apartheid Current Affairs - 2020

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2019

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2019 was observed on March 21st with the theme Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies.

Racist extremist movements which promote populist, nationalist agendas are spreading in various parts of the world, fueling racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, often targeting migrants and refugees as well as people of African descent. The recent Christchurch Mosque Shootings in New Zealand is one such event.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination aims to fight against all forms of racial intolerance.

Why March 21st?

On March 21st,  1960 police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws” in Sharpeville, South Africa.

The United Nations General Assembly in 1966 proclaimed March 21st as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2019 and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

Palestine takes over chairmanship of G77

Palestine has taken over the chairmanship of G77 from Egypt. Palestine will be formally elected chair at the annual G77 ministerial meeting, scheduled to take place in mid-September.

The chairmanship of the G77 is based on the system of geographical rotation. 2019 was Asia’s turn and the Asian group had unanimously endorsed Palestine. Egypt was representing the African Group of countries.

Palestine’s chairmanship of G77 which is the biggest UN block assumes great significance at a time it is being increasingly blacklisted by the Trump administration of US. Even though Palestine is not the member-state of UN, Palestine has been recognised by 136 UN members and has the status of non-member observer state similar to Holy city of Vatican.

G77

G77 is a coalition of 134 developing nations (including China) at the United Nations. Traditionally G77 speaks with a single voice before the 193-member General Assembly and also at all UN committee meetings and at international conferences.

G77 was formed on 15 June 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries” issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The group was credited with a common stance against apartheid and for supporting global disarmament.

G77 and China

The G77 grouping considers China as the member state. China is providing consistent political support to the G77 and even makes financial contributions. But it doesn’t consider itself as the member of the group. Hence official statements of the G77 are delivered in the name of the Group of 77 and China.