India Votes against UN’s Draft Resolution On Use Of Death Penalty

India has voted against a UN General Assembly draft resolution on the use of death penalty, saying it goes against the statutory law of the country where an execution is carried out in the “rarest of rare” cases.

The draft resolution, taken up in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the General Assembly yesterday, was approved with a recorded vote of 123 in favor, 36 against and 30 abstentions.

The draft resolution, taken up in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the General Assembly was approved with a recorded vote of 123 in favor, 36 against and 30 abstentions.

The draft aimed to ensure that it is not applied on the basis of discriminatory laws or as a result of the discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law.

The resolution sought to promote a moratorium on executions with the aim of abolishing the death penalty.

India was among the countries that voted against the resolution, which would have the Assembly call on all States to respect international standards on the rights of those facing the death penalty.

India has voted against the resolution as a whole, as it goes against the statutory law in India. The death penalty is exercised in ‘rarest of rare’ cases, where the crime committed is so heinous that it shocks the conscience of the society.

Indian law provides for all requisite procedural safeguards, including the right to a fair trial by an independent Court, the presumption of innocence, the minimum guarantees for defense, and the right to review by a higher court.

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World Bank endorses new Country Partnership Framework for India

The World Bank Group (WBG) Board of Executive Directors on Friday endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India.

The CPF aims to support India’s transition to a higher middle-income country by addressing some of its key development priorities — resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.

The CPF aims to support India’s transition to a higher middle-income country by addressing some of its key development priorities — resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.

The India CPF represents the largest country programme of the WBG, reflecting the strong collaboration between India and the Group’s institutions — The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The WBG expects to deliver $25-30 billion during this CPF period, ending in FY22.

With a fast-growing economy, global stature, and its unique experience of lifting the highest number of poor out of poverty in the past decades, India is well-positioned to become a high middle-income country by 2030.

The future of India lies in the States of India. The country’s transition to high middle-income status will be determined in large part by the effectiveness of India’s federal compact. In this context, an important focus of the CPF will be to deepen engagement with India’s States and invest in the institutions and capabilities of the states and local governments to address their development priorities.

The World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) aims to make our country-driven model more systematic, evidence-based, selective and focused on the Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. The CPF replaces the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS). Used in conjunction with a Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), the CPF guides the World Bank Group’s (WBG) support to a member country.

A Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) informs each new CPF. The aim of the SCD is to identify the most important challenges and opportunities a country faces in advancing towards the twin goals. This is derived from a thorough analysis, and informed by consultations with a range of stakeholders.

The WBG will focus on three broad areas under the new CPF: promoting a resource efficient growth path, particularly in the use of land and water, to remain sustainable; enhancing competitiveness and enabling job creation; and investing in human capital — in health, education, skills — to improve quality and efficiency of service delivery.

Within these, some areas of deeper WBG’s engagement will include addressing the challenge of air pollution, facilitating jobs for women, increasing the resilience of the financial sector and investing in early years of children’s development. Across the sectors, the WBG will invest in harnessing the impact of new technology.

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Quad countries discuss ocean security

The Quad grouping is one of the many avenues for interaction among India, Australia, Japan and the US and should not be seen in an exclusive context, a senior Japanese diplomat said on Wednesday.

Maintain the momentum of high-level consultations among the Quad countries with the aim of “free and open Info-Pacific region” and progressively move it to a political level.

Australia, Japan, India and the US should work with countries in the IOR to help maintain independent security and economic policies by supporting high-quality alternatives to unilateral Chinese investments and political alignment with Chinese regional objectives.

The four countries should work to oppose the establishment of permanent Chinese military bases in the IOR. This should include demonstrating to China that its security needs can be met through cooperation and consultation with other nations and without the recourse to a “disruptive unilateral military presence.”

Naval fleets should evolve increasingly long-range operations. This may require consideration in Japan of new options such as nuclear propulsion for its submarines.

The Quad:

The regional coalition known as the ‘Quad’, the quadrilateral formation includes Japan, India, United States and Australia.

All four nations find a common ground of being the democratic nations and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.

The idea was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it.

The coming together of India, the US, Japan and Australia is being seen as building a strategic partnership to deal with China’s rise and its implications.

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UN members, except US, agree on first-ever global compact on migration

For the first time ever, United Nations member states, except the US, have agreed on a deal to better manage international migration, address its challenges, strengthen migrant rights and contribute to sustainable development.

Known as the Global Compact for Migration, the agreement will be formally adopted by world leaders in Morocco in December.

The compact is the first intergovernmental agreement to cover wide-ranging dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner, agreed upon by all the UN member states minus the United States.

It sets out 23 objectives to deal issues ranging from factors that compel people to move, legal channels for migration, combating trafficking and smuggling, harnessing the economic benefits of migration and return of the migrants.

It is not legally binding.

Over 250 million migrants worldwide account for 3% of the world’s entire population but contribute 10% of the global gross domestic production (GDP). Migrants remittance is a huge contributor to their home countries’ development.

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) offers the international community the opportunity to improve workplace productivity and deliver decent work outcomes for migrant and national workers, as well as to shift current misperceptions of migration, by readjusting migration policies to effectively include all labor market aspects.

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India formally becomes shareholder of European Development Bank

India was today formally announced as the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the bank’s regions of operation.

The Indian government had applied for EBRD membership in December 2017. The EBRD board of governors, which represents all the existing shareholders, voted unanimously in favor of the country’s application in March 2018, with the entire membership process completed this week.

Membership of EBRD would enhance India’s international profile and promote its economic interests. It will also give access to EBRD’s Countries of Operation and sector knowledge.

India’s investment opportunities would get a boost. It would increase the scope of cooperation between India and EBRD through co-financing opportunities in manufacturing, services, Information Technology, and Energy.

EBRD’s core operations pertain to private sector development in their countries of operation. The membership would help India leverage the technical assistance and sectoral knowledge of the bank for the benefit of the development of private sector.

This would contribute to an improved investment climate in the country. The membership of EBRD would enhance the competitive strength of the Indian firms, and provide an enhanced access to international markets in terms of business opportunities, procurement activities, consultancy assignments etc.

This would open up new vistas for Indian professionals on the one hand, and give a fillip to Indian exports on the other. Increased economic activities would have the employment generating potential. It would also enable Indian nationals to get the employment opportunity in the Bank.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an international financial institution that supports projects in over 30 countries, from eastern Europe to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Investing primarily in private sector clients whose needs cannot be fully met by the market, the EBRD promotes entrepreneurship and fosters transition towards open and democratic market economies.

The mandate of the EBRD stipulates that it must only work in countries that are committed to democratic principles. Respect for the environment is part of the strong corporate governance attached to all EBRD investments.

The EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries, and businesses, both new ventures, and investments in existing companies. It also works with publicly owned companies, to support privatization, restructuring state-owned firms and improving municipal services. It uses a close relationship with governments in the region to promote policies that will bolster the business environment.

The EBRD is owned by 65 countries and two intergovernmental institutions: the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The powers of the EBRD are vested in the Board of Governors to which each member appoints a governor, generally the minister of finance. The Board of Governors delegates most powers to the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the EBRD’s strategic direction. The President is elected by the Board of Governors and is the legal representative of the EBRD. Under the guidance of the Board of Directors, the President manages the EBRD’s work.

India’s membership opens up further joint investment prospects in markets such as Central Asia, Egypt, and Jordan

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Uruguay Army official appointed as head of UNMOGIP

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed a veteran Uruguay Army general as the chief military observer of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, which New Delhi says has outlived its utility and relevance after the Shimla Agreement.

The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was established in January 1949 with first team of unarmed military observers arriving in Jammu and Kashmir to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan, and to assist the Military Adviser to the UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), established in 1948 by the UN Security Council.

Following the India-Pakistan war in 1971 and a subsequent ceasefire agreement, the tasks of UNMOGIP have been to observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of December 17, 1971, and to report to the Secretary-General.

India has maintained that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Shimla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

UNMOGIP, one of the oldest UN mission, was deployed in January 1949 to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The tasks of UNMOGIP have been to observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of 17 December 1971 and to report thereon to the Secretary-General.

The group, based in Rawalpindi, is composed of 43 military observers and 23 international civilian personnel.

Since the Simla Agreement of 1972, India has adopted a non-recognition policy towards third parties in their bilateral exchanges with Pakistan over the question regarding the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The military authorities of Pakistan have continued to lodge alleged ceasefire violations complaints with UNMOGIP.

The military authorities of India have lodged no complaints since January 1972 limiting the activities of the UN observers on the Indian-administered side of the Line of Control, though they continue to provide the necessary security, transport, and other services to UNMOGIP.

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The Fifth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting

The Ministers from the 16 RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) attended the 5th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held on 1 July 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. The Ministers discussed the developments since the 4th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting on 3 March 2018 in Singapore, including the outcomes of the 22nd round of negotiations held on 28 April-8 May 2018 also in Singapore; the intersessional meetings of selected working groups and sub-working groups; as well as the 4th RCEP Intersessional TNC and Related Meetings held on 25-29 June 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, which were also participated by the Working Group on Electronic Commerce(e-Commerce), the Working Group on Intellectual Property (IP), and the Sub-Working Group on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) and intensification of market access bilateral negotiations.

The Ministers recognized the importance of swiftly and successfully concluding the RCEP negotiations consistent with the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the RCEP, particularly in view of the current global trade environment which faces serious risks from unilateral trade actions and reactions, as well as their debilitating implications on the multilateral trading system. To this end, the Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to work together and see through the RCEP negotiations towards a conclusion and to achieve an agreement that would allow economies of different levels of development to actively participate in and benefit from an open and inclusive regional economic integration

RCEP is proposed between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).

RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.

RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the TPP trade agreement, which includes the United States but excludes China.

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Pakistan hosts first ever SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure meeting

Pakistan is to host its first ever Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO-RATS) three-day meeting in Islamabad which will start from today.

The participants of the meeting include the executive committee of the SCO and of RATS along with legal advisors from eight member states.

The main agenda is to talk over the issue related to terrorist threats in the region and how to overcome them.

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism, and extremism.

The Head of RATS is elected to a three-year term. Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS.

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WHO RAISES EBOLA HEALTH RISK TO ‘VERY HIGH’ IN DR CONGO, NOT YET INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the Ebola health risk assessment to “very high” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ahead of an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the worsening outbreak.

Concerns about the spread of the disease escalated Thursday when the health body announced the first case had been detected in Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The last outbreak in the DRC was in 2014 and killed more than 40 people. The region affected lies 1,300 km north-east of Kinshasa, close to the border with the Central African Republic.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.

Transmission: The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.

Prevention: Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service and social mobilisation.

Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.

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First-ever WHO list of essential diagnostic tests to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes

Today, many people are unable to get tested for diseases because they cannot access diagnostic services. Many are incorrectly diagnosed. As a result, they do not receive the treatment they need and, in some cases, may actually receive the wrong treatment.

For example, an estimated 46% of adults with Type 2 diabetes worldwide are undiagnosed, risking serious health complications and higher health costs. Late diagnosis of infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis increases the risk of spread and makes them more difficult to treat.

To address this gap, WHO today published its first Essential Diagnostics List, a catalogue of the tests needed to diagnose the most common conditions as well as a number of global priority diseases.

The list concentrates on in vitro tests – i.e. tests of human specimens like blood and urine. It contains 113 products.

58 tests are listed for detection and diagnosis of a wide range of common conditions, providing an essential package that can form the basis for screening and management of patients.

55 tests are designed for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of “priority” diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus and syphilis.

Some of the tests are particularly suitable for primary health care facilities, where laboratory services are often poorly resourced and sometimes non-existent. These tests do not require electricity or trained personnel. Other tests are more sophisticated and therefore intended for larger medical facilities.

For each category of test, the Essential Diagnostics List specifies the type of test and intended use, format, and if appropriate for primary health care or for health facilities with laboratories. The list also provides links to WHO Guidelines or publications and, when available, to prequalified products.

Similar to the WHO Essential Medicines List, which has been in use for four decades, the Essential Diagnostics List is intended to serve as a reference for countries to update or develop their own list of essential diagnostics. In order to truly benefit patients, national governments will need to ensure appropriate and quality-assured supplies, training of health care workers and safe use. To that end, WHO will provide support to countries as they adapt the list to the local context.

An accurate diagnosis is the first step to getting effective treatment. However, many people are unable to get tested for diseases because they cannot access diagnostic services. Many are incorrectly diagnosed. As a result, they do not receive the treatment they need and, in some cases, may actually receive the wrong treatment.

For example, an estimated 46% of adults with Type 2 diabetes worldwide are undiagnosed, risking serious health complications and higher health costs. Late diagnosis of infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis increases the risk of spread and makes them more difficult to treat.

WHO will update the Essential Diagnostics List on a regular basis. In the coming months, WHO will issue a call for applications to add categories to the next edition. The list will expand significantly over the next few years, as it incorporates other important areas including antimicrobial resistance, emerging pathogens, neglected tropical diseases and additional noncommunicable diseases.

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