International Issues - June 2011



10th Anniversary Summit of The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) celebrated its 10th anniversary on 15 June 2011 in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, by summing up its achievements and outlining its future direction. 

The six-nation SCO member states are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. India, Pakistan and Iran are with Observer status in the SCO.






The Sri Lankan Central Bank Monetary Board announced that Chinese Renminbi would be included in the list of designated currencies permitted for international transactions through banks in Sri Lanka. People can now transact in Renminbi (for cross-border transactions) with banks authorized for such transactions. 

The other currencies in the designated list are Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, US Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore dollar, Danish kroner, Euro, Norwegian kroner, British pound sterling, Swiss franc, Swedish kroner and Japanese yen. 

The Sri Lankan Monetary board reasoned that China was a leading player in international trade had economic connections with many countries. Recently, the Renminbi has evolved as a globally acceptable currency. 





India and Japan Signed Seven Agreements, Japan Providing Loan for Infrastructure Development. 

India and Japan signed seven agreements in New Delhi under which Japan will provide soft loans worth 8632 crore rupees for a number of projects including the Bangalore Metro Rail. The loans are to be given under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 

The agreements cover many sectors, including energy, power, financial services, urban transport, road safety and forestry. A loan of 1024.36 crore would be given to Madhya Pradesh for a transmission system modernization project while a loan of 1031.74 crore would be extended to Andhra Pradesh for a high voltage distribution system project. 

Moreover, a loan of 1271.11 crore was allotted to Bihar for a national highway improvement project and 874.06 crore was given to Rajasthan for its biodiversity and forestry project.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted party won a third term in office in elections in Turkey. 





The United Nations launched a drive, Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015 to accelerate progress towards the goal of halving the proportion of the population without access to basic sanitation by 2015. 

The drive launched on 21 June was established by the General Assembly in a resolution adopted in December 2010 that called on Member States to redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap, one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.The UN had recognised access to sanitation as a human right, a basic service required to live a normal life.





Germany Announced Easing of Export Control Laws for India. Germany announced easing of export control laws for India. The new laws allow India, accessing dual use items, marking a major development that is beneficial in the expansion of the nuclear energy sector. Previously India was removed from the list of countries subject to national export control restrictions.

The new norms allow Germany to treat India just like any other EU countries. India had approached Germany in 2010 to relax export control laws to allow high technology trade with it. And in May 2011 Germany modified its export control legislation vis-à-vis India





American President Barack Obama, announced plans to withdraw 10000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. The pullout will continue at a steady pace until security is handed over to Afghan authorities in 2014. 

Afghan president Hamid Karzai welcomed US president Barack Obamas move to withdraw 10000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. Karzai was confident that Afghanistan’s Nato-trained police and army could take control of the country from the forces. 





The six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) celebrated its 10th anniversary on 15 June 2011 in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, by summing up its achievements and outlining its future direction. The six-nation SCO member states are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 

India, Pakistan and Iran are with Observer status in the SCO.The joint declaration of the summit included- establishing an inseparable international security community to guard information security, fighting the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and combating drug trafficking.





The member States of the ILO meet annually at the International Labour Conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland. Each Member State is represented by a delegation consisting of two government delegates, an employer delegate, a worker delegate and their respective advisers. This year the International Labour Conference meets on june 1-17 in Geneva for its 100th Session. 





President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, left for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment and thus ended his 33-year rule over the nation. On 3 June 2011 he was injured in a rocket attack by the rival group. 

It created a political vacuum and a hope for the pro-democracy movement to achieve its objective. But at the same time it will fuel violence in the country because it is divided into armed tribes and to unify them under one command won’t be an easy task. 





Germany announced its decision to phase out it’s all the nuclear plants by 2022. This decision, prompted by Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, will make Germany the first major industrialized nation to go nuclear-free. People of Germany are strongly opposed to nuclear power and took to streets after Fukushima to urge the government to shut down all reactors as soon as possible. 

Germany (Europe’s largest economy) is determined to replace its nuclear power with renewable energy resources. Energy from wind, solar and hydroelectric power at present produces about 17 percent of the country’s electricity. 





New Amendments to Swiss Banking Secrecy Laws. Swiss parliament gave approval to Switzerland’s amendments to tax treaties with other countries, including India. This makes easier access for India, to collect information about the illegal funds held by the Indian nationals in Swiss private banks. 

The Swiss parliament endorsed amendments to double-taxation agreements (DTAAs) in line with internationally applicable standards. The beneficiaries from the new amendments include India, Germany, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, and Poland. 

These countries are secured with easy legal assistance and information. This also allows the countries to identify an account holder from their own territories by providing an IBAN number or social security number.



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