18th Asian Games inaugurated in Jakarta, Indonesia

The 18th edition of Asian Games was inaugurated in Jakarta, Indonesia. This will be second time that Indonesia will be hosting Asian Games. For first, it was held in Jakarta in 1962. Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra was India’s flag-bearer at the glittering opening ceremony.

Key Facts

This edition of pan-continental mega sporting event will be held from August 18 to September 2, 2018 in two cities – Jakarta (capital of Indonesia) and Palembang (capital of Indonesia’s province of South Sumatra) to accommodate all branches of sports. This will be the first time that the Asian Games will be held in two cities.

It will see participation of around 11,000 athletes from 45 countries will compete in 40 sports, 67 disciplines, 4 new Olympic sports and 8 non-Olympic sports. For the first time, eSports (form of competition using video games) and canoe polo will be contested as demonstration sports in Asian Games. Indian contingent comprised of around 570 Indian athletes who will compete for top honours across 36 sports.

Mascots: Trio of Bhin Bhin (bird of paradise), Kaka (one horned rhino) and Atung (deer) are mascots of 2018 Asian Games. These three represent  east, west and centre of country and they have dress traditional to each locality.

Note: This edition of Asian Games was originally scheduled to be hosted by Vietnam in Hanoi, but it had withdrawn its bid citing reason of economic considerations.  Following Vietnam’s withdrawal, Indonesia proposed to host 18th Asian Games.

Asian Games

It is pan-continental multi-sporting event held every four years between athletes from all over Asia. It is also known as Asiad. It is second largest multi-sport event after Olympic Games. It is organised by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) since 1982, prior to that, it was regulated by Asian Games Federation (AGF). The first Asian Games were held in New Delhi, India in 1951. Since then overall, nine nations have hosted it and forty-six nations have participated in it, including Israel (now excluded from it after its last participation in 1974). The 17th edition of games was hosted by Incheon, South Korea from in 2014. The next games (19th edition) are scheduled to Hangzhou, China between 10 and 25 September 2022. India had hosted Asian Games two times in 1951 (inaugural) and 1982, both in New Delhi.

Month: Categories: Sports Current Affairs 2018

Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan passes away

Former United Nations General Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan passed away in Bern, Switzerland. He was 80. He had served as seventh Secretary-General of UN for two terms reigning from 1997 till 2006. He was first black African to become Secretary-General of UN and also the first to be elected from UN staff itself.

About Kofi Annan

He was born on 8 April 1938 in Kumasi, Gold Coast (now Ghana). After completing his education, he had joined UN in 1962 as Budget officer for World Health Organization (WHO) in 1962. He went on to work in various capacities at UN, which included serving as Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping from 1992 to 96. Later he had served as UN Secretary-General for two terms reigning from 1997 till 2006 (He was succeeded by South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon in 2007).

As the Secretary-General, he had reformed the UN bureaucracy. He was passionate advocate of human rights and had played major role in the formation of two new intergovernmental bodies in 2005 within UN: Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council. He also had played pivotal role in creation of Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis during his term at UN.

In 1999, he had launched UN Global Compact initiative, which is now world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR). He was also founder and chairman of Kofi Annan Foundation and chairman of ‘The Elders’, an international organisation founded by Nelson Mandela. He was co-recipient of 2001 Nobel peace prize along with the United Nations. In September 2016, he was appointed to lead UN commission to investigate Rohingya crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine province.

Kofi Annan’s famous quotes

  • “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.”
  • “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
  • “More countries have understood that women’s equality is a prerequisite for development.”

Month: Categories: Persons in News 2018

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