European Commission Current Affairs - 2019

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India joins Global AMR R&D hub as a new member

India has joined Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) hub as a new member. The announcement in this regard was made by Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi on 12 September 2019.

Key Highlights

India will be a member of the hub’s board of members of from 2019 itself.

By partnering with the hub, India looks forward to work with all partners and to boost their existing capabilities, resources and also to collectively focus on new research to address drug-resistant infections.

The issue of AMR requires global action with active participation from all world regions and One Health sectors. AMR refers to a microbe’s ability to resist the effects of drugs and medication that once could successfully treat the microbe.

Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub

The Global AMR R&D hub was launched in May 2018 on the sidelines of 71st session of World Health Assembly (WHA), following a call from G20 leaders in 2017.

Members: With inclusion of India, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development hub now has 16 countries (including India), European Commission, 2 philanthropic foundations as members. It also has 4 international organisations as observers.

It is a global partnership that works to address challenges and improve coordination and collaboration in global AMR research and development

It supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on allocation of resources for AMR R&D. This is done by identifying gaps, overlaps as well as potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging.

Global AMR R&D Secretariat: It is established in Berlin, Germany. Its secretariat supports the hub’s operations and is currently financed through grants from German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).

Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get full FATF membership

Saudi Arabia has become 1st Arab country to be granted full membership of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) following FATF’s Annual General Meeting held in Orlando, Florida in United States (US).

Saudi Arabia and FATF

Background: Since November 2004, Saudi Arabia has been a founding member of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) arm of FATF group. At the beginning of 2015 Saudi Arabia had received an invitation from FATF as an observer member.

Now, the kingdom’s accession came as global money laundering watchdog celebrated 30th anniversary of its 1st meeting held in Paris (France) in 1989.

The full membership to Saudi Arabia comes after it was reported that Kingdom had made tangible progress for its efforts in implementing FATF’s guidelines.

What is FATF?

It was established in 1989, with headquarters in Paris, France.

Members: FATF comprises of 37-member jurisdictions and 2 Regional Organisations namely Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European Commission (EC). With kingdom becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members in group is now 39.

FATF Plenary: is FATF’s decision making body. It meets three times per year.

Function: The Financial Action Task Force is an international group responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation and other related threats to integrity of international financial system.

Recent Developments: FATF has notified that Pakistan failed to complete its action plan on terror financing and has strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 or else face consequences.