Syria Current Affairs - Current Affairs Today


WEF 2014: Swiss banks devise new ‘cash’ strategies to lure rich clients

The 44th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting at Davos, Switzerland from January 22 to 25, 2014.

The event sets the key priorities and challenges for the world to tackle in 2014.

  • Theme: ‘The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.
  • Objective: To develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges.
  • Approx 40 heads of state or government among more than 2,500 global leaders from over 100 countries are attending the WEF viz. UK, Australia, Japan, Iran, India, Israel, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, Republic of Korea , etc.
  • From India a 125-member delegation including senior ministers and top corporate leaders are attending the meeting.
  • During the summit, in addition to economic issues and hardcore business talks, problems in Syria, Iran’s possible return to global diplomatic tables, future of euro zone are expected to hog the limelight.
  • The Swiss bank has put up innovative ideas to attract rich clients from India and other countries by providing services like ‘cash courier’ as well as by offering large metal vaults to store currency notes, gold, artworks and other valuables. Also, on the platter is advice to put money in virtual currencies, especially in the wake of Bitcoin ATMs becoming operational in Zurich.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

All unfilled chemical munitions of Syria destructed: OPCW

As per Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), all of Syria’s unfilled munitions have been destroyed.

The United Nations and OPCW teams are working in tandem in Syria with an aim to remove the most toxic chemicals from Syria by the end of the year for destruction at sea and destroy the entire program by mid-2014. The OPCW, which won the Nobel Peace Prize 2013, has been instructed by the United Nations to supervise the destruction of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons stockpile.

Why destruction of Chemical weapons is going on in Syria?

The Syrian government under Bashar-al Assad was accused by the US and its Western allies of using Chemical weapons (mainly Sarin gas) to crush the rebellion in the country. Syria rejected the allegations and blamed the rebels for its use. The matter went to the extent that the US started contemplating military action against the country which was opposed by Russia. Later, on Russia’s intervention, Syria joined Chemical Weapons Convention which requires all parties to declare and destroy all of the chemical weapons they possess. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has the job is to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria joined the OPCW and agreed to dismantle its chemical arsenal to avoid possible U.S. military strikes.

Saudi Arabia declines UN Security Council Seat

Showing disappointment over the inability of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues, Saudi Arabia refused an esteemed seat on the UNSC.

It cited the Security Council’s failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, take measures to end Syria’s civil war and curb nuclear proliferation in the region as the reason behind its turning down the membership. On the contrary, it accused the global body of perpetuating conflicts and grievances.

Saudi Arabia was one of five countries elected by the UN’s General Assembly to serve a two-year term as a non-permanent member on the 15-member Security Council.

Syria officially joins UN chemical weapons pact

UN confirmed that it has received documents from Syria on joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.

  • The convention requires all parties to declare and destroy all of the chemical weapons they possess.
  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has the job is to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty which came into force in 1997 and which requires all member nations to eliminate their chemical weapons stocks and related facilities.
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee recently awarded the OPCW the Nobel Peace Prize 2013 for “its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.
  • OPCW was created in 1997.
  • OPCW is based in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Full name of the treaty: “The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction
  • The treaty entered into force in 1997.
  • Syria is the 190th country to join the convention.
  • Only 6 UN states have yet to sign the international treaty, they are: Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan.