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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the Ministry of Shipping's proposal for introducing 'official amendments' to the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill 2013. The amendments incorporate the recommendations of the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee and for accession to the Anti Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention 2001 of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) after enactment of the Bill. 

There are no financial implications involved. By acceding to the AFS Convention, all Indian flag sea going vessels having 400 gross tonnage or more, would be issued with an International Anti-Fouling System Certificate, after due verification. This will enable them to engage in international shipping activities without having to approach other governments, who have ratified the Convention for such certificates. 

Further, India will be able to ensure that all foreign flag vessels entering Indian territorial waters or the Exclusive Economic Zone are duly certified in accordance with the requirement of the AFS Convention 2001. 

The AFS Convention aims to protect the environment and human health from adverse effects of anti-fouling systems used in ships by, among other things prohibiting application/use of listed harmful anti-fouling systems, requiring removal of organotin biocides from hulls to prevent leaching and mandating parties to take appropriate measures for collection, handling, treatment and disposal of wastes from the removal of an anti-fouling system in an environmentally sound manner. 

Anti-fouling paints are used on the ship's surface to control the growth of foulant organisms, such as barnacles, mussels, oysters, tube worms, etc which affect the speed of ships. Such use of anti-fouling paints, when persistent in the water, leads to "leaching" into sea-water. This harms the marine environment in contravention to the precautionary approach set out in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. 

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Prime Minister participates in the first Outreach Session of G7 Summit
June 12, 2021
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit today.  

The session, titled ‘Building Back Stronger - Health’, focused on global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and on strengthening resilience against future pandemics. 

During the session, Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the support extended by the G7 and other guest countries during the recent wave of COVID infections in India. 

He highlighted India's ‘whole of society’ approach to fight the pandemic, synergising the efforts of all levels of the government, industry and civil society.   

He also explained India’s successful use of open source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management, and conveyed India's willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries.

Prime Minister committed India's support for collective endeavours to improve global health governance. He sought the G7's support for the proposal moved at the WTO by India and South Africa, for a TRIPS waiver on COVID related technologies. 

Prime Minister Modi said that today's meeting should send out a message of "One Earth One Health" for the whole world. Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Prime Minister emphasized the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies in this regard. 

PM will participate in the final day of the G7 Summit tomorrow and will speak in two Sessions.