International Dates and Events in June 2011
1. The Governor, Central Bank of Mexico, Dr. Agustin Carstens visited New Delhi on 10th June, 2011 to gather support for his candidature for the International Monetary Fund’s next Managing Director. He called on Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought their support for his candidature amid India’s noa – committal stand on support for any prospective candidates.
2. Nuclear scientists at CERN, Geneva announced on 5th June, 2011 that they have found a way to “trap” for more than 15 minutes elusive antimatter atoms that used to disappear after a fraction of a second. That will give scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research ( CERN ) time to study the atoms properly, in the hope of understanding what happened during the first moments of the universe.
3. Croatia has been given the go – ahead to become a member of the European Union, and is likely to join in 2013, the European Commission has said. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on 10th June, 2011 said he would recommend EU nations wrap up talks and prepare to greet Croatia as the 28th member state. Croatia started membership talks around six years ago, and would become the second former Yugoslav nation to join following Slovenia.
4. World Day Against Child Labour was observed worldwide on 12th June, 2011. The ILO’s most recent global estimate is that 115 million children are involved in hazardous’ work. This is work that by its nature or the circumstances, in which it is carried out, is likely to harm children’s health, safety or morals.
5. Pakistan on 8th June, 2011 rejected the US offer to upgrade a border security watch system supplied by it and instead decided to replace it with locally – developed software so that “the integrity of data will be secured.” The US provided Pakistan and 16 other countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen – the Personal Identification, Secure Comparison and Evaluation System ( PISCES ) in 2002 as part of its Terrorist Interdiction Programme to enable immigration and border control officials to document and identify people exiting and entering the country.
6. A Memorandum of Understanding for mutual cooperation in election management between India and Nepal was signed by Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi and his Nepal counterpart Neel Kantha Uprety in Kathmandu on 7th June, 2011. The agreement covers exchange of knowledge / experience in the electoral process, exchange of material and expertise, training of personnel, production and dissemination of materials, voting technology and conducting voters’ education and awareness programmes.
7. According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme ( UNEP ) report investing an additional $40 billion annually in the forestry sector can halve the deforestation rates by 2030, increase the rate of tree planting by about 140 per cent by 2050, and catalyse the creation of millions of new jobs.
8. The UN and the US government on 10th June, 2011 launched an initiative to eliminate HIV among babies by 2015. The UN says a baby is born with HIV nearly every minute, almost all of them in sub – Saharan Africa. The new campaign will aim to treat HIV – positive pregnant women, cutting infection among their babies to less than 5%. It will cost an estimated $2.5bn to care for 15 million women, double those currently being treated. The plan, called ‘Countdown to Zero, was developed by a team led by UN Aids and the US Resident’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
9. Russia and Norway have agreed a deal to divide up their shares of the Barents Sea. The deal follows decades of negotiations between the two sides over how to divide the region. The accord will allow companies to explore for oil and gas in the 68,000 square mile area. The agreement has been approved by the two countries’ parliaments and will be implemented on 7 July this year.
10. In view of the recent developments in Egypt, the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 2012 has now been moved to Japan.
11. Canada on 10th June, 2011 announced a new visa regime that will allow Indians a 10 – year multiple entry visa to the country. The announcement was made by Canadian Minister of International Trade Edward Fast at the two – day mini Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Canada 2011 convention organised on 10th June, 2011 – 11th June, 2011 in Toronto.
12. India on 6th June, 2011 was put on the ‘Weill of Shame’ by the IATA for imposing high service tax on air tickets. The Indian Government was put on the ‘Wall of Shame’ at the Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association ( IATA ), along with the European Union Parliament and the governments of the UK, Germany and Austria, for imposing high taxes on air travel.
13. Two new chemical elements, numbers 114 and 116, have been officially recognised by an international committee of chemists and physicists in New York on 8th June, 2011. The elements last for less than a second and join such familiar neighbours as carbon, gold, tin and zinc. The new ones don’t have approved names yet. That brings the total of known elements to just 114 because elements 113 and 115 haven’t been officially accepted yet.
14. Ban Ki – moon on 7th June, 2011 formally announced his candidacy for a second five – year term as UN Secretary General. From the beginning Ban has presented himself as a man of quiet diplomacy, which set him apart from his outspoken predecessor Kofi Annan.
15. Several agreements on bilateral cooperation were signed during the India visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor in New Delhi on 14th June, 2011. Air India signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU ) with Slovenia’s Adria Airways and Aerodrome Ljubljana in a bid to get access to the East European market.
16. India on 12th June, 2011 earned the dubious distinction of being listed in the 2011 impunity Index’ prepared by an international media watchdog on the basis of unsolved murders of scribes – an issue that has again come to the fore after the killing of a senior reporter in Mumbai. Only 13 countries — with five or more unsolved cases of murder of journalists from 1st January, 2001 to 31st December, 2010. Have been included on the index. India is at the 13th spot with seven such instances, or 0.006 unsolved journalist murders per one million inhabitants, according to the report of Committee to Protect Journalists ( CPJ ). The index calculated the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.
17. India on 15th June, 2011 sought a “larger and deeper” role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ( SCO ), saying it would like to bring to the table its technical expertise, markets and financial commitment. “Ten years since its founding, the SCO faces a historic moment. Like other successful multilateral organisations, it must choose the path of its evolution.”
18. The Swiss Parliament on 17th June, 2011 gave its approval for amendments to tax treaties with countries, including India, making it easier for them to access information about illegal funds held by their nationals in private banks in this country. The Upper House endorsed amendments to double – taxation avoidance agreements ( DTAAs ) in line with internationally applicable standards. Governments which have signed the DTAAs can now secure easy legal assistance and information as well as identify an account holder from their territories by providing an IRAN number or social security number.
19. Nearly half a century after the 1960s Green Revolution, the United Nations body FAO on 13th June, 2011 launched a major initiative to produce more food for surging world population in am environmentally sustainable way. To feed a world population projected at 9.2 billion in 2050, which involves meeting double the demand for food in developing countries, there is no option but to further intensify crop production.
20. Czech Republic on 15th June, 2011 announced it will no longer take part in US missile defence plans. The Bush administration first proposed stationing 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an advanced radar in the Czech Republic. But Russia objected and warned that it would station its own missiles close to Poland if the plan went through. In September 2009, the Obama administration shelved that plan and offered a new, reconfigured phased program with a smaller role for the Czechs, who were offered an early warning centre that would gather and analyse information from satellites to detect missiles aimed at NATO territory.
21. Nepal on 16th June, 2011 decided to deploy Army personnel for the security of 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project, which is being developed by India’s energy consortium GMR. The decision comes in the wake of frequent attacks and threat issued by the cadres of UCPN – Maoist on the project site citing that the project does not fulfill Nepal’s national interest.
22. The Brazilian Government signed a partnership agreement with IBM on 15th June, 2011 to digitalise information on Amazonian biodiversity with the help of the U.S. Company. The project, called Wikiflora, aims to allow the research community such as scientists and teachers to share knowledge and findings on biological diversity by the mode ) of “citizen science,” similar to Wikipedia.
23. India lost a staggering $462 billion in illicit financial flows due to tax evasion, crime and corruption post – Independence, according to a report released by Washington – based Global Financial Integrity released recently. The document on the “Survey on Bribery and Corruption” was released at the first annual fraud conference on 17th June, 2011.
24. Despite regulatory hurdles, India continues to be among the preferred destinations for FDI due to the country’s high economic growth, with both Mumbai and Delhi being touted as among the cities likely to produce the next Microsoft or Google, according to the ( 9th Annual European Attractiveness Survey’ by Ernst & Young unveiled on 6th June, 2011. The Survey says India will rank fifth among the most attractive destinations for European firms within the next three years, mainly on account of India’s perceived specialisation as a hub for low cost outsourcing business.
25. The United Arab Emirates declared full support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council as the two countries decided to expand their political, economic and energy ties.
26. India’s neighbours — Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka — are featured in the list of the “most failed states”, the Foreign Policy magazine said in its latest annual ranking on June 21, 2011. Pakistan is at number 12, Burma is at 18, Bangladesh ( 25 ); Nepal ( 27 ), Sri Lanka ( 29 ) and Bhutan is at 50 in a list of 60 countries in which African countries dominate. Other countries in the top 10 are Chad, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan Central African Republic and Iraq.
27. The Global Zero Summit that seeks to bring all nuclear weapons countries to the table to negotiate multilateral nuclear arms reductions was organised in London on 22nd June, 2011 – 23rd June, 2011. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in his message to the participants of the Summit reiterated India’s steadfast support for global, non – discriminatory, verifiable nuclear disarmament.
28. Croatia will become a European Union member in two years, making it the first new country to join the bloc since 2007 and offering hope to other nations from the former Yugoslavia seeking to join. U.S. President Barack Obama declared on 22nd June, 2011 that the United States had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan, setting in motion a substantial withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
29. Flourishing well in one – party system, the Communist Rarty of China’s ( CPC ) membership exceeded 80 million, making it the largest political party in the world. The CPC had 80.269 million members by the end of 2010.
30. Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on 23rd June, 2011appointed Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, as his new Prime Minister in capital Mogadishu, handing him the daunting task of trying to govern Africa’s most lawless nation. Ali replaces Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed who resigned under a reconciliation accord recently.
31. India on 25th June, 2011amended a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement ( DTAA ) with Singapore to allow for exchange of information in tax matters. Banking information would also come under the ambit of the new agreement. This would help India track assets illegally stashed away in Singapore.
32. Global rice production is expected to touch 476 million tonnes in 2011, on the back of improved weather conditions, as the influence of La Nina is expected to neutralise by June, United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation said on 24th June, 2011. The world rice production reached a new record in 2010, at 464 million tonnes ( 696 million tonnes paddy ), up 1.8 per cent from the previous season.
33. The 50th annual session of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation ( AALCO ) was held at Colombo from June 26 to against the backdrop of increasing incidents of piracy in the region, and at a time when some nations are pushing for higher cooperation in legal matters.
34. India and Mozambique have agreed to work together on maritime security to make the Indian Ocean a safe region for trade. An agreement to this effect was reached during delegation – level talks between the visiting Mozambique Minister of National Defence, Filipe Jacinto Nyussi, and Defence Minister A.K Antony in New Delhi on 28th June, 2011.
35. Bolivia’s Government has informed the United Nations it is renouncing the world body’s anti – drug convention because it classifies coca leaf as an illegal drug, the Foreign Ministry said on 30th June, 2011. Bolivia’s decision comes after a proposal by President Evo Morales to remove language obliging countries that have signed the convention to ban the chewing of coca leaves was rejected by the convention.
36. China’s 8,700 – kilometre – long natural gas pipeline, which is the world’s longest, was operationalised. The pipeline, which linked Turkmenistan with southern China, will boost supplies to the country’s booming industrial zones in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The annual natural gas transportation – capacity of the pipeline is expected to be 30 billion cubic meters. It is designed to provide stable gas supply for at least 30 years. It is expected to help ease strained natural gas supply in the Peari River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta.
37. The U.S. Supreme Court on 28th June, 2011 upheld a decision by a Federal Appeals Court that had exempted the Indian and Mongolian missions from paying taxes of nearly $50 million on property in New York. In 2010, 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the State Department intervention in 2009, which exempts taxes on property owned by foreign governments and U.N. missions that housed diplomatic staff. Aaron Stiefel, India mission’s lawyer, underlined that the rule of reciprocity applied to the case since U.S. diplomatic buildings in India were not taxed.
38. EU leaders on 24th June, 2011 appointed Italy’s Mario Draghi as the next president of the European Central Bank from 1st November, 2011 to 31st October, 2019. The 63 – year – old economist and banker will replace France’s Jean – Claude Trichet, who steps down at the end of October after eight years in the euro zone’s top monetary policy post.
39. Jose Graziano da Silva, a former food security minister of Brazil, has been elected Director – General of the Rome – headquartered Food and Agriculture Organisation ( FAO ), the U.N. agency tasked with reducing world hunger at a time of record high food prices.
40. The International Criminal Court ( ICC ) based at The Hague, Netherlands on 27th June, 2011 issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al – lslam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al – Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity. ICC prosecutors allege they wereJnvolved in the killing of civilian protesters who rose up in February against Gaddafi’s 41 – year rule.
41. Anjali Joseph wins two literary awards for ‘Saraswati Park’ : Mumbai – born writer Anjali Joseph on 26th June, 2011 bagged two top literary awards for her critically – acclaimed debut novel ‘Saraswati Park’ – the Betty Trask Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize. Both the awards carry a cash prize of 10,000 pounds. The Betty Trask Award is given to; a debut novel by authors below the age of 35 who reside in a current or former Commonwealth nation. Desmond Elliot Prize is also awarded, annually to the best first novel.
42. India and the US have agreed to work together in key areas of macro – economic coordination, financial sector reforms and infrastructure finance. The decision comes following bilateral talks between Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on 28th June, 2011.
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