Women Power: Swaraj, Ivanka Trump bond at UNGA

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invite to the US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to be her father’s goodwill ambassador and lead the US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this year, it was hailed as a significant diplomatic move considering how Ivanka has emerged as one of the most influential people in the Trump administration.

Taking a step forward, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Ivanka Trump on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly summit in New York and discussed women empowerment and the upcoming entrepreneurship summit in Hyderabad which PM Modi is very keen on promoting to showcase the best brains of the country.

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North Korea’s ‘Rocket Man’ top on Trump’s UNGA agenda

The deepening standoff with North Korea and the Iran nuclear accord are expected to top President Donald Trump’s agenda when he delivers his debut address to the United Nations General Assembly session next week. He will meet jointly with the leaders of South Korea and Japan for lunch on Thursday to discuss the looming North Korean threat.
In a tweet on  September 17,  Mr  Trump mocked Kim Jong-un as the “Rocket Man” adding to his long line of inflammatory comments directed at the DPRK chief. He said: “I spoke with president Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”
The Trump administration is getting increasingly vocal about the possibility of a military action if North Korea does not put a lid on its nuclear programme. The United Nations Security Council adopted a new round of sanctions on North Korea last Monday, reducing gasoline exports and crude oil supplies, in response to the nation’s sixth and largest nuclear weapons test. But the defiant regime responded with a fresh missile launch over Japan on Friday warning sanctions will only further accelerate its nuclear programme.
Speaking to CNN, US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said, “If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed.”

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Bolstering Brics: Mapping New Pathways

The 8th BRICS Summit in Goa marked the 15th anniversary of an idea proposed in 2001. However, BRICS as a grouping has grown into something much wider and deeper in the intervening 15 years. South Africa was added to the group in 2011, enlarging it from four members to five. In terms of agenda and areas of interest also, BRICS has had a very successful evolution.
What does the future trajectory of BRICS look like? Will it continue to grow in strength and influence? Will some of the strategic competition between the members make it less effective? What will be the impact of the serious economic slowdown on three of the five members? Can BRICS make a lasting contribution in areas like Sustainable Development and Global Governance? These are some of the questions faced by the five countries. A medium and long-term vision is needed to take the group forward.
For India, apart from the gains emanating from intra-BRICS cooperation, there is a visible additionality to the country’s global clout. There are areas in global governance where India by itself cannot bring about changes. However, BRICS as a platform has the potential to do this. A multi-polar or polycentric world of the future is more likely to have these kinds of groupings as the centres of influence, rather than individual countries, and that is where the value of BRICS lies.

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US bill to designate Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism: Boost for India’s anti-terror drive

India’s strategy of isolating Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack has struck a powerful chord in the US. A day after US Secretary of State John Kerry chastised Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and asked him to prevent terrorists from using his country as safe havens, two American legislators introduced a legislation in the US Congress to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The bill, H.R 6069 or the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, calls upon the US administration to make a formal assessment on the matter within four months of its passage.
The move to brand Pakistan as a terrorist state is seen as a triumph of Indian diplomacy as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj heads to the US on a concerted drive to corner Pakistan on account of its alleged complicity in the Uri terror attack in north Kashmir, which killed 18 Indian soldiers.
The bill is seen as a huge setback for Mr Sharif as he gears up to make a speech in the UNGA, in which he is expected to highlight India’s alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.
The US’ admonition of Pakistan underscores Washington’s growing wariness with Islamabad’s systematic duplicity on terrorism, and will bolster India’s drive to isolate Pakistan in the international community.

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Stage set for Modi-Obama summit in White House

It’s official. The defining partnership of the 21st century is set to get a fresh sparkle when the White House hosts India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his maiden summit with US President Obama in Washington September 30.

Prime Minister Modi will travel to Washington September 29, after a clutch of back-to-back meetings in New York, which includes his maiden address to the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

President Obama will host a private dinner for the Indian leader at the White House on September 29, to which only seniormost figures of his Cabinet will be invited. On September 30, the two leaders will hold full-spectrum talks to reinvigorate the India-US relationship and set fresh benchmarks for fructifying the full potential of this critical strategic partnership. This will be followed by a lunch hosted for Prime Minister Modi by US Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department on September 30.

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