HCS Current Affairs 2020: International Affairs-III
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HCS Current Affairs 2020: International Affairs-III

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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: International Affairs Part-III

Haryana Civil Services Exam

CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020

Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: International Affairs Part-III

1. The Republic of Nicaragua has become the 87th country to sign the International Solar Alliance(ISA) Framework Agreement.

  • H. E. Jaime Hermida Castillo, Permanent Representative to the UN of the Republic of Nicaragua, signed the Agreement at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, New York.

2. Turkmenistan has been granted Observer status by the World Trade Organization (WTO ) General Council. Turkmenistan has become the last former Soviet republic to establish formal ties with the trade body.

The Central Asian country filed a request for Observer status in May and expressed willingness to trigger the talks on accession to the WTO within five years. Neighbouring Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan -- have acceded to the WTO, while Uzbekistan has been in on-and-off negotiations on WTO accession since 1994.

3. Rear Admiral Mohammad Shaheen Iqbal has been appointed as the next Chief of Bangladesh Navy.

  • Iqbal, who is currently serving as the assistant navy chief, will succeed Vice Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, who is retiring later this month.
  • He will serve as the Chief of Navy Staff for three years till July 24, 2023.
  • Iqbal joined the Bangladesh Navy as an officer cadet in 1980 and attended various courses at home and abroad. 
  • He did his specialization in anti-submarine warfare from India and international surface warfare course in the US. He also did a separate graduation degree from US Naval Staff College

4. India and Chile have co-hosted the  side event of the 2020 High-level Political forum- “On the road to the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021”

  • It is the official launch of the 2021 International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.
  • The 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly had declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.

 HQs-Rome, Italy 

FAO Director-Qu Dongyu 

5. The United Nations on July 16, 2020, designated Pakistan-based terror group, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan's leader, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, as a global terrorist.

  • The Security Council Committee in pursuant to resolutions concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals and entities has approved the addition of Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud’s name to the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
  • Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud has been listed in pursuant resolution 2368 (2017) for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of" entities associated with Al-Qaida.

6. Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon appointed Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, as the First Women Prime Minister of Gabon succeeding Julien Nkoghe Bekale

  • She is the sixth PrimeMinister under Bongo’s Presidency since 2009.
  • Roponda is an economist in public finance from the Gabonese Institute of Economy and Finance.
  • Raponda has served as Budget Minister since 2012.
  • She was elected as First Woman Mayor of Libreville (Capital of Gabon), from Bongo’s Gabonese Democratic Party in 2014.
  • She has served as the defence minister of Gabon since 2019.

7. South American country Suriname brought an end to dictatorial rule by electing a new President Chan Santokhi. Santokhi is an Indian-origin former police chief, who won a landslide victory in the election that took place in May this year.

  • Chandrikapersad ‘Chan’ Santokhi replaced dictator Desi Bouterse, who is facing murder charges along with smuggling of drugs, in the country which has a sizeable Hindu population.
  • 61-year-old Santokhi belongs to the Progressive Reform Party and will be sworn in as President on July 16. Santokhi was the sole nomination for President of Suriname.
  • The Progressive Reform Party won 20 of the 51 seats in the National Assembly, enough to form a coalition government with the General Liberation and Development Party, which is led by Ronnie Brunswijk, who will serve as vice-president.

8. Turkey’s govt. converts Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque after a favorable court ruling.

  • The Hagia Sophia has a long and complicated history.
  • Hagia Sophia was a church built under Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century.
  • It was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans in 1453 following their conquest of Constantinople.
  • Modern Turkey’s government converted the mosque into a museum in 1934. It is a Unesco World Heritage site.

9. Croatia and Bulgaria took a big step toward joining the shared euro currency, underlining the currency bloc's attraction despite its 2010-2015 debt crisis and the continuing debate about how to strengthen it against possible future trouble.

  • Finance ministers of the 19 current euro nations and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde agreed to admit the two European Union members to the waiting room for the euro, exchange rate mechanism II
  • Before an EU member state can join the euro, its currency has to remain in a fluctuation band of 15% plus or minus against the euro for a minimum of two years.
  • The agreement to admit the Bulgarian lev and the Croatian kuna to the ERM II was based on “firm commitments” by both countries to pursue sustainable economic convergence before the earliest date of entry.
  • The two countries have had to keep inflation, deficits, and government debt under control as well.

10. Hsien Loong has secured a clear mandate with his ruling People's Action Party (PAP) winning 83 of the 93 contested parliamentary seats in the general election held amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Opposition gaining ground by winning a record 10 seats.

  • Indian origin Pritam Singh was elected as the Leader of Opposition by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singh has been in active politics since 2011. 
  • Singh joined the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1994 and served as an officer from 1997 to 2002 having achieved the commissioned rank of Major.
  • The workers' Party team retained the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), will have 10 elected MPs now, up from six previously. 

11. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced to send a probe to Mars to capture a comprehensive image of the weather in the atmosphere of Mars. 

With this, the UAE will be the first Arab nation to achieve the milestone. The UAE’s probe will help pave the way for scientific breakthroughs in studying the Mars Atmosphere

12. The World Health Organization has formulated an Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • The Panel will be co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Elizabeth Clark and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
  • While Helen Clark served as an administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the other hand, Ellen Sirleaf is a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • WHO HQs– Geneva, Switzerland
  • Director-General– Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus 
  • Chief Scientist– Soumya Swaminathan

13. Gudni Th. Johannesson has been re-elected as the President of Iceland.

  • He has won his second four-year term as the president of Iceland in the presidential elections held recently.
  • He won the presidential elections with 92% of the popular vote which was the second-largest win in Icelandic presidential elections. 
  • While his counterpart Gudmundur Franklín Jónsson was only able to win 6.5% of the votes.
  • In Iceland, Presidents are elected via direct popular vote, while each presidential term is of four years. 
  • Gudni Th. Johannesson worked as a history professor at the University of Iceland before taking office as President of Iceland in 2016.

14. Russian voters approved changes to the constitution that will allow President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036.

  • For the first time in Russia, polls were kept open for a week to bolster turnout without increasing crowds casting ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic, a provision that Kremlin critics denounced as an extra tool to manipulate the outcome.
  • A massive propaganda campaign and the opposition's failure to mount a coordinated challenge helped Putin get the result he wanted, but the plebiscite could end up eroding his position because of the unconventional methods used to boost participation and the dubious legal basis for the balloting.

15. The Republic of Mali has awarded a Project Management Consultancy contract to NTPC, a central PSU under the Ministry of Power, for the development of a 500 MW Solar Park.

  • The event held on 24th June 2020, chaired by Shri R. K. Singh, the Minister of State for Power, NRE, Skill Development, and President of International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • Mr. H.E. Sekou Kasse, the Ambassador of Mali handed over the Project Management Consultancy award letter to Mr. Gurdeep Singh, CMD NTPC, for the development of a 500 MW Solar Park in the Republic of Mali.
  • NTPC Limited is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities.

16. Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has been declared the winner of a re-run presidential election.

  • He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of votes in Tuesday's poll.
  • In February, Malawi's constitutional court annulled Mr. Mutharika's poll win in May 2019, citing vote tampering.
  • Chakwera, 65, secured the required majority, with 58.57 percent of the vote
  • Chakwera won election to a five-year term as president of the nation of 18 million people.

17. Evariste Ndayishimiye has been sworn in as Burundi's new president after the sudden death of his predecessor.

  • He was elected in May in a vote disputed by the opposition and was meant to take office in August, however, the inauguration was sped up after his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza's shock death.
  • Ndayishimiye, who was handpicked by the ruling CNDD-FDD party to succeed Nkurunziza, will serve a seven-year term, pending his reelection

18. Volkan Bozkir;  from Turkey, has been elected as the president of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

  • He is the 1st Turkish to hold this post. 
  • He will hold the post for 1 year. Volkan Bozkir will succeed Tijjani Muhammad-Bande when the annual session opens on September 15, 2020.
  • He won unopposed with the support of 178 UN member states by secret ballot.

19. The 36th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit will be held via video conference on June 26 

  • Theme- Cohesive and Responsive
  • As the ASEAN's chair in 2020, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will chair the opening session, plenary session and special sessions on women empowerment in digital era 
  • Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh will chair the ministerial meeting on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  • The 36th ASEAN Summit, which had been scheduled to be held in April, has been postponed until the end of June in the context of wide spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the region and the world.
  • ASEAN -ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia

20. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has elected five new non-permanent members to the council.

  • France took over the Presidency of the powerful 15-member Security Council for the month of June. 
  • The United Nations General Assembly last month adopted a decision to hold the Security Council Elections under new voting arrangements taking into account restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • India is elected to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member with 184 of the 192 votes for a two-year term starting January 1, 2021.

21. The Royal Mint has released a new range of 50 pence coins celebrating Britain’s contribution to the discovery of dinosaurs, which feature augmented reality technology for the first time.

  • The Dinosauria Collection offers a variety of coins depicting the megalosaurus, iguanodon and hylaeosaurus, with prices ranging from £10 to £1,020 per coin depending on the material with which it was made.
  • The Brilliant Uncirculated edition uses the latest colour techniques in order to represent the three dinosaurs in vivid detail.

22. The World Economic Forum has announced that it will be hosting a unique “Twin Summit” in January 2021. 

  • The summit will be held in Davos, Switzerland and the theme of the twin summit will be “The Great Reset”. 
  • The 51st summit is expected to see wider participation through virtual link-ups in 400 cities across the world.
  • WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab
  • HQs- Geneva.

23. An agreement has been signed between China and Pakistan to implement the Kohala Hydroelectric Power project in the region of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

  • Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China sets up a Kohala Hydropower project in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. 
  • A tripartite agreement was signed between the Tripartite Gorges Corporation, Private Power and Infrastructure Board and the authorities in PoK in order to implement the project.
  • The project is to be built on the Jhelum river. 
  • It aims at providing 5 billion units of clean hydro electric power to Pakistan. The project will earn carbon credit from the United Nations Framework convention on Climate Change for clean energy.

24. The US has joined an international panel for setting ethical guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence. 

  • The Trump administration had been the lone holdout among leaders of the Group of Seven - the world's wealthiest democracies - in setting up the Global Partnership on AI.
  • The partnership launched recently  after a virtual meeting between national technology ministers. 
  • It was nearly two years after the leaders of Canada and France announced they were forming a group to guide the responsible adoption of AI based on shared principles of "human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic growth.

25. Moeketsi Majoro has been sworn in as Lesotho’s new prime minister after Thomas Motsoahae Thabane.

  • Majoro, who had previously served as the finance minister of the country, took the oath at the king’s palace in front of dignitaries.
  • Thabane's decision to step down  came amid mounting pressure over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of involvement in the 2017 murder of his estranged wife.

26. President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn into office, embarking on her second term with a record high approval rating — despite dim prospects for cross-strait relations.

  • She became the first female President of Taiwan on 20 May 2016 in front of the national flag.
  • She is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party which favours independence from China.
  • Tsai also pledged to engage in dialogue with Beijing provided it respects Taiwan’s sovereignty and rejects its “one country, two systems” formula

27. Japan has launched its new space defense unit to monitor and counter threats to the country’s satellites.

  • The Space Operations Squadron, part of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, starts with 20 members and is expected to grow to about 100 members once the unit is fully operational in 2023.
  • The role of the unit is mainly to monitor and protect Japanese satellites from enemy attacks or space debris.
  • It will also conduct satellite-based navigation and communications for other troops in the field.

28. Indian Association in Uganda, with help of the Indian Military training team, set up a military war game centre.

  • Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni inaugurated the war game centre conceptualised by Indian military team for Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).
  • The wargame centre has been commissioned at the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka in Jinja District. 

29. The United Nations listed the KHUDOL initiative of Manipur as one of the top 10 global initiatives to fight against COVID-19.

  • KHUDOL is an initiative of a NGO called Ya_All.
  • Under the initiative, the NGO provides food, hygiene and health of LGBTQ community, daily wage workers, and people with AIDS.
  • The organization mobilized a network of 100 volunteers. 
  • Through the volunteers the organization distributed 1000 health kits, 1500 condoms and 6500 sanitary pads.
  • Manipur has been creating inclusive safe space for the transgender community.

30. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has announced that its director general Roberto Azevêdo has decided to step down effective August 31, a year earlier than planned. 

  • Azevedo’s second four-year term was scheduled to end in September 2021.
  • His sudden exit has come at a time when the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and global trade is forecast to plummet to historic lows.