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December 2019 - International News

  • UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Spain from Dec 2 – 13. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that the world's efforts to stop climate change have been utterly inadequate so far and there is a danger global warming could pass the point of no return.

    According to the United Nations, the conference will include various important events, such as the 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties, the governing body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and also the 15th meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The main task of the conference is said to be taking a few important steps, which are the UN climate change agenda, including dealing with several issues pertaining to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

  • Saudi Arabia has taken over the G20 Presidency from Japan. It is the first Arab nation to assume the G20 presidency. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, hailed it as a "unique opportunity" to shape international consensus. The G20 presidency, which Saudi Arabia has taken over from Japan, will host world leaders for a global summit in its capital Riyadh on 21-22 November, 2020.

  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed every year on 2 December. On this day people share their view towards slavery in writings through opinion pieces, poetry, interviews, short stories, feature articles, and other published material.
    • The day aims to raise awareness of the atrocities of modern slavery.
    • The day highlights the importance to eliminate slavery including sexual exploitation, trafficking in persons, forced marriage, child labour, etc.
    Modern slavery:
    • A report by the United Nations stated that 40.3 million people are in modern slavery. Slavery includes 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
    • For every 1000 people in the world, there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery. The report also said the 1 in 4 victims are children.
    • Women and girls are affected by forced labour which accounts for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry and 58% in other sectors.
    • On 2 December 1949, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed resolution 317(IV) and adopted Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The day was marked by the UN to eradicate the contemporary forms of slavery including forced labour, child labour, and trafficking.

  • Putin and Xi launched Russia-China gas pipeline. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Siberia pipeline project. The pipeline will transport natural gas from Siberia to northeast China. The move aims to boost the economic and political ties between Russia and China.
    Siberia pipeline:
    • The pipeline project shows Russia's attempts in helping China from the financial sanctions imposed by the US over China's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.
    • It is a 3,000-km-long Power of Siberia pipeline.
    • It will transport gas from the Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia
    • The project will generate $400 billion for Russian state coffers.
    • The project began in October 2012 and it was commissioned on 2 December 2019.
    Russia's other plans:
    • Russia is planning to launch two other major energy projects.
    • One project, the Nord Stream 2 undersea Baltic gas pipeline to Germany and the other, TurkStream pipeline to Turkey and southern Europe.

  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed on 3 December every year across the world. The day aims to raise awareness and develop an understanding to accept people with disabilities.
    • The Day promotes acceptance and compassion on the disability issues of the disabled person.
    • The day aims to provide support for the self-respect, rights and better living of disabled persons.
    • The theme for the year 2019 is Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda.
    • The theme focuses on empowering the disabled persons for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development as anticipated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
    • In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed the resolution 47/3. The resolution aimed to promote the rights and well-being of disabled persons in all aspects of society.
    • The day was designated to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. UNGA announced 1983-1992 as the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.

  • Roopun selected as the President of Mauritius. Mauritius Lawmakers selected former arts and culture minister Pritivirajsing Roopun as the President of the country. He will take over the position which was lying vacant since March 2018.

  • Pichai Sundararajan has been appointed as the CEO of Alphabet. He will replace company co-founder Larry Page as CEO of parent Alphabet Inc. Larry Page stepped down as head of Alphabet, Google's parent company. The co-founders of Google Page and Sergey Brin will continue as co-founders, shareholders, and members of the Alphabet's board of directors.

  • Centre has declared Port of Mongla and Chattogram as Ports of Call under Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWT&T) between India and Bangladesh. Mongla and Chattogram are declared as Ports of Call under the Coastal Shipping Agreement between India and Bangladesh. An MoU, Agreement and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was signed between India and Bangladesh on the use of Chattogram Port &Mongla Ports for the movement of goods to and from India.
    Ports of Call:
    • The Ports of Call in India are Kolkata, Haldia, Pandu, Karimganj, Silghat, Dhubri. Similarly,
    • In Bangladesh, the Ports of Call are Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla, Sirajganj, Ashuganj, and Pangaon.
    • Port of Call: Port of call is an intermediate stop for a ship on its scheduled journey for cargo operation.

  • The United Kingdom (UK) will completely leave the European Union (EU) by January 31, 2019. All the Members of Parliament (MPs) have voted 358 to 234 in favour of the EU Bill (Brexit Agreement) put forward by the newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Bill will now be tabled in UK Parliament for further scrutiny. The passage of the Bill comes following the victory of UK Conservatives in the General Elections. The Conservatives won 80-seat majority in the house. Upon the approval of Bill, PM Johnson said that it is just "one step closer to getting Brexit done".

  • Eight West African countries have announced a new common currency "Eco" to end French dominance from the region. These Eight countries are - Mali, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, and Ivory Coast. These countries have decided to abolish the existence of the French colonial period, and they will use a new currency "Eco" in their country instead of the currently prevalent currency 'CFA franc'. This new currency will come into circulation in 2020. The President of Ivory Coast said that after changing the name of the currency, any interference of France in relation to the currency of these countries will stop. The announcement was made during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced three major changes in the country's economic capital Abidjan. These included changing the name of the currency, keeping more than 50 percent of the money reserves in the French treasury and stopping France's interference with any kind of currency.

  • Every year December 9 is celebrated as International Anti-Corruption Day around the world. Its objective is to spread awareness against corruption. Corruption is a major obstacle in the development of society and the country. The resolution was passed at the United Nations Convention against Corruption on 31 October 2003. Since then, International Anti-Corruption Day is celebrated every year on December 9.

  • Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on December 10 to recognize and empower human rights. it mainly includes economic, social, cultural rights and international commitments on civil and political rights. Human rights law came into existence on September 28, 1993, in India. After that, the Government of India constituted the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on October 12, 1993. There are several rights are included in the jurisdiction of the Commission such as economic, social and cultural rights.

    According to the official website of the United Nations, this year’s theme is – ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights’. UN believes that the participation of youth is an essential element to achieve sustainable development for everyone. Also, young people are always taken as major drivers of social, economic and political transformation.

  • The United Nations (UN) has declared May 21 as International Tea Day on the recommendations of India, however, this day is celebrated on December 15 Every Year. The proposal was made by India at the International Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Intergovernmental Group meeting held in Milan 4 years ago. The United Nations General Assembly has also recognized the tea's medicinal properties as well as cultural importance. International Tea Day started in New Delhi on December 15, 2005, but a year later it was celebrated in Sri Lanka and spread from there to the world.

    Why to Celebrate on May 21? The United Nations has now declared May 21 as International Tea Day on the recommendation of India. The season of quality tea production starts in May only in most of the tea producing countries. According to the UN, declaring May 21 as International Tea Day will help to boost its production and consumption. It will also help in fighting hunger and poverty in rural areas.

  • The House of Representatives has voted to impeach US President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction in Congress. The motion was passed by 229 votes against 197 on charges of misuse of power. In this way, Donald Trump, the 45th President of America, has become the third such President in the history of the country to be impeached. Trump is alleged to have illegally sought help from Ukraine to tarnish the image of his domestic rivals, including potential rival Joe Biden during the presidential election.

    The impeachment proceedings have taken place against two more US presidents prior to Donald Trump. The impeachment process was held against Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, but both leaders managed to save their seats. In addition, Richard Nixon resigned before the beginning of the impeachment proceedings.



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