International Dates and Events for May 2011
1. Osama bin Laden, leader of terror outfit al – Qaeda and alleged mastermind of the 9 / 11 attacks in New York City, was killed in Pakistan in a Special Forces operation code – named ‘Operation Geronimo’ on 1st May, 2011.
2. Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party re – emerged as the largest party in Parliament in the 308 – seat House of Commons following general elections organised on 2nd May, 2011. The Conservative Rarty remained in power, moving from a minority to a majority government by winning 167 of the 308 seats. The New Democratic Party won the largest number of seats in their history and will form the Official Opposition for the first time.
3. ADB on 6th May, 2011 concluded the 44th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors in Hanoi, Vietnam and announced that the 2012 meeting would take place in Manila, Philippines. The meeting started on May 3 and gathered a record number of around 4,000 delegates including finance ministers and other key policymakers, business leaders, academics and civil society representatives.
4. World Press Freedom Day was observed on 3rd May, 2011. Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. 3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty – sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.
5. British voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to abandon the first – past – the – post system in favour of Alternative Vote ( AV ), in which people rank candidates in order of preference. Up to 70 per cent of those who voted in the referendum organised on 5th May, 2011 said “no” to AV.
6. Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, lead a high – level business delegation to the 21st Meeting of the World Economic Forum on Africa under the theme “From Vision to Action, Africa’s Next Chapter” held in Cape Town, South Africa from 4th May, 2011 – 6th May, 2011. More than 900 participants from 60 countries, including several African Heads of state and government, Cabinet Ministers, Heads of International Organizations and Captains of Industry attended this high profile event which provided a platform for interaction among key stakeholders on how to advance Africa’s socio – economic development. The underlying theme for the meeting focused on how African countries, communities and companies could move the continent forward in view of the unfolding globed transformation.
7. Portugal on 5th May, 2011 reached a deal with the European Union and the IMF on a 78 billion euro 3 – year bailout, the third euro zone member to do so after Greece and Ireland. According to the agreement reached between Portugal’s caretaker Prime Minister Jose Socrates and the EU & IMF the deadline for Lisbon’s meeting budget deficit goals will be extended.
8. North Korea remained the worst – rated country in press freedom in 2010, Freedom House, a Washington – based non – governmental organization advocating democracy, freedom and human rights said on 2nd May, 2011. In its Press Freedom in 2010 Report, Freedom House also lowered South Korea’s range to “Partly Free” from last year’s “Free,” citing increased censorship and the government’s attempts to influence media outlets. North Korea’s ranking was 196th, the lowest of the countries surveyed. Out of the 196 countries and territories assessed during 2010, 68 were rated “Free;” 65 “Partly Free” and 63 “Not Free.”
9. South Korea’s Parliament on 4th May, 2011 ratified a sweeping free trade agreement ( FTA ) with the European Union, giving European firms a head start over the United States in Asia’s fourth – largest economy. The dear signed last October is due to take effect on July 1. Europe’s Parliament approved it in February.
10. India on 12th May, 2011 ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its three protocols and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
11. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged a further $500m to Afghanistan over the next six years following his talks with President Hamid Karzai during his official visit to Kabul on 12th May, 2011. This is in addition to $1.5bn already promised. The funds will be spent on agriculture, schools and roads. India is already building the new Parliament in Kabul – at a cost of $19m.
12. India on 13th May, 2011 signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement ( DTAA ) with the Republic of Colombia for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The Agreement further incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities of the two countries in line with internationally accepted standards.
13. Endeavour lifted off from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida on its fined flight, taking a particle defector to the international space station on 17th May, 2011.
14. The growing demands for democratic reforms spreading across the Middle East and North Africa – along with the dramatic rise of social media networks – have triggered “a human rights revolution on the threshold of a historic change”, says Amnesty International ( AI ).
15. A new 10 – year blueprint for assisting the poorest countries on the planet to join the league of the more fortunate ones was approved at the closing of the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries ( LDC – IV ) held May 9 – 13.
16. The world is experiencing a change in the geographic distribution of diseases. Traditionally, infectious diseases, which claim the lives of so many children, affected poor countries, and noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, cardiac ailments and cancer plagued rich countries.
17. The severity of the recent nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan has prompted U.N. Secretary – General Ban Ki – moon to convene a high – level meeting of world leaders on a politically – sensitive issue : nuclear security.
18. After a gap of four years, India and Pakistan on 12th May, 2011 resume talks in Islamabad on the Tulbul navigation project, also known as the Wular Lake project, in Jammu and Kashmir. Work was suspended in October 2007 after Islamabad imposed it as a pre – condition for talks at the government – level.
19. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab on 12th May, 2011, with an appeal to the international community to stop discriminating between nations and allow Pakistan access to nuclear technology for power generation. The second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant has been built in collaboration with China and is expected to produce 330 MW of electricity and bring some relief from the power shortages being faced across the country.
20. India and Ethiopia on 25th May, 2011 signed two agreements in the area of taxation and medium scale enterprises to bring benefits to business communities to both sides. After wide – ranging discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zenawi, the two accords were signed which are expected to help further deepen economic exchanges between the two countries.
21. The Indian PM announced a $300 million line of credit to help revive the Ethiopia – Djibouti rail route. With Ethiopia in a state of ‘no war, no peace, with Eritrea, Djibouti remains the only viable outlet to the sea for this landlocked nation of 85 million people.
22. Russia on 20th May, 2011 conducted its second intercontinental ballistic missile ( ICBM ) test in less them a month as it stepped up its campaign against a US – backed interceptor system for Europe. The Sineva missile was launched from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea and later successfully hit its target on the opposite side of the country on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
23. The ‘International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers’, observed on 29th May, 2011. According to the UN, it is “a day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
24. The People’s Liberation Army, of China has formed a special cyber warfare unit, called Blue Team, to safeguard the Internet security of the military. It is important for the military to strengthen its defence capabilities against the Internet attacks, Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng has been quoted as saying in the official media on 27th May, 2011 in Beijing.
25. India slipped one rank, to 32nd position in overall competitiveness among 59 nations, according to the ‘World Competitiveness Rankings’, announced on 18th May, 2011 by the International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne ( Switzerland ).
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