UNESCO Current Affairs - 2019

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19 June: World Sickle Cell Day observed

The World Sickle Cell Day is globally observed every year on 19 June, to raise public awareness about the sickle cell disease and its treatment methods. This year is the 40th celebration of World Sickle Cell Day.

About World Sickle Cell Day

Background:

The day was 1st recognized by United Nations General Assembly (63rd session) in 2008 and Sickle Cell Disease International Organization (SCDIO), Republic of Congo and the Republic of Senegal, African Union (AU), the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and WHO (World Health Organisation) backed the observation of day. For the first time the World Sickle Cell day was celebrated on 19 June, 2009.

Significance: It is celebrated to improve public awareness about genetic disease and to improve treatment outcomes of sickle cell disease by early diagnosis.

Celebrations: The day is observed in a way that NGOs, doctors, governments and support groups come together to find strategies to eliminate the sickle cell disease. Government also organise several campaigns for proper treatment and cure of those suffering from disease.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

It is one of the most commonly occurring genetic disease. It is an inherited genetic abnormality of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein found in red blood cells) due to which red blood cells (RBCs) causes stuck in small blood vessels and are unable to carry adequate amount of oxygen throughout body.

In normal condition RBCs are flexible and round (thus move easily through blood vessels) and can live up to 120 days before body needs to replace them but in sickle cell anemia, RBCs are sickle shaped, become rigid and sticky and the sickle cells last only 10 to 20 days causing anemia because of red blood cells disorder.

As per UN estimation nearly 5 lakh children are born every year with this condition and half of them die before turning 5 years of age.

18 June: Sustainable Gastronomy Day observed

The Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed all across the world every year on 18 June. Gastronomy refers to the study of relationship between food and culture and the commitment to sustainability implies responsibility for production and consumption of food.

About Sustainable Gastronomy Day

Background: In December 2016, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 18 June as World Sustainable Gastronomy Day by adopting resolution A/RES/71/246.

Objective: To acknowledge gastronomy as a cultural expression related to natural as well as cultural diversity of world. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development throughout the world.

Sustainable Gastronomy Commitment: means that all player involved such as public, private, producer, business, and travel institutions should support consumption of sustainable food and work towards creating links with local producers. This commitment of gastronomy towards principles of sustainability includes- poverty reduction, protection of cultural values, heritage and diversity, efficient use of resources and environmental protection and climate change.

Observance Facilitation: The United Nation General Assembly (UNGA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) work towards facilitating observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day, in collaboration with Member States, UN organizations and other international and regional bodies, as well as civil society.

Significance: The day is observed to emphasize the need to focus world’s attention on role that sustainable gastronomy can play in addition to its interlinkages with the three dimensions of sustainable development which is in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by promoting-

  • conservation of biodiversity
  • agricultural development
  • nutrition
  • food security
  • sustainable food production