Morocco Current Affairs - 2019

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World Heritage Day 2019

April 18 was observed as the World Heritage Day 2019 with the theme Rural Landscapes. The theme Rural Landscapes is related to the theme of the 2019 International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Scientific Symposium on Rural heritage to be held at Marrakesh, Morocco in October.

World Heritage Site

UNESCO defines a World Heritage Site as a “natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and space which requires special protection.”

Genesis of the World Heritage Day

On 18 April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organised by ICOMOS in Tunisia, it was suggested to observe the “International Day for Monuments and Sites” simultaneously throughout the world.

UNESCO passed a resolution at its 22nd session on November 1983 approving the idea and recommended the member states to examine the possibility of declaring 18 April each year “International Monuments and Sites Day”. This has been referred to as the World Heritage Day.

World Heritage Day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.

Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration adopted at UN Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco

Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was adopted by 164 nations including India at Intergovermental Conference to adopt this compact held under auspices of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at Marrakesh, Morocco. It is first intergovernmental agreement to cover wide-ranging dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner and agreed upon by all the UN member states minus United States.

Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

It seeks to better manage migration at local, national, regional and global levels, in order to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities of migrants. It creates non-legally binding and co-operative framework that builds on commitments agreed upon by member states in New York Declaration for refugees and migrants of December 2016.

It lists four objectives. They are to

  • Ease pressures on host countries
  • Enhance refugee self-reliance
  • Expand access to third country solutions
  • Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity

It sets out framework on how international cooperation on migration issues should work but does not oblige states to take concrete action. It sets out 23 objectives to deal issues ranging from factors that compel people to move, legal channels for migration, combating trafficking and smuggling, harness economic benefits of migration and return of the migrants.

Its intent to protect human rights of migrants, address root causes of migration, and combat negative myths surrounding migration. It acknowledges that migration is international issue that affects all member states and there is a need for more effective migration governance.

Background

According to UN, there were 258 million international migrants in the world in 2017, increasing almost 50% since 2000. The number of migrants, representing 3.4% of world’s population, is increasing faster than global population, driven by economic prosperity, inequality, violence, conflict and climate change. Migrants worldwide account for 3% of the world’s entire population, but contribute 10% of the global gross domestic production (GDP). Migrants remittance is huge contributor to their home countries’ development.  Around 80% of world’s migrants move between countries in safe and orderly fashion. But more than 60,000 people have died on the move since the year 2000. Besides in transit countries or the country of destination, racism, discrimination and human-rights violations are continuously reported. The process of developing compact was started in early 2017 as implementation of decision by UN member states as adopted New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016. UN member states’ another decision pledged in the declaration is to develop a Global Compact on Refugees.