United Nations Current Affairs - 2020

First International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace observed on April 24

First official ‘International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace’ was observed by United Nations (UN) on April 24, 2019. It was aimed at disseminating advantages of multilateralism and diplomacy for peace by educational and public awareness-raising activities. On this occasion, UN General Assembly convened one day high level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote day.

BACKGROUND

On 12 December, 2018 UN General Assembly (UNGA) officially proclaimed resolution A/RES/73/127 to observe 24 April ever year as International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

Preserving values of multilateralism and international cooperation supports UN Charter and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and is fundamental in promoting and supporting 3 pillars of UN – Peace and Security, Development and Human Rights.

It reaffirms UN Charter and its principles of resolving disputes among countries by peaceful means and acknowledges use of multilateral decision-making and diplomacy in achieving peaceful resolutions to conflicts among nations.

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Qatar to abolish Exit Visa system by 2019

UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) announced that Qatar will officially abolish its Exit Visa system for all foreign workers by the end of 2019.

Amnesty International (human rights group) report accused that Qatar, which will be hosting 2022 World Cup was failing to implement reforms and stop widespread labour abuse. As a result Qatar revived its pledge to reform labour section, and introduced a minimum monthly minimum of 750 riyals ($206) and also agreed to work closely with ILO.

Background

In September 2018, Qatar approved legislation to scrap “kafala”, and by October 2018 it went into force for all but 5% of a company’s workforce (mostly senior positions). By end of 2018 it was eliminated for majority of workers, and in 2019 it will be extended to all remaining categories of worker.

About Kafala system

It is a Sponsorship system which regulates status of migrant workers. It is used to monitor migrant labourers, by requiring all unskilled labourers to have an in-country sponsor mostly their employer who is responsible for their visa and legal status. This tying of migrant workers’ visas with employers leads to requiring prior consent of their employer before changing jobs or leaving, which further leads to their exploitation.

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