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UN: India to become more Populous than China by 2024

According to the World population Prospectus: The Revision released by the United Nations, India with 1.3 billion inhabitants would surpass China’s population of 1.4 billion by 2024, to become the World’s populous country.

Salient Highlights

Despite the drop in universal fertility rates, the UN report expects the world’s total population to hit 9.8 billion by 2050. As per the report, the world’s population is at present 7.6 billion up from 7.4 billion last year. The increase in population was spurred by the relatively high levels of fertility in developing countries. With an addition of 82 million people every year, UN expects a continuation of the upward trend in population size. At this rate, the world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and surpass 11.2 billion in 2100.

As per the report, the concentration of global population growth in the poorest countries is presenting a challenge. The population growth is expected to come from the 47 least developed countries where the fertility rate is around 4.3 births per woman. At this rate, the population in these countries would reach 1.9 billion people in 2050. It presents a challenge as the world seeks to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which is aimed to end poverty and preserve the planet.

Further, the birth rates in African countries are expected to at least double by 2050, despite fertility rates falling from 5.1 births per woman up to 2005 to 4.7 births in the five years following. In contrast, birth rates in Europe are seeing an increase which has increased up to 1.6 births per woman, up from 1.4 births in 2000-2005.

As per the report, the overall reduction in fertility rates is expected to result in the ageing population, with the number of people above the age of 60 or over is likely to become more than double by 2050 and triple by 2100, from the current 962 million to 3.1 billion. Africa which has the youngest age distribution for any region is expected to experience a rapid ageing of its population.

According to the report, Nigeria which is currently at the seventh place is expected to become the third most populous country by 2050 replacing the US.

World population Prospectus: The Revision

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the twenty-fifth round of official United Nations population estimates prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. The findings are presented for each development group, income group, region, subregion and country or area for the period 1950-2100.

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UN Appoints Russian Diplomat Vladimir Voronkov as Chief of newly established United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), despite growing tensions between the US and Russia.

The Vladimir Voronkov has been given the rank of Under-Secretary-General. The new Under-Secretary-General would Chair the Task Force and Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre.

The newly established UNCCT has been mandated to oversee the counterterrorism efforts of 36 UN-funded programmes under the ambit of a variety of UN agencies, 12 inter-agency working groups, Interpol, and the World Customs Organisation.

Voronkov has an experience of more than 30 years in Russia’s foreign service, serving primarily on UN-related issues. He had served as Russia’s ambassador to Vienna and has been serving as an ambassador to UN organisations since 2011.

UNCCT

Last week, the United Nations General Assembly has approved the establishment of a new United Nations office of counter-terrorism to help Member States implement UN’s global counter-terrorism strategy.

With the creation of new UN office of counter terrorism, UN will transfer the relevant functions out of the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) into the new body. The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF) and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) currently under the DPA will be transferred to the new office together with existing staff and associated budgetary resources.

India has welcomed the creation a new UN office on counter-terrorism. It expects that the newly established centre would help in aligning UN with the changing needs and international reality in the fight against terrorism. India has been repeatedly stressing on the need to have a separate office for counter-terrorism as the presence of as many as 31 entities within the United Nations dealing with some aspect of countering terrorism lacked coherence and coordination while dealing with terrorism.

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India ratifies UN TIR Convention in a bid to Counter China’s OBOR

India has become the 71st nation to join the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention. India’s decision to join the convention is part of its multi-modal transport strategy that aims at integrating Indian economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.

In March 2017, Union Cabinet had approved India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under TIR Convention. The UN has confirmed that the TIR Convention will enter into force in India in 6 months.

TIR

The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention) is an international customs transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the widest geographical coverage. It is more than a transport convention. At present, there are 70 parties to the convention including the European Union.

The TIR is managed and developed by International Road Transport Union (IRU) which is the world road transport organisation. The TIR procedure facilitates movement of goods under customs control across international borders without the payment of the duties and taxes. It provides a robust guarantee mechanism facilitating the higher growth of Intra-regional trade.

Significance

Accession to TIR will help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement which it has already entered into this year.

With China’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project, India has no other option other than to join TIR if it wants to be counted as a serious rising power. China is already a TIR member.

Accession to TIR will ensure enhanced security in the supply chain as it allows only approved transporters and vehicles to operate under the terms of the Convention.

The Indian traders will get access to fast, reliable and hassle-free international system for movement of goods by road or multi-modal means.

It will improve India’s cross-border road transport. On the eastern front, it will help in integrating with Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. On the western front, it will help in transporting cargo along the International North-South Transport Corridor via Chabahar port in Iran. Further, it will give access to landlocked Afghanistan and the energy-rich Eurasian region.

It can help in implementing the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement by addressing policy incompatibility issues among the BBIN nations.

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