By: D.K Choudhary
India and Germany Ratify 2011 Agreement on Social Benefit
i. India and Germany ratified a comprehensive Social Security Agreement (SSA) on February 24, 2017 to improve investment flows between the two countries.
ii. The SSA which was signed on October 12, 2011 while the instruments of ratification were exchanged on February 24 will be effective from May 2017.
iii. The agreement is expected to reduce the operational costs of Indian and German companies operating in either of the countries.
iv. The agreement will provide the rights and obligations to Nationals of both countries for their equal treatment and unrestricted payment of pensions even in case of residence in the other contracting state.
v. Till now India has signed and operationalized similar agreements with 18 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.
♦ Capital: Berlin
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ President: Joachim Gauck
India Signs MoU with Bangladesh to provide financial assistance of Taka 240 mn for development of Sylhet city
i. India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh on February 24, 2017 to provide financial assistance to Bangladesh for the sustainable development of Sylhet, a north-eastern Bangladeshi city.
ii. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) three development projects would be taken up in Sylhet. The total cost of the project would be Taka 240 million.
iii .The MoU was signed between Shah Md Aminul Haque, Additional Secretary of the Economic Relations Division, Enamul Habib, CEO of Sylhet City Corporation and Indian High Commissioner in Sylhet, Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
iv .The three development projects to be undertaken include: construction of a five-storey Kinder Garten and High School Building; a six-storey cleaner colony building; and for some development work in Dhupa Dighirpar area.
v. The signing was the follow-up of an earlier MoU which was signed by India and Bangladesh in April 2013 for the implementation of sustainable development projects in socio- economic sectors of Bangladesh.
♦ Capital: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi taka
♦ Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
♦ President: Abdul Hamid
Pakistan and Turkey Signs 10 Agreements to Enhance Bilateral Ties
i. Pakistan and Turkey has signed 10 agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields, including exchange of financial intelligence relating to money laundering, hydrocarbon and defence cooperation.
ii. The agreements and MoUs were signed during the visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Turkey from 22-24 February, 2017 to co-chair the 5th Session of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC)
iii. At the conclusion of the 5th Session of HLSCC, the two countries signed 10 Agreements/MOUs in a number of areas of bilateral cooperation including the Joint Declaration.
iv. The different areas in which agreements and MoUs were signed includes hydrocarbons, environment, forestry, information, exchange of financial intelligence relating to money laundering and exchange of armed forces personnel.
v. The two countries agreed to prioritize cooperation in the energy sector, increase bilateraltrade and investment , enhance collaboration in the banking and finance sectors, promote cooperation between the higher education institutions; enhance collaboration in the fields of communications and railways and promote culture and tourism.
vi. The two sides also agreed to expeditiously complete the work on developing a comprehensive, long-term and forward-looking framework for defence cooperation and enhance partnership between the defence industries of the two countries.
vii. A joint declaration on Turkey-Pakistan Strategic Relationship for Peace and Prosperity was issued at the end of the meeting resolved to fight against terrorism
viii. The HLSCC was established in 2009 and consists of six Joint Working Groups (JWGs). So far 60 agreements and MoUs have been signed under the HLSCC framework in various areas.
♦ Capital: Ankara
♦ Currency: Turkish lira
♦ President: Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Venezuela & Libya Suspended from voting in UNGA over Dues Debts
i. Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the UN General Assembly in for the second time in two years due to huge sum of unpaid dues by the nations to the UN Body.
ii. The UN General Assembly has barred six countries from casting votes in the 2016-2017 session because they are over two years in indebtedness.
iii .Dues vary according to factors including national income. As of January, the most recent figures available,
iv. As per the data, Venezuela would have to make a minimum USD 24 million payment to get under the two-year threshold for getting its voting rights restored. On the other hand Libya has to make a minimum payment of USD 6.5 million.
v. Other nations suspended include Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Vanuatu and Cabo Verde, formerly called Cape Verde. The dues for these countries range from $265,000 to less than $12,000.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
♦ The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
♦ Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions
♦ Formation: 1945
♦ President: Peter Thomson