HCS Topic Wise Current Affairs 2020: International Affairs-I
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HCS Topic Wise Current Affairs 2020: International Affairs-I

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

Haryana Civil Services Exam


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

1. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation was recently hosted by Malaysia. 

  • The leaders interacted in a virtual format under the theme “APEC Re-Imagined: Priorities in the Aftermath of COVID-19.
  • The next Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting is to be hosted by New Zealand. 
  • Earlier on November 17, 2020, the members of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation held a ministerial meeting and committed towards free and open trade and investment.
  • The APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 was adopted during the Summit. 
  •  It envisions an open, resilient peaceful Asia Pacific community by 2040. 

2. The United Arab Emirates has recently become the first Arab country to generate electricity from coal.

  • The coal plant, Hassyan will be set up in Dubai at 3.4 billion USD. 
  • The capacity of the plant will be 600 MW. Later, the capacity of the plant is to be increased to 2,400 MW by 2023.
  • According to the International Energy Agency, the power plant will fulfill 20% of its energy requirements of Dubai.
  • Also, the electricity generated from the coal-based power plant is to be supplied at very low prices.

3. Bhutan has announced that it had established diplomatic relations with Germany, increasing the restricted number of capitals that Thimphu has formal ties with to 53 states and the EU.

  • This is the kingdom’s first diplomatic foray in seven years.
  • The agreement was signed between German Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner and Bhutan’s ambassador to India Major General Vetsop Namgyel. 
  • Bhutan and Germany have already established consular relations in July 2000. Official bilateral contacts have been maintained through the German Embassy in New Delhi and the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels.
  •  Bhutan already has an Honorary Consul in Germany and vice versa.

4. Former World Bank economist Maia Sandu (48 years) from Party of Action and Solidarity has been elected President of Moldova.

  • She won Moldova’s 2020 Presidential election with 57.72% of the vote.
  • She is the first woman to be elected as the President of Moldova and will assume office on 23rd December 2020.
  • Incumbent President of Moldova, Igor Dodon received 42.28% of the vote.
  • She was the former Prime Minister of Moldova from 8 June 2019 until 14 November 2019.

5. The Green Climate Fund has approved dollar 256 million for Bangladesh in grants and loans to meet its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction targets under the Paris agreement.

  • The financing is provided as an integrated package for textile and Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sectors of Bangladesh are the largest industrial contributors in carbon emission.
  • The two sectors combined together contribute more than 27 percent of the industrial carbon emission as they are working with old and outdated machines with poor energy management. 
  • By 2030, Bangladesh is committed to reducing its GHG emission by 15 percent compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

6. Foreign ministers from the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand have urged China  to reconsider its actions against Hong Kong’s elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members

  • In a statement, the group of five countries also known as the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance said that China’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong appeared to be part of a campaign to silence critics. 
  • They have called on Beijing to reverse its decision. Hong Kong expelled four opposition members from its legislature last week after Beijing gave city authorities new powers to curb dissent. 
  • Under the new law, the lawmakers can be summarily ousted without involving the city’s courts or seeking the sanction of constitutional procedures.

7. Armenia and Azerbaijan have signed a peace deal to end the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the countries.

  • The peace deal between the countries was brokered by Russia.
  •  Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding military conflict for six weeks now. 
  • The peace deal was signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashiyan, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • The Nagorno-Karabakh region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. 
  • However, most of the region is controlled by Armenian separatists.
  •  The region has been part of the territory since the Soviet Era. As the Soviet Union began to collapse, the regional parliament of Armenia voted for the region to transfer to Armenia.

8. The President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli has been sworn for a second five-year term. He took the oath of the office on 05 November 2020. 

  • Magufuli won 84% of the total votes in elections held on October 28. He was elected as the fifth President of Tanzania and is in office since 2015. 
  • CHADEMA party candidate Tundu Lissu took the second position.

9. The 12th BRICS Summit will be held on 17th November 2020 via video conference.

  • The theme of the Meeting  is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
  • The Summit this year is being held under the Chairmanship of Russia and aims at a multifaceted cooperation between the member countries.
  • The five member countries have continued close strategic partnership on all the three major pillars of peace and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

10. United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper are in India to hold the third round of US-India 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and their Indian counterparts. 

  • The two sides have signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) that would enhance the geospatial cooperation between them and it is likely to help in improving the accuracy of missile systems of India.
  • India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue will focus on four themes — regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions, and defence trade.

11. Guinea’s president, Alpha Condé, has won a controversial third term with 59.49% of the vote.

  • His victory came amid widespread protests that were violently suppressed by security forces.
  • Such demonstrations have occurred for months after the government changed the constitution through a national referendum, allowing Condé to extend his decade in power.
  • Opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo received 33.50% of the vote. Voter turnout was almost 80%.

12. IAEA, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog, has confirmed that Iran has started building an underground nuclear facility.

  • According to IAEA, Iran has stockpiled low-enriched Uranium, but it doesn’t appear to possess enough to produce a nuclear weapon.
  • Iran had a nuclear facility at Natanz, but it got destroyed in July. After that, Iran stated it would build a more secure nuclear facility around Natanz.
  • In 2015 a landmark deal was agreed between Iran and world powers are known as the P5+1 for a joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It had allowed Iran to produce a certain amount of uranium.
  • According to the IAEA report, Iran has stockpiled 2105 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. It is well above the limit decided in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

13. The Sri Lankan Parliament recently passed the 20th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

  • The 20th amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution has expanded the powers of the President and also has increased the immunity of the President.
  • Under the 20th amendment, the President gets the power to dissolve the parliament after two years and six months after being elected. It has weakened the powers of the prime minister.
  • The amendment empowers the President to appoint any person to the Government office without having the need of getting consent from members of the parliament. This includes public services, election officials, human rights, police, corruption investigation commissions, bribery, etc.
  • The amendment allows the president to hold any ministries and also appoint and fire ministers.

14. Lebanon's President Michel Aoun designated Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri as prime minister to form a new government to tackle the worst crisis since the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

  • Hariri won the backing of a majority of parliamentarians in consultations with Aoun. 
  • He faces major challenges to navigate Lebanon's power-sharing politics and agree to a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes: a banking crisis, currency crash, rising poverty and crippling state debts.
  • A new government will also have to contend with a COVID-19 surge and the fallout of the huge August explosion at Beirut port that killed nearly 200 people and caused billions of dollars of damage.

15. Europe’s tiny Andorra formally joined the International Monetary Fund becoming the crisis lender’s 190th member state as the tourism and trade-dependent principality struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The IMF said in a statement that Andorra’s initial quota – the capital subscription that determines its voting power and access to financing – is 82.5 million Special Drawing Rights, or about $116.4 million.
  • “Andorra faces both short-term and long-term challenges common to European and other IMF member countries which have been aggravated by the (coronavirus) pandemic
  • IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has signed the ceremony with Elisenda Vives Balmana, Andorra’s ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico, and the United Nations.
  • Capital-Andorra la Vella  Currency- Euro

16. India-assisted Mangdechhu hydroelectric project in Bhutan has been awarded the prestigious Brunel Medal for excellence in civil engineering by the UK-based Institute of Civil Engineers.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the 720 MW project on August 17 last year during his visit to Bhutan.
  • The run-of-river power plant, built on the Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district of central Bhutan at a cost of Rs 4,500-crore, is seen as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

17. The North Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO) will set up a new Space Centre in Ramstein, Germany.

  • The center will serve as a co-ordination Centre for space observation. It will gather information regarding the possible threats that satellites might face. The centre will be developed as a command centre for defensive measures in future. This centre is being set up under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty organisation.
  • This is a countermeasure against the aggressive policies of China and Russia. NATO countries are developing anti-satellite systems in order to disable the blind satellites that create dangerous debris in the orbit.
  • Article 5 empowers NATO to take collective defence action. 
  • It provides certain criteria under which NATO takes defensive measures. The article has been invoked several times by NATO in situations including the Syrian crisis, Russia-Ukraine crisis and 26/11 attack on the US. 

18. Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan and Nepal have been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

  • Nepal was among the five Asia-Pacific nations including China, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan vying for the seat.
  • In secret-ballot voting in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly in that race, Pakistan received 169 votes, Uzbekistan 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia just 90 votes. Saudi Arabia lost. 
  • Pakistan has secured the highest number of votes among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Pakistan has served the UNHRC since January 2018. Now, the country will continue for another three-year term commencing from January 1, 2021.

19. King of Jordan, Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein has appointed Bishr al-Khasawneh, policy advisor to the king, as new Prime Minister of the country. 

  • His appointment comes after King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz.
  • He served as the advisor to the king for Communication and Coordination at The Royal Hashemite Court (April 2019- August 2020).
  • He served as the Minister for Legal Affairs (2017- 2018).
  • He was a Former Ambassador of Jordan to Egypt, France, Kenya, Ethiopia, African Union, League of Arab States, and also to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

20. Argentina formally became the first country in the world to approve the use of drought-resistant genetically modified (GMO) wheat, prompting fierce criticism by the country's massive export agriculture industry.

  • Argentina has approved HB4 drought-resistant GMO wheat by biotechnology firm Bioceres.
  • It will only begin marketing HB4 once it’s approved for importation by Brazil.
  • The HB4 technology provides seeds that are more tolerant to drought and helps minimize production losses.

21. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that the country will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

  • Mr. Suga announced this in his policy speech at the first parliamentary session since he took office last month.
  • Mr. Suga emphasized the need to shift away from fossil fuels to counter climate change as an opportunity rather than a burden.
  • As per Japan’s current energy plan, 56 percent of its energy requirements come from fossil fuels.

22. Saudi Arabia is organizing the first-of-a-kind meeting of space agency leaders.

  • The Saudi Space Commission will meet with its counterparts from the other G20 countries in a forum that will address present and future space enterprise.
  • The meeting, hosted by the G20 Saudi Secretariat as part of The International Conferences Program honoring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, is titled Space Economy Leader Meeting.
  • Its purpose is to facilitate a stage on which influential countries (who foster the common vision of elevating the space sector) can collaborate on future and existing projects revolving around peaceful space exploration, space industry investment, and space science innovation.
  • The meeting will be held virtually (via video broadcast) on October 7, 2020, and will involve space agency leaders, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and a number of other organizations, consulting firms, economic entities and experts in the fields of space.

23. India and Myanmar have agreed to work towards the operationalization of the Sittwe port in the Rakhine state in the first quarter of 2021.

  • Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and Indian Army chief General MM Naravane concluded a two-day visit to Myanmar with the focus on taking forward bilateral ties in areas ranging from economic cooperation to security. 
  • Both the countries have agreed to deepen the economic and trade ties, further facilitate people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and broad-base their defense exchanges across all three services.

24. Japan’s new Prime Minister 

  • Japan's ruling party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has elected Yoshihide Suga as its leader to succeed Shinzo Abe.
  • Shinzo Abe had resigned due to health problems.
  • Yoshihide Suga will be the new Prime Minister of Japan. He is currently the chief Cabinet secretary of Abe's government.
  • PM is elected from among Diet members. Japanese parliament is known with the name of the Diet.
  •  As per the final count, Mr. Suga had secured 377 votes of a total of 534 votes. 
  • Yoshihide Suga will be replacing the long-serving Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, who had resigned in August 2020 due to health problems.

25. Mustapha Adib -named as the new Prime Minister

  • Lebanon designated its ambassador to Germany Mustapha Adib as the Country's new prime minister 
  • He has served as a Lebanese ambassador in Berlin since 2013. 

26. Mali’s former defence minister, Bah Ndaw, has been named as president of the country’s new transition government.

  • Colonel Assimi Goita, the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) which overthrew Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was appointed vice president.
  • The transitional government is to be inaugurated on September 25.
  • According to a plan backed by the military leaders, the new president is meant to lead the country for several months before staging elections and returning Mali to civilian rule

27. Mali's transitional President appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane as the Interim Prime Minister. 

  • The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an Aug. 18 coup. 
  • ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government.
  • The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months.
  • Ouane was minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2011 under former President Amadou Toumani Toure.

28. Political newcomer Mohamed Hussein Roble has become Somalia's Prime minister after getting unanimous approval from lawmakers. 

  • Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was in attendance when all 215 members of parliament cast their votes in favor of his appointee.  
  • Roble is promising to create an effective government that addresses some of the key issues facing the country, including having fair presidential and parliamentary elections. 
  • Roble's predecessor, Hassan Ali Khaire, was ousted by parliament in July in a no-confidence vote tied directly to his failure to present a roadmap to holding democratic elections due before February 2021

29. Germany has joined the Indo-Pacific club.

  • The move is aimed at securing the trade routes from aggressive China. 
  • Germany has drafted 40-page guidelines as it formally adopts a strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The move makes it the second European nation after France to formally adopt a strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The strategy is designed to allow Germany to make an active contribution to shaping the international order in the Indo-Pacific.

30. 1st World War II Heritage City

  • US President Donald Trump announced Wilmington in southern US state North Carolina as the first World War II Heritage City at a ceremony held to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. During the war, Wilmington was the site of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, which built 243 ships in five years as part of the federal government's emergency shipbuilding program.