Russia Current Affairs - 2019

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India to host 19th Council of Heads of Governments of SCO in 2020

India will be hosting  the 19th Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2020. This was informed by SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov. This will be for the first time that India will host the high level meeting of the China-led eight-member economic and security bloc.

About SCO

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) aka Shanghai Pact was created in 2001 in Shanghai by China. Apart from China, its founding members were Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. At present, SCO has four observer States viz.  Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia; and has six dialogue partners viz. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka. It is also known as Alliance of the East. In terms of geographical coverage and population, it is world’s largest regional organization.

SCO summits

SCO holds two types of summits every year viz. Summit of Heads of States and Summits Heads of Governments. These summits are organized in member states. The latest Summit of heads of government was held in Tashkent in November 2019. It was proposed in Tashkent Summit that India would take the initiative to hold the 2020 meetings of the Heads of Government.

Russia formally joins Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Russia has formally accepted the 2015 Paris agreement on Climate Change. The Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has recently signed a document in this regard. As per the document Russia will now allocate financial resources towards developing countries for prevention of and adaptation to climate change.

Key Highlights

United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York: The formal support by Russia to Paris climate agreement comes came just hours ahead of a new major UN climate summit. The new major Climate Action Summit in New York is aimed towards reinvigorate faltering Paris accord as mankind is releasing more greenhouse gases than ever into the atmosphere. It is trying to tackle ever increasing gas emissions.

What is Paris Agreement? It is an agreement within United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) that was signed in 2016. It deals with greenhouse-gas-emissions (GHG) mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

This agreement on climate change gives countries a choice in how to join accords by ratification, acceptance, approval/accession to agreement which depends on their national legislation.

Important Fact

Russia is world’s fourth largest emitter.

Russia had signed the Paris accord in 2016, however, the recent decision to ‘accept’ the accord signifies Russia’s consent to obligations under Paris Agreement.

As of now there are 11 countries which are yet to formally ratify Paris Agreement. These are: Iran, Oman, Yemen, Angola, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Suriname, and Eritrea.