Tags: International News
1. G-7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting
- The United Kingdom, which is currently the chairman of the Group of 7 countries, hosted the foreign ministers meeting of the member countries at Liverpool in England on 11-12 December 2021.
- The meeting was held in the midst of concern that Russia is going to attack Ukraine which is denied by Russia.
- The Foreign Ministers of India, European Union, Australia, South Korea, along with representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN} will take part in G-7 foreign ministers as guests.
2. India to supply medicines to the Afghan people
- The Government of India has joined Qatar, the UAE, Turkmenistan and Pakistan that have sent humanitarian support to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
- India has sent medical relief material to the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul.
- The medical relief material will be handed to the WHO (World Health Organisation ) in Kabul as the Indian does not recognise the Taliban government in Kabul led by Habitullah Akhunzada .
- The relief material was sent back by special Kam Air flights that had brought 10 Indians and 94 Afghan minority community members from Afghanistan to India.
3. Saudi Arabia bans Tablighi Jamaat
- Saudi Arabia has stunned the Islamic World by banning the Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamist proselytizing(conversion) movement.
- The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced the measure on its social media platform terming the Sunni Islamic organisation as "one of the gates of terrorism" and that Tablighi Jamaat poses "a danger to society".
Capital of Saudi Arabia: RIyadh
Currency: Saudi Riyal
4. Tigray rebels retake Ethiopian world heritage Lalibela
- Tigray rebels on 12th December recaptured the north Ethiopian town of Lalibela, home to a UNESCO world heritage site from the Ethiopian government forces.
- Ethiopian Civil War
- The conflict started on 4 November, when the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against the northern regional forces in Tigray.
- The escalation came after months of feuding between Mr Abiy's government and leaders of Tigray's dominant political party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) .
5. New Caledonia votes to remain part of France
- Voters in the French island territory of New Caledonia chose overwhelmingly to stay part of France, in a referendum held on 12 December which was boycotted by pro-independence forces.
- Official results showed 96% of those who took part chose to stay in France. However the overall turnout was less than 44%.
- The referendum held on 12 December was the third and last in a decades-long process aimed at settling tensions between native Kanaks seeking independence and those who want the territory to remain part of France.
- Capital of New Caledonia: Noumea.
- Currency: CFP Franc
6. Israeli PM’s historic visit to UAE
- Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived in the United Arab Emirates for the first ever official visit by a Prime Minister of Israel to the UAE..
- The UAE last year became the third Arab nation to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.
- Bahrain and Morocco then followed as part of a series of deals referred to as Abraham Accords brokered by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
- Sudan also agreed to normalise ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords, but full relations have not yet materialised.
For details of the Abraham accord refer to the 25 November post.
7. “India” 4th Most Powerful Country in Asia
- In the Asia Power Index for 2021 that ranks 26 nations and territories in Asia- Pacific, prepared by the Lowy Institute of Sydney, India has been ranked 4th most powerful Asian country.
- Rank of the powerful countries:
- United States 82.2 points
- China 74.6
- Japan 38.7
- India 37.7
- Russia 33.0
Highlights of the report:
- India lost 2.0 points (-5% change) in overall score in 2021 (compared to 2020).
- India performed better in future resource measures where it finished behind only the United States and China.
- India finishes in 4th place in four other measures, i.e. Economic Capability, Military Capability (+0.5), Resilience (+1.7) and Cultural Influence.
- India remains in the 7th place in its “Defence Networks”, reflecting progress in its regional defence diplomacy - notably with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue which includes: Australia, Japan and the United States.
- On the other hand, India has slipped into 8th position for economic relationships, as it falls further behind in regional trade integration efforts.
8. India votes against UN draft resolution on climate change
- India voted against a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) linking climate to security. This resolution was moved by Niger, which holds the UNSC presidency for December. It was also sponsored by Ireland.
- Niger organized a debate titled ‘Maintenance of international peace and security: security in the context of terrorism and climate change”. One of the objectives of the debate was to examine how terrorism and security risks could be linked to climate change.
- The resolution was vetoed by Russia even though 12 countries voted in its favour with China abstaining from the vote and India voting against it.
- Government of India’s views were put forward by India’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the United Nations, T.S. Tirumurti.
9. Super Typhoon Rai lashes Philippines
- Super Typhoon Rai, known locally as Odette, continued to wreak havoc across the Philippines, as the storm moved west across the archipelago, bringing with it heavy rain and widespread flooding.
- Rai, the 15th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, weakened slightly from a Category 5 to a Category 3 storm (as per Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) after making landfall Thursday on Siargao Island, a popular tourist and surfing destination on the central east coast.
10. 488 journalists jailed, 46 killed across the world in 2021 - Reporters without Borders
Reporters without Borders (RSF)’s the international non-profit organization for safeguarding the right to freedom of information, has released their latest annual roundup of violence and abuse suffered by journalists across the world.
- There are currently 488 media professionals imprisoned around the world.
- The number killed this year — 46 — was the lowest since it began issuing annual tallies.
- China once again has the highest number of imprisoned journalists at 127.
- The most dangerous countries were Mexico and Afghanistan, with seven and six journalist deaths respectively, followed by Yemen and India with four deaths each.
11. The World Health Organisation has granted emergency approval to Covovax (NVX-CoV2373)
- It is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India under license from the U.S. based Novavax.
- It will be distributed as part of global vaccine sharing system COVAX(COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access).
- COVAX is a worldwide initiative through the alliance of GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
It is the 3rd vaccine from India after CoviShield and Covaxin to receive WHO emergency use listing (EUL).
12. President Kovind inaugurates Kalibari Temple in Dhaka
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the renovated Sri Ramna Kali Mandir in Dhaka on 17th December 2021.
- The temple was destroyed by the Pakistani Army’s operation codenamed 'Operation Searchlight' in 1971, targeting the resistance movement in the country.
- The President and First Lady Savita Kovind offered prayers at the renovated temple.
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