Framing The World, Edizione CXXXII

The main news from the world

  Articoli (Articles)
  Redazione
  11 June 2024
  11 minutes, 38 seconds

Framing The World, CXXXI Edition

In the new issue of Framing we cover the international economic forum held in Russia, the delivery of new weapons to Ukraine by France and the United States, and Lavrov's visit to West Africa. Special attention, then, is paid to the elections held over the past two weeks: from those that brought a woman to the presidency for the first time in Mexico, to the disappointing results obtained by President Modi in India and by the African national congress in South Africa, to the European elections.

All this and more in the 132nd issue of Framing The World!

HUMAN RIGHTS

ECONOMICS AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

NORTH AMERICA

LATIN AMERICA

ASIA AND THE FAR EAST

WESTERN EUROPE AND EUROPEAN UNION

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA)

TERRORISM AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY



HUMAN RIGHTS

Georgia, presidential ceto overcome on the foreign influence transparency act. The ruling party in Georgia, "Georgian Dream," has used its parliamentary majority to override the presidential veto on the contentious "Foreign Influence Transparency Act." This law has sparked criticism both nationally and internationally for its potential negative impact on the freedom and transparency of civil organizations. The head of the Special Operations Department of the police stated on television that the security forces are ready to use maximum force against protesters. He also revealed the existence of a "list" of individuals to be specifically targeted, heightening concerns about selective and targeted repression. In recent months, during the legislative process, Georgian authorities have been accused of employing coercive methods to manage opposition. These methods include threats, smear campaigns, illegal use of force, arbitrary arrests, beatings, and mistreatment in prison. Dozens of peaceful protesters have been fined merely for participating in demonstrations, while no adequate investigations have been launched into the illegal use of force by the police.

(Sofia Ena)

Hong Kong, Arrests During Football Match. On June 7th, three people in Hong Kong were arrested during a World Cup qualifier for turning their backs and remaining seated during the Chinese national anthem. Amnesty International condemned the arrests as an attack on freedom of expression. The incident is part of broader tensions in Hong Kong, where residents often protest Beijing's influence. Fans also displayed political banners and booed the anthem. These actions have previously led to FIFA fines. If convicted, the three face up to three years in prison and a HK$50,000 fine (approximately £5,000/$6,400).

(Lorenzo Franceschetti)



Sofia Ena and Lorenzo Franceschetti



ECONOMICS AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

Russia, the international economic forum has ended. It was attended by 136 countries and 17,000 guests, as well as 3,400 press organs. The conference was given the title “The basis of a multipolar world is the formation of new growth points.” Economic representatives of states discussed the multipolar transition of the world economy, prospects for the Russian economy, technologies for leadership, traditions and social development of the Federation. International cooperation with the BRICS, with the SCO group (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Iran) and ASEAN members were also among the most relevant topics that have been discussed.

Eyes are on Turkey, which was present at the forum and has expressed its intention to join the BRICS.

Federico Cortese


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

South Africa, South Africans voted in legislative elections on May 29. As widely expected, the African national congress (ANC, in power since 1994) did not win an absolute majority, but recorded its worst result ever, falling to 40 percent. Second party is the Democratic alliance (Da, in opposition), the only one to register growth, albeit limited. The rise of the uMkhonto weSizwe (Mk), which came third with 14.7 percent of the vote, has given momentum to the populists, but took votes away from the Economic freedom fighters (Eff), led by another populist leader, Julius Malema. Voter turnout was low: only 58.7 percent of registered voters, equivalent to just over 40 percent of South Africans over the age of 18, chose to vote. The NCA has begun consultations to form a coalition government.

Somalia-Ethiopia. On June 2, the Somali government threatened to expel thousands of Ethiopian soldiers engaged in the fight against Al Shabaab if Addis Ababa does not renege on an agreement with Somaliland on ceding a stretch of coastline to Ethiopians.

Western Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began a new trip to four African countries on June 3 starting from Guinea, which also touches Congo, Chad, and Burkina Faso. Moscow's interests in Guinea are mainly economic, related to bauxite mining. This is Lavrov's sixth visit to Africa in two years.


Aurelia Puliafito 



NORTH AMERICA

United States of America, the Right to Contraception Act. On the 5th of June Senate Republicans blocked the Right to Contraception Act, a bill aimed to protect the federal right to access contraception. Republicans said that it was a “show vote”, because “contraception is not illegal” in the United States, as stated by Senator John Cornyn, but Democrats argue the bill is essential because they cannot entrust the Supreme Court to keep protecting the use of contraceptives, especially since the invalidation of the federal abortion rights in 2022. “Today we live in a country […] where tens of millions of [women] worry about something as basic as birth control” said the Democrat Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, “it should never happen here in the United States, but because of Donald Trump and the hard right, it’s reality”.

Canada, ICAO in Ottawa. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant, Pablo Rodriguez, met with Salvatore Sciacchitano and Juan Carlos Salzar, respectively President and Secretary of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency focused on international civil aviation. The official visit took place in Ottawa, where they discussed several global aviation priorities, like the need to uphold a rules-based international air transport system and to advance the accessibility and sustainability, continuing in the meantime to ensure the safety of passengers, crews and the aviation sector across the world.

Lorenzo Graziani

LATIN AMERICA

Mexico, the country's first woman president is Claudia Sheinbaum. The first woman to serve as president in Mexico is a figure already known to her country as a successful engineer and Head of Government of Mexico City in the years between 2018 and 2023. Adding to her popularity are her values and struggles, for the environment and to combat gender violence. Her climate action is already happening both through her participation in the Ipcc, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and through her willingness to increase renewable energy and energy companies at the public level. Moreover, the handling of the emergency from Covid-19 showed ambition and determination. Belonging to the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), according to an initial count and poll, the results of which will be officially released on Monday, June 10, Sheinbaum appears to have achieved over 57 percent of the vote compared to Gálvez's 29 percent and Malvez's 10 percent. Called to vote were 99 million citizens of whom about 60 percent participated who seem hopeful toward a new mandate that looks hopeful.


Serena Basso



ASIA AND THE FAR EAST

South Korea, new tensions with Pyongyang. South Korea recently suspended a 2018 military agreement with North Korea following Pyongyang's launch of waste-laden balloons. In the days immediately following, North Korea halted its propaganda campaign. South Korea's decision to suspend the aforementioned agreement is aimed at protecting the population and includes the resumption of shooting exercises near the border and propaganda campaigns. South Korean Deputy Defense Minister Cho blamed the North for the deterioration of the situation and announced strong retaliation in case of further provocations. The 2018 agreement aimed to reduce hostilities at the border, including weapons testing and GPS interference by North Korea.

India, disappointing results for President Modi. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a disappointing result in the parliamentary elections, surprising many analysts and able to dent his “aura of invincibility.” In fact, although he won the election, the margin was less than expected. Unlike the 2014 and 2019 elections, Modi's party, the BJP, was not able to independently achieve an absolute majority. The party won 240 seats and the coalition of which it is a part 293, numbers sufficient to govern but which will force Modi to compromise with allies and probably forgo important constitutional reforms.

Francesco Oppia




WESTERN EUROPE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

Slovenia approves recognition of Palestine. The Slovenian Parliament has approved the government's proposal to recognize the State of Palestine, making Slovenia the twelfth European Union country to take this step. The decision was welcomed with optimism by Prime Minister Robert Golob, who described it as "a message of hope" for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. On the evening of June 4, 2024, the National Assembly, convened in an extraordinary session, approved the proposal with 50 votes in favor and none against, while the remaining 40 deputies left the chamber before the vote. The recognition is supported by the three center-left political forces of the governing coalition, which hold 51 of the 90 parliamentary seats. This move is seen as part of efforts to help end the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Natasa Pirc Musar, President of the Parliament, stated that Slovenia can now "more credibly assist the Palestinian people in their difficult journey towards true independence and equality in the international community."

(Sofia Ena)

European elections, voting for the direction of the EU over the next five years. Between 6 and 9 June, votes have been casted in 27 countries in the elections for the European Parliament; some 373 million citizens are eligible to vote. These are important elections which, at a time when the balance is uncertain and the international climate tense, will determine the constitution of the new European Parliament and the direction of the Union over the next five years. The Parliament passes laws that affect the lives of EU citizens and approves the annual budget; this year the budget reached EUR 189 billion. The result of these elections will also have an impact on the choice of who will be president of the European Commission; one of the tasks of the new members of Parliament will be to elect the new president of the Commission.

(Bianca Franzini)

Bianca Franzini and Sofia Ena

CENTRAL-EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA

U.S. President Joe Biden has granted Kiev the use of American Atacms missiles in border areas with Russia. The strategy is to strike sensitive targets, which include the Federation's missile bases. The choice has been a difficult one, but America's hard fist, to the cry of “we cannot abandon Kiev to the dictators,” has been felt once again after the Russians' consistent advance into the Kharkiv region in recent weeks.

The Kremlin's reaction was not long in coming: Moscow condemned the White House statements claiming “the right to supply weapons of the same kind” to states ideologically close to the Federation.


Federico Cortese


MIDDLE-EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA)

Israel, between conflict and diplomacy: the offensive on Rafah proceeds slowly but shows no sign of stopping. The centrist leader Benny Gantz after threatening to abandon the war cabinet has decided to postpone this decision also in light of the recent rescue of four prisoners by the army. In the meantime, the International Court of Justice, while not having the power to bind or impose, ordered the Jewish state to stop the military offensive in the south of the Gaza Strip. The US president also tried to increase the political pressure on his ally's government, promoting a new ceasefire proposal divided into three different phases, with the aim of reaching a permanent truce and aiming at the reconstruction of Gaza.


Michele Magistretti

TERRORISM AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

France, announced the delivery of fighter planes to Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will supply Mirage-type military fighter jets to Kiev and, in parallel, launch a training programme for 4,500 Ukrainian pilots. The announcement came shortly after the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Normandy landings, held near Omaha beach in the presence of various world leaders, including US President Biden. Although he did not specify the number of aircraft that will be provided, the French leader stated that the first pilots will be ready by the end of 2024.

Yemen, 15 aid workers arrested. According to reports from the country's internationally recognised authorities, the Houthis have placed 15 aid workers, including nine UN employees, under arrest, in violation of international rules protecting the work of the UN. The arrest operation could be linked to the economic difficulties the Houthis are facing, also in the light of the tightening of international sanctions and the recent Anglo-American bombings in response to the Shia group's raids against commercial ships crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait.


Davide Shahhosseini



Framing The World is a project conceived and created by the collaboration between members of the team of Mondo Internazionale associates.

Alessandro Alloro: Central and Eastern Europe and Russia

Alessandro Dowlatshahi: Latin America

Aurelia Puliafito: Sub-Saharan Africa

Bianca Franzini: Western Europe and the European Union

Davide Shahhosseini: Terrorism and International Security

Federico Cortese: Central and Eastern Europe and Russia

Francesco Oppia: Asia and Far East

Francesca Pasqualino: Western Europe and the European Union, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia

Giulio Ciofini: Sub-Saharan Africa

Leonardo Aldeghi: Economics and International Finance

Lisa Pasolini: Human Rights

Lorenzo Franceschetti: Human Rights

Lorenzo Graziani: North America

Michele Magistretti: Middle-East and North Africa

Serena Basso: Latin America

Sofia Ena: Human Rights, Western Europe and the European Union



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