International Organisations Current Affairs

4th BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in August 2018

The fourth edition of Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will be held in Kathmandu, capital city of from 30 to 31 August, 2018. Nepal is the current chair of BIMSTEC. The main focus of summit will be to increase connectivity between BIMSTEC nations including roads, airways and transmission lines. It will also give top priority connectivity and poverty alleviation.

Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

BIMSTEC is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal constituting contiguous regional unity. It was established on 6 June 1997 through Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Member countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia. They are collectively home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of global population.

BIMESTC’s prime objectives: Technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and south East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. BIMSTEC is sector-driven cooperative organization, starting with six sector including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries. In 2008, it was expanded to embrace eight more sectors including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change.

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India becomes Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation

India became Vice-Chair or regional head of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for two years from July 2018 to June 2020. By becoming Vice Chair, India will be able to take up leadership role at the WCO.

Key Facts

To mark assumption of Vice Chair, an event will be organised in New Delhi by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The event was attended by Customs delegations of 33 countries of Asia-Pacific Region, Customs officers from different Ports in India, Partner Government Agencies and representatives from the trade among others.

World Customs Organisation (WCO)

WCO is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. It was established in 1952 as Customs Co-operation Council (CCC). It is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and is considered as voice of international Customs community.

WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It plays leading role in discussion, development, promotion and implementation of modern customs systems and procedures.

Objectives: It aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of member customs administrations and assist them to contribute successfully to national development goals, particularly revenue collection, national security, trade facilitation, community protection, and collection of trade statistics.

Organistaional Structure: WCO’s governing body – the Council relies on competence and skills of WCO Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission. The Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities. WCO has divided its membership into six regions whereby each region is represented by elected vice-chairperson to WCO Council.

Functions: It offers range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services to its members. It also actively supports its members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations.

It also plays vital role in stimulating growth of legitimate international trade and combats fraudulent activities. It also promotes emergence of honest, transparent and predictable Customs environment, thus directly contributing to economic and social well-being of its members.

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