Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- United Nations Environment Assembly
- India is world’s 2nd largest arms importer
- Gold Council
- Wood Snake
1 . United Nations Environment Assembly
Context : Countries from around the world set their sights Monday on a pivotal deal to curb plastic waste, a source of long-term pollution and worsening contamination of the ocean’s food chain. Thousands of delegates, business leaders and campaigners are in Nairobi for the five-day UN Environment Assembly, the top annual forum on the planet’s environmental crisis.
About United Nations Environment Assembly
- The United Nations Environment Assembly was created in June 2012, when world leaders called for UN Environment to be strengthened and upgraded during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20.
- The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. It addresses the critical environmental challenges facing the world today.
- Understanding these challenges and preserving and rehabilitating our environment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- The Environment Assembly meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law.
- Through its resolutions and calls to action, the Assembly provides leadership and catalyses intergovernmental action on the environment.
- Decision-making requires broad participation, which is why the Assembly provides an opportunity for all peoples to help design solutions for our planet’s health.
- The first and second sessions of the UN Environment Assembly tackled and adopted resolutions on major issues of illegal trade in wildlife, air quality, environmental rule of law, financing the Green Economy, the Sustainable Development Goals, and “delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- The Third Environment Assembly took place in Nairobi 4-6 December 2017 Assembly under the overarching theme “Towards a pollution-free planet”. The Assembly addressed five sub-themes: Water Pollution, Land Pollution, Marine Pollution, Air Pollution, and Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste.
- Third Assembly called for accelerated action and strengthened partnerships on, inter alia: combating the spread of marine plastic litter and microplastics; eliminating exposure to lead paint and promoting environmentally sound management of used lead-acid batteries; environment and health; improving air quality globally; pollution control by mainstreaming biodiversity into key sectors; addressing water pollution to protect and restore water-related ecosystems; managing soil pollution to achieve sustainable development; and pollution prevention and control in areas affected by terrorist operations and armed conflicts
- The Fourth Environment Assembly will be held in Nairobi 11-15 March 2019, focusing on the theme “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production
- Focus Areas: (a) tackling the environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss; (b) introducing life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; (c) ensuring sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.
2 . India is world’s 2nd largest arms importer
Context : India was the world’s second largest arms importer from 2014-18, ceding the long-held tag as largest importer to Saudi Arabia, which accounted for 12% of the total imports during the period.
About the News
- India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014–18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total,” according to the latest report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
- Russia accounted for 58% of Indian arms imports in 2014–18, compared with 76% in 2009-13. Israel, the U.S. and France all increased their arms exports to India in 2014-18.
- Pakistan stood at the 11th position accounting for 2.7% of all global imports. Its biggest source was China, from which 70% of arms were sourced, followed by the U.S. at 8.9% and, interestingly, Russia at 6%
- The ﬁve largest exporters in 2014-18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China together accounting for 75% of the total volume of arms exports in 2014-18.
3 . Gold Council
Context : India, which is the world’s largest consumer of gold, has the 11th largest gold reserve, with the current holding pegged at 607 tonnes, as per the latest report by the World Gold Council (WGC).
About the News
- India’s overall position in terms of total gold holding would have been tenth had the list included only countries. Whereas, International Monetary Fund (IMF) is included and is third on the list with total gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes.
- The numero uno slot is occupied by the U.S., which boasts of gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes, followed by Germany with 3,369.7 tonnes. Italy and France complete the top five list with reserves of a little over 2,400 tonnes each.
- Among Asian countries, China and Japan have more reserves of the precious metal when compared to India.
About World Gold Council
- The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry.
- Purpose of the council is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold, provide industry leadership, and be the global authority on the gold market.
- It is headquartered in the UK
- Members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies. It helps to support its members to mine in a responsible way and developed the Conflict Free Gold Standard.
4 . Wood Snake
About the News
- A species of wood snake that wasn’t seen for 140 years has resurfaced in a survey conducted by scientists in the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The species, endemic to the Meghamalai forests and the Periyar Tiger Reserve landscape, was recently rediscovered