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October 27, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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US abstains from UN resolution on Cuban embargo. Image Credit - master2 / depositphotos

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Sri Lanka makes progress in eradicating HIV/AIDS

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has reported that Sri Lanka has experienced a significant decrease in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund’s Portfolio Manager for South East Asia, Blanca Gil Antunano, visited Sri Lanka recently and met with the Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratne, to monitor the country’s progress.

The Global Fund has agreed to provide additional financial assistance, laboratory facilities and to develop awareness programmes, to continue Sri Lanka’s progress in eradicating HIV/AIDS.

WTO hosts regional workshop in Colombo

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in partnership with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, is hosting a regional workshop titled ‘Trade-Led Development in the Multilateral Trading System’. The workshop aims to improve knowledge on links between trade and development.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, stated at the workshop that Sri Lanka is seeking to secure Special and Differential Treatment for its agricultural and service exports through the WTO.

Cabinet approves capital market strategy

The Cabinet has approved a capital market strategy for Sri Lanka, which entails regulatory and development actions for the government to implement. The strategy covers the years 2016 to 2020, and follows the cabinet’s approval of a loan worth USD 250 million from the Asian Development Bank to fund a capital market development programme.

The objective of the programme is to enhance Sri Lanka’s ability to mobilise financial resources to meet the country’s financial requirements for growth and development.


US abstains on Cuba-related resolution

The US has abstained from voting on a UN resolution that calls for an end to the economic embargo on Cuba. The US has continuously opposed such resolutions at the UN the General Assembly since 1992, and the abstention has been noted as a significant improvement in US-Cuba relations.

The resolution passed with 191 countries voting in its favour. US Ambassador, Samantha Power, has stated that the action was in line with the country’s new policy of increasing engagement with Cuba.

British Premier to visit India

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will arrive in India next month for her first official visit outside of Europe. Prime Minister May is expected to engage in discussions with Indian Prime Minister Modi, and encourage Indian investment in the UK.

When questioned on the inclusion of Kashmir in bilateral discussions, Prime Minister May reiterated the UK’s stance on Kashmir, by stating that ‘the issue of Kashmir is a matter for India and Pakistan to deal with and sort out.’

US, Japan and South Korea to increase pressure on North Korea

The US, South Korea and Japan have agreed to apply greater pressure on North Korea to eliminate its nuclear and missile development programmes. This follows a meeting held in Tokyo between US Deputy Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, South Korea’s First Vice-Foreign Minister, Lim Sung-nam, and Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister, Shinsuke Sugiyama.

Following the meeting, South Korea also agreed to directly share military intelligence on North Korea with Japan.

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