International Current Affairs - 2019
Latest International Current Affairs 2019 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 2019.
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Saudi Arabia has become 1st Arab country to be granted full membership of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) following FATF’s Annual General Meeting held in Orlando, Florida in United States (US).
Saudi Arabia and FATF
Background: Since November 2004, Saudi Arabia has been a founding member of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) arm of FATF group. At the beginning of 2015 Saudi Arabia had received an invitation from FATF as an observer member.
Now, the kingdom’s accession came as global money laundering watchdog celebrated 30th anniversary of its 1st meeting held in Paris (France) in 1989.
The full membership to Saudi Arabia comes after it was reported that Kingdom had made tangible progress for its efforts in implementing FATF’s guidelines.
What is FATF?
It was established in 1989, with headquarters in Paris, France.
Members: FATF comprises of 37-member jurisdictions and 2 Regional Organisations namely Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European Commission (EC). With kingdom becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members in group is now 39.
FATF Plenary: is FATF’s decision making body. It meets three times per year.
Function: The Financial Action Task Force is an international group responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation and other related threats to integrity of international financial system.
Recent Developments: FATF has notified that Pakistan failed to complete its action plan on terror financing and has strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 or else face consequences.
Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa went to polls for the first time since the African nation gained independence from France nearly 60 years ago. Following the independence the country have mostly been ruled Non-elected military governments.
Key Highlights of Elections
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (62), who seized power in a military coup in 2008, agreed to step down and abide by serving period of maximum two five-year elected terms. Under his reign he has positioned Mauritania, as an ally of West against Islamist militants.
Bound by term limits, Abdel Aziz threw his support behind 62-year-old Mohamed Ould Ghazouani. Ghazouani, a former general and defence minister was heavily tipped to replace outgoing President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
These elections are being held to choose a successor to a democratically-elected president. However, they are being criticized for being held in absence of international observers and printing of ballot papers by a company with ties to ruling party.
The counting of ballots in Mauritania on Saturday evening from its presidential election, as the ruling party claimed its candidate was poised to win a landslide victory.
The country is officially named Islamic Republic of Mauritania, lies on Atlantic coast of Africa.
It is a home to fewer than 5 million people across a vast expanse of Western Sahara Desert.
In 1981, Mauritania became final country in world to formally abolish slavery, but it continues to this day.
In recent years, country has been spared attacks by jihadist militants linked to Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS). These militants have devastated other countries in West Africa’s Sahel region, including neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso.