European Union (EU) Current Affairs - 2019
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People in the Republic of Ireland have voted by an overwhelming majority to ease the constitutional restriction on country’s divorce law.
- Background: A 1995 referendum granted Irish couples the right to divorce by a slim majority of 50.3% and since then the mandated separation period was a hangover condition. In 2018 Ireland again held a referendum in which 66% voters cast votes in favour of repealing country’s constitutional ban on abortion.
- Recent development: Now in 2019 around 82 % of Ireland voters casted their ballot in favour of removing a provision that requires couples to live separately for four out of previous five years before their marriage is dissolved.
- Need: At present, Irish divorce law is regarded as among the most restrictive in Europe. It is considered to be responsible for Ireland having lowest separation rate of any European Union (EU) member state which is also evident by figures released by country’s Central Statistics Office for year 2015. The rate of low separation because of strict divorce law rate places an unfair emotional and financial burden on couples as well as families at a time when Irish rental and property prices are spiking.
- Significance: The step is latest in a series of reforms taken up by Republic of Ireland to modernise the charter of the once-devoutly Catholic nation.
- Way Forward: The Irish government now will bring a new legislation shortening requirement to two out of the prior three years for couples to live separately before dissolving their marriage.
India was unanimously chosen by member countries as next co-chair of Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for fiscal year 2020. This decision was taken during Consultative Group meeting of GFDRR 2019 held from 13 May- 17 May in Geneva, Switzerland.
- About: The Consultative Group meeting held in Geneva was the 6thSession of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019.
- Co-Chair of 2019: The CG Meeting 2019 was co-chaired by the European Union (EU), Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and World Bank.
- In addition to this, GFDRR in cooperation with UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and EU also organized 4thedition of World Reconstruction Conference (WRC) on May 13-14, 2019 in Geneva.
- Participants: includes experts, policy makers, leaders, and practitioners from various government, international organizations, academia, private sector and NGOs from both developing and developed countries.
- Significance: This is the first time that India has been given opportunity of co-chairing CG meeting of GFDRR.
- Importance: Co-Chairing will give India an opportunity to work with other member countries and organizations of GFDRR. India can contribute with a focused contribution towards advancing disaster risk reduction (DRR) agenda during its term as co-chair.
- Way Forward: India must pursue a focused agenda and develop synergies with currently ongoing work streams of GFDRR. As per India, Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) will be its central theme of engagement with GFDRR partners and stakeholders.
- In 2015, India became member of Consultative Group (CG) of GFDRR.
- At the 5th session of GFDRR held in October 2018, India expressed its interest to co-chair the meet.
- India’s candidature was backed by member countries because of India’s consistent progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and also various initiatives it has undertaken to form a coalition on disaster resilient infrastructure.
- It is a global partnership which helps developing countries to better understand and reduce their vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards.
- It involves a grant-funding mechanism, which is managed by World Bank. This grant funding supports disaster risk management projects throughout the world.
- At present it is working on ground with more than 400 international, national, local and regional partners. It provides funding, knowledge, and technical assistance to them.
About World Reconstruction Conference (WRC)
- It is a global forum which provides a platform to assess, collect, and share experiences about disaster recovery and reconstruction and also to take forward the policy dialogue.
- Theme for 4th edition of WRC was “ Inclusion for Resilient Recovery,”
Tags: ACP • Africa Caribbean and Pacific • Climate Change • Consultative Group • Disaster Management • Disaster Resilient Infrastructure • Disaster Risk Reduction • European Union (EU) • Geneva • GFDRR • Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery • Group of States • India 2020 • Switzerland • UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction • UNDRR • World Bank • World Reconstruction Conference