Expected Questions in International Organizations  2019 – IAS/NET (Part-4) - (Set 1) (Download PDF)

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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

BIMSTEC First joint military exercise: MILEX 18 exercise

1st field training military exercise MILEX-18, as part of Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical & economic cooperation (BIMSTEC) commenced at Foreign Training Node at Aundh in Pune, Maharashtra.

MILEX-18

Theme - Counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain.

Main aim is to promote strategic alignment among member-states & to share best practices in area of counter-terrorism.

Exercise will include training in operations like search & cordon operations, search & destroy & handling & neutralisation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) among other things.

Conclave of Army chiefs of all 7 member-states is being planned. Army chiefs will debate challenge of terrorism & transnational crime, which is major concern among all states & discuss ways to promote collective cooperation.

BIMSTEC

  • Regional group of 7 countries in South Asia & South East Asia lying in littoral & adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal.
  • Established - 1997.
  • Headquartered - Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Member countries - India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia & Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia.
  • Objective is to promote technological & economic cooperation among south Asian & south-east Asian countries along coast of Bay of Bengal.

Afghan rail project

  • India will be invited to help w/key rail link in Afghanistan, during visit of Uzbekistan’s President.
  • Rail link of approx. 650 km, connecting Afghan cities of Mazaar-e-Sharif & Herat, which may later be extended to Kabul, is major project.
  • Project could become another major regional connectivity project for India, after its construction of Zaranj-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan & Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar, Iran.
  • India is committed to building another rail route from Chabahar to Zahedan on Iran-Afghan border.
  • Rail route to Herat, if extended to Kabul, would link to India’s “air corridor”, allowing trade, especially dry fruits & agricultural produce to travel along routes from India to Central Asia & back in much shorter time.
  • Uzbekistan’s role in regional security is likely to grow as it will take over Secretary Generalship of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in January 2019.

G-4 for UN Security Council reform, multilateralism

  • India & other Group-4 (G-4) countries reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism & called for early reform of UN Security Council (UNSC).
  • Current composition of UNSC doesn’t reflect changed global realities & they stressed that Security Council reform is essential to address today’s complex challenges.
  • Given American disinterest in UN & other multilateral bodies, China, one of 5 permanent members of UNSC, has slowed down move to expand body, according to diplomats tracking process.
  • U. S. has no active opposition to demand of 4 countries to be included as permanent members of UNSC, Trump administration has taken benign approach to proposed reform.
  • G-4 Ministers noted that despite overwhelming majority of UN member states supporting Security Council reform, negotiations launched in 2009 have not produced substantive progress over 10 years.
  • Mr. Trump’s call for other countries to step up & share responsibility of managing UN might support reform, even in face of active Chinese opposition.
  • Germany & Japan contribute one-fifth of UN budget while 4 countries together have one-fifth of world population.

India signs COMCASA with U. S

India & US has signed Communications Compatibility & Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will lead to new generation of bilateral military partnership.

It was signed at end of inaugural India-US ‘2 + 2’ Ministerial Dialogue.

Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)

  • COMCASA is one of 4 foundational agreements that guide US high technology co. op. in defence sector w/other countries.
  • It was earlier called Communication & Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).
  • Other 2 agreements are Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and BECA. COMCASA will be valid for 10 years.
  • COMCASA is meant to facilitate use of high-end secured communication equipment to be installed on military platforms being sold to India by US to fully exploit their potential.
  • It provides legal framework for transfer of communication security equipment from US to India that will facilitate interoperability b/w armed forces of both countries & potentially w/other militaries that use US-origin systems for secure data links.

Foundational agreements

  • India has signed 2 of them — General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002 & Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.
  • Basic Exchange & Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) is remaining agreement not yet signed by India & negotiations are yet to begin.
  • GSOMIA: It allows sharing of classified information from US Govt. & American companies w/Indian govt. & defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) but not w/Indian private companies.
  • LEMOA: It gives access to both countries & to designated military facilities on either side for purpose of refueling & replenishment.
  • BECA: It facilitates exchange of geospatial information b/w India & US for both military & civilian use.

2 + 2 =? (Analysis of India US equation)

2 + 2 meeting held b/w External & Defence ministers of India on one side & their respective counterpart secretaries on other side from US.

There are some positive outcomes of meeting & many negative takeaways also.

Positives

  • India-U. S. defence relationship is given significant boost w/3 agreements signed after inaugural 2 + 2 Dialogue in Delhi: COMCASA, “hotlines” b/w Defence & Foreign Ministers of both countries, & 1st tri-services military exercises b/w 2 countries.
  • COMCASA is 3rd of 4 “foundational”, or enabling agreements signed by India after more than decade of negotiations, & is perceived as inevitable consequence of large amount of U. S. defence hardware it is purchasing.
  • This will increase given U. S. decision to include India in top tier of countries entitled to Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1).
  • Both sides had discussed trade issues, co. op on fighting terrorism, advancing “a free, open & inclusive Indo-Pacific region”
  • Last 2 points are clearly aimed at Beijing’s role in South China Sea & Belt & Road Initiative projects.

Negatives

  • India did not receive clear-cut assurance of its GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) status being restored, or of waivers on steel & aluminium tariffs imposed by Washington.
  • U. S. officials expect India to increase imports of American oil & gas & aircraft in order to wipe out trade surplus India enjoys.
  • It is unclear whether Centre has acquiesced to this blatantly anti-free market demand, its silence on matter is disturbing.
  • U. S. ‘s other demand, to “zero out” oil imports from Iran by November, is unreasonable. It would hurt India because of costs at time when dollar is strengthening & fuel prices are going up & in terms of its substantial engagement with Iran.
  • American officials gave no firm commitment in their statements that India will receive waiver to purchase Russian hardware, beginning w/S-400 missile system.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

USA has decided to cancel Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed b/w Russian & USA in 1987. USA had announced withdrawal decision from INF treaty in October 2018.

About INF Treaty:

  • Treaty was signed in 1987 b/w US President & USSR President.
  • The treaty aimed to end arms race between USA and USSR during cold war and to ensure some strategic stability in Europe.
  • The INF treaty banned the development, testing and possession of short and medium-range ground-launched nuclear missiles having ranger between 500 - 5,000 km.
  • All nuclear & conventional missiles & their launchers w/ranges of 500–1,000 km or (short-range) & 1,000–5,500 km (intermediate-range) were banned under treaty.
  • Treaty proved to be a potent deterrent against any full-scale nuclear war in Europe.
  • Almost 3,000 existing weapons were dismantled and destroyed after the signing of this treaty.
  • Russia has warned to take retaliatory measures and to counter any aggression if its security gets threatened after the US pulling out of the INF treaty.

Moscow Format: Afghanistan Peace Talks

Russia hosted a regional conference on Afghanistan - ‘Moscow Format’ to nudge reconciliation process b/w Taliban & Afghan authorities.

Concerns:

  • Taliban considers Afghan govt. as illegitimate & therefore had opposed Moscow format being co-led by Afghan govt.
  • Afghan govt. did not send representative but had Afghanistan represented by High Peace Council (HPC), which is supported but not part of Afghan govt.
  • India sent 2 former diplomats as participants as being “non-official”, since India did not want to share same stage with the Taliban.
  • U. S. was represented by its Moscow embassy officials wherein it kept an observer status in the meet.
  • Moscow Format is being led by Russia & is criticised for not adhering to the ‘Afghan led, Afghan owned’ principle.

Need for Taliban

  • Taliban is controlling major portions of Afghanistan, & is considered as being legitimate inclusion in ‘Afghan led, Afghan owned’ principle.
  • Afghan government has invited Taliban for direct talks & US has shown inclination of engaging in talks with Taliban thereby improving Taliban’s legitimacy.
  • US led forces had on times engaged w/Taliban on local level during post War period in Afghanistan.
  • Initiative (Quadrilateral Coordination Group), involving U. S. , China, Pakistan & Afghanistan, was launched in January 2016, however it failed in controlling growth of Taliban.
  • There is emergence of Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan which is in conflict w/Taliban & therefore Taliban is required by Western allies to combat rise of IS in Afghanistan.
  • Conflict w/Taliban has consuming resources of US & Afghan government wherein it can be utilised for reconstruction of Afghanistan, therefore engaging Taliban in peace talks is a better alternative.

Along the new Silk Roads: Multilateralism & Trade War

BRI- More Inclusive and Shared Multilateralism?

  • China has labeled BRI as a project that would be based on more inclusive & connected multilateralism in order to promote trade integration.
  • BRI would remain political project of china w/agenda to influence world. China has given its own flavour to BRI by “Sinicising” concepts of free trade agreements.
  • Conventional trade agreements are based on sound legal texts. BRI is not backed by any comprehensive legal framework. It is based on normative framework in form of general agreements, guiding principles & declarations etc. which are just standards to abide by & are not legally binding.
  • Non-legal framework is deliberately adopted by China to constantly adjust to changing environment.
  • Unlike other conventional trade agreements, China is preparing for domestic resolution of BRI disputes through creation of dedicated branches of China International Commercial Court.
  • BRI mobilises support from other institution such as Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Asian Infrastructure investment Bank (AIIB) etc. which are mainly dominated by China.

Conclusion

  • BRI is not a tool for economic integration. On other hand, RCEP is better equipped to deal with aspects related to trade integration.
  • As global trade has increasingly come under pressure in recent times, there is possibility that BRI would embrace greater liberalisation goals.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) keeps Pak. on grey list, seeks action

  • Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – global terror monitor – issued a stern statement to Pakistan to comply with action plan on terror financing or face further action.
  • 37-member group decided not to remove Pakistan from ‘grey list’, & did not accept Indian demand to move Pakistan to ‘black list’ yet.
  • ‘Grey-listing’ continued despite Pakistan government’s last-minute decision to ban Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) & Falah-e Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
  • FATF criticised Pakistan for not demonstrating “a proper understanding” of terror financing risks posed by “Da’esh (Islamic State), al Qaeda, Jamaat-ud Dawa, Falahe-Insaniat Foundation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Haqqani Network & persons affiliated w/Taliban. “
    Image of Shadow of terror

    Image of Shadow of Terror

    Image of Shadow of terror

- Published/Last Modified on: May 27, 2019

International Relations/Organizations

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