Belgium Current Affairs - 2019

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Belgium wins Hockey World Cup 2018 Title

Belgium Hockey team won their first ever Word cup title on 16th December 2018 after they defeated The Netherlands in sudden death. Belgium, which also won a silver medal in Rio Olympics 2016, made history by beating the opponents by 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out after finals ended without any goal.

Belgium hockey team registered its second biggest international title after winning a silver medal in Rio Olympics silver in 2016 and ending up second in the 2017 Euro Hockey Championships.

About Hockey World Cup 2018:

  • The Hockey World Cup 2018 was held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha from 28 November to 16 December 2018.
  • It was the 14th edition of the cup.
  • Belgium finished first, while the Netherlands and Australia finished second and third respectively.
  • Australia defeated England by 8-1 to secure third place.
  • Belgium came fifth in the last edition of the Hockey World Cup which was played at The Hague in the Netherlands.
  • India came at sixth place in the Hockey World Cup 2018.
  • Arthur Van Doren, the Belgian Hockey player, was awarded as the Best Player of the Hockey World Cup 2018 tournament.
  • Australia’s Blake Govers and Belgium’s  Alexander Hendrickx scored most number of goals (7) in the tournament.
  • Primin Blaak was the goalkeeper of the tournament and team of Spain was given Fair Play award.

The mascot for Hockey World Cup 2018: Turtle ‘Olly’ was the official mascot for the Hockey World Cup 2018 cup. ‘Olly’ mascot of the Hockey World Cup 2018 represents the Olive Ridley turtles which are an endangered species.  Olive Ridley turtles swim thousands of miles in the ocean to arrive for their annual nesting on Odisha’s Rushikulya and Gahirmatha beaches every year. Olly was also the mascot for Asian Athletics Championships that took place in India in 2017.

India to Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme from January 2019

India will Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) from 1st January 2019. It was was handed Chairmanship by the European Union during KPCS Plenary 2018, which was held in Brussels, Belgium. India as KPCS Chair will be committed to

Commitments of India as KPCS Chair

  • Make KPCS stronger process in terms of inclusiveness, strengthened administration and implementation.
  • Make KPCS more efficient in terms of delivery of what it promises, more transparent and empathetic towards living standards of people who are dependent on production, trade and manufacture of diamonds.
  • Support Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining (ASM) with capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation, differentiation between natural and lab-grown diamonds and importance of legal and formal mining practices.

Kimberley Process

It is joint initiative of governments, industry and civil societies to stem flow of ‘conflict diamonds’, rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance wars against legitimate governments. It is also described in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. India is one of the founding members of KPCS. At present, KPCS has 54 members representing 81 countries including EU with 28 members.

KPCS came into effect from 1 January, 2003 through United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution. It outlines the rules that govern trade in rough diamonds. It has evolved into effective mechanism for stopping trade in conflict diamonds. It sets minimum requirements that each participant must meet. In India, the scheme is administered through Department of Commerce under aegis of the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry.

India and KPCS

India is founding member of KPCS. It is actively involved in KPCS activities to ensure that almost 99% of diamond trade in world is conflict free. It is committed to maintaining KPCS as efficient and effective process in order to ensure conflict diamond free status. It is also at forefront in addressing issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds and ensure responsible business in this area.

India earlier had chaired Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR). It had held one joint session with Chairs of other Working Groups and 4 sessions with AHCRR committee members to discuss issue of funding of Permanent Secretariat (PS), Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.

Conflict diamonds

Conflict diamonds or blood diamonds are the rough diamonds used by rebel movements in the third world countries especially in Africa to finance (civil) wars with an aim to topple legitimate governments. The KPCS completely bans import and export of rough diamonds without certification.