Bulletin: Joint meetings of Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions held in Geneva

The joint meetings of three conventions on chemicals and waste namely Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Highlights

  • About: The 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to Basel Convention (COP 14) was held along with the 9th meeting of the COP to Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the COP to Stockholm Convention in Geneva, Switzerland, from 29 April to 10 May 2019.
  • Theme of 2019 meetings was- “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”.
  • India and COP: An Indian delegation of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), and along with other ministries namely Agriculture Ministry, Chemicals and Fertilizer Ministry, and Electronics and Information Technology Ministry (MeitY) participated in the joint meetings and set a tone at COP.
  • In Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, two important issues were mainly discussed and decided i.e. technical guidelines on e-waste and inclusion of plastic waste in Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.
  • India’s Stand: In view of growing consumption of electronic equipment and waste across world, India highlighted that technical guidelines provision in name of re-use, repair, refurbishment and failure leads to possibility of e-waste dumping from developed world to the developing countries. So, Indian delegation strongly objected the proposed decision on these guidelines during plenary and did not allow it to be passed by conference of parties (COP).
  • Outcome: On final day of COP, a modified decision was adopted in which all concerns raised by India were incorporated. This thereby opened a window for further negotiations and corrections in draft technical guidelines on e-waste.
  • In Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP), COP decided to list “Dicofol” in Annex A (Elimination) without any exemption. The “PFOA”, (Perfluorooctanoic acid) was also listed with some exemptions in Annex A of Stockholm Convention.
  • In Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, two new chemicals named Phorate and HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) were added in list for mandatory Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure in international trade.

Key Facts

The Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share common objective of protecting human health and environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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18 May: ‘Buddha Purnima’ celebrated

Buddha Purnima also known as Vaishak Purnima is the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha (or Lord Buddha). 18 May 2019 witnessed the 2,563rd birth anniversary of the Buddha and is being celebrated across the world.

About Buddha Purnima

  • Background: Buddha Purnima festival is traditionally celebrated to commemorate birth of Siddhartha Gautama​, who later became Gautama Buddha and founded Buddhism. People celebrate Siddhartha’s (a king by birth) choice to embrace a spiritual quest when he witnessed the suffering of common people which inspired him to let go of his royal life. He then renounced all worldly pleasures and became a holy man.
  • It is celebrated every year on the full moon day (known as Purnima), in month of Vaishakha, according to Hindu Lunar calendar.
  • Reason: It is also celebrated as Vesak in South and Southeast Asia. The day commemorates birth, death as well as enlightenment of Lord Buddha, all of which is said to have taken place on same day. It is after this enlightenment that later Siddhartha earned the title Buddha which means ‘The Enlightened One’.
  • Significance: Celebrating Buddha Purnima is all about praying with purest of feelings, and adopting what Buddhism stand for which is peace, harmony and non-violence.

Celebrations Worldwide

  • Nepal: is considered as Buddha’s birth country. He was born in Lumbini (now in modern-day Nepal). There Buddha Purnima day is celebrated on full moon day of Vaisakha month in accordance to Buddhist calendar.
  • Southeast Asian Nations: celebrate day during Vaisakha month of Buddhist and Hindu calendar, which is generally the month of April or May according to Gregorian calendar.
  • Others:
  • On this day, Countries all over world such as Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia,
  • Canada, United States (US) celebrate the essence of Buddhism. It is public holiday in many countries, and is celebrated by commemorating different ethnicities and cultures.

Celebrations India

  • It is celebrated by paying a visit to common Viharas (monastery for Buddhists), where Buddhists observe a longer than usual and full-length Buddhist sutra (or suttas), which is similar to a service.

17 May: Vesak Day

  • On 17 May 2019 United Nation (UN) observed “Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon in month of May.
  • In 1999, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), by its resolution 54/115, recognized internationally Day of Vesak, to acknowledge contribution of Buddhism in world.

Month: Categories: Events & Observances

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