United Nations Current Affairs - 2019

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October 13: International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

The International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) was begun in 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly. The purpose of the day is to promote global culture towards risk awareness and disaster reduction. It celebrates how people and communities around the world reduce their exposure to disasters. Also, the day raises awareness towards the importance of reining in the risks that are faced by the global citizens.

Theme: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services

Significance of the Theme

The theme is one of the seven targets of Sendai framework. It focuses

  • to reduce the disaster damage to infrastructure
  • Prevent disruption of basic services due to disaster damages, especially health and education.

As the death tolls due to tsunamis and earthquakes is increasing, it becomes essential to ensure if schools and hospitals are following regulations and building codes. The other areas of critical infrastructure that requires frequent monitoring includes potential life – saving utilities and services like energy, food and water supply, telecommunications and transport.

Sendai Seven Framework (2015 – 2030)

In 2015, the UNDRR – United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction launched the Sendai Seven Framework. It is a campaign that integrates all the organizations including government, NGOs, local governments, community groups, private sectors, etc. to promote the best practices to reduce disaster risks and disaster loses.

It was adopted by the UN at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that was held at Sendai, Japan. It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for action (2005 – 2015).

Every target is to be accomplished by the end of the corresponding year The seven global targets set by the Sendai Framework is as follows

  • 2016: Reduce the global disaster mortality by 2030 as compared to the 2005-2015
  • 2017: Reduce the number of people affected due to disaster as compared to 2005-2015
  • 2018: Reduce direct disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.
  • 2019: Reduce disaster damage and disruption of basic services and developing their resilience by 2030
  • 2020: Increase number of countries that frame their own local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2030.
  • 2021: Enhance international cooperation to develop countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions.
  • 2022: Increase the availability and access to multi – hazard early warning systems.

International Association for Preparedness and response

It was formed in 1962. It is a non – profit organization that has volunteers and associations active in preparedness schemes and calamity emergencies. It provides resource distribution, professional networking and leading opportunities in response to disasters.

India and disasters

About 58.6% of Indian landmass is prone to earthquakes. Over 12% of Indian lands are prone to floods and river erosion, 68% of cultivable areas are prone to landslides especially in the hilly areas.

October 12: World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an awareness – raising campaign organized by CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of wild animals) and AEWA (Agreement on the Conservation of African – Eurasian Migratory water birds) that highlights

  • the conservation of migratory birds,
  • threats faced by them,
  • their ecological importance
  • the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

Different Countries organize different activities based on the theme to mark the WMBD all around the world. This year theme is as follow

Theme: Protect birds – Be the solution to plastic pollution.

Significance of the theme

With an annual production of more than 300 million tons of plastic, 8 million tons enter the world’s ocean every year. These plastics are broken down into smaller particles by water, sunlight and wind that often leads to ingestion and entanglement.

These broken pieces floating on the surface of water covered in algae are easily mistaken for prey by these migrating birds. Ingestion and Entanglement are the two main problems faced by the migrating birds.

Ingestion of Plastics

Ingestion of sharp plastic particles cause immediate death by piercing their internal organs. Plastic consumption predominantly leads to chronic feeling of hunger and starvation without nutritional value affecting the migrating process. The birds lose their strength to fly 1000s of km. This affects the survival of the species as birds migrate mainly to breed, hatch eggs, nurture them and return homeland with their young ones.


Layers of plastic in the wetlands lead to entanglement, trapping and eventually death. These caught birds are either injured, pick up infections and end up drowning. They easily become prey to other animals.


The WMBD was started in 2006 by the AEWA – Agreement on the Conservation of African – Eurasian Migratory Water birds. The first World Migratory Birds Day was launched in April 8 – 9, 2006.

The idea began in 1993 when the US Fish and Wild life Services, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology began the celebrations of International Migratory Bird Day. However, the celebrations were restricted to the western hemisphere alone. So, in 2005, in its 10th anniversary function AEWA initiated Migratory Water bird Days that were to be held in Europe, Asia and Africa as well.

In 2017, at COP12 in Manila, the other leading environmental organization, the EFTA – Environment for the Americas joined the campaign. This partnership united the world’s two largest education campaigns International Migratory Bird Day and World Migratory Bird Day.

In 2018, it was decided to be celebrated twice a year, on second Saturday of May and October.