United Nations Current Affairs - 2020

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Syrian Govt. and Opposition delegates meet to draft New Constitution

The Syrian government and Opposition delegates met for the first time in the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland to draft a new constitution and to chart a political settlement to end eight-and-a-half-year civil war.  A total of 150 Syrian constitutional committee delegates representing the Syrian government, opposition and civil society met under UN auspices. The new constitution would act as a prelude to U.N. supervised elections for their war-torn country.

Key Highlights

The objective of meeting was to agree on a new constitution for Syria, however it still reamins unclear that if this will mean redrafting existing constitution, written in 2012, or starting from beginning.

The meeting in Geneva is a key proposal from Russia and is being overseen by UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen. At present no deadline has been set for the end of talks, but all sides had promised to work expeditiously.

After about 9 years of civil war, the meeting of Syria’s arch-enemies is an historic moment. Moreover, reforming Syrian Constitution is first step towards beginning for a political process that will lead to UN-supervised elections under UN resolution 2254.

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SEED Awards of United Nations: 4 Indian start-ups among 14 winners

The SEED awards are granted to organizations working towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDG). The 2019 SEED awards included SEED Low carbon, SEED South Africa Climate Adaptation, SEED Africa Awards and SEED Gender Equality Awards. 14 finalists from Asian and African countries were awarded for their works towards achieving SDGs.

The SEED was founded by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) at the World Summit on SDG, Johannesburg. It works in Asian and African countries

India

Under the SEED Low Carbon category, the Aikya Organics located in Kanpur has won the award. The organization works to promote gender equality by training 1,200 women farmers. They try to achieve SDG by providing opportunities to follow natural farming techniques. The non-profit organization sells products like mustard oil, organic lentils, rice grains, etc.

Apart from Aikya three more start-ups from India received the award.

Benefits of the award

The awardees will be provided financial literacy and support to scale-up. The SEED Catalyzer will help to refine their business models. They will also be provided national and international promotional opportunities.

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