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January 26, 2021: Briefings from South Asia

1) G4 nations, including India, again called for UNSC reforms

· India, Brazil, Japan, and Germany called for a single negotiating text and UNSC reforms during the 75th session of the UN's General Assembly.

· The four-nation group, called G4, jointly underlined the need for the faster approach in the UN's intergovernmental negotiations for reforms.

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2) Vaccination program to begin in Bangladesh on February 7

· Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the COVID-19 vaccination trials in Bangladesh. The nationwide vaccination campaign begins on February 7.

· India has gifted around 2 million COVID-19 vaccines to be used in Bangladesh. These vaccines will be used in the three major centers of the pandemic in the country.

· A survey conducted by the Institute of Health Economics has found that 84% of respondents are willing to take the vaccine if it is free; out of those willing to take vaccines, around 52% said they would prefer to wait and see approach before taking it.

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3) EU-Sri Lanka hold 23rd meeting of the Joint Commission

· The EU and Sri Lanka hold their 23rd Joint Commission on trade and cooperation.

· Sri Lanka thanked the EU for its support of €22 million grant to help in the efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

· The Joint Commission oversees the 1995 EU-Sri Lanka Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development. It deals with ensuring proper functioning and implementation of the agreements, set priorities, and make recommendations.

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