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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MoU between India and Maldives for Shipping approved by Cabinet

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives for establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea, which was signed on 8 June 8 2019 during the visit of Indian Prime Minister to Maldives.

Key Highlights of MoU

Objective: This MoU with Maldives has been signed with a view towards harnessing potential opportunity that lies in passenger and cargo transportation by sea between two countries.

It will pave way for ferry services between Maldives and Kerala by Connecting Kochi with Male & Kulhudhuffushi in Maldives by Sea route.

Male is Maldive’s capital and most populous city of country. It is situated at a distance of 708 Kms from Kochi.

Kulhudhuffushi is 3rd most populous city of Maldives. It is 509 Kms away.

Significance:

Current connectivity between India and Maldives involves flights to Male and sea planes to resorts, which is majorly an expensive option.  Thus, connectivity with Kochi via sea could promote inbound tourism, mainly health and wellness tourism for India.

Also a large number of Maldivians also travel to Kerala as well as other South Indian cities for educational purposes.

This proposed ferry service would contribute in a big way in promoting people to people contact and to boost bilateral trade between two nations.

India-Maldives

India is a leading development partner of Maldives.

Till now India has established many of the leading institutions of Maldives.

At present, India has provided US $100 Million Stand-by Credit facility (SCF) to island nation of Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.

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India pledges $5 Million aid to UN Palestine Refugee Agency in 2019

India has pledged to contribute $5 Million in 2019 to United Nation Palestine refugee agency. This move comes amid India voiced its concern over agency’s financial situation and called for ensuring sustained financial support for its work.

India and UNRWA

During UN General Assembly (UNGA) Ad Hoc Committee meeting for Voluntary Contributions to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in June 2019, India notified that it has increased its annual financial contribution fourfold to UNRWA core budget from $1.25 Million in 2016 to $5 million in 2018 in solidarity with Palestine refugees.

Every year Government of India is assisting 150 Palestinian professionals under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.

Also in past 5 years under India-Palestine Development Partnership, several agreements have been signed in fields of IT, agriculture, healthcare, women’s empowerment, media, consular affairs and youth affairs.

About UNRWA

It is a relief and human development agency that was established in 8 December 1949. Since 1950 it has been providing relief, social services health and education as well as emergency humanitarian assistance.

Mandate: It supports registered Palestinian refugees, and their patrilineal descendants, who fled/expelled their homes during Palestine war (1948) and those who fled/expelled during and following Six Day war (1967). At present Agency serves 5.4 million Palestinian refugees 20% of world’s refugees.

It provides aid in 5 fields of operation– Syria, West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Jordan, Lebanon, and Gaza Strip. Aid for Palestinian refugees outside these 5 areas of operation is provided by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

The meeting of Ad Hoc Committee, established by UN General Assembly is the primary forum for announcing financial support. At this year’s meet a total of 23 donors announced contributions, or their intention to contribute, to UNRWA’s 2019 budget.

Almost all of UNRWA’s resources come from voluntarily contributions, with a limited donor base of traditional donors.

Current Situation: Currently UNRWA is under difficult financial situation which has caused concern and has put to risk Agency’s core services to Palestine refugees, especially in fields of health, education and assistance to the most vulnerable refugees.

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