UNDP Current Affairs - 2019

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17 May: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed

On 17 May, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) was celebrated throughout the world. The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of WTISD.

About WTISD

  • Background: The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was first observed on 17 May since 1969. The day marks the establishment of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and also the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 in Paris. Since 1969 it is being celebrated every year.
  • Objective: It seeks to help raise awareness about possibilities which can be brought to societies and economies with the use of Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT). It also promotes awareness about using ICT to explore ways to bridge digital divide.

About WTISD 2019

  • This year’s theme was: ‘Bridging the standardization gap’.
  • 2019 theme will allow International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Members and other stakeholders to focus on opportunities:
  1. To promote implementation of international standards in developing countries.
  2. To Increase participation of developing countries in ITU’s standards-making process.
  3. To empower local experts in standardization process at national, regional and international levels.

About ITU

  • ITU was established in 1865 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Function: It is the specialized agency of United Nations (UN) for issues concerning information and communication technologies (ICTs). The fundamental pillar of ITU’s mission is setting standards. ITU standards also help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • It is a member of United Nations Development Group (UNDP).
  • Members: 193 countries and about 800 sector members including academic institutions and private sector entities has membership of ITU.
  • India: Since 1869 India is an active member of ITU. It became a regular member of ITU Council in 1952. In November 2018, India was reelected as a ITU Council’s Member for another 4-year term beginning 2019 to 2022.

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Two Indians honoured by UN for their sacrifice

About 115 peacekeepers from 43 different nations, who sacrificed their lives in line of duty were paid tribute by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres along with other top UN officials and Peacekeeping personnel.

  • Among those honoured by global organisation were two Indians named Jitender Kumar and Shikha Garg. They lost their lives in paece keeping services between January 2018 and March 2019.
  • Jitender Kumar: was an Indian police officer deployed to UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
  • Shikha Garg: was a consultant with UN Development Programme (UNDP), attached with India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. She was killed in Ethiopian Airlines (ET 302) plane crash.
  • 103 out of 1155 peacekeepers were African peacekeepers. At tribute ceremony their names were read out loud and it was attended by diplomats and family members of those who have fallen.

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