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International Day of Education – 24 January

The sixth International Day of Education will be celebrated on 24 January 2024 under the theme “learning for lasting peace”. 

UNESCO is dedicating the International Day of Education celebrated on 24 January 2024 to the crucial role education and teachers play in countering hate speech, a phenomenon which has snowballed in recent years with the use of social media, damaging the fabric of our societies.  

The world is seeing a surge of violent conflicts paralleled by an alarming rise of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and hate speech. The impact of this violence transcends any boundary based on geography, gender, race, religion, politics, offline and online. An active commitment to peace is more urgent today than ever: Education is central to this endeavor, as underlined by the UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. Learning for peace must be transformative, and help empower learners with the necessary knowledge, values, attitudes and skills and behaviours to become agents of peace in their communities.

Source: Text & Image: UNESCO

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 Press Freedom Day – 3 May 2023

Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights

2023 year marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day. Three decades have passed since it was proclaimed in 1993, in which we have seen substantial progress towards achieving a free press and freedom of expression around the world. The proliferation of independent media in many countries and the rise of digital technologies have enabled the free flow of information. However, media freedom, safety of journalists and freedom of expression are increasingly under attack, which impacts the fulfillment of other human rights.

The international community faces multiple crises: conflicts and violence, persistent socio-economic inequalities driving migration, environmental crises and challenges to the health and wellbeing of people all around the world. At the same time, disinformation and misinformation online and offline proliferate, with serious impact on the institutions underpinning democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

It is exactly to counter these critical situations and threats, that press freedom, safety of journalists and access to information take centre stage. The right to freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a prerequisite and a driver to the enjoyment of all other human rights. This year’s Special 30th anniversary celebration of World Press Freedom Day is, therefore, a call to recentre press freedom, as well as independent, pluralistic and diverse media, as key to the enjoyment of all other human rights.

 

Source: Text: https://www.un.org/en/observances/press-freedom-day    Image: Unesco.org

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – 6 April 2023

« Sport has the power to align our passion, energy and enthusiasm around a collective cause. And that is precisely when hope can be nurtured and trust can be regained. It is in our collective interest to harness the tremendous power of sport to help build a better and more sustainable future for all. »

– UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed

Scoring for People and the Planet

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), which takes place annually on 6 April, presents an opportunity to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe.

Sport has the power to change the world; it is a fundamental right and a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and promote sustainable development and peace, as well as solidarity and respect for all.

The global theme for the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2023 is “Scoring for People and the Planet”. As in previous years, this overarching theme allows for IDSDP activities to broadly focus around the impact and influence of sport on sustainable development and peace.

From empowering women and girls, young people, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups to advancing health, sustainability, and education objectives, sport offers tremendous potential for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for promoting peace and human rights. The United Nations has long recognized the power and universality of sport, using it to unite individuals and groups through supporting sport for development efforts, participating in events from the global to the grassroots level, and developing its own sports-related campaigns and initiatives.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.un.org/en/observances/sport-day

International Day of Conscience – 5 ِApril


Promoting a Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience

The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that « disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of humankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people. » Moreover, article 1 of the Declaration states that « all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. »

The task of the United Nations to save future generations from the scourge of war requires transformation towards a culture of peace, which consists of values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, all human rights, tolerance and solidarity, that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation and that guarantee the full exercise of all rights and the means to participate fully in the development process of their society.

Origins of a Culture of Peace

The concept of a culture of peace emerged from the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Côte d’Ivoire in July 1989. Since then the promotion of a culture of peace has increasingly been seen as a worthwhile objective of the international community. The evolving concept has inspired activities at so many levels and in so many regions with the full participation of civil society that the culture of peace is gradually taking on the characteristics of a global movement.

 

Source: Text (abridged) & Image: https://www.un.org/en/observances/conscience    Photo: UN Photo/Mohamad Almahady People taking part in activities related to the Peace and Peaceful Coexistence Festival organized by the Communication and Public Information Section of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

 

Genocide International Prevention Day – 9 December

By its resolution 69/323 of 29 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly established 9 December as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. 9 December 2022 marks the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, as well as the 74th anniversary of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”), the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly. The Convention signifies the international community’s commitment to “never again” and provides the first international legal definition of “genocide,” widely adopted at national and international levels. It also establishes a duty for State Parties to prevent and punish the crime of genocide. Every year the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect organizes events to mark this International Day, honoring the victims of genocide and the anniversary of the Convention.

The Genocide Convention

The Genocide Convention (article 2) defines genocide as « any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group … « , including:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The Convention confirms that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under international law which parties to the Convention undertake “to prevent and to punish” (article 1). The primary responsibility to prevent and stop genocide lies with the State.

Prevention of Genocide

To prevent genocide and genocidal conflicts, it is critically important to understand their root causes. While conflict has many causes, genocidal conflict is identity-based. Genocide and related atrocities tend to occur in societies with diverse national, racial, ethnic or religious groups that are locked in identity-related conflicts. It is not simply differences in identity, whether real or perceived, that generate conflict, but the implication of those differences in terms of access to power and wealth, services and resources, employment, development opportunities, citizenship and the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. These conflicts are fomented by discrimination, hate speech inciting violence and other violations of human rights.

In terms of prevention, the critical step is to identify the factors (discriminatory practices) in a given situation that lead to or account for acute disparities in the treatment of a diverse population, and to seek ways to diminish and eventually eradicate these possible causes of genocidal violence. Given that no country is perfectly homogeneous, genocide is a truly global challenge.

 

Source: Text: https://www.un.org/en/observances/genocide-prevention-day    Images: Newsd    Facebook

United Nations Day – 24 October

United Nations Day recognizes the founding of the United Nations (UN) in 1945. The celebration is observed annually on October 24th. 

#UnitedNationsDay

U.N. Day has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions, and exhibits about the achievements and goals of the organization.

The United Nations works for the entire human family of seven billion people and cares for the Earth, our one and only home. ~ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today the United Nations consists of 193 member states and 2 observer states. The mission of the United Nation is to maintain international peace and security.

The UN also sets terms for protecting human rights around the world. In 1948, they created international law with a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The member nations deliver humanitarian aid to populations in crisis. The first aid delivered was an immediate response to the devastation following World War II.

Another aim of the international organization is to promote sustainable development.

Some major achievements of the UN include:

  • The UN peacekeeping budget is less than 0.5% of global military spending
  • Their World Food Programme (WFP) provides food and assistance to 91 million people in 83 countries
  • They also supply vaccines to 45% of the world’s children
  • The UN helps people who displaced by violence, conflict, and persecution.
Source: Text & Image: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/united-nations-day-october-24

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – 17 October

17 October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.

Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day’s celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of 17 October also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger.

They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on 17 October to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world and serve as a gathering place to celebrate the Day.

 

Source: Text: https://en.unesco.org/events/international-day-eradication-poverty   Image: freepik.com

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief – 22 August

On August 22nd, International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief recognizes the importance of assisting victims of religious persecution.

When reading recent headlines, one can’t ignore that religious persecution is increasing. One in three people suffers from religious persecution. Of all the religions, Christians are the most persecuted. Christians face persecution in 143 countries. According to the BBC, Christian persecution in some countries is at near genocide levels. In Iraq, there are now less than 120,000 Christians. In comparison, in 2003, 1.5 million Christians lived in Iraq.

Worldwide, Muslims and Jews also face worldwide persecution. Muslims confront persecution in 140 countries, while Jews face persecution in 87 countries.

Many nations also place restrictions on those with certain beliefs. Countries with the most religious restrictions include China, Iran, Russia, Egypt, and Indonesia.

The Universal Declaration for Human Rights serves as the foundation for the UN’s stance on religious persecution and violence. Since freedom of religion or belief is essential to the Declaration, the UN strongly condemns the continuing acts of violence against religious groups. The UN’s position is another reason why they implemented International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.

To commemorate this day the United Nations vows to reaffirm their unwavering support for the victims of violence based on religion and belief. They will demonstrate this support by doing everything in their power to prevent future attacks and hold those that are responsible accountable.

 

Source: Text & Image: nationalday.com

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day – 12 October

The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance is pleased to announce the theme for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2018: Palliative Care – Because I Matter.

This theme was selected following an open consultation with people directly affected by serious illness, WHPCA members and supporters, and global hospice and palliative care advocates.

We chose ‘Because I Matter’ as this year’s theme, because it centres on the lived experience of people affected by serious illness, looking at what matters most, including the often-overlooked financial impact of palliative care needs on individuals and households. The theme also contains elements of human rights and justice, asking: If I matter, then why am I not getting the care I need?

This year is the centenary of Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement. So it is fitting that this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day theme draws its wording from her iconic quote: ‘You matter because you are you and you matter until the end of your life’.

Source: Text: www.whpca.org Image: Marty’s Pharmacy and Compounding Center