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World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day – 30 January

On 31 May 2021, the World Health Assembly (WHA) recognized 30 January as World Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Day through decision WHA74(18).

This decision formalized 30 January as a day to create better awareness on the devastating impact of NTDs on the poorest populations around the world. The day is also an opportunity to call on everyone to support the growing momentum for the control, elimination and eradication of these diseases.

Global NTD partners had marked the celebration in January 2021 by organizing various virtual events and also by lighting up landmark monuments and buildings.

Following the adoption of decision WHA74(18), WHO has joined the NTD community in adding its voice to the global call.

Source: Text & Image: WHO

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:      Image:

International Drone Day – 6 May 2023

International Drone Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of May every year. This year, it falls on May 6. This holiday raises awareness of drones and their various applications in the civilian sector, from search and rescue operations to package delivery and dropping off medical supplies. Two British drone operators, Sarah and David John O’Neal came up with the idea for this holiday in 2014. Their goal is to highlight the positive and helpful aspects of drones. This combats the skepticism and paranoia that many people around the world have about them. Thousands have celebrated this holiday every year since then.


The earliest models of drones date back to the 1800s, in the form of balloons and aerial torpedoes. They were used by militaries for airstrikes, surveillance, and target practice. World War I marked the invention of the first unmanned aerial vehicle — a pilotless torpedo built by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. In World War II drones were used by both sides to train air fighters and offer support on combat missions. By the 1970s, countries like Israel used drones on military operations such as the Yom Kippur War. The 1990s saw the rise of U.S. military spending on drone development, resulting in much sleeker and more advanced models like the ‘MQ-1 Predator’ drones, and its successor the ‘MQ-9 Reaper.’

It wasn’t until around 2006 that the world saw the use of drones for non-military applications. They are now in charge of inspecting pipelines, evaluating crops, and assisting with disaster relief activities. They are also in charge of border security and surveillance. Drones had gained appeal among government agencies and enterprises by 2013, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the United States government allowed commercial drone operations. Since then, the F.A.A. has awarded thousands of drone permits each year.

The farming sector witnessed an increase in the use of drones for the inspection and management of crop fields. Drones were also used industrially, such as in the inspection of oil pipelines, marine vessels, and power generation installations like nuclear plants. In 2021, U.S. aviation regulators approved the first fully automated commercial drone flights. All companies meeting these approvals can operate drones without having operators on-site controlling or monitoring them.


Source: Text:   Image: pexels (Inmortal Producciones)

International Day Against Breast Cancer – 19 October 2022

World Breast cancer Day 2022 aims at raising awareness and promoting women’s access to timely and effective control, diagnosis, and treatment.

Breast Cancer Awareness Day

Breast Cancer Awareness Day

International Breast Cancer Awareness Day is celebrated every year on October 19 to inform people about breast cancer. It accounts for nearly 30 percent of female tumors. World Breast cancer Day 2022 aims at raising awareness and promoting women’s access to timely and effective control, diagnosis, and treatment.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2022: What do we know?

Breast Cancer Awareness month is an international health campaign that lasts the whole month of October and is intended to increase awareness of breast cancer. The first organized effort for bringing widespread attention to breast cancer occurred as a weeklong event in the United States in October 1985.

Breast Cancer, globally, is the most common form of cancer that affects women. Reportedly, in 2018, more than two million new cases were reported worldwide. Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, educational programs, science forums, and informational pamphlets are used as a means to disseminate the information to the public.


Source: Text (abridged): jagran josh  SHAILAJA TRIPATHI: OCT 19, 2022 09:08 IST   in

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict – 19 June

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is a United Nations observance on June 19 to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence.

The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on June 19, 2015. The date marks the Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), where sexual violence as a tactic of war was condemned.

Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
The UN defines conflict-related sexual violence as a term that « (…) refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage, and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked (temporally, geographically or causally) to a conflict ».

Wartime Strategy
The day was created, not only to raise awareness but to honor survivors of sexual violence and to pay tribute to all those who have devoted and lost their lives around the world when standing up against these crimes.

« Sexual violence is now widely recognized as a deliberate strategy used to shred the fabric of society; to control and intimidate communities and to force people from their homes. It is rightly seen as a threat to international peace and security, a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, and a major impediment to post-conflict reconciliation and economic development, » stated Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.

Source: Text:   Image: Journée mondiale


World Hypertension Day – 17 May

World Hypertension Day might sound like an intensely stressful day, which causes high blood pressure, but it is in fact an educational event, designed to prevent instances of hypertension.

Created by the World Hypertension League in 2005, the day is intended to increase awareness of the condition and issues surrounding it. Awareness of hypertension is considered to be vitally important, due to the number of deaths linked with associated heart attacks, kidney disease and strokes. There is also a perceived lack of awareness about hypertension amongst the general public, which the WHL hopes to change. (DAYS of the YEAR)

The WHD was first inaugurated in May 2005 and has become an annual event ever since. The purpose of the WHD is to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer, the modern epidemic. (

World Hypertension Day is observed every May 17th in order to raise awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection and control. High blood pressure is the main risk factor to develop cardiovascular disease.

« Know your numbers » is the theme for this year. Its purpose is to raise awareness worldwide about the importance of knowing what is your blood pressure measurement. (



3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B

‘This is foolish, this is nonsense, this is stupid’ – and there are other such attributes that are used to qualify something which we find unacceptable.

These expressions came to me when I read the text of the 2nd reading of this Sunday (3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B – 1 Cor.1:22-25).
Amazingly, the apostle Paul speaks of “the foolishness of God” – quite a daring expression which may scandalize some people!
And yet…

God’s ways are not our ways, we have been told long ago by the prophet Isaiah (Is.55:8).
And we must admit that, sometimes, his ways are somehow… unacceptable to us!
His wisdom does appear foolishness in our eyes, eyes with a short-sighted perspective.

Just a few verses before today’s text, Paul was writing the words of the picture here beside.
Yes, preaching a crucified Lord must have seemed pure foolishness to the people of old, as it is for many people nowadays.
Power, authority, control, influence, mastery, domination, are the ‘in-things’ – who wants to be weak, powerless, without authority and control?
And, sad to say, this is sometimes true in religious circles as well as secular ones…

Jesus had tried to have his apostles live this message of being – like him – servants, not masters (Jn.13:14).
He had said clearly that the last will be the first… a hard lesson if ever there was one (Mt.19:16).

To this day, many will say: ‘This is the world upside down’!
And what if… ‘the world upside down’ were… the kingdom of God in our midst?…


Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: 


Source: Image: Pinterest