UNESCO - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   World Heritage Committee added natural and cultural sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List during its ____ session.

a. 40th
b. 41st
c. 42nd
d. 43rd
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 41st

Explanation:
The World Heritage Committee, during its 41st session in Krakow from 2 July to 12 July 2017, added various cultural and natural sites in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The 41st session of the World Heritage Committee was chaired by Jacek Purchla, Founder and Director of the International Cultural Centre in Krakow.

The City of Yazd is located in the middle of the Iranian plateau, close to the Spice and Silk Roads.

It bears living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert.

Water is supplied to the city through a qanat system developed to draw underground water.

1. Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata (Japan):

Located 60 km off the western coast of Kyushu, the island of Okinoshima bans women and mandates male visitors to strip naked before going ashore.

This men only island encompasses some archaeological sites that have been preserved on the Island and are virtually intact and provide a chronological record of how the rituals performed there changed from the 4th to the 9th centuries CE.

Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries (Croatia, Italy, Montenegro): This site contains 15 components of defence works in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro.

It spans more than 1000 kilometres between the Lombard region of Italy and the eastern Adriatic Coast.

2. Kujataa Greenland (Denmark):

Kujataa is a sub-arctic farming landscape located in the southern region of Greenland.

It bears witness to the cultural histories of the Norse hunters-gatherers, Norse farmers, Inuit hunters and Inuit farming communities.

The landscape represents the earliest introduction of farming to the Arctic, and the Norse expansion of settlement beyond Europe.

Taputapuatea (France): Taputapuatea on Raiatea Island of France is at the centre of the Polynesian Triangle, a vast portion of the Pacific Ocean dotted with islands.

It is the last part of the globe to be settled by humans.

3. Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura (Germany):

Modern humans first arrived in Europe around 43000 years ago during the last ice age.

One of the areas where they took up residence was the Swabian Jura in southern Germany. Excavated from the 1860s, six caves have revealed items dating from 43000 to 33000 years ago.

Among them are carved figurines of animals, musical instruments and items of personal adornment.

Tarnowskie Gory Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine (Poland): Located in Upper Silesia in southern Poland, the site includes the entire underground mine with adits, shafts, galleries and water management system.

Mostly, the site is situated underground while the surface mining topography features the remains of the 19th century steam water pumping station.

4. Aphrodisias (Turkey):

Located in southwestern Turkey, the site consists of two components: the archaeological site of Aphrodisias and the marble quarries northeast of the city.

The temple of Aphrodite dates from the 3rd century BCE and the city was built one century later.

5. Kulangsu:

A historic international settlement (China): Kulangsu is a tiny island located nearby the Chiu-lung River and faces the Chinese city of Xiamen.

There is a mixture of different architectural styles including Traditional Southern Fujian Style, Western Classical Revival Style and Veranda Colonial Style.

The most exceptional evidence of the fusion of various stylistic influences is a new architectural movement, the Amoy Deco Style, which is an amalgamation of the Modernist style of the early 20th century and Art Deco.

Mbanza Kongo (Angola): The town of Mbanza Kongo was the political and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Kongo.

The historical area grew around the royal residence, the customary court and the holy tree, as well as the royal funeral places.

Mbanza Kongo illustrates the profound changes caused by the introduction of Christianity and the arrival of the Portuguese into Central Africa.

6. Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa (Eritrea):

Located at over 2000 metres above sea level, Asmara developed as a military outpost for the Italian colonial power from 1890s onwards.

Today, Asmara is an exceptional example of early modernist urbanism at the beginning of the 20th century and its application in an African context.

7. Khomani Cultural Landscape (South Africa):

Khomani Cultural Landscape is located at the border with Botswana and Namibia in the northern part of South Africa.

It bears testimony to the way of life that prevailed in the region and shaped the site over thousands of years.

8. Qinghai Hoh Xil (China):

Qinghai Hoh Xil is the largest and highest plateau in the world. This extensive area of alpine mountains and steppe systems is situated more than 4500 m above sea level.

The property shelters the complete migratory route of the Tibetan antelope, one of the endangered mammals that are endemic to the plateau.

9. Landscapes Of Dauria (Mongolia / Russian Federation):

Shared between Mongolia and the Russian Federation, this site is an outstanding example of the Daurian Steppe eco-region, which extends from eastern Mongolia into Russian Siberia and north-eastern China.

10. Los Alerces National Park (Argentina):

The Los Alerces National park is located in the Andes of northern Patagonia and has a western boundary, which coincide with the Chilean border.

The site is important for the protection of some of the last pieces of Patagonian Forest in an almost unspoiled state and is the habitat for a number of threatened species of flora and fauna.


2)   Which Indian city is the first to make it to the UNESCO World Heritage List?

a. Kolkata
b. Delhi
c. Chennai
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
UN cultural agency Unesco on 8th July 2017 declared the 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad as a world heritage city, the first Indian city to make it to the list.

The World Heritage Committee of Unesco met in Karlow, Poland on Saturday night where the decision was made.

This journey began in 2010 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi proffered the dossier of Ahmedabad to Unesco.

With this title, the Walled City of Ahmedabad has joined Paris, Vienna, Cairo, Brussels, Rome and Edinburgh.

Of the 287 world heritage cities across the globe, the only two cities in the Indian subcontinent which enjoy the status are Bhaktapur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.

The committee also added Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, to its list of World Heritage sites on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, it added Hebron-Al Khalil Old Town (Palestine) and W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) to the list.

It also added the site of Hebron-Al Khalil to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

For over 600 years, Ahmedabad has stood for peace, as a landmark city where Mahatma Gandhi began India’s freedom struggle.

It has stood for unity with its elegant carvings in its Hindu and Jain temples as well as standing as one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture and Hindu Muslim art.

And beyond this, it epitomizes the United Nation’s objective of sustainable development as it accelerates in its development, chosen to be one of India’s first smart cities, while preserving its ancient heritage.

The nomination of Ahmedabad was supported by about 20 countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Portugal, Peru, Croatia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Korea, Croatia, Cuba and Poland.

Ahmedabad’s journey towards attaining a world heritage tag began in 1984 when the first study for conserving heritage structures was instituted by Ford Foundation.

In March 2011, Ahmedabad made it to Unesco’s tentative list of world heritage sites.

In January 2016, it was chosen over Delhi and Mumbai as India’s entry for the title.

Ahmedabad has about 25 ASI (Archaeological Survey of India)-protected structures, hundreds of ‘pols’(housing clusters in the walled city areas of Ahmedabad) that capture the essence of community living, and numerous sites associated with Gandhi, who lived here from 1915 to 1930.

This makes the walled city of Ahmedabad the first city in India and the third in Asia to be inscribed to the World Heritage List. In the past 3 years alone, India has managed to put five built heritage sites on the world heritage list of UNESCO.

India now has overall 36 World Heritage Inscriptions with 28 Cultural, 07 Natural and 01 Mixed site.

While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall seventh in the world.

Ahmedabad: Know More

  • Founded in 15th century, the walled city of Ahmadabad, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage.
  • Within this complex are 28 ASI Centrally Protected Monuments.
  • The urban structures of the historic city of Ahmedabad are distinctive due to their puras (neighbourhoods), pols (residential streets), and khadki (inner entrances to pols) largely made of timber.
  • The historic architecture reflects symbols and myths connected with its inhabitants.
  • The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras) with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions.
  • It is a unique example of multi-religious and multicultural coexistence.
  • The inscription has been done under Criteria (ii) and (v) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines, 2016. Criterion (ii) refers to the important interchange of human values, over a span of time on development of architecture, monumental arts, town planning and landscape while Criterion (v) refers to being an outstanding example of human settlement and land use.
  • Thus, the acceptance of the proposal highlights historic city of Ahmedabad's exemplary settlement architecture and town planning.


3)   UNESCO has added which of the following sites to its World Heritage List on July 9, 2017?

a. Volango Wharf Archaeological Site
b. Sunderbans
c. Rann of Kutch
d. Great Barrier Reef
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Volango Wharf Archaeological Site

Explanation:
The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO on 9 July 2017 added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List.

The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent.

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.

The place where the site stands is the former harbour area of Rio de Janeiro where the old stone wharf was built for enslaved Africans who arrived in South America through Valongo from 1811 onwards.

An estimated 900000 Africans arrived at that time.

Valongo was the place where the slaves, often sick after the voyage, were taken to be quarantined, sorted and sold.

The site possesses several archaeological layers, the lowest of which consists of floor paving in pe de moleque style, attributed to the original Valongo Wharf.

The Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site received support from the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO’s 2013 Project for its inclusion in the World Heritage List as it reiterates the history of slavery and its legacy in the Americas.

Presently, the Valongo site is not on the water, but on inland after the expansion of the original city.

The remains of the African slaves were discovered by accident in 2011 during the urban renovation of the central area of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

After few archaeological diggings, it was found that the Valongo complex included the Wharf, a group of warehouses used for quarantining, displaying and selling the Africans.


4)   UNESCO has named which city as the world book capital for 2019?

a. Madrid
b. New Delhi
c. Buenos Aires
d. Sharjah
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sharjah

Explanation:
UNESCO has named Sharjah as the World Book Capital for 2019. Sharjah was chosen for its efforts to make books accessible to its entire population.

Sharjah was selected to underline the efforts taken by it to make books accessible for reading to as many people as possible, especially the marginalised populations.

It has followed an innovative and inclusive community-focused activity programme to engage people, in particular, the very large migrant population.

Sharjah is the 19th city to be named as World Book Capital by the UNESCO. The earlier cities which were named as World Book Capital are: Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016), Conakry (2017) and Athens (2018).

Sharjah has become the first among the Gulf Cooperation Council and third in the Arab world and the Middle East to receive this prestigious recognition.

The GCC countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Earlier, it has received various accolades like Capital of Arab Culture (1998), Capital of Islamic Culture (2014), and Capital of Arab Tourism (2015) and so on.

World Book Capital City: Know More

  • UNESCO has been annually designating a city as World Book Capital City beginning with the designation of Madrid as World Book Capital City in 2001.
  • For designating a city, UNESCO invites the International Publishers Association, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and the International Booksellers Federation to nominate and take part in deciding the World Book Capital.
  • The designation of a city does not include any financial prize.
  • It acknowledges the programmes followed by the city dedicated to books and reading.


5)   When is World Press Freedom Day celebrated?

a. May 1
b. May 2
c. May 3
d. May 4
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: May 3

Explanation:
UNESCO to screen Rahul V. Chittella’s short film “Azaad” as a part of World Press Freedom Day event that is scheduled to be held from May 1-4 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The movie is about the dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated by UNESCO to celebrate the principle of freedom of the press.

The theme for this year’s edition of World Press Freedom Day is “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”.

World Press Freedom Day May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day every year to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom as well as to evaluate the freedom of press around the world.

In 1993, World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. It was proclaimed following the recommendation of UNESCO at its twenty-sixth General Conference in 1991.


6)   When is World Book and Copyright day celebrated?

a. April 23
b. Day of death of Cervantes
c. Shakespeare's death date
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died.

It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date.

UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day for this purpose.

World Book Capital for 2017 is Conakry, Guinea

Conakry: Know More

  • Conakry is the capital of Guinea, a country in West Africa.
  • The city sits on the slender Kaloum Peninsula, which extends into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Just offshore, the Loos Islands are known for their beaches, dense palm forests and water sports.
  • Its enormous Grand Mosque has 4 tall, elegant minarets.


7)   Who was chosen to receive the UNESCO Freedom Prize on March 30, 2017?

a. Dawit Isaak
b. Barbara Walters
c. Bob Woodward
d. Christiane Amanpour
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dawit Isaak

Explanation:
Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist, on 30 March 2017 was chosen to receive the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

Isaak was chosen for the prestigious award in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.

The journalist was arrested in a crackdown on the media that occurred in September 2001. His present location is unknown.

The Prize will be awarded on 3 May 2017, World Press Freedom Day, to be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Born on 28 October 1964, Dawit Isaak is a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer.

He moved to Sweden in 1987, where he later became a citizen and went into self-imposed exile.

After the independence of Eritrea, he returned to his homeland to become one of the founders and reporters of Setit, the first independent newspaper in the country.

He has been held in prison in Eritrea since 2001 without trial and is considered a traitor by the Eritrean government.

Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and has called for his immediate and unconditional release.

Freedom Prize: Know More

  • The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was created by UNESCO’s Executive Board in 1997.
  • The award honours a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and, or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.
  • The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in 1986.


8)   International Mother Language Day was observed on?

a. 19th Feb
b. 20th Feb
c. 21st Feb
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 20th Feb

Explanation:
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).

On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”.

By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Bangladesh: Know More

  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Dialling code: +880
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka
  • Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Population: 156.6 million (2013) World Bank
  • President: Abdul Hamid


9)   UNESCO World Heritage status was given to which site in HP?

a. Great Himalayan National Park
b. Kaziranga National Park
c. Manas National Park
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Great Himalayan National Park

Explanation:
The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh was accorded the Unesco World Heritage Site status.

The Unesco World Heritage Site Committee at Doha in Qatar granted the status to the park under the criteria of “exceptional natural beauty and conservation of biological diversity.”

The GHNP has now come in the league of Indian World Heritage Sites (WHS) such as the Taj Mahal, Ellora, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas National Park, Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve and the Sunderbans.

UNESCO: Know More

  • Formation: 16 November 1945
  • Type: Specialized agency
  • Legal status: Active
  • Headquarters: Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
  • Membership: 195 member states
  • Head: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO


10)   Which city is called the Marvellous City?

a. Kuala Lumpur
b. Cincinnati
c. Rio de Janeiro
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rio de Janeiro

Explanation:
Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro nicknamed the Marvellous City entered the UN’s list of world heritage sites in recognition of its massive granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches.

UNESCO, highlighted the “extraordinary fusion” of man-made and natural beauty in certifying Rio on the world heritage list during a ceremony held at the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Rio’s tourism was boosted during the 2014 football World Cup and this Aug Olympic Games.

Persistent high crime, Zika virus and political instability have hurt the image of the city.

UNESCO status was announced in 2012.

It became official after Brazil was given 4 years to report plans for protecting numerous sites like Flamingo Park, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Corcovado, Copacabana beach, the Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.

UNESCO

  • Full form: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
  • A specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Purpose: Bring peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights.
  • Headquarters: Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
  • Membership: 195 member states
  • Head: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
  • Website: www.unesco.org


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