WTO Members strike a $1.3 trillion IT trade deal

By Sarthak Malhotra

 According to  a press release by WTO, 54 WTO Members reached a tentative accord at the WTO headquarters in Geneva to eliminate tariffs on more than 200 Information Technology Products (IT Products).Read More »

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Iran Nuclear Deal: Decoded and Explained

by Sarthak Malhotra

On 14th July 2015, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran agreed upon a historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear programme.  This JCPOA is built on the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) agreed in Geneva on 24 November 2013. A Joint Commission consisting of aforementioned countries and Iran will monitor the implementation of JCPOA.  The agreement also contemplates that these countries will meet at the ministerial level every 2 years, or earlier  if needed, in order to review and asses the progress.Read More »

Arbitration Proceedings against Russia to protect the Investment lost in Crimea

By Sarthak Malhotra

A number of press reports suggest that PrivatBank (Dnipropetrovsk), the largest commercial bank in Ukraine, has decided to initiate arbitration proceedings against Russia in order to protect the investment that the bank allegedly lost due to the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

The Bank’s press service was quoted as saying:

PrivatBank jointly with Finilon finance company has initiated arbitration proceedings against the Russian Federation for the protection of the investment lost in Crimea. An arbitration court has been formed and will carry out the proceedings in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

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Tiny Marshall Islands challenging Nuclear Powers (Including India and Pakistan) in the International Court of Justice

By Karmanye Thadani

A tiny country in the Pacific Ocean, the Marshall Islands, has tried to employ international law to enforce nuclear disarmament by taking nuclear-armed countries, namely Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). While I am not familiar with the domestic politics or foreign policy of the Marshall Islands, on the face of it, this does seem to be a noble initiative not motivated by realpolitik. What makes this line of thinking more palatable is the explanation that the government of that country has itself given, which is that their people have been victims of 67 US nuclear tests for 12 years following the end of World War II, which caused lasting adverse health and environmental effects. Indeed, the Marshall Islands was a country that saw invasions by both the Japanese and the Americans, and until 1986, was not a fully sovereign country free from American domination, and the Americans used the Marshall Islands as a place for nuclear tests, with radioactive radiation causing cancer and other such diseases. Now, the Marshall Islands has attempted at taking up the task of preventing such a thing from happening anywhere, advocating complete nuclear disarmament. “Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons, and we vow to fight so that no one else on earth will ever again experience these atrocities,” the country’s foreign minister, Tony de Brum, said in a statement announcing the law suits. Several Nobel Peace Prize winners are said to support the legal action, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Iranian-born human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi.

 While the idea is undoubtedly righteous, many have contended that nuclear weapons have themselves served as a deterrent to war in many cases and have, therefore, indirectly helped the cause of world peace, they having been employed only once, indeed with devastating effects, by the Americans in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.Read More »