UNGA Current Affairs - 2019

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22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity observed

The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) was observed on 22 May 2019. The day is celebrated every year to increase understanding and awareness about biodiversity issues.

About International Day for Biological Diversity

  • Background: The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) was first created by Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in late 1993. It designated 29 December, the date when Convention of Biological Diversity entered into force as The International Day for Biological Diversity. Then in 20 December 2000, UNGA adopted its resolution 55/201 and proclaimed 22 May as IDB, to commemorate adoption of text of the Convention by Nairobi Final Act of ‘Conference for Adoption of Agreed Text of Convention on Biological Diversity’ on 22 May 1992.
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): is a multilateral treaty and international legal instrument for “the conservation of biological diversity” which has been ratified by 196 nations.

About IBD 2019

  • For celebration of IBD 2019 the UN Biodiversity Convention partnered with Slow Food International. This partnership focuses on biodiversity as foundation of our health and food systems.
  • 2019’s IBD celebration focuses on biodiversity as foundation for our food and health.
  • Theme: for IBD 2019 was “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health“. It seeks to raise awareness about interconnectedness of our health and food systems with biodiversity. It also celebrates the most tangible aspects of biological and cultural diversity, which are ‘Nature and Cultures’, through our food and health systems.
  • Worry: The global diet as a whole (what people actually eat globally) is becoming more homogenized (similar and integrated), and this is a dangerous thing.
  • In the last 100 years, over 90% of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields. Thus, locally-varied food production systems are under severe threat which includes related local, indigenous and traditional knowledge.

About Slow Food International

It is a global network of local communities which was founded in 1989. It work towards preventing disappearance of local traditions, local food cultures and counteract the rise of fast food culture.

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21 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development observed

On 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was celebrated. The year 2019 has been declared ‘International Year of Indigenous Languages’ by UN General Assembly, so as to bring awareness to importance of linguistic diversity.

Key Highlights

Background: In 2001, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted ‘Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity’ as a result of the destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001. Then in December 2002, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in its resolution 57/249, declared 21 May to be World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Objective: To deepen our understanding of values of cultural diversity and to advance four goals of UNESCO ‘Convention on Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions’, adopted in 2005-

  • To support sustainable systems and development of cultural governance.
  • To achieve balanced flow of cultural goods and services (G&S) and increase mobility of cultural professionals and artists.
  • To integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks.
  • To promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Importance of Cultural Diversity

  • About Three-quarters (77%) of world’s major conflicts have cultural dimension. Thus bridging gap between cultures is necessary and urgent for peace, development and stability.
  • Cultural diversity is not only a driving force of development with respect to economic growth, but it also act as means of leading more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, and spiritual life.
  • Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and achievement of global sustainable development.

UAE and World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  • UAE celebrated the day highlighting its efforts in promoting tolerance and cultural diversity.
  • The 2019 event coincided with the country’s declaration of 2019 as the ‘Year for Tolerance’.
  • The UAE has cultural relations with many countries and is also an active member of UNESCO.

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