UNGA Current Affairs - 2019

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20 May: World Bee Day celebrated

The World Bee Day is celebrated every year on May 20. It marks the birthday anniversary of beekeeping pioneer Anton Janša. The theme for World Bee Day 2019 was “Save the Bees”.

About World Bee Day

  • Background: 20 May was designated as World Bee Day by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously passing a resolution proposed by Slovenia in December 2017. The resolution called for adoption of specific conservation measures and highlighted importance of preservation of bees and their significance for humanity.
  • Objective: To raise awareness about importance of bees and pollinators, threats faced by them, their contribution to sustainable development and to acknowledge their role in ecosystem.
  • Reason: The day 20 May coincides with birth anniversary of Anton Janaa, an 18th century beekeeping pioneer. He pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native country Slovenia and praised bees for their ability to work so hard even while needing so little attention.
  • Value of bees: Bees and other Pollinators like bats, butterflies, and hummingbirds allow many plants (including food crops) to reproduce. About 33% of world’s food production depends on bees thus they are vital for preservation of biodiversity, ecological balance in nature and helpful in reducing pollution.
  • Apart from contributing directly to global food security, they are also key to conserving biodiversity, which is a cornerstone of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). They guard and even act as an indicator for emerging environmental risks and signal health of local ecosystems, thus act as our allies against climate change.
  • Threat: Bees and other Pollinators are increasingly under threat from human activities. Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices (agricultural practice of growing a single crop without rotation) may reduce available nutrients and poses greatest threats to bee colonies.

UN Sasakawa Award 2019: Awarded to Pramod Kumar Mishra

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) conferred ‘Sasakawa Award 2019’ for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) to Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India.

Key Facts

  • The Sasakawa Awardee was announced at recent Award Ceremony during 6th Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019 held at Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Pramod Kumar Mishra was awarded in recognition of his dedication to improve resilience of communities most exposed to disasters and for his personal commitment to social inclusion, which as per him acts as a critical principle to reduce inequality and enhances safety net of socially and economically marginalized section of society.

About Sasakawa Award

  • It is the most prestigious international award in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) area.
  • It is jointly organized by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Nippon Foundation.
  • Objective: It recognizes individuals, initiatives and organizations which have contributed towards ensuring inclusive participation in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities for all sections of society.
  • Prize: The Sasakawa Awardee (one or more winners) is given a total grant of US $50,000.
  • Background: In 1986 Mr. Ryoichi Sasakawa, the founding Chairman of Nippon Foundation, established following three prizes –
    • The United Nations (UN) Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction.
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) Sasakawa Health Prize.
    • The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Sasakawa Environment Prize.
  • Sasakawa Award 2019: For this year’s award UNDRR received more than 61 nominations from 31 countries. The theme of 2019 Sasakawa award was- “Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies”.

About GPDRR

  • It is a multi-stakeholder forum to review progress, share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk.
  • It was established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
  • It a biennial meeting which takes place every two years.
  • It was first held in 2007. Its sixth session took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 May to 17 May, 2019.