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The Global Events that engulfed 2017


By Sumit Kr

International Affairs, in the world of Globalization, remains very much a National affair. This is why an election for the President’s office in U.S.A matters as much to India as does the relation of India with China matters to them. The world is interconnected and in the era of globalization, the boundaries seem to have frozen to a large extent.

In 2017, some events that happened internationally need to be recounted as one bid adieu to the year. The year began with the investiture of Mister Donald Trump as the President-elect of the U.S.A. He remained in news for the most part of the year for some very-very controversial decisions. At first, he chose to annul the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that was a mega-regional trade deal between 12 countries including the U.S.A. India was not a party to the deal, and if the regional bloc had started to trade, India’s exports, that are already struggling to pick up, would have further dampened.

Then, he announced the withdrawal of U.S.A from the “Paris Summit”, that was forged in 2015 to reduce the menace of climate-change by putting up efforts to reduce the rise in average temperature levels through different means and ways. He referred to the “Climate-Change” as a “hoax-theory” being peddled to hurt U.S.A’s economic interests. Climate-Change is real and the U.S.A, a rich country, could have helped in terms of resources as well as developing adaption and mitigation techniques through the technological aid.

The “Qatar-diplomatic crisis” happened in June when some Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia chose to sever ties with Qatar for their alleged support to terrorist groups. They alleged Qatar of supporting the groups like “Brotherhood Movement” and tarred “Al-Jazeera”, a news channel based in Qatar, as an agency fomenting terrorism. This led to a blockade of essentials to Qatar followed by the repatriation of Qatari citizens working in those countries.

Europe has been quite in turmoil these days. This time, the center of friction was Spain, where Catalonia voted for separation from the country in a referendum. The Prime Minister of Spain, as well as the highest court of the country, rejected the referendum as mala-fide, illegal and unconstitutional. The elections to the state were re-held but much to the delight of separatist voices, the separatist parties got the majority of votes. The region stays in turmoil because of its bay for a separate country and the upcoming year will see if the tumult in the region is becalmed or is rather aggravated.

North-Korea remained persistent in its nuclear policy, accumulating more and more destroyers despite the resolutions passed against the country in the U.N.S.C meet. The rhetoric and harangue from both sides, the U.S.A and North-Korea remained ceaseless. Even two days before as I write this article, the U.N.S.C passed further resolutions against the North-Korea reducing the export of crude oil and refined petroleum products to the recalcitrant country as well as asking the expatriation of North-Koreans working in different countries to their home-state.

Lastly, on December 5, Donald Trump made an unprecedented decision to move the U.S’s embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision of him earned him widespread pillory from the entire world, that was eventually endorsed in the resolution passed by the U.N.G.A condemning the U.S.A’s decision. Jerusalem has been the central bone of contention between the Israel-Palestine conflict and any change in status-quo regarding the city had the prospects of signaling a change in the status of U.S.A as a neutral moderator. Mahmud Abbas, Palestinian P.M retaliated by shunning the meet with Mike Pence, the Vice-President of U.S.A who was scheduled to visit the region. India chose to support its traditional policy of voting in favour of Palestine. This, despite the fact that Prime Minister Modi had visited Israel a few months ago and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli P.M. is scheduled to visit India in the next month. India and Israel have been getting closer but the Indian Government chose to side with the Palestine side in the U.N. presumably to avert any backlash and confrontation from the Arab allies. The repercussions of voting against the U.S.A is yet to be gauged given the fact that Donald Trump, runs International diplomacy alike business transaction and the disapproval of his policy by its strategic partner in the South-Asian region could have some repercussions, the intensity of which may be felt in the coming year.

Pakistan, the “Brother-Enemy”, remains the most belligerent adversary of India. Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 attacks, launched a Political Party named Milli Muslim League(M.M.L) and announced that he will be contesting the 2018 general elections. If he succeeds in his endeavor to run for a political office, this will further worsen Indo-Pak relation. It will also lead to more problems for Pakistan at the international fora as the world will ask more questions to the country on its vow to fight terror.