Daily Current Affairs for IAS/HAS

World Customs Organization

80th Session of the Policy Commission of the World Customs Organization (WCO) was held recently in Mumbai. The Session was organized by the WCO and hosted by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

About WCO:

The World Customs Organization (WCO), established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.

Roles and functions:

 

 

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Qatar has announced that it would leave OPEC on January 1, 2019. The decision comes just days before OPEC and its allies are scheduled to hold a meeting in Vienna, Austria. Qatar said it is leaving OPEC in order to focus on gas production.

What’s the issue?

The decision to pull out after more than five decades comes at a turbulent time in Gulf politics, with Doha under a boycott by former neighbouring allies including Saudi Arabia for 18 months.

Since June 2017, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia — along with three other Arab states — has cut trade and transport ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and its regional rival Iran. Qatar denies the claims, saying the boycott hampers its national sovereignty.

Background:

Qatar’s oil production is around 600,000 barrels per day, making it the world’s 17th largest producer of crude. It also only holds around two percent of the world’s global oil reserves.

About OPEC:

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a group of oil-producing nations that was first established in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1961. OPEC is one of the most powerful international organizations in the world and was a major player in the shift towards state control over natural resources.

Membership:

The OPEC Statute distinguishes between the Founder Members and Full Members – those countries whose applications for membership have been accepted by the Conference.

GabonIranIraqKuwaitLibyaNigeriaQatar, the Republic of the CongoSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

 

 

Soyuz

A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and has reached orbit, in the first manned mission since a failed launch in October.

Soyuz- key facts:

What Is the International Space Station?

NASARoscosmosJAXAESA, and CSA.