Eritrea Current Affairs - 2020

Eritrea, Saint Kittis sign ISA Framework Agreement

Two new countries Eritrea and Saint Kitts and Nevis have signed the International Solar Alliance’s (ISA) Framework Agreement at the second Assembly of ISA held in New Delhi. With this the total number of countries who have so far signed the ISA framework agreement have reached to 83.

About International Solar Alliance (ISA)

The ISA is an Indian initiative which was launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30 November 2015, in Paris, France, on sidelines of COP-21.  This treaty-based inter-governmental organization is an alliance of 121 solar resource-rich sunshine countries lying fully or partially between tropic of cancer and tropic of capricorn as prospective members. The ISA is now perceived as key towards achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and objectives of Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Objectives: ISA aims to lower the cost of energy, increase investment in renewable energy, as well as train and share knowledge and technological know-how among the member countries. ISA’s overarching objective is to collectively address key common challenges to scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries.

ISA Assembly: It is the supreme decision-making body of ISA. It gives directions on various administrative, financial and programme-related issues.

The second ISA Assembly was hosted by Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and presided by MNRE Minister R K Singh who is also the President of ISA. Brune Poirson, the French Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition is the current co-president of ISA. The first ISA Assembly was held in October 2018.

Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The Index is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

Ranking of the Jurisdictions

The Rankings of the jurisdictions based on the rankings in the Henley Passport Index are:

  • Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 jurisdictions.
  • South Korea and Singapore are at joint second position offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
  • China has jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
  • India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
  • European Union member states along with Norway and the US occupy the places behind the top three nations in the rankings.
  • The rankings of the USA and UK have continued to drop.
  • The top 5 positions are held by Japan (190 countries), Singapore, South Korea (189), France, Germany (188), Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187), and Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  • The bottom 5 positions are held by Eritrea (38), Yemen (37), Pakistan (33), Somalia, Syria (32)and Afghanistan, Iraq (30).

Observations

Christian Kalin, Chairman of the Henley & Partners’ Group who is also the creator of the index notes that the ranking is a bright spot in an increasingly isolationist world.

Open-door policies have the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world. The ascent in the rankings of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community.