Sweden Current Affairs - 2019

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Teen Climate activist Greta Thunberg wins Amnesty prize

The 16-year old climate activist, Greta Thunberg of Sweden won Amnesty International’s ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ Award 2019 for mobilising world public opinion global warming.

About Greta Thunberg

  • She is a Swedish teenage climate activist and a fierce campaigner who began protesting outside Swedish parliament in August 2018. She skipped school every Friday demanding Swedish government take more serious action to tackle climate crisis. Her demand was soon joined by other students. She announced that she would take a year off school to pursue her campaigning.
  • She has now become a figurehead for young climate activists internationally. Her ‘Fridays for Futuremovement has spread globally with students around the world strike from school to participate in climate protests. The schools strikes has become mass movement with more than 1 million young people participating from all over world and demonstrations in more than 100 countries.
  • She has been invited by International organisations to climate change events in an effort to put a human face on fight to curb carbon emissions.

About Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience Award

  • It was established in 2002.
  • Objective: It celebrates individuals and groups who further human rights cause with their acts of conscience, confronting injustice and using their talents to inspire others. Past awardees include Nelson Mandela, Harry Belafonte, Malala Yousafzai, Colin Kaepernick, Ai Weiwei and Joan Baez.
  • 2019 Award: Thunberg was awarded the prestigious Amnesty International prize in recognition of her efforts for mobilising world public opinion on imminent danger posed by global warming. The Amnesty award justifies that every young person taking part in ‘Fridays for Future’ embodies what it means to act on your conscience. The initiative remind us that we are more powerful than we think and we all have a role to play in protecting human rights against climate catastrophe.

Month: Categories: Awards & Honours

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India re-elected as an Observer to Arctic Council

At 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting held at Rovaniemi in Finland, India was re-elected as an observer to intergovernmental forum Arctic Council. India promised its commitment towards contributing more to Arctic Council.

About 11th Arctic Council

Major issues discussed at the Council meeting:

  • With growing tensions worldwide, how to deal with global warming and jurisdiction of Arctic’s wealth of minerals.
  • Concerns over renewed climate policies of US President Donald Trump.
  • China’s (an observing nation in Arctic Council) “Polar Silk Road” plan (as melting ice has opened up new northern shipping routes), which it outlined in 2018.
  • Russia’s Northern Fleet modernization and reopened Cold War military bases.

About Arctic Council

  • It was established in 1996 by Ottawa Declaration.
  • Headquarter: Tromso, in Norway.
  • Members (8): Russia, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark (representing Greenland and Faroe Islands), Canada and United States.
  • Iceland currently holds council’s rotating chair.
  • Representation: by Indigenous groups and council also has 13 observer states (are non-Arctic countries invited to council meetings but have no voting rights).
  • Function: It is a high level intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by Arctic states, its indigenous people and its other inhabitants. It seeks to promote coordination, cooperation and interaction among them on common issues but mainly on environmental protection and sustainable development in Arctic.

India and Arctic Region

  • Indian researchers have been studying whether there is a co-relation between Indian monsoon and the Arctic region.
  • National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, an Indian institute under Ministry of Earth Sciences, has set up research station, ‘Himadri’, in Svalbard (Norway). It studies and works on mass balance of glaciers, effect of climate warming on marine system, clouds formation and precipitation, and also effect on biodiversity.

Month: Categories: International

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