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November 16, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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President Obama arrives in Greece for three-day European visit. Image Credit - starush /depositphotos

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UN committee conducts periodic review on Sri Lanka on torture

Delegates from the Sri Lankan government have been questioned on allegations of torture and sexual violence committed by security forces, and on the policy and legal framework of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act, at the 59th Session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT), in Geneva.

The two-day review of Sri Lanka by UNCAT will conclude on 16 November, and the concluding observations of UNCAT will be published on 7 December.

Sri Lanka to launch project to increase trade competitiveness

Sri Lanka and the EU have launched a four-year project to develop Sri Lanka’s trade competitiveness in regional and European markets. The project will be implemented by the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Sri Lanka’s Department of Commerce.

The expected outcomes of the project include a coherent trade strategy and efficient cross-border procedures. The project will also focus on the food and IT Business Process Outsourcing sectors, which have high export potential.

Sri Lanka and Turkey resume trade discussions

Sri Lanka and Turkey have resumed bilateral trade discussions after more than two decades, with the Sri Lanka-Turkey Joint Committee Meeting of Technical and Economic Cooperation taking place in Ankara, on 11 November.

At the meeting, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, noted the growing trend in bilateral trade between the two countries. The Turkish Minister of National Education, Ismet Yilmaz, set a trade target of US$ 500 million for the year 2020.


Japan and South Korea sign preliminary pact on intelligence sharing

Japan and South Korea have signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement, a preliminary pact to share and protect sensitive information on North Korea’s missile and nuclear activities. The pact was originally expected to have been signed in 2012, but was postponed due to domestic opposition in South Korea.

The two governments signed the pact on 14 November, despite calls from South Korea’s opposition parties to impeach their current Defence Minister, Han Min-koo, for his support of the agreement.

President Obama on three-day visit to Europe

President Obama has arrived in Greece on his last visit to Europe as President. He is expected to deliver a speech today which will highlight the importance of inclusive growth to tackle issues of globalisation and resulting inequalities.

The U.S. President is expected to meet several leaders on his visit, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and French President François Hollande.

Meeting of APEC leaders begins in Peru

The 2016 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week has commenced in Lima, and is scheduled to run from 14-20 November, under the theme “Quality growth and human development”.

Discussions will be held on advancing regional economic integration, enhancing the regional food market, supporting small and medium business development, and boosting labour forces in APEC member countries.

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