South Africa Current Affairs - 2019
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BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change recently in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was held in the run-up to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties (COP-25) meet scheduled to be held in December 2019. In this meeting, India was represented by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Key highlights of meeting
BASIC countries expressed concern about climate change and its adverse effects and reaffirmed their commitment to successful implementation of UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement, based on recognition of the needs and special circumstances of developing countries and in accordance with principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) in light of different national circumstances.
They jointly urged developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments of mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 for developing countries. The called for responsible, comprehensive, urgent and ambitious actions against climate change, including in the urban environment.
They reiterated to work together ahead of the United Nations Session on Climate Change and the next Conference of Parties (CoP25) in Chile. It was also decided that China will host the next meeting of the BASIC Ministers.
It is geopolitical alliance (bloc) of four advanced developing countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China. It was established by agreement in 2009. These four countries collectively account for one-third of world’s geographical area and nearly 40% of world’s population.
BASIC countries broadly have common position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising the massive funds that are needed to fight climate change. Since 2009, they have cooperated in international climate negotiations, reflecting their aspiration to have a larger say in global politics.
Mandate: These four countries as single bloc are committed to act jointly at Copenhagen climate summit, including possible united walk-out if their common minimum position was not met by the developed nations. They are collectively working to define common position on emission reductions and climate aid money and try to convince other countries to sign up to Copenhagen Accord.
Tags: BASIC Countries • BASIC Ministerial meeting • Brazil • China • Climate Change
G D Robert Govender, an Indian–origin journalist in South Africa was honoured with V K Krishna Menon Award 2019 in United Kingdom for his contribution as pioneer of decolonised journalism. He became first person to be honoured with this award posthumously. The award was given by ‘V K Krishna Menon Institute’ on 123rd birth anniversary of renowned Indian diplomat and politician V K Krishna Menon.
About G D Robert Govender
He was born in South Africa in August 1930. During his career in journalism spanning nearly 60 years, he had developed international repute as campaigning journalist and author and was also first journalist to call for international boycott of whites-only sports teams of South Africa.
His books include ‘The Martyrdom of Patrice Lumumba’ which had exposed role of Western intelligence agencies in murder of Congolese independence leader. He died in London, UK in 2016.
About V K Krishna Menon
He was India’s first High Commissioner to Britain (United Kingdom). He served as Defence Minister of India from April 1957 to October 1962. He holds the record for longest speech (8 hours) before UN Security Council (UNSC) while defending India’s sovereignty over Kashmir.