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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14th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit held in Mecca

The 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia was hosted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Key Highlights of Summit

  • Agenda: The official agenda of meeting was to address ‘current issues in Muslim world’ and ‘recent developments in a number of OIC member states. Also, amid soaring tension between Iran and the US and its Gulf allies the OIC summit discussed the regional security issues. The Mecca summit supported Palestinians and backed Saudis in Iran standoff.
  • Background: In December 2017, The United States President Donald Trump broke the decades of established protocol by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In May 2018 US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The suit was soon followed by Guatemala.
  • Political leaders and heads of state from Islamic nations unanimously condemned countries including United Sates decision of making “illegal and irresponsible decision” to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • In a joint statement at OIC summit in Saudi Arabia, the leaders called on countries  that have moved their embassies to Jerusalem (by recognizing it as Israel’s capital) to rethink their strategy and which OIC considered as a serious violation of international law and international legitimacy.

About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

  • It was established in 1969 by 24 member states and presently has 57 member states from four continents.
  • Members: Out of total 57 member states the organisation has several significant non-Arab member states, like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. The 22 members of the Arab League are also part of OIC. It has five observer members, including Russia and Thailand.
  • With a collective population of more than 1.8 billion, it is the second largest intergovernmental body after the United Nations (UN).
  • Objective: As per OIC charter, it aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend national sovereignty and independence of its member states and also to contribute to international peace and security.
  • OIC states itself as ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world’ and works towards protecting interests of Muslim world.
  • Summit: OIC holds an Islamic Summit once every three years at which heads of state discuss ways to achieve OIC’s charter’s objectives and make policy decisions that concern its member states.
  • OIC has permanent delegations to the UN and the European Union (EU)
  • Its official languages are Arabic, English and French.

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Italy’s Volcano Mount Etna erupts on Island of Sicily

Europe’s Highest Volcano Mount Etna, in southern Italy erupted with burst into life, spews ash, fire, and spitting molten lava high into sky.

Key Highlights

  • This is 2019’s first eruption as the volcano on island of Sicily previously erupted in December 2018.
  • The lava came from two eruptive fissures on northeastern and south-southeastern sides of Mount Etna’s New Southeast Crater. Mount Etna burst into life, spitting molten lava high into sky.
  • Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) reported the lively spattering after volcano erupted and as fire and hot ash spewed high into sky which later slowed slightly but still posed risk to climbers. It also reported that latest lava show did not pose any problems for nearby residential areas or for flights at closest airport at Catania.

About Mount Etna

  • With an elevation of 3,326 m (10,912 ft), it is the highest peak in Italy (south of Alps) and is the highest active volcano in Europe outside the Caucasus.
  • It is also the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, other being Mount Vesuvius, near Naples and Mount Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands. It is about 2.5 times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius.
  • It is an active stratovolcano and is located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania.
  • The United Nations has designated Mt. Etna as a Decade Volcano due to its history of recent activity and nearby population.
  • In June 2013, it was added to the list of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.

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