Tonga Current Affairs
India has contributed $1 million aid Tonga for rehabilitation efforts after island was hit by Tropical Cyclone Gita which had caused massive destruction across the pacific ocean archipelago.
India will provide $500,000 for immediate relief assistance and remaining $500,000 from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund (UNDP) for the rehabilitation efforts.
Tonga was recently hit by worst Tropical Cyclone Gita. US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had reported it Category 4 cyclone and was the worst on record to hit Tonga. Wind gusts of cyclone with intensity between 225 and 279 km/hr had destroyed nation’s parliament and affected about 70% island’s population. Tongatapu, where country’s capital NukuEalofa is situated was among the worst hit areas.
India-UN Development Partnership Fund
The fund was set up as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). It was formed on 9 June 2017 on occasion of the World Oceans Day. It is being utilized to carry out country-level projects that would be catalytic towards achieving 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) of 2030 Agenda. The fund is managed by UNOSSC.
The fund prioritises projects reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, education and equality, and expanding access to clean water and energy and livelihoods. It mainly focuses on transformational sustainable development projects in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States. The projects under fund are implemented by UN agencies in close collaboration with partnering governments.
India and 21 other countries adopted an agreement at ameliorating communication at sea to cut down the possibility of conflict amid developing friction between a progressively assertive China and its neighbours. Naval chiefs of these nations participated at the biennial conference of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) held at Qingdao, China. Rear Admiral S N Ghormade, represented Indian Navy at the meet.
The member nations adopted an agreement for:
- Preventing miscommunication amongst naval vessels that could lead to enmities in the Pacific Ocean.
- How naval ships should communicate and manoeuvre when they accidentally come into contact in sea lanes surrounding China, Japan and Southeast Asia
[icon name=”icon-info-sign”]Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS)
Established in 1987 with objective to encourage cooperation amongst the navies of its member nations, fortify mutual understanding and trust, and collectively safeguard regional maritime security. WPNS constitutes navies whose nations border the Pacific Ocean region.
The WPNS has 21 member states:
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Republic of Korea
India is an observer at WPNS and China is one of the WPNS’ founding members.
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