Venezuela Current Affairs - 2019

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NAM Ministerial Meeting held in Caracas, Venezuela

Ministerial meeting of Coordinating Bureau of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Caracas, capital of Venezuela. Theme for 2019 Meet was- Promotion and Consolidation of Peace through Respect for International Law.

Since 2016 Venezuela has held the presidency of NAM which will now be passed on to Azerbaijan in October 2019.

Key Highlights

At NAM Ministerial Meeting 2019, India was represented by Indian envoy to United Nations Syed Akbaruddin.

Issues raised by India at NAM Meet included- Climate change, Digital Technologies and Terrorism.

India highlighted that Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) needs to be re-examined and revise its methodology. It also emphasized that the grouping needs to undertake a new journey.

India also slammed Pakistan for raking up Kashmir at grouping’s ministerial meet. India held its stand that NAM never was and can never be a platform for pursuits aimed at undermining territorial integrity of a State by another State.

About Non-Aligned Movement

Background: It was established in Belgrade in 1961 during Cold War so as to unite developing countries that are not part of any collective defense pacts in interest of any major power. It was a joint initiative of former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. It was formed in wake of decolonization processes in Africa, Asia and other parts of world around values of independence, sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity.

It is forum comprising of developing states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

It is the 2nd largest international organization after United Nations (UN) with 120 member states.

Membership: 120 member states; 17 states (observers); 10 International Organisations

Iraq remains India’s top supplier of Crude Oil in 2019

According to data released by Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Iraq remains India’s top crude oil supplier for second year in a row.

Key Highlights of India’s Oil import Data

  • India is world’s third largest importer of crude oil (7% of total crude oil imports) after China (world’s largest importer with 20.2% of total crude oil imports) and USA (13.8%).
  • India’s crude oil imports meets 80 % its oil needs.
  • Total Import: India imported 207.3 MT (Metric Tons) of crude oil in 2018-19, down from 220.4 MT in 2017-18. This increased India’s total crude oil import bill by 40.6% i.e. to $86.9 billion as compared to $61.8 billion from previous year.
  • Iraq: one of largest producers of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is India’s top crude oil supplier for past two years. It meets more than 20% of India’s oil needs in 2018-19 fiscal year by selling 46.61 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil to India.
  • Saudi Arabia: largest producer of OPEC has traditionally been India’s top oil import source, but in 2017-18 fiscal year it was dethroned by Iraq for the first time. In 2018-19, Saudi exported 40.33 mt of crude oil to India. Amid restrictions on Iranian crude oil exports, India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia jumped 53% 3.02 MT in December 2018.
  • Iran: the Persian Gulf nation was third largest crude oil supplier to India even when India stopped importing from Iran following re-imposition of economic sanctions by US. It sold 23.9 mt of crude in 2018-19, up from 22.59 mt in the 2017.
  • UAE: surpassed Venezuela to become India’s fourth-largest crude supplier. It sold 17.49MT of crude oil to India in 2018-19.
  • Venezuela: is one of top five crude oil suppliers to India. But volume of crude sourced from Venezuela has been erratic due to ongoing political and economic crisis and under-investment in sector which is impacting it’s production.
  • Nigeria was next biggest supplier with 16.83MT of exports in 2018-19.
  • Other Countries: Kuwait supplied 10.78 MT of crude oil and next to it was Mexico which supplied another 10.28 MT.
  • United States: It first began selling crude oil to India in 2017 is now fast becoming a major supplier. Supplies from U.S. jumped by more than four times in 2018-19 fiscal year.

Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S)

  • It is a premier organization of Govt. of India attached to Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Its office is located at Kolkata. It is entrusted with collection, compilation and publishing or dissemination of India’s trade statistics and commercial information.
  • Such information is often required by policy makers, researchers, importers, exporters, traders and even overseas buyers.