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    Friday, March 30, 2012

    Taimoor Gondal Diplomat

    Join Date: Jul 2010Location: Mandi BahauddinPosts: 1,757Thanks: 1,623Thanked 2,062 Times in 1,053 Posts

    Current Affairs Notes


    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok,Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers ofASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.ASEAN covers an area of 4.46 million km, 3% of the total land area of Earth, with a population ofapproximately 600 million people, 8.8% of the world population. In 2010, its combined nominal GDP hadgrown to US$1.8 trillion. If ASEAN was a single entity, it would rank as the ninth largest economy in theworld.


    As set out in the ASEAN Declaration, the aims and purposes of ASEAN are:1. To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region throughjoint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for aprosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations;2. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in therelationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter;

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  • 3. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic,social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields;4. To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational,professional, technical and administrative spheres;5. To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of their agriculture and industries, theexpansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, theimprovement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standardsof their peoples;6. To promote Southeast Asian studies; and7. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations withsimilar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.


    In their relations with one another, the ASEAN Member States have adopted the following fundamentalprinciples, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) of 1976:1. Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity ofall nations;2. The right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion orcoercion;3. Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another;4. Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner;5. Renunciation of the threat or use of force; and6. Effective cooperation among themselves.


    The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN Leaders on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN, agreed on ashared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stabilityand prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caringsocieties.At the 9th ASEAN Summit in 2003, the ASEAN Leaders resolved that an ASEAN Community shall beestablished.At the 12th ASEAN Summit in January 2007, the Leaders affirmed their strong commitment to acceleratethe establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015 and signed the Cebu Declaration on the Accelerationof the Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015.The ASEAN Community is comprised of three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community,ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. Each pillar has its own Blueprint,and, together with the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Strategic Framework and IAI Work PlanPhase II (2009-2015), they form the Roadmap for and ASEAN Community 2009-2015.


    The ASEAN Charter serves as a firm foundation in achieving the ASEAN Community by providing legalstatus and institutional framework for ASEAN. It also codifies ASEAN norms, rules and values; sets cleartargets for ASEAN; and presents accountability and compliance.The ASEAN Charter entered into force on 15 December 2008. A gathering of the ASEAN Foreign Ministerswas held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to mark this very historic occasion for ASEAN.With the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter, ASEAN will henceforth operate under a new legalframework and establish a number of new organs to boost its community-building process.In effect, the ASEAN Charter has become a legally binding agreement among the 10 ASEAN MemberStates.

    Enlargement of ASEAN:-

    During the 1990s, the bloc experienced an increase in both membership and drive for further integration.In 1990, Malaysia proposed the creation of an East Asia Economic Caucus comprising the then members ofASEAN as well as the People's Republic of China, Japan, and South Korea, with the intention ofcounterbalancing the growing influence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) and in the Asian region as a whole. This proposal failed, however, because of heavy opposition

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    from the United States and Japan. Despite this failure, member states continued to work for furtherintegration and ASEAN Plus Three was created in 1997.In 1992, the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) scheme was signed as a schedule for phasingtariffs and as a goal to increase the regions competitive advantage as a production base geared for theworld market. This law would act as the framework for the ASEAN Free Trade Area. After the East AsianFinancial Crisis of 1997, a revival of the Malaysian proposal was established in Chiang Mai, known as theChiang Mai Initiative, which calls for better integration between the economies of ASEAN as well as theASEAN Plus Three countries (China, Japan, and South Korea).Aside from improving each member state's economies, the bloc also focused on peace and stability in theregion. On 15 December 1995, the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty was signed withthe intention of turning Southeast Asia into a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The treaty took effect on 28March 1997 after all but one of the member states have ratified it. It became fully effective on 21 June2001, after the Philippines ratified it, effectively banning all nuclear weapons in the region.Early 2011, East Timor plans to submit a letter of application to the ASEAN Secretariat in Indonesia to bethe eleventh member of ASEAN at the summit in Jakarta. Indonesia has shown a warm welcome to EastTimor.[/SIZE]

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    Friday, March 30, 2012

    Taimoor Gondal Diplomat

    Join Date: Jul 2010Location: Mandi BahauddinPosts: 1,757Thanks: 1,623Thanked 2,062 Times in 1,053 Posts

    Baluchistan conflict

    The Government of Pakistan over Baluchistan, the country's largest province. Recently,separatists have also clashed with Islamic Republic of Iran over its respective Balochregion, which borders Pakistan. Shortly after Pakistan's creation in 1947, the Army of theIslamic Republic had to subdue insurgents based in Kalat who rejected the King of Kalatdecision to accede to Pakistan, reminiscent of the Indian Army's operation in thePrincipality state of Hyderabad. The movement gained momentum during the 1960s, andamid consistent political disorder, the government ordered a military operation into theregion in 1973, assisted by Iran, and inflicted heavy casualties on the separatists. Themovement was largely quelled after the imposition of martial law in 1977, after whichBaluchistan witnessed significant development. After insurgency groups againmushroomed in the 1990s and 2000s, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the war inNorth