National News-Daily Digest: 2 Key Updates
1. India to start universal screening for tuberculosis, leprosy
India is all set to start universal screening for tuberculosis and leprosy. India accounts for the largest number of TB cases in the world and 60 per cent of the global burden of leprosy. At 27.9 lakh, India’s TB incidence in 2016 was down marginally from the previous year’s 28.4 lakh. The number of TB-related deaths was 4.35 lakh, down by 15 per cent from 5.17 lakh.Prime minister Narendra Modi has made a suo motu commitment that India will eliminate TB by 2025, ahead of the global sustainable development (SDG) deadline of 2030.
All states except Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli have eliminated leprosy. In March 2016, 551 of the 669 districts in the country had a prevalence of less than one per 100,000 population which is defined by WHO as elimination.
2. SCO Endorses India’s Proposal for UN Terror Treaty
India’s proposal for UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) got a shot in the arm when the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) said in a declaration that a comprehensive UN treaty on fighting international terrorism should be passed by reaching consensus based on UN documents such as the Charter of the United Nations.
The declaration suggested that the global community pool its efforts to counter attempts to lure young people into terrorist, extremist and separatist groups.
The SCO is among the few regional groupings that have a separate body — RATS, in this case, based in Tashkent — to counter terrorism on the ground. Strengthening security architecture in the Eurasian region is one of the key goals for the eight-member grouping.
The CCIT is currently being discussed at the Sixth Ad Hoc Committee of the United Nations and has been blocked by the USA, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and South American countries over definition of ‘terrorism’. The OIC wants exclusion of national liberation movements, especially in the context of Israel-Palestinian conflict. The US wanted the CCIT draft to exclude acts committed by military forces of states during peacetime. The Modi government has urged several member states of the OIC to adopt the CCIT.
The global community has so far failed to develop rules under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. The CCIT would give “legal teeth to prosecute terrorist acts”.