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Home »Current Affairs» International Current Affairs of July 2010

International Current Affairs of July 2010

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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Cluster ammunition treaty comes into force

A landmark UN-sponsored treaty banning cluster munitions came into force from August 1, 2010, but all major powers, the US, China, Russia, Israel and India have shunned it. The new instrument is expected to be a major advance for global disarmament and humanitarian agenda.

The convention has been signed by 107 States and entered into force six months after 37 countries ratified the treaty, which was concluded in 2008.

Cluster bombs are both air dropped and used by artillery guns, and the shells open before impact and scatter hundreds of shrapnel, causing widespread casualties over a wide area. Many of such ammunition fail to explode and lie dormant for years killing or maiming hundreds of civilians, long after the conflicts have ended.

From Asia only five countries—Afghanistan, Indonesia, Japan, Laos and Philippines—are the signatories.


Global community commits to peace initiative in Afghanistan

An international conference on Afghanistan was held on July 20, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The international community reiterated its commitment to continue to support peace and reintegration and said it looked forward to the local peace jirgas that included men and women at district and provincial level to discuss elements of an enduring peace.

The government of Afghanistan is to engage with the UN Security Council and the international community for de-listing Taliban elements from the sanctions list in accordance with agreed procedures and common Afghan and international responsibility.

The international community expressed its support for Karzai’s objective that the Afghan national security forces should lead and conduct military operations in all the provinces by the end of 2014.

On the issue of security, the meeting recognised that civilian casualty and protection of civilians are of great concern and noted that most civilian casualties are caused by insurgent attacks. They also reiterated that the international military forces remain committed to the objective of a steady reduction in the rate of civilian casualties.


Kyrgyzstan vote for parliamentary democracy

In a development that could have far reaching political impact in the region, Kyrgyzstan is all set to become Central Asia’s first parliamentary democracy, with an overwhelming 90.55 per cent voters backing a new constitution which strips the President’s wide ranging powers.

After publishing the official results of the June 27 referendum, the Kyrgyz Central Election Commission (CEC), on July 1, 2010, declared Roza Otunbayeva as the transitional President till December 31, 2011.

It also formally dissolved the Presidential parliament, which was in jeopardy in the wake of violent ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s regime in April 2010.

In line with the new constitution, the 120-strong Kyrgyz Parliament, after October 2010 elections, will appoint the Prime Minister and the government.

The referendum, the first step towards legitimacy of the present regime, took place in the midst of inter-ethnic violence in the southern regions of Osh and Jalalabad and exodus of hundreds of thousand refugees to neighbouring Uzbekistan.


Fresh US sanctions on North Korea

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on july 21, 2010 that Washington would impose new sanctions on communist North Korea in a bid to stem the regime's illicit atomic ambitions.

The UN Security Council has imposed stiff sanctions on North Korea in recent years to punish the regime for defying the world body by testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and illegally selling arms and weapons.

With few allies and diminishing sources of aid, the impoverished North Korea is believed to be turning to illicit ventures to raise the much-needed cash. Pyongyang also walked away in 2009 from a disarmament-for-aid pact with five other nations that had provided the country with fuel oil and other concessions.

Pakistan, China ink six pacts

Pakistan and China reiterated their resolve to further strengthen strategic relationship between the two countries, increase the level of economic cooperation and take concrete measures to further bring their people closer, during the visit of Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari to China in July 2010. The two countries pledged to make joint efforts to fight terrorism, and signed six deals of cooperation in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, justice, media, economy and technology.


US slaps toughest sanctions on Iran

On July 1, 2010, even as he signed into law the toughest sanctions against ever passed by the US Congress at the White House, US President Barack Obama said the doors of diplomacy are still open for the regime in Tehran.

The Iran Sanctions Act affects the gasoline, financial, insurance and shipping sectors, among others, as it seeks to impose a heavy economic cost on Iran for continuing with its nuclear programme.

The sanctions bar foreign countries from exporting refined petroleum to Iran, as well as restrict access to US financial institutions for any entities that help Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Also, it prevents investment, transfer of technology and development of Iran’s energy sector, and makes it easier for States and localities to divest from companies that do business with Iran.


Japan Elections

Democratic Party of Japan suffered a heavy blow in the elections for the upper house of Japan’s Diet (parliament) when it won ten seats fewer than expected thus loosing its majority. DPJ will now have to look for new coalition partners to restore its majority in the upper house and enable it to easily pass laws through the Diet legislature. After breaking the 55 year period of dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party and naming Naoto Kan the new prime minister just a month back the results have baffled the DJP.


July 15th Summit, Islamabad

Failed talks between Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna and the Pakistani counterpart Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s have once again proved that whenever efforts were initiated by India to improve the relations between the two countries. The Pak leaders and officials took deliberate steps to derail the process conveying a clear message to India that the talks can continue only on its terms.


Gulf of Spill

More than three months after the April 20 explosion aboard the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil platform, which killed 11 workers and sank the rig gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the most severe US environmental disaster ever is close to coming to an end. In an operation called “static kill” 2,300 barrels of mud was forced down into the well’s opening overnight pushing the crude back down to its source. A cap over the wellhead has shut in leaking oil since July 15 and the static kill — also known as bull heading — probably would not have worked without the cap in place.


Genocide

Omar-al-Bashir, President of Sudan has been charged with three counts of genocide over the Darfur Conflict, he was convicted by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. It is for the first time that a court has accused anyone of genocide.


Jacob Lew the new Budget Director

President Barack Obama has chosen Mr. Jacob Lew as his new budget director. This is Mr. Lews second stint with the federal budget.




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