UNGA Current Affairs - 2019

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International Day Against Nuclear Tests observed on August 29

The International Day Against Nuclear Tests is observed across every year across the world on 29 August with aim to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.

Purpose of this day: (i) To promote peace and security world-wide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, environment and the planet. (ii) To highlight urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

About International Day Against Nuclear Tests

It was officially proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting Resolution 64/35 in December 2009 initiated by Kazakhstan with support of large number of sponsors and cosponsors. It was observed for first time in 2010 and since then observed annually to galvanize necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests.

Why August 29? It seeks to commemorate closure of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site (also known as The Polygon) on 29 August 1991. This nuclear test site was the primary testing venue for nuclear weapons of then Soviet Union. It is located on steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then Kazakh SSR part of USSR), south of valley of the Irtysh River. On this test site, Soviet Union had conducted total 456 nuclear tests from 1949 until 1989 (340 underground and 116 atmospheric explosions i.e. roughly equivalent of 2500 Hiroshima atomic bombs) with little regard for their ill-effects of radiation on local people or environment.

19 August: World Humanitarian Day

The World Humanitarian Day is observed every year on August 19 across the world to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service.

Purpose of this day: (i) Provide opportunity to celebrate spirit that inspires humanitarian work around globe. (ii) Pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and (iii) Rally support for people affected by crisis around the world.

2019 WHD theme campaign: #WomenHumanitarians. It seeks to honour work of women in crises throughout the world. Women humanitarians make up large number of those who risk their own lives to save others. They are often first to respond and the last to leave and dedicate their lives to helping people affected by crises.

World Humanitarian Day

It was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution A/63/L.49 in 2008. It was sponsored by Sweden and was passed by UNGA on Strengthening of Coordination of Emergency Assistance of UN. Since 2009, this day is observed annually by humanitarian community across the world to ensure safety and security of humanitarian aid workers and for their well-being, survival and dignity of people affected by crisis.

Why August 19? The day marks death of then Special Representative of Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues who were killed in bombing in Baghdad, Iraq on August 19, 2003.