DAILY BRIEF: THURSDAY, 15TH DECEMBER 2016

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President Putin meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo. Image Credit - 2nix / depositphotos

President Putin meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo. Image Credit - 2nix / depositphotos

LOCAL NEWS

US to strengthen transitional justice in Sri Lanka

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) in the US Department of State has allocated USD 1.7 million to fund organisations working to enhance transitional justice and reconciliation n Sri Lanka.

The DRL aims to finance projects that will have an immediate impact and can facilitate long-term sustainable reforms. It will give special consideration to projects that promote interaction amongst communities in the north, east, and south.

Sri Lanka adopts national policy on child labour

The Cabinet has approved the adoption and implementation of a national policy on eliminating child labour in Sri Lanka, which was proposed by the Minister of Labour and Trade Relations, W. D.J. Seneviratna. The government has stated that this policy is essential to regaining the GSP plus facility of the EU.  

Sri Lanka made a commitment to eliminating child labour at ‘The Hague Global Child Labour Conference’ in 2010.

Cabinet approves Foreign Currency Term Financing Facility

The Cabinet has approved the appointment of a steering committee and technical evaluation committee to arrange a Foreign Currency Term Financing Facility within the approved borrowing limit for 2017. The proposal was made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, and the Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake.

The Foreign Currency Term Financing Facility is expected to facilitate low cost financing and access to diverse investment communities that wish to invest in Sri Lanka.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Developing countries behind on sustainable development goals

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has stated that the proportion of global poor who live in the 48 least developed countries (LDCs) has doubled since 1990, to over 40%. It stated that LDCs are stuck in a poverty trap, which is “a vicious circle in which poverty leads to poor nutrition and health, and lack of education, undermining productivity and investment.”

UNCTAD emphasised that the weak performance of LDCs could hamper progress towards the UN’s sustainable development targets for 2030.

Russian President visits Japan

President Vladimir Putin has made his first visit to Japan in 11 years, to discuss Russia’s return of the Kuril chain islands with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The islands have been held by Russia since the end of World War II.

The leaders are also expected to discuss further economic cooperation between the two countries.

UN Security Council to debate on disarmament resolution

The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on resolution 1540. Resolution 1540, which was adopted in 2004, seeks to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) to non state-actors.

The debate will mark the end of the second comprehensive review on the implementation of the resolution. The Security Council is expected to adopt another resolution that endorses this review and notes its findings and recommendations.