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International Issues - May 2011

Abu Dhabi becomes the first capital city to have complete fibre optic network

Abu Dhabi is now the first capital city in the world to be entirely covered with a fibre optic network, UAE telecom giant Etisalat has announced.

The completion of this project has contributed to the UAE being ranked amongst the top five countries in the Arab world in the Network Readiness Index (NRI) and ranked 24th in the world according to the Global Information Technology Report 2011 issued by the World Economic Forum, outperforming many countries.

Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific is set to become the 154th member of the World Trade Organisation. Once the WTO's General Council approves the accession package in its next meeting, Vanuatu will have six months to complete the ratification. 

Russia and Algeria are the two main trade economies outside the WTO.

The leaders of two main Palestinian-factions, Fatah and Hamas on 4 May 2011 signed a reconciliation agreement. The agreement signed between the two factions paved the way for the formation of transitional national unity government followed by elections. 

The accord signed helped to end a four year feud between Fatah and Hamas and the signing of the account will be followed by preparations for the formation of an interim government.

Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey, London on 29 April 2011. On 29 April 2011, the day of wedding, Prince William was given the title of the Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus by Queen Elizabeth II.

World’s largest Buddhist publications, information centre inaugurated in Lanka

To mark the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha , Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared the year commencing from the Buddha Jayanti day or the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day, as the Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi commemoration year.

The world’s largest Buddhist publications and information centre was also inaugurated by the Sri Lankan President to mark 2600 years of Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment.

Lobsang Sangay was elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile on 27 April 2011. He would take over the political duties relinquished by spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. 

The United States on 18 May 2011 imposed sanctions on Syrian President Basher al-Assad and six other top aides for Human rights abuses. It also freezed assets of the Syrian officials that are in the United States.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab and the third nuclear power plant in Pakistan. 

It is the second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power plant, CHASNUPP-2 built in collaboration with China. The second unit of Chashma Neclear Power Plant, CHASNUPP-2, is built in collaboration with China.

South Pacific island nation SAMOA, currently positioned to the east of the International Date Line on 9 May 2011 decided to forego a day (28 December 2011) and shift to the time zone on its west to facilitate trade with Australia and New Zealand. 

The island nation in the South Pacific is currently 21 hours behind both countries, Australia and New Zealand. This implies that that the nation loses two working days a week with them. However with its decision to move to the other side of the date line, Samoa will move three hours ahead.

On the 2nd May 2011 Canadian Federal Election, Canada's Conservatives had a decisive victory making it a majority in Canada's Parliament. Conservative Party won 54% of the seats in the Parliament and secured a stable four-year term in power. It acquired 167 seats in the Canada's Parliament. 

Candian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s victory, along with Conservative party’s control of the Senate, put the Conservatives in firm control of the federal agenda for the first time since the early 1990s.

India ratified in the second week of May 2011, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its three protocols and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The convention is further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific areas and manifestations of organized crime namely Protocols to combat (1) trafficking in persons (2) migrant smuggling and (3) illicit trafficking in firearms.

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 11 September 2001, terror attacks was killed on 1 May 2011 in his luxury hideout in Pakistan in a fire fight with U.S. forces. 

President Barack Obama broke the news in the White House on 1 May. Bin Laden was killed after a gun battle with Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces at a compound in the city of Abbottabad in Pakistan. The operation was codenamed Operation Geronimo.

According to a World Bank report named Global Development Horizons 2011-Multipolarity: The new Global Economy released on 17 May 2011, India will be among six nations who will account for more than half of the global growth by 2025. 

As per the report, the six countries- China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil and Russia is likely to grow on average by 4.7 percent annually between 2011 and 2025.

The Saudi government has established a national commission to battle corruption. The Commission aims to protect integrity, promote the principle of transparency, fight against financial and administrative corruption in all its forms and manifestations.



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