Shanghai Cooperation Agreement may provide route to NSG
The Shanghai Cooperation Agreement is a six-member Central Asian
grouping seen as a counterpoint to the U.S.-European military bloc NATO.
Significantly, Mr. Modi called President Putin wishing him on Russia’s
national day and confirming the meeting at the SCO.
In a statement, the Kremlin said: “The discussion focused on practical
issues of the two countries’ cooperation, including preparations for the
top-level contacts to be held shortly.”
While refusing to confirm whether “the practical issues” included
India’s NSG membership, MEA sources said Russia has always been “very
supportive” of India’s NSG aspirations.
But analysts say Mr. Modi may be hopeful of more: that Russia will use
its influence with countries like Kazakhstan and Turkey, who are not yet
convinced to back India, and most importantly, as a bridge with China, that
has taken a tough position.
Since the Russia-India-China meet which External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj attended in Moscow in April, where the three hammered out an
acceptable formulation on the contentious South China Sea.
Since then, India omitted the explicit reference to the South China Sea
in the joint statement with the U.S. last week as well.
Obama administration named Indo-US ties as “Modi Doctrine”
Describing the visit of PM Modi as “historic”, the Obama Administration
has named his vision of Indo-U.S. ties as “Modi Doctrine” that has overcome
the “hesitations of history” and working for the betterment of the global
“The most important outcome in my mind of the visit this week and of the
years of effort that preceded it is the clear and compelling vision that was
laid out by Prime Minister Modi before joint session of the U.S. Congress,”.
Mr. Modi in his speech furthered his bold vision of India-U.S.
partnership that could anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to
Africa, from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and help ensure the security of
the sea lanes of commerce.
India, Japan and US started Malabar exercise
The navies of India, Japan and the U.S. started the annual Malabar naval
exercises in Japan, close to islands contested by China.
This also comes just after PM Modi’s visit to the U.S. during which
India was declared a major defence partner of the U.S.
The location of the war games, which will be conducted over hundreds of
miles, is of particular interest as they are not very far from the Air
Defence Identification Zone imposed by China over the East China Sea in
It includes the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by
Beijing, and the nine dash line.
The exercise also comes at a time of increased sighting of Chinese
submarines in India’s own backyard, close to Sri Lanka.
The harbour phase is conducted from June 10 to 13 at Sasebo, and the sea
phase will take place from June 14 to 17 off the Okinawa prefecture in the
The major emphasis will be on anti-submarine drills and protecting
aircraft carriers from hostile assets lurking under water. Additionally, the
special forces of the three navies will interact during the exercise.
UNGA meet set the world on course to end HIV by 2030
At a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS at the United Nations General
Assembly, Health Minister reinforced India’s commitment to fast-track
progress on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
At the meeting member states have adopted a new political declaration,
including time-bound global targets, to be reached over the next five years
and end the epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
The UNGA meeting brings together heads of state and government, people
living with HIV , and donor organisations, to reiterate commitments made in
the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS and to set the world on course to
end the epidemic by 2030 within the framework of the Sustainable Development
India proposed a five-point strategy — the ‘global family’ — to end
AIDS. He stated that India was committed to enforcing TRIPS flexibilities to
make drugs affordable.
“India is proud of being one of the leading partners in the global fight
against AIDS epidemic.”
These remarkable successes would not have been possible without access
to affordable medicines.
The low cost generic medicines produced by the Indian pharmaceutical
industry have been instrumental in scaling up access to HIV treatment not
only in India but in other parts of the world.
More than 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs, used globally, are
supplied by the Indian pharmaceutical industry,” he said.
The five point strategy includes adoption of the fast-track target;
reaching 90 per cent of all people in need with HIV treatment; commitment to
maintain the TRIPS flexibilities; creating an inclusive society with
programmes that work towards restoring the respect and dignity of
individuals, and lastly, global solidarity.
India gets more support for its bid to NSG
As the extraordinary two-day plenary of the Nuclear Suppliers Group
began in Vienna to discuss membership applications, India’s chances received
a boost from Mexico, considered a “non-proliferation hardliner” thus far.
Mr. Modi was in Mexico on the last leg of his five-nation tour, and his
visits to both Mexico and Switzerland, which also announced its support,
were aimed at garnering backing for entry to the NSG.
Italy, which had earlier blocked India’s entry over issue of the arrest
of Marines accused of killing Indian fishermen, has indicated that it will
support India’s case
India’s biggest concern from the 48-nation group comes from China, which
has argued that NSG members must be signatories to the non-proliferation
India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel are among countries that have
not signed the NPT, which India believes is discriminatory.
On defence and cooperation US and India have made great strides
India and the U.S. have different interpretations of what they agreed
upon at the talks on the Paris Agreement on climate change when Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama met.
But on defence and cooperation in Asia-Pacific, both sides agree that
they made great strides.
The U.S. has recognised India as ‘major defence partner,’ a
classification that will allow India to buy more advanced and sensitive
technologies from the U.S.
This move will be complemented by India’s entry into the Missile
Technology Control Regime, an exclusive club that restricts trade in
sensitive defence technologies.
The U.S. has also declared that it will be its “strong objective to have
India voted as a member “of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), another
export control regime, later this month.
The joint statement said, “The leaders reached an understanding under
which India would receive licence-free access to a wide range of dual-use
While India is enthusiastic about the prospects of technology
cooperation, the U.S is more focussed on the progress on climate change.
U.S officials, speaking before and after the release of the joint
statement, said India has agreed to complete the ratification process within
the year 2016.
In a curious addition to the set of shared objectives, the joint
statement called for the promotion of yoga.
India is likely to ask African countries to relax commitment to the
On the sidelines of its campaign for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers
Group (NSG), India is likely to ask African countries to relax commitment to
the Pelindaba Treaty which controls supply of uranium from key mineral hubs
of Africa to the rest of the world.
President Pranab Mukherjee would begin the process by trying to convince
Namibia next week, during his June 15-18 trip, to implement a bilateral
treaty with India and supply uranium to Indian nuclear energy projects.
The Pelindaba Treaty signed in 1996, also known as the African Nuclear
Weapon Free Zone Treaty, aims at preventing nuclear proliferation and
preventing strategic minerals of Africa from being exported freely.
India and Namibia signed two MoUs on Cooperation in the field of geology
and mineral resources and Cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy
during the visit of President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba to India in 2009.
The visit by Mr. Mukherjee will give India a chance to persuade Namibia
to ratify the MoUs of 2009.
A major focus of Mr. Mukherjee’s three-nation visit will be on
energising India’s existing business ties with Ghana, Namibia and Cote