Israel Current Affairs

United States quits United Nations Human Rights Council

The United States under President Donald Trump administration has announced its withdrawal from United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) terming it hypocritical and self-serving. It has blamed UNHRC for bias against Israel and refusing to eject members who are violators of human rights.

US had opted to stay out of UNHRC before also: The George W. Bush administration had opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006. US joined the council only in 2009 under President Barack Obama.

Comment

US withdrawal from UNHRC citing for its chronic bias against Israel could reinforce perception that Trump administration is seeking to advance Israel’s agenda on world stage. Israel has been only country in the world whose human rights record comes up for discussion at every UNHRC session, under “Item 7” on the agenda. Item 7 on “Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories” has been part of UNHRC’s regular business almost as long as it has existed. Moreover, with US withdraw, the council will be left without one of its traditional defenders of human rights. In recent months, US has participated in attempts to pinpoint human rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia.

Background

Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, US has announced its withdrawal from UN-backed 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, left UN educational and cultural organization and pulled out of Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Other contentious moves taken by Trumph administration are slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum against its key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

UNHRC is an inter-governmental body within United Nations system. It is responsible for strengthening promotion and protection of human rights around globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

It was created by UNGA on 15 March 2006 by adopting resolution 60/251 to promote human rights globally. It had replaced former UN Commission on Human Rights. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Members: UNHRC is made up of 47 UN member states which are elected by UN General Assembly (UNGA) with specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

Functions: Members of the council work to engage countries on improving human rights. They make decisions ranging from exposing violations to recommending that UN Security Council make referral to International Criminal Court (ICC). UNJRC does not have authority to take action but can exert significant pressure on violating country. It can also set up special rapporteurs with mandate to investigate and report human-rights violations and abuses.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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India ranks 37th in global startup ecosystem in 2017: Startupblink Report

According to report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink, India was ranked 37th out of 125 countries in global startup ecosystem in 2017.

Startupblink is a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces, and accelerators. Its report prepared in association with ANSYS Startup Program measures startup ecosystem strength and activity. It includes global ranking index of 125 countries and 900 cities, measuring their startup ecosystem strength and activity. The rankings of country are based on thousands of data points gathered from various sources, such as incubators and accelerators that appear on StartupBlink global ecosystem.

Key Facts

Top 5 Countries in Global startup ecosystem in 2017 are United States (1st), United Kingdom (2nd), Canada (3rd), Israel (4th) and Germany (5th). Small nations of less than 10 million inhabitants like Sweden (6th), Denmark (7th), Switzerland (8th), and Singapore (10th) were placed in the top 10.

In Asia, the list was topped by Singapore (10th) and was closely followed by China (12th), South Korea (17th), and Japan (20th). In Africa, the list was topped by South Africa (38th) followed by Kenya (53rd), Egypt (54th), and Nigeria (57th).

India’s rank indicates that more has to be done in terms of ease of doing business, startup policies, and complicated tax compliance. The Indian startup ecosystem is also yet to see major exits which is seen as important measure to gauge the maturity of a startup ecosystem. India ranked below Latin American countries Mexico and Chile which stood at 30 and 33 respectively. Bengaluru, New Delhi, and Mumbai featured in the list top cities in the global ranking.

Month: Categories: Business & Economy Current Affairs 2018

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