Egypt Current Affairs
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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 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.
Jailed Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, popularly known as Shawkan, will be awarded United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Press Freedom Prize for year 2018. He was arrested in August 2013 for covering deadly demonstration at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo (Egypt’s capital) between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. He is one of 700 defendants facing charges of killing police and vandalising property during the clashes.
UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
The award was established in 1997 by United Nations’ cultural body UNESCO’s in honour of Colombian journalist Guillermo Cano Isaza. It honours person, organization or institution for their outstanding contribution to the defence and promotion of freedom of press anywhere in the world, especially achieved in face of danger. The award carries cash prize of $45000 and is funded by Colombia based Cano Foundation and Finland based Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. Guillermo Cano Isaza was a Colombian journalist who was assassinated on 17 December 1986 in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador in Bogota.