Current Affairs International

 The Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China had claimed last week that their boundary with Bhutan has never been delimited and there are long-standing disputes between the two countries in eastern, central and western sections. The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in India has clarified China’s claim on 7th July 2020 that the boundary talks between Bhutan and China is under negotiation and hasn’t been demarcated yet. Further Bhutanese Embassy has also stated that 24 rounds of ministerial-level talks have been conducted to date for demarcating the boundary between the two countries, the 25th round of talks was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Background
On June 2nd, 2020, during the 58th meeting of the U.N. Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility (GEF), China objected to the funding for the development of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary by claiming the area to a disputed region between Bhutan and China. Bhutan denied the claims of China by stating the Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary comes under Trashigang Dzongkhag district in Eastern Bhutan. The Trashigang Dzongkhag district is the bordering district of Bhutan with India’ Arunachal Pradesh.

 Pakistan will remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to suits the worldwide terrorist financing watchdog’s deadline to prosecute and penalise terrorist financing in the country. The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiang Liu. FATF had expressed serious concerns over Pakistan’s failure to finish its 27-point action plan in line with the agreed timelines, which led to September 2019. In 2018, FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list and therefore the watchdog has already granted Islamabad an extension till February 2020 during a gathering in October last year.
  • What is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)?
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF is, therefore, a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally. In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

 The World Bank has approved USD 1.05 billion for three projects in Bangladesh to generate quality jobs and boost economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The three projects namely: Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE), Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE), and Second Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit, are expected to help the economy in its recovery by generating jobs and encouraging direct private investment in specialized economic zones.
About the three projects:
  • Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE):
Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE) is a USD 500 million worth project. It will bolster the social and environmental standards in selected economic zones and software technology parks in Bangladesh. It will also led to the creation of first digital entrepreneurship hub of Dhaka in the Janata Software Technology Park and will help the nation to attract $2 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It will generate over 1.5 lakh jobs of which a certain percentage will be reserved for women.
  • Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE):
Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) is a USD 295 million worth project. It will create an integrated, cloud-computing digital platform for all government agencies and enhance cyber-security. It will also establish a digital leadership academy, hence generating 1 lakh jobs and training 1 lakh youth in digital technologies.
  • Second Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit:
Second Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit is a USD 250 million worth project which will develop fiscal space to help the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

 Turkish’s diplomat Volkan Bozkir has been elected president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. The 75th session of the UN General Assembly begins in September 2020. Bozkir won the unanimous support of the 178 UN members. He will take over from Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the present General Assembly president. A General Assembly president has a one-year term.

World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced its 2020 cohort of Technology Pioneers. WEF has unveiled 100 new tech firms awardees which are leaders in carbon capture, alternative meat and circular economies, while some of them aims to address food security, financial access etc. The 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers comprised 2 Indian firms namely: ZestMoney and Stellapps. These firms which featured in the list, will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum workshops, events as well as high-level discussions throughout their two years in the community. ZestMoney is an Indian Artificial intelligence-based digital lending platform which disburses affordable credit to millions. Stellapps is India’s data-led, internet of things-based startup platform which is enagaged in digitization of the dairy supply chain. The WEF’s Technology Pioneer community was launched in 2000. It comprises of early to growth-stage companies from around the world. These companies are generally involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and poised to make a significant impact on business as well as society.

 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has affirmed a USD 750 million (around Rs 5,714 crore) loan to India to enable the legislature to fortify its fight against the antagonistic effect of COVID-19 on poor and vulnerable households. AIIB’s total sovereign advances to India that have just been affirmed add up to USD 3.06 billion, including an ongoing USD 500 million COVID-19 emergency response. The current credit will be the second for India under AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF). While AIIB doesn’t have a day by day instrument for strategy based financing, the Bank is extending such financing on an uncommon premise under the CRF to help its individuals through ventures cofinanced with the WorldBank or the Asian Development Bank.

 Myanmar military “Tatmadaw” has decided to use Facebook again to provide ‘accurate’ news to people. Myanmar Military using Facebook again because it is the most widely used social media platform in the country and is the best way to reach people. On August 2018, Facebook restricted 18 records and a few pages related with the Tatmadaw and its senior officials over allegations of spreading loathe discourse. Facebook evacuated the records hours after a United Nations truth discovering crucial a report that blamed the Tatmadaw for slaughter and atrocities in northern Rakhine State in 2017.

 The Health Ministry of South-Pacific nation, New Zealand has declared that the nation has become free from “Coronavirus”. The announcement was made when the last person who was being monitored for coronavirus was released from isolation and regarded as recovered. Hence, New Zealand has announced to lift all the coronavirus measures that were implemented in the country and move to national alert level 1 from midnight on 9 June 2020.

  Member countries of the Group of 20 (G20) has pledged more than $21 billion to fight COVID-19 pandemic. The group has coordinated the global efforts by pledging more than $21 billion to improve the global health and hence supporting the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. G20 leaders also appealed to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to facilitate their support to countries in need using all instruments to the fullest extent.

 WHO has launched the ‘COVID-19 Technology Access Pool’ for equitable access to life-saving tech. This comes after at least 37 countries jointly appealed to the World Health Organisation for common ownership of vaccines, medicines and other diagnostic tools to combat the global health crisis. C-TAP aims to accelerate the development of vaccines and medicines through the sharing of research and information and to increase manufacturing capacity for any products that are developed. WHO has also issued a ‘Solidarity Call to Action’ urging other stakeholders of the UN health agency to join the cause.


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