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    Global Economic Prospects

    NEWS: India joblessness data not factored into World Bank growth estimates.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.
    WHY IN NEWS: The new macroeconomic data released by the government , which showed joblessness for 2017/ 18 at 6.1%, a 45year high, was not factored into the World Bank Group’s June 2019 Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report.

    The Global Economic Prospects (GEP) is the World Bank’s semi-annual flagship publication on the state of the world economy.

    Global growth is expected to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019. International trade and investment are moderating, trade tensions remain elevated, and financing conditions are tightening.

    Amid recent episodes of financial stress, growth in emerging market and developing economies has lost momentum and is projected to stall at 4.2 percent this year, with a weaker-than-expected rebound in commodity exporters accompanied by deceleration in commodity importers.


    Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD)

    NEWS: Tokyo seeks ‘2+2’ meeting with Foreign, Defence Ministers.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.
    WHY IN NEWS: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, held a telephone conversation on Tuesday and discussed maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region.

    The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by talks between member countries.

    The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.

    The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members.

    Malabar Exercise

    Malabar trilateral naval exercise of the US, Japan and India.

    The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bi-lateral one between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. However, this joint naval exercise was suspended from 1998 to 2001 as the US imposed military and economic sanctions on India amid tensions after India conducted nuclear weapon tests in Pokhran in 1998. It was revived by the two countries in 2002, and Japan became a permanent member of the Malabar exercise in 2015.


    Chagos Archipelago

    NEWS: Decolonising the Chagos archipelago.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.
    WHY IN NEWS: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted last month by a huge majority (116 out of 193 members) to demand that the U.K. “withdraw its colonial administration” within six months over the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean in favour of Mauritius. The archipelago is better known for hosting the U.S. military base at Diego Garcia. The non-binding vote was a rebuke to the U.K.

    The Chagos Archipelago is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 km south of the Maldives.

    It had been part of Mauritius since the 18th century when the French first settled the islands.

    All of the islands of French colonial territory in the region were ceded to the British in 1810.

    Before Mauritian independence, in 1965, the UK split the archipelago from the territory of Mauritius to form the British Indian Ocean Territory and permitted the US to use it for defence purposes for 50 years (until December 2016) followed by a 20-year optional extension.

    Following this US Military Base was setup in Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands.

    2,000 inhabitants were resettled in Mauritius and the Seychelles.

    The UN resolutions banned the dismemberment of colonial territories before independence.

    Therefore Mauritius claims sovereignty over the islands and states that Britain’s claim is a violation of law and of UN resolutions.

    The resettled inhabitants now number around 10,000 including their descendants and they wish to resettle.

    UK declared Marine Protected Area around Chagos in 2010, which prohibits fishing and extractive industry and has the effect of preventing any resettlement.

    In 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled this move as illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

    According to PCA, Mauritius holds legally binding rights

    • to fish in the waters surrounding the Chagos.

    • to the eventual return of the Chagos to Mauritius when no longer needed for defence purposes

    • to the preservation of the benefit of any minerals or oil discovered in the Chagos Archipelago pending its eventual return.