Belgium Current Affairs
The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit was held in Brussels, Belgium. The theme of summit was ‘Global Partners for Global Challenges’. It was chaired by European Council President Donald Tusk. The summit was attended by heads of state of 51 European and Asian countries, representatives of European Union and Secretary General of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). India was represented by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. This edition of summit has prioritised issues related to trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, climate change, terrorism, migration, maritime security and cyberspace.
Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM)
ASEM is informal political dialogue and cooperation forum that brings 53 entities – including 51 countries (including India) from Asia and Europe and two regional bodies European Union (EU) and ASEAN. It represents around 62.3% of the world’s population, 57.2% of the global GDP and almost 60% of the world’s trade.
ASEM was officially established in March 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand. The dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues between the two regions. It also seeks to strengthen relationship between the two regions in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. Three main pillars ASEM process are Political & Security, Economic & Financial and Social, Cultural & Educational.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium as non-permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They will have two-year term beginning January 1, 2019.
These five non-permanent members were elected according to the following pattern
- Two seats for Group of African states and Group of Asia-Pacific states,
- One for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean states
- Two seats for Western European and other states.
UN Security Council (UNSC)
UNSC is most powerful and one of the six principal organs United Nations. Under UN Charter it has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 members, including five permanent ones with the power of veto. The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, UK and US. 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms each. Its powers include establishment of peacekeeping operations, establishment of international sanctions, and authorization of military action through UNSC resolutions. It is only UN body with authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
Functions of UNSC
UNSC is responsible for determining existence of threat against peace and to respond to act of aggression. It is also responsible for finding peaceful means to settle conflict or dispute between states. In some cases, it resorts to sanctions or even authorise use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. It also recommends to UNGA appointment of UN Secretary General and admission of new members to the UN.