International Current Affairs - 2019

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US $13.92 billion raised for next 3 years to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

Donors from across the world including governments, philanthropists and private firms have pledged just over $14 billion for the next three years to save 16 million lives and help end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030. It was promised at the Sixth Replenishment Conference of Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (GFTAM) held in Lyon, France.

Key Donors

United States will provide $1.56 billion a year, maintaining more than 30% of all contributions. France has pledged to provide $1.29 billion. India also has announced contribution of $22 million, an increase of 10% over the earlier amount contributed in 5th cycle. Private donors also pledged more than $1 billion. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to provide $760 million, (RED) has pledged US$150 million.

About Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

It was created in 2002 to raise, manage and invest the world’s money to respond to three of the deadliest infectious diseases the world has ever known viz. AIDS, TB and malaria. It aims to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations. Its secretariat are in Geneva, Switzerland.

Note: GFTAM is financing mechanism rather than implementing agency. It is also the world’s largest financier of AIDS, TB, and malaria prevention, treatment, and care programs.

9th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting to be held in Thailand

The 9th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial meeting will be held in Bangkok in Thailand. India will be represented by Union Commerce Minister Piysuh Goyal. This will be the last Ministerial before 3rd Leaders Summit to be held on 4 November 2019 in Bangkok. It also comes at a crucial stage where RCEP is scheduled to be announced as concluded in November 2019.

Background

So far 21 chapters out of total 25 chapters of RCEP negotiations have been concluded. Crucial chapters of Investment, Electronic Commerce, Rules of Origin and Trade Remedies are yet to be settled. Recently, 28th round of negotiations for RCEP at the expert level was concluded at Da Nang in Vietnam in September 2019. In this round of negotiations meeting of the Trade Negotiating Committee was held in which senior officials participated in negotiations regarding market access on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment as well as on other areas like Rules of Origin, Intellectual Property and Electronic Commerce.

About Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

It is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between 10 member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six free-trade agreement (FTA) partners- India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at 21st ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

10 ASEAN Members countries: Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.