UNESCO Current Affairs - 2020

May 16: International Day of Light

Every year, on May 16, International Day of Light is celebrated by UNESCO. The day is being celebrated to mark the first successful operation of LASER in 1960. The first successful LASER operation was done by an engineer and physicist Theodore Maiman.


The day celebrates the role of light in art, culture, science, sustainable development and education. The day is administered by International Basic Science Programme that is conducted by UNESCO.

International Basic Science Programme

The Programme was established by UNESCO and its member states to reinforce intergovernmental cooperation between partner organizations to strengthen national capacities in basic sciences.


The International Day of Light day aims to improve the public understanding of how light and light based technologies help in development of future society. It also signifies the fact that technology help in playing greater role in saving energy and therefore, lighting technologies need to be protected.

UNEP: Actress Dia Mirza’s term as Goodwill Ambassador extended

On May 7, 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme extended the term of actress Dia Mirza as the Goodwill ambassador of India till 2022. The actress is also United Nations Sustainability Development Goal Advocate.

About Goodwill Ambassadors

A Goodwill Ambassador in general is a person who supports global issue or specific cause. The United Nations appoints goodwill ambassadors for its missions FAO, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNEP, UNODC, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, WEP, UNWOMEN, IMO, UN-Habitat, OHCR. Under the programme, UNICEF has the largest number of ambassadors which is 300.


The Goodwill ambassadors are not paid under the UNEP. However, they will be provided with a symbolic payment of 1 USD per year. They will also be provided travel allowances.

Role of a Good will Ambassador

Good will Ambassadors on the request of the United Nations will raise funds, engage in public advocacy (like creating awareness, etc.). Their term of service is for 2 years.

Dia Mirza Contribution

Dia Mirza had taken active part in the campaign “Beat the Pollution”. She had also made significant contributions towards World Environment Day celebrations, Circular fashions and other UNEP campaigns.

Under Beat the Pollution Campaign India works to become completely free from single use plastics by 2022.