International Current Affairs 2017

Latest International Current Affairs 2017 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2017.

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Fact Box: 52nd Annual General Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB)

The 52nd Annual General Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB) is being held at Gandhinagar in Gujarat from May 22-26, 2017. This is for the first time that this meeting is being held in India. This meeting is expected to be attended by some 4500 delegates including the finance ministers and central bank governors of AfDBs members and non-member countries.

About African Development Bank (AfDB)

African Development Bank Group (AfDB) also known as Banque Africaine de Developpment (BAD) was founded in 1964 with a mission to fight poverty and improve living conditions of the people of African continent by promoting investment in government and private capital in development projects. The bank is made of three entities viz. African Development Bank, African Development Fund, and Nigeria Trust Fund. Its headquarters are at Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The motto of the bank is “Building today, a better Africa tomorrow” and currently, it has total 78 members including India. India had joined this bank in 1983. Its unit currency (for accounting purpose) is XUA under the ISO 4217 standard currency code.

India and other Non-African Members

India is a non-African member country for this bank. Some other non-African member countries include US, Japan, Germany, Canada, France, China etc. Nigeria is the largest country in terms of voting powers at the African Development Bank, followed by United States.

Significance of the meet

So far, the annual conferences of the bank have held within African continent only. For the first time in 2017, the bank is holding its first annual conference outside Africa at Gandhinagar. This event is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  This meet is seen as a logical follow up to the India Africa Forum summit which was held in 2015 in Delhi.

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Hassan Rouhani Wins Iran’s Presidential Election

Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected as the President of Iran. He was elected as president for his first term in 2013. He won 2013 elections by pledging to end Iran’s isolation and improve civil rights at home.

Rouhani was born in Semnan province on November 12, 1948. He is a graduate of University of Tehran and did his PhD from Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University. The 68 year old Rouhani is a lawyer, academic and a former diplomat.

Rouhani has won his second term by presenting himself as the candidate of change and social freedoms that ended many sanctions and a 13 year standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme. He has held various key positions like the key defence portfolios during the 1980 -88 Iran-Iraq war. He had spent 16 years as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, which is Iran’s top security post. Rouhani consistently worked to rebuild Irans’ relations with the West. He also became the first Iranian leader to speak with the President of United States when Barack Obama phoned in September 2013.

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Study on Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for Solar Power Generation Projects in Solar Rich Countries Commissioned

India along with countries like Argentina, Burkina-Faso, Chad, France, Ivory Coast, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Yemen has jointly commissioned a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar rich countries. The commissioning of the study is aimed at dramatic reduction in the cost of finance for renewable energy and the overall price of electricity. The exercise is part of the international efforts aimed at implementing the the Paris Declaration of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) adopted on 30 November 2015.
The study has been entrusted to a task force chaired by Terrawatt Initiative (TWI), the World Bank Group, the Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and also the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). Each of the participating countries will also appoint a qualified representative who will cooperate with the task force and provide information regarding the country specific expectations, experience and needs of the task force. All the countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics are also invited to join the task force and support this initiative in order to attract investments into solar sector.

Need

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water calculates the cost of capital to form a substantial amount in the total costs of renewable energy. In India it accounts for 70% of the total cost of solar Power. In this regard, the CRMM is expected to offer a simple and affordable tool that will develop a secure environment for private institutional investment in solar assets.

ISA

On the first day of the COP-21 summit, the International Solar Alliance was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande as a union of countries with abundant sunlight. Under this alliance, 121 countries that fall within the tropics {i.e. between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn} have been invited to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity. Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America.There are three objectives behind the International Solar Alliance. First is to force down prices by driving demand; second is to bring standardization in solar technologies and third is to foster research and development.

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