(Sample Material) Study Kit on Current Affairs for UPSC Mains
India and World Organizations: Andean Community (CAN)
The Andean Community is a trade bloc of four countries -
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
Uruguay are associate members while Panama, Mexico, and Spain are Observers. The
Headquarters of CAN are located in Lima, Peru. Colombia assumed the Presidency
Pro-Tempore of CAN for the period 2011-2012. The regional integration in the
Andean countries began with the signing of the Cartagena Agreement (by Bolivia,
Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) in 1969 creating the Andean Pact with the
objective of creating a Customs Union and a Common Market. Venezuela joined the
Pact in 1973 but withdrew in 2006 after Colombia and Peru signed Free Trade
Agreements with USA. Chile withdrew in 1976 claiming economic incompatibilities.
In 1979, the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers, the Andean Court of Justice,
and the Andean Parliament were created. In 1985 the Andean Parliament agreed to
the establishment of the Simon Bolivar Andean University located in Sucre,
former capital of Bolivia. In 1990, the Andean Presidential Council was created.
In 1991, they approved an open skies policy. In 1993, four members (except Peru
which was temporarily suspended) established a free trade zone. In 1995, the
members adopted a Common External Tariff.
In 1996, the Protocol of Trujillo renamed the Pact as the
Andean Community. It also converted the Board of the Cartagena Agreement into a
General Secretariat based in Lima, Peru, with not only technical but also
political functions giving a new political direction to the integration process.
In 2001, the Andean Passport was created, enabling citizens of member states to
travel between the countries without visa. In 2005, the integration of Latin
American and Caribbean regions gained priority in the agenda of Andean
Community. In 2006, the Andean Free Trade Area became fully operational after
Peru was fully incorporated. CAN community deals with the following issues:
- Trade in Goods
- Trade in Services
- Customs Union
- Circulation of Persons
- Common Market
- Common Foreign Policy
- Border Development
- Social Agenda
- Sustainable Development
- Economic Policies
In July 2011 the CAN Presidents reaffirmed their commitment
to deepen Andean integration and launched the reengineering of the Andean
Integration System (SAI). The Andean Parliament met in Lima on 29th October to
discuss and agree on joint measures to solve the problems faced by migrants
abroad. The meeting, which includes the participation of 20 Parliamentarians
from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, also assessed regulations in
the functioning of the Parliament of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
Important Institutional Bodies within the Andean Community
Besides the Andean Council of Presidents and the Council of Foreign
Ministers, CAN has the following institutions:
(i) General Secretariat - This is the executive body, with a
full time Secretary General. At present Adalid Contreras Baspineiro (of Bolivia)
is the Acting Secretary General. The Secretariat is in Lima, Peru.
(ii) Andean Parliament - is the policy advisory body and is situated in Bogota,
Colombia. It consists of 5 Members of Parliament from each member country,
directly elected for a period of 5 years.
(iii) Andean Court of Justice - This body in Quito, Ecuador resolves disputes
among member countries.
(iv) Latin American Development Bank (CAF) –Although CAF is much larger and has
18 Latin American and Caribbean nations as shareholder countries, it is the
leading source of external financing for members, contributing more than 40% of
their requirements. The annual total credit given by CAF is over US$ 2 billion.
The credit is given to regional integration projects and financing of
international commerce of companies and banks and government projects. CAF has
established its reputation as a successful regional fund with strong
fundamentals and good credit rating. Exim Bank of India has extended a US$ 10
million line of credit to CAF. CAF is situated in Caracas, Venezuela.
(v) Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR) – is a common reserve fund that seeks the
stability of member countries by improving their external position and
strengthening regional support. Initially called the Andean Reserve Fund, it
began operations in 1978. In 1988, accession of other Latin American countries
was permitted. Besides the 4 CAN members, FLAR presently also has Costa Rica,
Uruguay and Venezuela as its members. It is headquartered in Bogota.
(vi) Simón Bolívar Andean University – With its main campus in Sucre (Bolivia),
it also has branches in Quito, La Paz, Caracas and Cali.
The Andean Community has a total population of 100 million
with a combined GDP of US$ 580 billion. Although formed in 1969, CAN became
operational in the nineties with the establishment of a Free Trade Area in 1993
and Customs Union in February 1995. Internal problems in these countries in the
last few years have slowed down the integration process.
Today 100% of the goods of Andean origin circulate dutyfree
within the CAN. During the period January-November 2012, the exports of Andean
community to the world were US $ 116 billion – an increase of 2% as compared to
the same period last year. During the period January-November 2012, the
intra-community exports increased by 13% (from US $ 8.4 billion to US $ 9.5
billion) as compared to the same period last year.
Free Flow of People
Since January 1, 2005, the citizens of the member countries
can enter the other Andean Community member states without the requirement of
visa. Passengers only need to present their national ID cards. The Andean
passport was created in June 2001. Passports of all 4 member countries are
issued based on a standard model which contains harmonized features of
nomenclature and security.
CAN and Mercosur
The Andean Community and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
and Paraguay) comprise the two main trading blocs of South America. In April
1998, they signed a Framework Agreement for the creation of a Free Trade Area
between each other and launched negotiations. The first stage of signing by CAN
of economic complementarity or tariff preferences agreements with individual
Mercosur members were concluded, followed by each CAN member signing a free
trade agreement with Mercosur. Subsequently, CAN and Mercosur, along with
nations like Chile, have been spearheading deeper integration of all South
America through the Union of South American Nations(UNASUR) patterned on the
CAN and India
In June 2003, India and CAN established a Political Dialogue
and Cooperation Mechanism for the purpose of strengthening and diversifying
their friendship, understanding and cooperation and developing mutual trade and
investment relations and cultural and scientific exchanges. During his official
visit to Peru, MOS Dr. Shashi Tharoor met CAN Secretary General Freddy Ehlers,
the then Chair Pro Tempore (Peru) of CAN and the Andean Ambassadors accredited
to Lima on 21 January 2010. MOS Dr. Tharoor expressed India’s interest in
strengthening political and economic relations and cooperation with the Andean
Community. The CAN Secretary General wished to cooperate in the fields of
environment, energy and food security, rural development and science and
technology. The CAN Chair Pro Tempore reiterated the interest of the member
countries in holding the First Meeting of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation
The objectives of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism are, among
- Deepen the Parties’ knowledge of each other;
- Conduct the political dialogue and cooperation in areas of mutual
- Expand and diversify trade and investment and study mechanisms to
facilitate the Parties’ access to each other’s markets;
- Promote scientific, technical and technological cooperation; and
- Foster cultural and tourist exchanges.
The Andean Community, aware of the dynamic role India is
called upon to play on the world scene, would like to reinforce the subregion’s
projection toward that country by starting up the Political Dialogue and
Cooperation Mechanism, together with other instruments that could be developed
within the framework of its Common Foreign Policy.
- The groundwork for the Community was established in 1969 in the
- In 1973 Venezuela joins Andean Pact
- In 1976, Augusto Pinochet withdrew Chile from the Andean Community
claiming economic incompatibilities
- In 1979, the treaty creating the Court of Justice was signed and the
Andean Parliament created and the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers were
- In 1983, the treaty creating the Court of Justice entered into effect
- In 1991, the presidents approved the open skies policy and agree to
- In 1992, Peru temporarily suspended its obligations under the
- In 1993, the Free Trade Zone entered into full operation for Bolivia,
Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela
- In 1994, the Common External Tariff was approved
- In 1996, the Cartagena Agreement Commission approved the regulatory
context for the establishment, operation, and exploitation of the Simón
Bolívar Satellite System
- In 1997, an agreement was reached for Peru’s gradual incorporation into
the Andean Free Trade Zone
- In 1998, the Framework Agreement for the creation of a Free Trade Area
between the Andean Community and the Mercosur was signed in Buenos Aires
- In 2000, a meeting of the South American Presidents, at which the Andean
Community Heads of State and Mercosur decide to launch negotiations for
establishing a free trade area between the two blocs as rapidly as possible
and by January 2002 at the latest
- In August 2003, the Andean Community and Mercosur Foreign Ministers,
during a meeting in Montevideo at which the CAN delivered a working proposal
containing guidelines for the negotiation, reaffirmed their governments’
political determination to move ahead with the negotiation of a free trade
agreement between the two blocs
- In April 2006 President Hugo Chávez announced that Venezuela would
withdraw from the Andean Community, claiming the FTA agreements signed by
Colombia and Peru with the USA caused irreparable damage to the community
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and
Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar,
Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand brings together 1.5 billion people – 21% of the world
population, and a combined GDP of over US$ 2.5 trillion.
Evolution of Bimstec
BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand - Economic
Cooperation) was formed at a meeting in Jun 1997 in Bangkok. Myanmar was
admitted in Dec 1997 and the organization was renamed as BIMST-EC. The grouping
expanded when Nepal and Bhutan were admitted in Feb 2004. The grouping’s name
was changed to BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical
and Economic Cooperation) at 1st Summit Meeting held in Bangkok in Jul 2004.
Functioning of Bimstec
BIMSTEC organizes inter-governmental interactions through
Summits, Ministerial Meetings, Senior Officials Meetings and Expert Group
Meetings and through BIMSTEC Working Group (BWG) based in Bangkok. There have
been two BIMSTEC Summit meetings (Bangkok Jul 2004, New Delhi Nov 2008), and 13
Foreign Ministerial meetings (13th MM held in Nay Pyi Taw in Jan 2011) and 15
SOMs so far. Myanmar is hosting the 3rd BIMSTEC Summit, 14th Ministerial
Meeting, 16th SOM and 2nd Preparatory meetings from 1-4 March, 2014 in Nay Pyi
Taw. BIMSTEC Chairmanship rotates among member countries (alphabetically).
Myanmar is Chair of the Group since Dec 2009 and took over from previous chair
India (Aug 2006-Dec 2009). Nepal has agreed to Chair after 3rd Summit.
Bimstec Permanent Secretariat
The BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat is to be established in
Dhaka with first SG to be nominated by Sri Lanka. India would be contributing
32% of the cost of Secretariat reflecting its strong commitment to BIMSTEC
Areas of Cooperation
BIMSTEC has identified 14 priority areas where a member
country takes lead. India is lead country for Transport & Communication,
Tourism, Environment & Disaster Management and Counter Terrorism & Transnational
Transport and Communications (India)
BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study (BTILS)
conducted by ADB in 2007 was endorsed in 12th Ministerial Meeting (Dec 2009).
The Report was finalised in Dec 2013. ADB organised Inception Workshop on BTILS
updating and 1st meeting of Expert Group on Road Development in Yangon in Jun
A BIMSTEC Information Centre has been established in Jul 2007
in New Delhi. Ministry of Tourism organized a meeting on BIMSTEC Information
Centre and contribution to Tourism Fund (1st JWG on Tourism) in Sep 2013 in New
Delhi. 1st Round Table and Workshop of Tourism Ministers was held in Kolkata in
Feb 2005; Nepal held 2nd Meeting in Kathmandu in Aug 2006; Bangladesh will host
Transnational Crime (CTTC)
BIMSTEC cooperation under CTTC has been divided into 4
sub-groups with lead shepherds - Intelligence Sharing (Sri Lanka); Combating
Financing of Terrorism (Thailand), Legal and Law Enforcement Issues (India) and
Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotics Drugs, Psychotropic Substances
and Precursors (Myanmar).
L&T Division of MEA hosted 5th Sub-group on Legal & Law
enforcement issues in Jan 2013 in New Delhi where draft Convention on Mutual
Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was finalised. Members signed ‘BIMSTEC
Convention on Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime
and Illicit Drug Trafficking’ in Dec 2009; India has ratified it.
Environment and Disaster Management
10. Ministry of Earth Sciences in association with MEA
conducted a Workshop on “Seasonal Prediction and Application to Society” in June
2011. India is establishing BIMSTEC Weather and Climate Centre at National
Weather Forecasting Centre at NOIDA. The MOA for establishment of the Centre was
finalized at 10th Ministerial meeting in New Delhi in Aug 2008 and is expected
to be signed during 3rd Summit.
Trade & Investment (Bangladesh)
A Framework Agreement for BIMSTEC Free Trade Area was signed
in Phuket, Thailand in Feb 2004. The Framework Agreement commits the parties to
negotiate FTAs in goods, services and investments. An agreement on Trade in
Goods and other provisions relating to Rules of Origin, Operational
Certification Procedures and agreement on Customs Cooperation was finalised in
Jun 2009 at 18th Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meeting in Phuket. 19th TNC
was held in Bangkok in Feb 2011.India has exchanged its tariff preference
schedules with member countries.
The 6th meeting of BIMSTEC Business and Economic Forum were
held in Feb 2011 in Bangkok. India hosted a Business Summit meeting in Nov 2008
in association with CII, FICCI, and ASSOCHAM. India hosts an annual Integrating
BIMSTEC Seminar held in the North East (Shillong 2013, Imphal 2014). To
facilitate business travel among BIMSTEC member countries, three meetings of the
Expert Group have been held on BIMSTEC Visa Scheme.
Cultural Cooperation (Bhutan)
Members are expected to sign MoU on establishment of BIMSTEC
Cultural Industries Commission (BCIC) and BIMSTEC Cultural Industries
Observatory (BCIO), Bhutan during 3rd Summit. India hosted the 1st Expert Group
Meeting BCIC&O in 2006 in New Delhi. The first BIMSTEC Ministerial meeting on
Culture was held in Paro, Bhutan in May 2006.
Thailand hosted BIMSTEC Regional Workshop and Study Visit on
Bio-Fuels Production and Utilization in Jun 2012 in Bangkok. Ministry of Power
hosted 4th meeting of Task Force on Power Exchange in Jan 2013 in New Delhi
which discussed the draft text of MOU on Grid Inter-connection. Meeting of
Energy Ministers took place in Oct 2005 in New Delhi and in March 4-5, 2010 in
India also hosted Task Force Meeting in Feb 2011 in Bengaluru and SOM in Feb
2011 in New Delhi on operationalisation of BIMSTEC Energy Centre (MOA signed
during 13th MM). A land for the Centre has been allocated in premises of Central
Power Research Institute, Bengaluru.
Sri Lanka hosted the 3rd meeting on Agriculture in Kandy in
Nov 2010. Earlier, at the 2nd Expert Group Meeting held in New Delhi in Apr
2008, nine priority areas (along with lead countries), were finalised; India
will lead in Prevention and control of transboundary animal diseases (India);
Affiliation of Universities/Research Institutions (India); Development of
agricultural biotechnology including bio-safety (India); Development of Seeds
Poverty Alleviation (Nepal)
Nepal hosted the 2nd Ministerial Meeting in Jan 2012 in Kathmandu where Plan
of Poverty Alleviation was adopted.
Technology (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka hosted the 3rd meeting on May 9-10, 2011 in Colombo on
establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Exchange Facility. The meeting
discussed the draft Concept Paper.
Thailand organized a training programme on Advance Aquatic Plants Tissue
Culture in Aug 2013 in Bangkok.
Public Health (Thailand)
Deptt. Of AYUSH in association with MEA hosted two Workshops
on IPR issues and Regulatory issues in Traditional Medicines in October 2011 in
New Delhi. Since 2005, India has granted 30 slots of AYUSH scholarships to study
in India in the fields of traditional medicine in undergraduate, post-graduate
and doctorate programs.
Thailand hosted 2nd meeting of Network of National centres of
Coordination in Traditional Medicine in Aug 2010 in Nonthaburi; Institute of PG
Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (IPGTRA), Jamnagar is the Indian nominee.
People-to-People Contact (Thailand)
At India offers 1440 (Civilian), 274 (Defence) and 18 slots
in NDC & DSSC under ITEC programme to BIMSTEC countries and the utilisation is
almost 1200. India has set up BIMSTEC Network of Think Tanks with RIS as nodal
agency. RIS hosted a two-day meeting of think tanks on 12-13 Feb, 2010.
Climate Change (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh will be circulating a concept paper on cooperation in this area
India signed three agreements with the Bay of Bengal
Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
members on culture exchanges, weather warning and establishment of permanent
The documents were signed by External Affairs Minister Salman
Khurshid, Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister Md. Shahriar Alam, Bhutan Foreign
Affairs Minister Lyonpo Rinzin Dorje, Myanmar Foreign Affairs Minister U Wunna
Maung Lwin, Nepal Foreign Affairs Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, Sri Lanka
External Affairs Ministry Secretary Kshenuka Senewiratne and Thailand Foreign
Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow.
Member countries signed a Memorandum of Association (MoA) on
the establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat. The objective of MoA is
to establish Secretariat at Dhaka, Bangladesh, which will coordinate and
facilitate the implementation of the BIMSTEC activities and projects and to
service meetings of BIMSTEC. The Secretariat is expected to function from May
2014 with Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka as the first Secretary General of
The members also signed another MoA on the establishment of a
BIMSTEC centre for weather and climate. The document aims to establish the
weather and climate centre in India which will promote cooperation in identified
areas of fundamental and applied scientific research in weather prediction and
climate modeling and capacity building in weather and climate research. Ministry
of Earth Sciences is establishing the centre in premises of National Centre for
Medium Range Weather Forecasting, NOIDA.
The nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment
of the BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Commission (BCIC) and BIMSTEC Cultural
Industries Observatory (BCIO).
The objective of this MoU is to set up Observatory in Bhutan,
which will serve as a repository for information on cultural industries,
disseminate such information and facilitate its access by the member countries.
The Cultural Industries Commission is a high level oversight mechanism for the
observatory, which will develop plans and programmes in this area.