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Important International Organisations-Part 8

COMMON SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY (CSDP)

·        In a historic referendum in Denmark, two-thirds of Danish voters supported abandoning a 30-year-old waiver that has kept the country out of the European Union’s (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

·        The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is a framework for cooperation among the EU member states to conduct peace-keeping and international security operations in developing countries using civil and military assets provided by the states.

·        CSDP missions and operations contribute to global security abroad and within the EU.

·        They aim to help prevent or resolve conflicts and crises and enhance the capacities of allies.

PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES

·        Recently, the Foreign Minister of China, is currently on a visit to ten Pacific Island Countries (PICs), and has co-hosted with Fiji the Second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers Meeting.

·        The Pacific Island Countries are a cluster of 14 states which are located largely in the tropical zone of the Pacific Ocean between Asia, Australia and the Americas.

o   They include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

·        The islands are divided on the basis of physical and human geography into three distinct parts — Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.

·        The islands are very small in land area, and are spread wide across the vast equatorial swathe of the Pacific ocean.

·        As a result, though they are some of the smallest and least populated states, they have some of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) in the world. 

·        Large EEZs translate into huge economic potential due to the possibility of utilising the wealth of fisheries, energy, minerals and other marine resources present in such zones.

·        Hence, they prefer to be identified as Big Ocean States, rather than Small Island States.

·        In fact, Kiribati and FSM, both PICs, having EEZs larger than that of India.

·        The Pacific islands also acted as one of the major theatres of conflict during the Second World War — between imperial Japan and the U.S. 

ASIA ENERGY TRANSITION INITIATIVE

·        Japan plans to provide support to India to drive the transition to clean energy, expanding Japan’s ‘Asia Energy Transition Initiative’.

About the Initiative

·        Japan’s ‘Asia Energy Transition Initiative’ initially targeted supporting countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) pushing towards net-zero carbon emissions, including $10 billion in finance for renewable energy, energy efficiency and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

·        Specific support includes support for ASEAN countries in the Asian roadmap towards carbon neutrality, which will be expanded to include India.

o   The region needs to work on diversifying where it gets its energy from, in light of the ongoing energy crunch due to loss of Russian energy supplies.

o   Against that backdrop, considering the current energy crisis, stable energy supply and market stability are critical as the basis for promoting a transition towards carbon neutrality.

  • It aims for technology development and deployment, utilizing the achievement of a 2 trillion-yen fund for offshore wind power generation, fuel-ammonia, hydrogen etc.

·        It pushes for capacity building of decarbonisation technologies, and knowledge sharing through the Asia Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) network.

MINERALS SECURITY PARTNERSHIP (MSP)

  • A new US-led partnership initiative of 11 nations aims to bolster critical mineral supply chains. India is not part of this arrangement called the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) but New Delhi is working through diplomatic channels to fetch an entry.
  • The US and 10 partners Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission have come together to form the MSP.
  • The new grouping is aimed at catalyzing investment from governments and the private sector to develop strategic opportunities.
  • Demand for critical minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies, is projected to expand significantly in the coming decades.
  • The MSP will help catalyze investment from governments and the private sector for strategic opportunities across the full value chain that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards.
  • The new grouping could focus on the supply chains of minerals such as Cobalt, Nickel, Lithium, and also the 17 ‘rare earth’ minerals.

·        The alliance is seen as primarily focused on evolving an alternative to China, which has created processing infrastructure in rare earth minerals and has acquired mines in Africa for elements such as Cobalt.

I2U2 GROUP

·        Established by Israel, India, the UAE, and the United States. First made possible by the Abraham Accords, the I2U2 Group will focus on joint investments in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.

·        Through two key projects in India, I2U2 partners will mobilise private sector capital and expertise to help modernise infrastructure, decarbonise industries, improve public health, and promote the development of green technologies.

  • In turn, these projects will also greatly benefit the people of India.
  • I2U2 combines the strengths and resources of each member country to find innovative solutions to pressing global challenges and will serve as a model for multilateral cooperation with other like-minded countries.

ASIA-PACIFIC INSTITUTE FOR BROADCASTING DEVELOPMENT

·        The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) was established in August 1977 under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

·        It is a unique regional inter-governmental organisation servicing country of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in the field of electronic media development. It is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur.

·        The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) are the founding organisations of the Institute and they are non-voting members of the General Conference.

·        Full membership of the AIBD is confined to sovereign states and they are invited to designate the broadcasting authority of the country to be the beneficiary.

·        The AIBD currently has 26 Full Members (countries), represented by 43 organisations, and 50 Affiliate Members (organisations) with a total membership of 93 representing 46 countries and regions and over 50 partners in Asia, Pacific, Europe, Africa, Arab States and North America.

JUST ENERGY TRANSITION PARTNERSHIP

·        The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) initiative is apparently modelled after the South Africa JETP launched at the last climate conference in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU).

·        JETP is yet to roll out and its modalities are still in the works. Its hurried adoption as the template for future NDC financing, therefore, raises a number of questions.

o   First, it is not clear why climate finance is being offered through JETP when an agreed international mechanism under the Paris Agreement exists? The primary vehicle of the Agreement is the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which has remained starved of funds ever since its inception in 2010.

o   Second, there is no guarantee whether JETP will make equity and debt finance available to the target countries at the scale and in the manner required for meeting clean energy needs.

o   Third, JETP may revive the ghost of coal phase-out that haunted the Glasgow conference. 

·        Lastly, India has standing relationship with several of its investment and technology partners like the US, France and UK. India and the US launched bilateral clean energy financing platform last year when John Kerry, the US Special Envoy on Climate, visited India.

Sustainable Finance Forum

·        The UK and India have a bilateral Sustainable Finance Forum to help prepare projects that can seek support from the Green Growth Equity Fund in India set up by the UK.

·        Similar fora exist with France, Germany and Japan.

·        The government may consider whether it is worthwhile to negotiate access to capital and technology through these for a, rather scout for new.

PARIS CLUB

·        An informal group of mostly wealthy, bilateral Western creditors. The club is headquartered in Paris, France.

·        Has 22 permanent members, including most of the western European and Scandinavian nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

·        Its role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by borrower countries.

·        Paris Club creditors provide debt treatments to debtor countries in the form of rescheduling, which is debt relief by postponement or, in the case of concessional rescheduling, reduction in debt service obligations during a defined period (flow treatment) or as of a set date (stock treatment).

·        India is placed in the categories of observers.

·        Observers are invited to attend the negotiating sessions of the Paris Club but they cannot participate in the negotiation itself, nor sign the agreement that formalizes the result of negotiation.


 

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