Austria Current Affairs - 2020

U.S. Russia talks on new Nuclear Disarmament Treaty begins without China

Delegations from the United States led by Marshall Billingslea and the Russian Delegation under their Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov begin their 2-day talks on 22nd June 2020 at the capital city of Austria, Vienna.  The talks for extending the nuclear disarmament treaty were in doubt over the last few months as the United States President Donald Trump continued the call for the addition of China in the treaty. The treaty is commonly known by the name ‘START’ treaty.

China’s Response to Trump Call

According to China, It’s still not the right time for them to involve or to be a part of such a nuclear treaty, the United States and Russia has the primary responsibility of nuclear disarmament as the nuclear stockpile of China is dwarfed by those of the two countries.

China also added that for other nations to join the Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, the United States must drastically reduce the size of its stockpile.

START Treaty

START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and Russia. The formal name of the treaty is ‘Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms’.

The treaty was last signed on 8th April 2010, came into effect on 5th February 2011 for a period of 10 years. The current treaty expires on 5th February 2021.

India’s Jagjit Pavadia re-elected International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

India’s Jagjit Pavadia was re-elected to International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for another five-year term beginning 2nd March, 2020. This victory has added to India’s successful record of winning crucial elections at United Nation (UN) and to UN’s subsidiary bodies.

About Jagjit Pavadia

  • She has been member of INCB since 2015 and her current term will expire in 2020.
  • She has held many senior positions in Indian Revenue Service (IRS) for 35 years in Government of India (GoI), which includes Narcotics Commissioner of India, Central Bureau of Narcotics (regulated by India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Ministry of Finance).

About INCB

  • It is an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body.
  • Function: It implements UN’s international drug control conventions.
  • It was established in 1968 in accordance with Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 by merging ‘Permanent Central Narcotics Board’ (created in 1925 by International Opium Convention) and ‘Drug Supervisory Body’ (created in 1931 by Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating Distribution of Narcotic Drugs).
  • Members: It has 13 members (they may be re-elected). Each member is elected by Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for a period of five years. The 10 members out of 13 are elected from list of persons nominated by Governments and remaining 3 are elected from persons nominated by World Health Organization (WHO) for their medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience.
  • Secretariat: is located at Vienna, Austria. It is an administrative entity of UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It assists INCB in exercise of its treaty-related functions but reports only to Board on matters of substance.