France Current Affairs - 2019

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China Blocks Listing of Azar Masood as Global Terrorist

China has again blocked the bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Azhar Masood as a global terrorist in the United Nations Security Council 1267 list.

The proposal was moved by France the UK and the US on February 27, on the backdrop of Pulwama Terror Attack. Just before the deadline for filing of the objections was about to end, China which is the permanent member of the United Nations Permanent Council filed the objection.

Implications of the listing by the 1267 Sanctions committee

The 1267 and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee was established under the  UNSC resolution 1267. The listing would have resulted in:

Assets freeze

The Asset Freeze mandates all states to freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

Travel ban

The travel ban implies preventing the entry of designated individuals into or transit by all states through their territories.

Arms embargo

Arms embargo requires all states to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related material of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

The mandatory restrictions would have severely impacted and curtailed the activities of the Azhar Masood who is the head of the banned outfit JeM and would have forced Pakistan to act against him. Reports also note that China is aiming to maintain the status quo and truce with the JeM by blocking the list in an attempt to secure the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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World Gold Council Report

 

The World Gold Council its latest report highlights the quantum of gold holding by the different countries. The findings of the report are:

  • India has the 11th largest gold reserve and the current holding pegged at 607 tonnes.
  • India’s would have been at the tenth position had the list included only countries. International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranks third on the list with total gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes.
  • The top spot is occupied by US  gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes, followed by Germany with 3,369.7 tonnes.
  • The third and fourth slot is occupied by Germany and France with reserves of around 2,400 tonnes each.
  • China and Japan have more reserves of the precious metal when compared to India. Mainland China has gold reserves of 1,864.3 tonnes and Japan has gold reserves of 765.2 tonnes.
  • The report notes that Gross purchases of 48 tonnes and gross sales of 13 tonnes led to an increase in global gold reserves by 35 tonnes on a net basis in January, with sizeable increases from nine central banks.
  • This was the largest January increase in gold reserves since 2002 and illustrates the recent strength in gold accumulation.

The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry and it aims to stimulate and sustain demand for gold, provide industry leadership, and be the global authority on the gold market. The members of the World Gold Council include gold mining companies.

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