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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons – 26 September

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952), with a mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction. The United Nations has been at the forefront of many major diplomatic efforts to advance nuclear disarmament since. In 1959, the General Assembly endorsed the objective of general and complete disarmament. In 1978, the first Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament further recognized that nuclear disarmament should be the priority objective in the field of disarmament. Every United Nations Secretary-General has actively promoted this goal.

Yet, today around 12,512 nuclear weapons remain. Countries possessing such weapons have well-funded, long-term plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals. More than half of the world’s population still lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. While the number of deployed nuclear weapons has appreciably declined since the height of the Cold War, not one nuclear weapon has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty. In addition, no nuclear disarmament negotiations are currently underway.

Meanwhile, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence persists as an element in the security policies of all possessor states and many of their allies. The international arms-control framework that contributed to international security since the Cold War, acted as a brake on the use of nuclear weapons and advanced nuclear disarmament, has come under increasing strain. On 2 August 2019, the United States’ withdrawal spelled the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, through with the United States and the Russian Federation had previously committed to eliminating an entire class of nuclear missiles. Furthermore, the Russian Federation announced on 21 February 2023 that it will suspend its participation in the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (“New START”). The extension of New START until February 2026 had provided an opportunity for the possessors of the two largest nuclear arsenals to agree to further arms control measures.

 

Source: Text: https://www.un.org/en/observances/nuclear-weapons-elimination-day      Image: lapresse.ca

World Pharmacists Day – 25 September 2023

“Pharmacy strengthening health systems” is the theme of World Pharmacists Day in 2023

At a time when health systems around the world are recovering from the COVID-19 crisis and general consensus is that urgent action is needed for health services to meet future needs, this year’s World Pharmacists Day campaign presents opportunities to increase awareness of pharmacists as an intelligent solution.

COVID-19 has presented undeniable evidence of the capabilities of the pharmacy profession to support health systems. According to FIP member organisation the American Pharmacists Association, for example, during the pandemic pharmacy teams in the USA provided over 350 million clinical interventions in the form of COVID testing, vaccination, treatment and in-patient care.

Many international agencies and think tanks define a well-functioning health system as having: an accessible and reliable supply of medicines and technologies; trained and motivated healthcare workers; good infrastructure (including improved governance); evidence-based policies; strong plans; and adequate funding. 

Beyond doubt, pharmacy is essential for access to health, a safe supply chan and the responsible use of medicines. FIP supports the profession in these key roles, but is also working to transform practice, science, education and workforce with the FIP Development Goals and aligned resources, supporting national organisations with global policy statements and calling on governments to increase funding for health and improve environments for healthcare professionals.

FIP’s mission is to support global health by enabling the advancement of pharmaceutical practice, sciences and education. Let’s take community pharmacy as an example. This sector of the profession strengthens healthcare through providing advice, information and education, triage, screening/testing and referral, administering vaccinations, prescribing and reducing polymedication, and follow up.

However, there is a wide range of other needs that can be met by community pharmacists, which would relieve pressure on and save time for other areas of the health system. As the experts on medicines, more pharmacists could be allowed to prescribe and initiate medication. Pharmacists also have the skills to take on the management of patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes. Advances and progress in all countries and territories are needed if we are to achieve universal health coverage.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.fip.org/world-pharmacists-day

World Dream Day – 25 September 2023

On World Dream Day, people all over the world are inspired to take action for their dreams. This day is a powerful reminder that we all have the ability to make positive change in our lives and in the world. By coming together and declaring our dreams, we create a force of positive change that can empower us all to achieve our highest potential.

THE 2023 EXPERIENCE: World Dream Day 2023 will be a time of personal and collective inspiration and upliftment. Together, we will elevate our vision of what’s possible and collectively prepare ourselves to BE the change we want to see, then go out and MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN! 

 

Source: Text & Image: https://worlddreamday.org/

25th Sunday of Year A – 2023

 

When someone repeats something, usually the person wants to draw attention to what he/she says.
The same thing could apply to the Scripture texts offered to our reflection.
On this Sunday, the 1st reading (Isaiah 55:6-9) and the Psalm (Ps.145:2-3,8-9,17-18), both texts repeat something meant to draw our attention.

“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near” (1st reading).

“The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth” (Psalm).

If a survey was made and a group of people were asked the first quality they would ascribe to God,
I wonder how many would say that GOD IS NEAR…

When thinking about God, many people, most people perhaps, would remember his greatness and his power.
Some may add his wisdom, a few more could mention his mercy.
But his nearness?… His close presence?…

Could it be that many Christians have yet to understand the true meaning of… the Incarnation?
God becoming a human being!
This was the extraordinary attempt of God to be near to us!
So near as to become one of us!…

Extraordinary is even too weak and too poor a word to describe this reality –
because it is REAL and true, and this is something permanent, it will not change.

The apostle James writing to the first Christians was telling them:
“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

But could we not turn the words around and tell ourselves:
God is near to me, why would I not get near to him?…

Something worth reflecting about…
 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/25e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/

 

Source: Images: The Bottom of a Bottle     Bible Hub

 

 

 

 

International Day of Peace – 21 September 2023

2023 Theme – Actions for peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals

Each year the International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. Never has our world needed peace more.

This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals. It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. Fostering peace contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will create a culture of peace for all.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said, « Peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization. »

Sustainable Development Goals

2023 marks the mid-point in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2023 observance of the International Day of Peace coincides with the SDG summit (18 – 19 September) to mark the mid-point milestone.

The SDGs aim to bring us closer to having more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, free from fear and violence. But without the buy-in and contribution of a wide range of actors including the 1.2 billion young people alive, the goals will not be achieved. We invite you to join the United Nations’ call to take action for peace: fight inequality, drive action on climate change, and promote and protect human rights.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.un.org/

World Bamboo Day – 18 September

World Bamboo Day

World Bamboo Day is a day of celebration to increase the awareness of bamboo globally. Where bamboo grows naturally, bamboo has been a daily element, but its utilization has not always been sustainable due to exploitation. The World Bamboo Organization aims to bring the potential of bamboo to a more elevated exposure – to protect natural resources and the environment, to ensure sustainable utilization, to promote new cultivation of bamboo for new industries in regions around the world, as well as promote traditional uses locally for community economic development.

It is estimated that there are more than two billion hectares – that is nearly 5 billion acres – of deforested and degraded land around the world waiting for human intervention to save it, to nourish it, and breathe new life into it. The health of our planet needs us to do something big – as soon as possible.

In many cases, the natural biome in these regions will never return due to toxic pollution that has led to collapsed ecosystems and the extinction of local flora and fauna. However dismal, these lands can recover and regain ecological functionality – admittedly with collaborative inputs from stakeholders, integrated goal-setting, and sustainable management practices.

When considering the optimization of forest ecosystem goods and services as societal needs change- and new challenges arise – bamboo has a tremendous role to play. We’ve heard about planting trees – yes – but it is also time to plant bamboo.

Bamboo is resilient & adaptable – with immense biodiversity. Bamboo species can restore land. Their unique characteristics of quick growth, extensive root systems, and pioneer spirit can reduce erosion, stabilize slopes, absorb heavy metals, create shade, harbor wildlife, recycle carbon dioxide, and clean the air. Planting and managing sustainable bamboo forests allows for multiple social benefits, including rural development (improved housing), agroforestry products (which includes nutritional food and alternative fiber), with the big bonus of climate mitigation.

Bamboos are natural flora in temperate, tropical and subtropical parts of the globe, native on every continent except Europe and Antarctica, and the latest estimates are that there may be some 50 million hectares of bamboo around the world. That’s nearly 124 million acres.

 

Source: Text: https://worldbamboo.net/    Image: Journée mondiale

 

World Cleanup day – 16 September 2023

On that day volunteers and partners worldwide will come together again to rid our planet of trash –
cleaning up litter and mismanaged waste from our beaches, rivers, forests, and streets.
World Cleanup Day harnesses the power of everyday people to achieve incredible things by joining together.

In recognition of the power of collective action and global environmental awareness, World Cleanup Day is set to secure the honor of a place on the prestigious United Nations Calendar!

It’s been quite a journey, in which the Let’s Do It World movement has spanned continents, capturing the energy and attention of individuals, organizations, and nations to unite in a shared vision: a clean and healthy planet.

Source: Text & Image: https://www.worldcleanupday.org/     

24th Sunday of Year A – 2023

 

WORDS: we utter them, we hear them, we write them – we use them in all kinds of situations.
They are the tools of communication, they are very much part of our lives.

It is obvious that the meaning of words is essential for good understanding among us.
If the words used are not understood properly, then uncertainty, indecision, confusion, can take place.

This reflection came to me as I read the texts of this Sunday.
The 1st reading (Sirach 27:30 – 28:9), the Psalm used as a response (Psalm 103:1-4,9-12) and the gospel (Matthew 18:21-35), are about the same theme.
They key idea is very clearly about forgiving our neighbour.

Different words are used to speak about the inner sentiment that can inspire us to forgive:
pity – mercy – sympathy – empathy – clemency – tender-heartedness –
all of them are meant to describe the attitude we should have which will lead us to grant pardon to someone.

But there is another word – used in the Psalm – which, to me, expresses best the feeling we should have:
it is that of COMPASSION.
Looking at the two roots of this word: com-passion, we perceive its meaning as suffering with.
It is the attitude of someone who feels for, or feels with, someone else.

This sentiment enables us to become more attuned to God – the forgiving God, he:
“who forgives all your sins…
who crowns you with love and compassion…”

He is the one who asks of us to be like him in this way.
In fact, he makes it the very condition for him to forgive us…

In an echo of today’s gospel text, Jesus said in his Father’s name:
“If you do not forgive others,
your Father will not forgive your failings either”  (Matthew 6:15).
 
May the Spirit of forgiveness lead us on this way,
as Jesus taught us to pray:

“Forgive us our debts,
as we forgive those in debt to us” (Matthew 6:12).
 

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/24e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/

 

Source: Images: pexels.com (Engin Akyurt)     Scripture Images

 

 

 

 

International Day of Democracy – 15 September

2023 Theme: Empowering the next generation

This year’s theme for the International Day of Democracy, “Empowering the next generation,” focuses on young people’s essential role in advancing democracy and ensuring that their voices are included in the decisions that have a profound impact on their world.

Young people are the current and future custodians of democracy

An engaged, well-educated electorate is at the heart of strong democratic societies. Creating an environment in which young people feel their voice counts is crucial.

Young people must navigate a world in which democracies are under threat from factors ranging from the proliferation of online mis- and disinformation, to rising populism, and the destabilizing effects of the climate crisis. It is important everyone is able to meaningfully participate in the decisions that affect their lives now, and in years to come.

Unresolved conflicts, the rising threat of climate change and financial turmoil pose a constant threat to democracies around the world. “The walls are closing in on civic spaces,” warns United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the International Day of Democracy.

In his message marking the day, the UN chief blames the current spread of mis- and disinformation that is “poisoning public discourse, polarizing communities, and eroding trust in institutions”.

Given the damaging effect that this flood of false information can have on young people, this year’s International Day of Democracy is dedicated to « Empowering the Next Generation » by focusing on the critical role of children and youngsters in ensuring democracy “today and in the future.”

 

Source: Text: https://www.un.org/en/observances/democracy-day    Image: https://unpartnerships.un.org/events/international-day-democracy

World Sepsis Day – 13 September

WHY IS WORLD SEPSIS DAY IMPORTANT?

World Sepsis Day is held on September 13 every year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis. Sepsis accounts for at least 11 million deaths worldwide annually. Yet, depending on country and education, sepsis is known only to 7 – 50% of the people.

Likewise, it is poorly known that sepsis can be prevented by vaccination and clean care and that early recognition and treatment reduce sepsis mortality by 50%. This lack of knowledge makes sepsis the number one preventable cause of death worldwide.


WHY SHOULD YOU PARTICIPATE IN WORLD SEPSIS DAY

World Sepsis Day is the favorable moment to increase public awareness for this poorly acknowledged healthcare disaster, but also to show support and solidarity with the millions of people who lost their loved ones, or, as sepsis survivors, suffer from the long-term consequences of sepsis.

World Sepsis Day is a great opportunity to remind the public, media, national, and international healthcare authorities, healthcare providers, and healthcare workers, policy makers, and the governments that there is an urgent need to increase and improve education on the facility, regional, national, and international level. 

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.worldsepsisday.org/