United Nations Current Affairs - 2019

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December 9: International Anti-Corruption Day

The International Day of Anti-Corruption is marked by the United Nations every year on December 9 since 2003. This year the day is being marked by the organization all over the world on the following theme

Theme: United Against Corruption

The 2030 Agenda forms the backbone of the campaign.

Sustainable Development Goal

Ending corruption is important to achieve SDG 16 and 17. The SDG 16 insists on “Promote peace, justice and strong institutions”. It insists on anti-corruption targets. the goal 16.4, insists on reducing illicit financial and arms flow. The Goal 16.5 insists on reducing bribery on all forms and 16.6 says that it is essential to create transparent institutions at all levels.

Significance

According to the United Nations, every year 1 trillion USD is paid as bribe and 2.6 trillion USD is stolen annually. It is more than 5% of global GDP. The United Nations Development Programme says that the funds lost to corruption are 10 times the amount spent in official development assistance.

December 5: World Soil Day

The World Soil Day was endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2013. It was officially adopted through a resolution at the 68th UN General Assembly. Since then every year, the World Soil Day is marked on December 5 by the United Nations all over the world.

Theme: Stop Soil Erosion, Save our Future

SDG

The day is marked focusing on the Sustainable Development Goal 15 which is “Life on Land”. The goal aims at protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, combat desertification, manage forests, reverse land degradation.

Issues

According to the United Nations, Desertification, Land Degradation are the two major issues of soil loss. According to UNCCD, desertification is defined as degradation of dry land eco systems by human activities due to overgrazing, unsustainable farming, clear cutting of land, mining and climate change.

International Union of Soil Sciences

The concept of World Soil Day was first introduced by the IUSS in 2002 to celebrate the importance of soil. The IUSS was founded in 1924. There are more than 86 national and regional members. It acts as a hub of soil scientists and a platform to promote all branches of soil science and its applications.

Significance

The World Soil Day highlights on the problems of population expansion. It aims at reducing soil erosion and maintain soil fertility. The theme of 2019 focuses on challenges in soil management. It encourages organizations, communities and governments to work towards improving soil health

Why was December 5 chosen?

The late king of Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the main proponent of the initiative. Therefore, his birthday December 5 was chosen as World Soil Day.

Soil Conservation

The day also stresses on the importance of Soil Conservation. The FAO recommends Terrace farming, Contour ploughing, windbreaks, crop rotation, Agrostological measures, green manures, no-till farming, earthworms to conserve soil and prevent soil erosion.