India helps Mongolia build its first refinery; India supports Nigerian Muhammad-Bande’s election to UNGA – Current Affairs
It is the largest project undertaken by India under its Lines of Credit programme. The funding was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Ulan Bator in 2015.
Story 1: India extends USD 1 billion Line of Credit to Mongolia to build its first petrochemical refinery
India on May 14, 2019 extended USD 1 billion Line of Credit to Mongolia to set up its first-ever petrochemical refinery at Sainshand in Dornogobi Province.
The line of credit will be implemented with Exim Bank funding. It is the largest project undertaken by India under its Lines of Credit programme. The funding was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Ulan Bator in 2015.
Other projects undertaken in Mongolia by India
Besides the refinery work, India will also undertake the construction of 27 kilometres of railway line, 17.5 kilometres of road and 19 kilometres of power transmission line. All these projects will ultimately connect the refinery to existing networks.
These projects are expected to be completed by September 2019.
• The work on petrochemical refinery officially began in June 2018 during the visit of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Mongolia.
• The refinery will be built at the cost of around USD 1.25 billion, of which, USD 1 billion will be provided by India as a line of credit.
• The capacity of the refinery will be 1.5 million metric tons per annum.
• Diesel and gasoline will be the primary products of the refinery, while the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), fuel oil and jet fuel will be produced as secondary products. These products could also be sold to China.
• It is expected to be completed by 2022.
Mongolia has ample of oil fields that produce enough crude for its requirements. Yet, the country imports all of its finished petrochemical products and exports almost all of its crude oil due to no refinery in the country.
Once completed, the refinery will significantly reduce Mongolia’s import dependence and will ensure energy security. This first petrochemical refinery will also cut country’s dependence on Russian fuel to some extent.
India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in December 1955, becoming the first non-Soviet Union country to establish such ties.
Lately, both the countries have strengthened their relations through mechanisms like ‘India-Mongolia Joint Working Group for Defence’ and ‘India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation (IMJCC)’.
Story 2: India backs Nigeria's Ambassador appointment as next President of UN General Assembly
India on May 14, 2019 extended its support to Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande for his appointment to the post of President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Recently, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the incumbent President of the General Assembly held an informal interactive dialogue with Muhammad-Bande, who is expected to be elected to UNGA by acclamation on June 4, 2019.
The information was shared by Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, India's Permanent Representative to the UN.
The post of the President of UNGA rotates among the geographic regions. As per the tradition, the UN’s regional groups nominate a single candidate who is then rubber-stamped by the Assembly.
For the next session of the Assembly, it is the turn of Africa. All the countries of the African continent agreed unanimously to field Muhammad-Bande as their candidate.
About United Nations General Assembly• The UN Assembly is made up of all the 193 Member States.
• The General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the United Nations; it is the only one which enables all 193 Member States to have equal representation - One Nation, One Vote.
• Every year in September, all the Member nations meet in New York for the annual General Assembly session.
• It provides a forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter.
About Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
• Tijjani Muhammad-Bande is an academician, administrator and career diplomat.
• He had served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Sokoto’s Usman Danfodiyo University and as the Director General of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru.
• He was the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations. As a Permanent Representative, he worked with all regions of the world to achieve common objectives.
• He served as the Vice-President of the UN General Assembly during its 71st session in 2016.
• He had also served as the Chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and as a Member of Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre.
• He served as the Chair of the ECOWAS Group during 2018-2019.
• He has been bestowed with the ‘Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic’ (OFR), one of Nigeria’s highest national honours.