France Current Affairs - 2019

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Paris Summit: Russia-Ukraine agree to cease fire

At a Paris Summit mediated by Germany and France, Russia and Ukraine agreed to restore peace by implementing cease fire. Both the countries also agreed on prisoner exchanges.

Highlights

On December 9, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to cease fire in the eastern Ukraine by the end of 2019. The countries also pledged to disengage military forces in the other three additional regions of Ukraine by the end of March 2020.

During the meet, the issue of Russian gas exports through the Ukraine border have been fixed. However, the countries still disagree on certain issues like withdrawl of Russia-back troops, elections to be held by the separatist rebels in areas of Ukraine.

The Deadly Conflict

In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula of Ukraine with the help of pro-Russian separatists. Following this, Russia conducted several military actions. Crimea Peninsula is located in the north of Black sea. The Peninsula is important as it had port access to the Black sea. In 2018, Russian Navy seized three Ukrainian ships in the Crimea Peninsula. In 2019, Zelensky won Presidential elections. Zelensky is the major competitor to the Russia supported leader Viktor Yanukovych.

2nd edition of Paris Peace Forum held in France

The second edition of annual Paris Peace Forum is being held at la Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, France from 11 to 13 November 2019. It included a two-day event of debate sessions aimed at finding global solutions for global issues. More than 30 heads of state and government attended the forum and India was represented by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

About Paris Peace Forum

It is an international event on global governance issues and multilateralism, held annually in Paris, France.

The Forum convenes heads of states, national and local representatives, representatives from international organizations among others for the purpose of discussing in depth major global challenges and finding practical solutions.

At the forum over 100 projects coming from all across the world, that have put in practice specific solutions to governance challenges are showcased.

First edition of Annual Paris Peace Forum: It was held on 11–13 November 2018, at the Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris in commemoration of 100th anniversary of Armistice day, with Justin Vaïsse as president.

Second Annual Paris Peace Forum Objective: To find solutions to global challenges ranging from economic inequalities, climate change and terrorism to disinformation, migration and cyber security.

India’s Deliberations at the Forum

India called for coordinated action by nations, bilaterally or multilaterally and build ‘national capacities’ so as to prevent the forces of terrorism and extremism from building presence in the digital domain.

On issues pertaining to governance of cyberspace: Countries should consider entering into arrangements for speedy action and mitigation for specific security threats, including cyberattacks on critical infrastructures.

India’s support to Christchurch Call to Action Summit (or Christchurch Call), ‘to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online’ shows India’s commitment to work with like-minded countries for ensuring that entire digital space serves towards advancement of our societies and economies, without endangering their safety and security.

Moreover, all countries need to arrive at a global understanding if not a global regulation, in order that cyberspace remains open, safe and secure.

What is Christchurch Call?

It is a political summit initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and co-chaired by her and French President Emmanuel Macron in the aftermath of Christchurch mosque shootings of 15 March 2019 in New Zealand. It was held on 15 May 2019 in Paris, France, at which the non-binding agreement Christchurch Call was signed by 18 leaders (including India) from around the globe to encourage tech companies and countries to restraint online extremism.