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Far and Wide | April 2024 (II)

This week’s headline features a story from Asia: India is venturing into military diplomacy by sending Defence Attachés (DA) to missions in Africa for the first time, amid shifting security dynamics. Four new DAs will be assigned, one for Francophone western Africa and three for eastern and southeastern countries. Additionally, a new DA will be stationed at the Indian embassy in Poland, signalling efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties in strategically important regions.

Europe:  Recent tensions prompt airlines to avoid Iranian airspace, potentially increasing flight times and affecting airfares. Air India and Vistara adjusted routes, with IndiGo and Lufthansa, also opting for alternatives. These changes reflect geopolitical impacts on flight operations, with conflict zones becoming no-fly areas.
North America: President Biden's administration launches a Global Health Security Strategy to aid 50 nations in identifying and combating infectious diseases, aiming to prevent future pandemics like COVID-19. With a focus on better testing, surveillance, and preparedness, this initiative, involving multiple U.S. government agencies, aims to enhance global health safety and strengthen international cooperation.

South America: Turkish authorities now require Indian and Nepalese passport holders transiting via Istanbul Airport to obtain an 'Electronic Airport Transit Visa' (e-ATV) for travel to Mexico, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela, starting April 15, 2024.

Asia: India is enhancing military diplomacy by deploying Defence Attachés (DA) to missions in Africa. This strategic move reflects a broader adjustment of DAs across continents, driven by evolving security concerns in regions like the Indo-Pacific and Eurasia.

Australia: Scientists confirm the end of El Niño, a weather event coupled with climate change, driving global temperatures to record highs. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology the Pacific Ocean's substantial cooling marks the conclusion of this phenomenon, raising uncertainty about future climate patterns and their impact on storms and global warming rates.

Africa: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosts the G7 Italian Presidency to discuss Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development with African Union officials in Addis Ababa.