The 4th International Yoga day was celebrated on June 21, 2018 across the world to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme this year was “Yoga for Peace”. The day’s celebration in India were led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He was joined by joined thousands of volunteers, who performed Yoga asanas in the lawns of Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun.
International Yoga Day (IYD)
The idea of celebrating the International Yoga Day was pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2014. Later in December 2014, UNGA unanimously (endorsed by record 175 member states) adopted India-led resolution (69/131) to observe 21st June as International Day of Yoga.
This resolution was adopted under agenda of UN’s ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy’. The date 21st June was selected because it represents one of the two solstices and is the longest day in Northern Hemisphere (summer solstice) which has special significance in many parts of the world. The first International Yoga Day (IYD) was celebrated across the world on 21 June 2015.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word yoga derives from Sanskrit which means to join or to unite, symbolizing union of body and consciousness. Yoga if it is practiced by all on daily basis in the early morning has numerous health benefits. The benefits of Yoga include increased muscle strength and tone, increased flexibility, improved respiration, energy and vitality. It also helps to maintain balanced metabolism, reduces weight, improves cardio and circulatory health and improves athletic performance. It was inscribed in the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in December 2016.
Month:Current Affairs – June, 2018 Categories: Art & Culture
Tags: Art and Culture • Days and Events • Dehradun • Forest Research Institute • International Yoga Day • Narendra Modi • National • Observances • Uttarakhand
The United States under President Donald Trump administration has announced its withdrawal from United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) terming it hypocritical and self-serving. It has blamed UNHRC for bias against Israel and refusing to eject members who are violators of human rights.
US had opted to stay out of UNHRC before also: The George W. Bush administration had opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006. US joined the council only in 2009 under President Barack Obama.
US withdrawal from UNHRC citing for its chronic bias against Israel could reinforce perception that Trump administration is seeking to advance Israel’s agenda on world stage. Israel has been only country in the world whose human rights record comes up for discussion at every UNHRC session, under “Item 7” on the agenda. Item 7 on “Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories” has been part of UNHRC’s regular business almost as long as it has existed. Moreover, with US withdraw, the council will be left without one of its traditional defenders of human rights. In recent months, US has participated in attempts to pinpoint human rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia.
Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, US has announced its withdrawal from UN-backed 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, left UN educational and cultural organization and pulled out of Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Other contentious moves taken by Trumph administration are slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum against its key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
UNHRC is an inter-governmental body within United Nations system. It is responsible for strengthening promotion and protection of human rights around globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
It was created by UNGA on 15 March 2006 by adopting resolution 60/251 to promote human rights globally. It had replaced former UN Commission on Human Rights. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Members: UNHRC is made up of 47 UN member states which are elected by UN General Assembly (UNGA) with specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.
Functions: Members of the council work to engage countries on improving human rights. They make decisions ranging from exposing violations to recommending that UN Security Council make referral to International Criminal Court (ICC). UNJRC does not have authority to take action but can exert significant pressure on violating country. It can also set up special rapporteurs with mandate to investigate and report human-rights violations and abuses.
Month:Current Affairs – June, 2018 Categories: International
Tags: Donald Trump • Interntional • Israel • UNHRC • United Nations Human Rights Council • United States