerging economy to head the global lender. Additionally, she is also the second woman ever to lead the 189-member institution.

As a center-right politician who witnessed communism, she built a reputation during her stint at the World Bank as CEO.The selection had been all but guaranteed after the IMF said earlier that she is the sole candidate.

She was selected by 24-member Executive Board representing the IMF’s 189 member countries. She was backed by French President Emmanuel Macron and won support last month from the rest of the European Union as well as the tacit backing of the United States.

She took her position as Managing Director in October 2019, replacing Christine Lagarde who would take over European Central Bank later this year. As a Managing Director, she is the Chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. She will be assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in the operation of the fund, which serves its membership through about 2,700 staff.

India- Germany strengthen bilateral ties, Sign 17 MoUs & 5 Joint Declarations

In November 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India and met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and co-chaired the 5th Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).

Both countries acceded to sign seventeen agreements in the fields of agriculture, ayurveda, maritime technology, migration, occupational diseases and yoga. Five Joint Declarations of Intent were also exchanged on strategic projects, partnership for green urban mobility, research and development on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cooperation in the field of prevention of marine litter.

Following are some significant India-Germany MoUs: An Implementing Arrangement on Exchange of Personnel between ISRO and German Aerospace Centre – Joint Declarations of Intent and MoUs on:

 

 

  • Cooperation in the Field of Civil Aviation
  • Cooperation within the International Smart Cities Network
  • Cooperation between the Field of Skills Development and Vocational Education and Training
  • Strengthening Economic Cooperation in the field of Start-ups
  • Establishment of Bilateral Cooperation Project regarding Agricultural Market Development
  • Exchanged between Siemens Limited, India and MSDE and German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on Skills for Sustainable Growth
  • Occupational Diseases, Rehabilitation and vocational training of Insured Persons & workers with disabilities

16th ASEAN-India Summit 2019 held in Thailand

The 16th ASEAN-India Summit 2019 was held in Thailand in November 2019. The summit was chaired by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-Cha, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Thailand. Along with 16th ASEAN-India Summit 2019, there are other summits that took place such as 35th ASEAN Summit, 14th East Asia Summit and 3rd meeting of RCEP.

The honorable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended and co-chaired the summit along with the heads of member countries – Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, and Laos.
The summit brought up and discussed topics related to promotion on ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and ways to increase maritime cooperation, trade, investments, connectivity and partnership in science, technology and innovation.

At the summit, India extended USD $ 1 billion as line of credit for the improvement of physical and digital connectivity.

18th NAM Summit 2019 held in Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan hosted the XVIII (18th) Summit of Heads of state and government of the Non-Aligned Movement in October 2019. The theme of the summit was “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”.

The Summit was preceded by Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting and the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting. The 120-member group representing 55% of the world population attended the 18th Forum. The focus of the summit was on issues related to terrorism, threats to peace and security, UN reforms, climate change, sustainable development, economic governance, and south-south cooperation.

Representatives of about 160 countries and international organizations attended the event.

Current chair of the NAM, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro opened the Summit.

Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, led the Indian delegation and interacted with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani; President of Vietnam, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh; President of Cuba, Mr. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo sworn in for 2nd term

In October 2019, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo was sworn in for a second and final term amid tight security. As thousands celebrated with song and dance, helicopters flew overhead and troops kept a vigil in the capital Jakarta.

More than 30,000 security personnel were deployed in the capital. The city police even locked down some parts of the city over security concerns. With a sacrosanct Quran over his head, the 58-year-old Widodo along with Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, recited the oath of office before lawmakers and regional senators, which make up the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat) at the Parliament building. Outside the Parliament, his supporters with red and white Indonesian flags dotted parts of the city. Citizens, many wearing T-shirts bearing the leader’s image, witnessed the swearing-in ceremony on a big screen near Jakarta’s national monument.

Britain Chooses to Exit European Union

In a historic referendum, Britain opted out of the 72-year-old treaty with the European Union on June 23, 2016. 72% of the British population came out to vote for the crucial decision and 51.9% opted to leave the European Union.

While England and Wales came out in strong support of the Leave side with 53.4% to 46.6% and 52.5% to 47.5% respectively, Scotland and Northern Ireland favored to stay in the Union. Scotland backed Remain by 62% to 38%, while 55.8% in Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.2% Leave.

Britain’s decision to exit European Union – called Brexit – wasn’t taken easily by the world economy, and it affected Britain’s economy adversely. As a result, the Pound fell to its lowest level since 1985. David Cameron, then Prime Minister of Britain resigned after the referendum that called for Brexit. Though the referendum was his prime agenda in his election manifesto, he wasn’t satisfied with the historic verdict. In his own words, “I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”

After David Cameron’s resignation, a new Prime Minister – Theresa May – has been elected. She was the former home secretary. Though May favored the Remain side, after her election as the Prime Minister she said that she would respect the will of the people. She has said that she intends to trigger the leaving process by the end of March 2017. Thus, the UK is expected to leave the European Union by the summer of 2019.

Over 4,200 Turkish Military Personnel Suspended, Dismissed

Turkish Defense Ministry has fired or suspended over 4,200 military personnel since the failed coup attempt this summer. Many teachers, doctors, nurses, and others suspected of having ties to Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, the alleged man behind the coup attempt, have also been dismissed.

The attempted seizure of the government by military took place on the evening of July 15 with the rebels attacking government institutions and clashing with police and civilians in the streets. Severe violence erupted in Istanbul and the capital city Ankara. The ill-fated Friday saw the killing of more than 260 people and around 2,200 were injured. The attempt was prevented by the military loyal to the government along with police units and millions of people in favor of democracy.

In another development, EU Commission VP has stated that the role of Gülen’s terror group in the coup attempt is not deniable. During a visit to Turkey in late September, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson too had mentioned, “The incidents in July were absolute violence, anti-democratic and ill-minded and the best approach would be suppressing this. Now, we must take a serious look in our own country for any signs of the Gülen organization.”

NAM States Aligned For 17th Summit

The 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit was held at the Venezuelan resort island of Margarita from September 13 to 18, 2016. The theme of the Summit was “Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development.”

The key issues conversed at the Summit were climate change, sustainable economic development, human rights, unilateral sanctions, peacekeeping missions, religious tolerance, and U.N. Security Council reforms. Also discussed were international solidarity, South-South cooperation, the role of youth, gender equality, the need for a new world communications and information order, and independence for Palestine and the Western Sahara.

In a 21 point closing declaration the member states urged the United Nations to give equal footing to the developing countries in the Security Council. The member states also committed to build more harmony, initiate new alliances, work on promoting peace, eradicating poverty, and addressing climate change on the world stage. The declaration rejected the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba, condemned Europe’s policy on refugees, and expressed support for the people of Palestine and Puerto Rico in their struggle against occupation and for self-determination as well.

Speaking about the Summit at a press conference, Venezuelan President Maduro said, “This Summit, we can say, has been a total success, a victory of Bolivarian diplomacy.”

The membership of NAM today comprises 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan). There are 17 countries and 10 international organizations that are Observers at NAM. The Non Aligned Movement came into being 55 years ago when leaders of 25 developing countries met at the 1961 Belgrade Conference.