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2011 November International Issues




Palestine won the membership of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) on 31 October 2011 with 107 votes in favour and 14 votes against. Eighty-one votes were required for approval with 173 UNESCO member delegations present. The USA, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and the Czech Republic voted against.

UNESCO is the first UN agency Palestine has joined as a full member. UNESCO protects historic heritage sites and works to improve world literacy and cultural understanding. Its headquarters are located at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, capital of France. In fact, Palestine is seeking full membership in the UN (United Nations), but USA has threatened that it will veto it unless there is a peace deal with Israel.





The 17th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit (the heads of states) held in Hithadhoo, Addu, Maldives on 10 November and 11 November 2011. A 20-point Addu Declaration was adopted on 11 November 2011 to forge effective cooperation among the member states in a host of areas including economy, connectivity, climate change and food security.

The theme of the 17th SAARC Summit was ‘Building Bridges’. The Summit recognized the importance of bridging differences, creating better understanding and promoting amity and mutually beneficial and comprehensive cooperation in order to promote effective linkages and connectivity for greater movement of people, enhanced investment and trade in the SAARC members region.





World population crossed seven hundred crores on 31 October. Nargis from India is declared as seven billionth child on earth by United Nations. Nargis was born in Lucknow Monday morning at 7:20 AM. Nargis is the first daughter of Vinita (23 years) and Ajay (25 years) from UP.

Russia announced that the 7 billionth child was born in the country’s far East in Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky city. The boy named Alexander, born on the night of Oct 31, was the seven billionth inhabitants on earth. Philippines too declared that a little girl called Danica May Camacho was the world’s 7 billionth baby.






The Justice and Development Party (PJD) won the parliamentary elections in Morocco according to the poll results announced on 27 November 2011. The party is the second Islamist party to win an election after the Arab Spring.

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, recently won the election in that country. The king responded by modifying the constitution to give the next parliament and prime minister more powers and held early elections. Morocco has had a multi-party system since independence in 1956. Morocco is the North African Kingdom. King Mohammed VI is the head of the state.





Kuwait’s Prime Minister Nasser Mohammad Sheikh al-Ahmad al-Sabah and the Cabinet resigned on 28 November 2011 amid accusations of corruption. 

Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, accepted the resignation. The opposition accused Sheikh Nasser of transferring public funds into his overseas bank accounts.





The Arab League imposed a set of sanctions against Syria for its failure to comply with the League mediated peace plan to end violence in the country. These include freezing of financial assets, a halt on dealing with Syria’s central bank and stopping investments and a travel ban on high- ranking officials. The sanctions go into effect immediately.

The League also banned financial transactions and trade with the Syrian government. Syrian government is under economic and political pressure to end an eight-month crackdown against demonstrators.





Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh finally agreed to step down amidst massive public protests. Saleh signed a Gulf co-operation council (GCC) brokered peace Initiative in Riyadh on 22 November 2011 to transfer his power within 30 days to his Vice President, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Under the deal, he and his relatives get immunity from prosecution on handing over power to the Vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in 30 days. It will be followed by early presidential elections within 90 days.

Yemen has been besieged with violence and protests by the powerful tribals, army dissidents, the opposition and the people who called for the ouster of Saleh on charges of nepotism and corruption. The Gulf mediated Initiative will put an end to a 33-year old reign of one of the longest serving Presidents in the region





India was elected to the United Nations' Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and returned to this oversight body after a gap of 35 years. India’s five-year term with the body will start from 1 January 2013.






India defeated China to get a place on the JIU. India had served only once on the JIU, 35 years ago from 1968 to 1977.

The JIU is an independent external oversight body of the United Nations system, mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations. It is composed of not more than 11 Inspectors serving for a term of five years.





The US Army conducted the test flight of Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) from the military's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai located in Hawaiian archipelago. 

The new weapon is capable of travelling five times the speed of sound. The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is part of the military's programme to develop global strike weapons that would allow the US to strike targets anywhere in the world with conventional weapons in as little as an hour.







A study published in medical journal Lancet mentioned that India has the highest number of flu-related pneumonia deaths among children. Flu-related pneumonia is also responsible for 28000 to 115000 deaths of children around the globe.

The University of Edinburgh with support from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and US Centers conducted the study for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).






According to a survey conducted by the City Mayors Foundation, a global think tank on urban affairs, there are 37 Indian cities among the world's 300 fastest growing urban centres. The Indian city of Ghaziabad is the second fastest growing city in the world. The general parameter used to consider the growth of a city is the rate of its urbanization.

According to the report- The Transition to a Predominantly Urban World and its Underpinnings released by International Institute for Environment and Development, eleven cities in India are amongst the 100 fastest growing cities of the world. The 11 cities in the list of 100 fastest growing cities are- Durg – Bhilai, Ghaziabad, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Surat, Asansol, Dhanbad, Visakhapatnam, Faridabad.

India is second to only China in this growth race. Beihai in China is the fastest growing city in the world, with a population growth rate of 10.58 per cent, says the survey. The five fastest growing cities in the world are- Beihei (China), Ghaziabad (India), Sana (Yemen), Surat (India) and Kabul (Afghanistan).





The Arab League on 16 November 2011 confirmed the suspension of Syria from the organisation and decided to impose economic sanctions on the nation in case it refuses to accept an observer mission sent by the former. The league also asked Syria to stop the violence within three-days. The U.N. estimated that more than 3500 people were killed in Syria’s 8-month-old uprising.

The Arab League officially called the League of Arab States is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia (Middle East). It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a member on 5 May 1945.





International conference on the threat from cyber security attacks was held in London. A major international conference on the threat from cyber-security attacks was held in London on 1 November 2011.

The conference aims to have nations work together to combat international cyber crime. Representatives of 60 nations gathered to discuss how to deal with the rising levels of cybercrime.





The 6th G20 (industrialist and developing countries) summit was held in Cannes, France on November 3 and 4, 2011 to discuss key issues in the global economy. Eurozone debt crisis dominated the Summit in Cannes. The other issues discussed in the summit were global imbalances, financial transactions tax, tax evasion and reform of the international monetary system. Agreements made in G20 Cannes Summit.

The G20 leaders’ affirmed their commitment to work together and took decisions to reinvigorate economic growth. They agreed to create jobs, ensure financial stability, promote social inclusion and make globalization serve the needs of the people. They agreed on an Action plan for Growth and Jobs to address short-term vulnerabilities and strengthen medium-term foundations for growth. An affirmation was made on G20’s commitment to move more rapidly toward more market-determined exchange rate systems and enhance exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying economic fundamentals, avoid persistent exchange rate misalignments and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies.

India pitched for a consensus among G-20 nations on sharing of tax and banking information with retrospective effect. India stressed on the fact that the era of banking secrecy laws was over, and it was vital to build a consensus on sharing of past banking data as it would help in investigation of earlier cases of tax evasion. The G20 leaders finally were unable to agree upon a boost to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help distressed countries. Debt-ridden Italy, was seen as the epicenter of the euro crisis, was forced to put its austerity programme under the fund's control.






India and Nepal on 27 November 2011 signed a revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). This will help prevent tax evasion and facilitate exchange of information on banking between the two countries. DTAA, will allow Indian traders and investors to enjoy tax relaxation in India once they pay taxes in Nepal. The agreement is also likely to increase confidence of investors and help Nepal attract more investment from India.

The revised DTAA between India and Nepal will replace an earlier agreement signed between India and Nepal in 1987.





Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah and the Cabinet resigned on 28 November 2011 amid accusations of corruption. Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, accepted the resignation.

Opposition groups, liberals, Islamists, student associations and rival chiefs organised a mass rally in the Erada Square pressing for their demands. The opposition accused Sheikh Nasser of transferring public funds into his overseas bank accounts. The Kuwaiti Government denied these charges.





The Justice and Development Party (PJD) won the parliamentary elections in Morocco according to the poll results announced on 27 November 2011. PJD won 107 seats out of the 395 seats, almost twice as many as the second place finisher. The Polls were held on 25 November 2011 and there was only a 45 percent turnout.





The Arab League on 27 November 2011 imposed a set of sanctions against Syria for its failure to comply with the League mediated peace plan to end violence in the country. These include freezing of financial assets, a halt on dealing with Syria’s central bank and stopping investments and a travel ban on high- ranking officials. The sanctions go into effect immediately.

The League also banned financial transactions and trade with the Syrian government. Syrian government is under economic and political pressure to end an eight-month crackdown against demonstrators.



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