UN Current Affairs - 2020

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Supreme Court: Access to Internet-a fundamental right

On January 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of India said that Right of access to internet is a fundamental right. The Court had asked the administration of Jammu and Kashmir to review the curbs on internet in a week.

Lately the Indian Government had been using internet shut down as a tool to control protest in the country against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. It was predominant in the north eastern states.

Highlights

A three-member bench of the apex court heard on a batch of pleas against complete blockage of internet in Kashmir. Kashmir was shut out of internet for five months now, since abrogation of Article 370.

The bench pronounced that freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any business or trade over internet is constitutionally protected under Article 19 (1).

The judgement also read that Section 144 CrPC shall not be used to suppress freedom of speech and expression.

2016 UN Resolution

In 2016, the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) released a resolution that condemned disruption of internet access by government. Before passing the resolution UN quoted that there were 15 internet shut downs in 2015 and 20 in 2017. The UN referred to internet ban in Turkey after terrorist attacks, internet shut down in India after local protests and internet blockage in Algeria.

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12 December: International Universal Health Coverage Day

Every year 12 December is celebrated as International Universal Health Coverage Day across the world, as an annual rallying point for the growing movement for health for all. The day is promoted by World Health Organization (WHO).

About Universal Health Coverage Day

Objective: To raise awareness of need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.

Why this day? The day marks the anniversary of United Nations’ historic and unanimous endorsement of universal health coverage (UHC) and providing affordable, quality health care in 2012. Later, on 12 December 2017, UN proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138.

Theme for UHC Day 2019 campaign: ‘Keep the promise.’ The theme has been chosen following the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage on 23 September 2019, where world leaders endorsed the most comprehensive and ambitious political declaration on health in history. This year’s theme seeks to keep leaders, our health systems and ourselves accountable to promise of health for all.

Each year on 12 December, universal health coverage (UHC) advocates raise their voices to share stories of millions of people still waiting for health, champion what world have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, as well as encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move world closer to UHC by 2030.

NOTE: Universal health coverage (UHC) has been included in United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals for year 2015-2030.

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