International Relations - Current Affairs for October, 2017

International Relations Current Affairs for October, 2017

Month wise coverage of International Relations Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

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▼ India, Italy ink 6 pacts   [10-31-17]

India and Italy today inked six pacts, including on boosting cooperation in the energy and trade sectors, after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni on key issues such as terrorism and cyber crime. The two leaders also discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral political and economic relations, apart from deliberating on strategic international and regional issues. After the Modi-Gentiloni meeting, the two sides signed six pacts to deepen cooperation in the fields of railways sector safety, energy and promoting mutual investments, among others. Italy is India's fifth largest trading partner in the EU with a bilateral trade of USD 8.79 billion in 2016-17, as per official figures. India's exports to Italy were at USD 4.90 billion, while its imports were at USD 3.89 billion, resulting in a trade imbalance of USD 1 billion in favour of India. In the first four months of fiscal 2017-18, bilateral trade has reached USD 3.22 billion. Gentiloni's visit is the first prime ministerial trip from Italy in more than a decade. The India-Italy diplomatic ties were hit badly after two Italian marines - Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone - on board a ship named Enrica Lexie, were arrested for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012. List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Italy to India (October 30, 2017)

S. No.Name of MOUItalian SignatoryIndian Signatory
1.Joint Declaration of Intentof Cooperation for Safety in the Railway sector between India and ItalyMr. Renato Mazzoncini, CEO & General Manager, ItalianRailwaysMr. Ved Pal Additional Member (Planning), Railway Board
2.MoU on 70 years of diplomaticrelations between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Government oftheRepublic of ItalyMr. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to IndiaMs. Riva Ganguly Das, DG ICCR
3.MoU on cooperation In the field of Energy between India and ItalyMr. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy toIndiaMr. Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE
4.Executive Protocol on Cultural Cooperation between India andItalyMr. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to IndiaMs. Reenat Sandhu, Ambassador of India to Italy
5.MoU between the Training Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Government of theRepublic of Italy and the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of the Republic of IndiaMr.Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to IndiaMr. J. S. Mukul, Dean, FSI
6.MoU for promotingmutual investments between Italian Trade Agency and Invest IndiaMr. Michele Scannavini President, Italian Trade AgencyDeepak Bagla. CEO, Invest India

▼ PM Modi to inaugurate first UN international conference on consumer protection    [10-26-17]

The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) were adopted by United Nations General Assembly on 16 April 1985 and revised in December 22nd 2015. The new guidelines call for greater International cooperation. Against this backdrop, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are organizing an International Conference on Consumer Protection for South, South East and East Asian Nations on the theme "Empowering Consumers in New Markets" on 26-27 October, 2017 in New Delhi. This is the first time an international conference on consumer protection is being organised by India for countries of the region which account for a majority of the global consumers and share common challenges and experiences. 22 countries from East, South and South-East Asia are participating in the international conference. The Conference will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The Conference will have six working sessions on the subjects of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection and Implementation, Stakeholder Participation in Consumer Protection, Protection of Online Consumers, Stakeholders participation, Fostering Consumer Inclusion in Financial Services, Protection of vulnerable Groups of Consumers and Consumer empowerment through education. The Conference will provide a platform to discuss and deliberate upon different aspects of consumer protection in the backdrop of revised UNGCP, aimed at shared learning and will explore a way forward for enhanced regional cooperation on the subject.

▼ Agreement between India and Japan to establish global, liquid LNG market   [10-12-17]

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan on establishing a liquid, flexible and global LNG Market. The MoC will promote bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector. It will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies for India. This will strengthen our energy security and lead to more competitive prices for consumers. The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts, abolition of Destination Restriction Clause and also explore possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable LNG spot price indices reflecting true LNG demand and supply. Background:

  • India and Japan are major consumers of energy in the world.
  • In the LNG sector, Japan is the world's largest importer and India is the 4th largest importer.
  • Under the Japan-India Energy Partnership Initiative signed in January 2016, the two sides had agreed to work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets and affirmed to promote a transparent and diversified Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market through the relaxation of Destination Restriction Clause.

▼ Anti terrorism laws passed in France   [10-5-17]

Anti terrorism laws passed in France France's lower house of parliament has approved a new anti-terrorism law intended to bring an end to a nearly two-year-long state of emergency. The law will incorporate several measures first authorised under the emergency arrangement. They include easier searches of homes and confining individuals to their home towns, without judicial approval. Most people in France approve of the move, but it has been criticised by rights groups. A state of emergency was first introduced after the attacks of 13 November 2015, when militants from so-called Islamic State (IS) killed 130 people in gun and bomb attacks in Paris. It has since been extended six times, but there was a consensus that to continue with the state of emergency indefinitely would be undemocratic, the BBC's Hugh Schofield reports from Paris. The bill was approved by 415 votes to 127, with 19 abstentions, and is expected to become law before the latest state of emergency extension expires on 1 November. The new law will allow members of the government - rather than judges - to approve the confinement of individuals to their home towns, requiring them to report to police once a day. The authorities will be allowed to mount security perimeters around places deemed at risk - such as railway stations and airports - within which people and vehicles can be searched. Mosques or other places of worship can be shut down if preachers there are found to be promoting radical ideology.

▼ Austria joins countries issuing a burqa ban   [10-3-17]

Austria joins countries issuing a burqa ban A law prohibiting any kind of full-face covering, known popularly as the “Burqa Ban,” takes effect on Oct 1, 2017 in Austria, where the strong support for it portends potential political upheaval in the upcoming national election. Parties campaigning on an anti-migrant message are poised to win on Oct. 15 and to form a coalition government. Such a rightward swing in a country that’s had centrist governments almost consistently since World War II could have repercussions across Europe, emboldening politicians who take a hard line on Islam and immigration. Last week, the right-wing, anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party won seats in Germany’s national parliament for the first time after featuring posters with the slogan “Burqas? We prefer bikinis” in its campaign. The Austrian law called “Prohibition for the Covering of the Face” forbids off-slope ski masks, surgical masks outside hospitals and party masks in public. Violations carry a possible fine of 150 euros (nearly $180) and police are authorized to use force with people who resist showing their faces. But its popular name reflects the most prevalent association the garments some Muslim women wear to conceal their whole faces and bodies. The garments are rare in Austria even after the recent surge of migrants into Europe. Support for the law is strong nonetheless, reflecting anti-Muslim attitudes in the predominantly Catholic country. Five in seven of those who said they backed the law also said they will vote for the two parties that critics link to anti-Muslim sentiment the traditionally xenophobic Freedom Party and the People’s Party. The People’s Party avoids the Freedom Party’s inflammatory talk, but has swung radically from the center under new leader Sebastian Kurz to echo that party’s positions on migration. The Social Democratic Party, currently the majority partner in the government coalition with the People’s Party, has been left struggling. Under Chancellor Christian Kern, the Social Democrats are focusing on social topics and claiming credit for Austria’s recent economic upturn. But Kern’s message is not coming across well. A Unique Research poll of 1,500 respondents published on Thursday showed the Social Democrats with 27 % support, ahead of the Freedom Party at 25 % but trailing the People’s Party with 34 %. The poll had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. Previously associated with stagnation and lack of direction, the People’s Party was trailing in third place until Kurz, Austria’s telegenic 31-year old foreign minister, took leadership in May after securing party pledges of full authority. Although the People’s Party was part of the government coalition that opened its borders to more than 100,000 migrants in 2015, the party now says that “the political establishment failed in dealing with the refugee crisis.” Austria and Migration

  • Calling for zero illegal immigration, the right wing attracts Austrians who support the Freedom Party and its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, on migration.
  • It has been pledged face-cover ban will be rigorously enforced.
  • Muslim women leaders see as insincere the claim the law is intended to help oppressed women.