Buenos Aires Current Affairs - 2019

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2nd Global Disability Summit’ being held in Argentina

The 2nd Global Disability Summit is being held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from 6 June to 8 June 2019.

From India a delegation headed by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot, will be participating in Summit. Union Minister also attended ‘1st Global Disability Summit’ held at London, UK in July 2018.

Key Highlights of Summit

Background: the first-ever Global Disability Summit was held at London, United Kingdom (UK) on 24 July 2018. It was hosted by UK Department for International Development (UK DFID), along with the co-hosts International Disability Alliance (IDA) and Government of Kenya. The summit was attended by global leaders from more than 40 countries (including India), who committed to work in direction of economic empowerment of persons with disabilities.

Objective:

  • To deliberate on issues related to empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) across the world.
  • To work out a mechanism so as to enable PwDs to live an independent and dignified life.

Significance: The Global leaders attending the summit express their commitments towards eliminating stigma and discrimination against PwDs and to work towards promoting inclusive education, economic empowerment, technology and innovation in assistive devices, data desegregation etc. for them.

Way Ahead: After the Summit, Indian delegation will also be participating in bilateral discussions with Argentina Government for developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between two countries on 9 June to 10 June 2019.

India seeks to push reforms at WTO

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries is arranging a mini-ministerial meeting of developing countries on May 13-14 to discuss the future of the multilateral body, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the development agenda.

India is expected to invite close to two dozen countries for discussions on May 13-14. It is second such initiative undertaken by India since talks collapsed in Buenos Aires in December 2017. Unlike the earlier initiative, the US and the European Union will not be part of the discussions this time.

Agenda for the Discussion

  • A global framework for e-commerce, an issue that is being pushed hard by the US. China is not averse to negotiations and maybe India would be willing for the discussions.
  • US proposal to do away with special and differential (S&D) treatment for developing countries such as India, China, Brazil and South Africa. The special and differential treatment allows developing countries to maintain higher duties and implement agreements at a slower pace than the developed world.
  • The US is arguing that the better-off developing countries are eating up the gains that should accrue to the poorer nations in the category.
  • Ensure that WTO remains the key fulcrum of global trade and attempts by the US to do away with the principle of a consensus-based approach.
  • Discussions around reform of the dispute settlement mechanism which the US is pushing for aggressively.

India and other countries are demanding that there was a need to ensure that S&D treatment remains as they are still home to a large number of poor and vulnerable sections.