Brazil Current Affairs - 2019

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G4 Ministers from India, Brazil, Germany, Japan review UNSC reform

G-4 Nations viz. India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have voiced concern over lack of substantive progress in long-pending United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform. It was convened during meeting of Ministers from four G4 Countries which was hosted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at Indian Mission to UN to review the reform progress.

Key Highlights of meeting

Ministers from G4 countries reaffirmed need for early reform of UNSC including expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership to enhance its legitimacy, effectiveness and representativeness in order to safeguard legitimacy and credibility of UNSC which deals with international peace and security. They discussed pathways to reform UNSC and tasked their diplomats to consider way forward to advance the reform process known as Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN). They also held that it is time to finally initiate text-based negotiations to safeguard the legitimacy and credibility of the powerful UN organ.

G4 nations

The G4 nations comprise of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan which support each other’s bids for permanent seats to United Nations Security Council. G4’s primary aim is permanent member seats on Security Council. Each of these four countries have figured among elected non-permanent members of UNSC since UN’s establishment. The economic and political influence of these four has grown significantly in last decades, reaching scope comparable to five permanent members (P5) of UNSC viz. US, China, Russia, United Kingdom and France . However, G4’s bids are often opposed by Uniting for Consensus movement or Coffee Club (ground 12 countries including Pakistan led by Italy) and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.

India’s genetically modified crop area fifth largest in world: Report

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) latest ‘Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/ GM Crops in 2017’ report, India with 11.4 million hectares (mh) has world’s fifth largest area cultivated under genetically modified (GM) crops in 2017.  India’s entire GM crop area is under single crop BT Cotton incorporating genes from Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt soil bacterium coding for resistance against heliothis bollworm insect pests.

Key Highlights of report

United States has highest area under transgenic crops, at 75 mh. It is followed by Brazil (50.2 mh), Argentina’s (23.6 mh) and Canada (13.1 mh). In 2017, farmers across the world have planted 189.8 mh under transgenic crops. This is as against 1.7 mh in 1996, the year when transgenic crops were grown commercially for the first time.
The highest share in world’s total 189.8 mh GM crop area in 2017 is of soyabean (94.1 mh), followed by maize (59.7 mh), cotton (24.1 mh), canola (10.2 mh), alfalfa (1.2 mh) and sugar-beet (0.50 mh). The GM traits of these crops (due to introduction of alien genes into host plants) included both insect-resistance and tolerance for application of glyphosate herbicide.