New Delhi: India on Saturday said that it will continue to work with the USA to strengthen economic ties in the wake of America’s decision to withdraw export benefits under a programme. The USA has said that with effect from June 5, it will withdraw incentives to Indian exporters provided under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.In a statement, the commerce ministry said that in any relationship, particularly in the area of economic ties, there are ongoing issues which get resolved mutually from time to time. “We view this issue as a part of this regular process and will continue to build on our strong ties with the USA, both economic and people to people. We are confident that the two nations will continue to work together intensively for further growing these ties in a mutually beneficial manner,” it said. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistIt said that the GSP benefits given by developed countries like the USA to developing nations such as India are “unilateral, non reciprocal and non discriminatory”. The US’ decision came following complaints by its medical devices and dairy industries, which have alleged that India did not provide equal market access to their products. The medical devices players have also raised objections over price caps put by India on products like stents. The ministry said that India, as part of its bilateral discussions with US officials, had offered resolution on significant US requests in an effort to find a mutually acceptable way forward. “It is unfortunate that this did not find acceptance by the US,” it added. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceHowever, it said that India, like other nations, shall always uphold its national interests in these matters. “We have significant developments imperatives and concerns and our people aspire for better standards of living. This will remain the guiding factor in the government’s approach,” it said. As many as 1,900 Indian products from sectors such as chemicals and engineering get duty free access to the US market under the GSP, introduced in 1976. The US’ demand for relaxation in norms for exports of medical devices and dairy products are non-negotiable for India.
“We cannot build a world that is just, a world that is fair, a world that is peaceful, without the contribution of women,” stated Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). In an interview with UN News during the CTBT: Science and Technology 2017 Conference, Mr. Zerbo said: “If women are at the heart of solving problems domestically in their respective families, and socially, why don’t we use them on big issues that require heart, feeling and vision, which they have already?”The Conference, the sixth of its kind, focused on nuclear test monitoring technologies and their various applications. In addition to the participation of women scientists, Mr. Zerbo also noted the “youth strand” that had been integrated throughout the programme.The CTBTO Youth Group was launched last year with only nine members. Today there are around 200, about 70 of whom attended the conference, held at the Hofburg Palace. “I’ve watched them take advantage of the opportunity we offer them to be acquainted on issues of non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as the threat of nuclear weapons. They have decided they do not want their generation and future ones to have to deal with this,” said the Executive Secretary. The biggest contribution of young people, he added, was to spread the message about the importance of the CTBT on social media networks and their blogs. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996, has not yet entered into force. For this to happen, ratification is required from the so-called Annex II countries. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the US have yet to ratify.Mr. Zerbo noted that using the right words to get to the heart of those who know that nuclear test monitoring is important to ban nuclear test explosions, once and for all. “The ban on nuclear testing is a low-hanging fruit in our fight towards banning nuclear weapons.”