International Day of Friendship 2021: Sharing the Human Spirit Through Friendship

The International Day of Friendship is celebrated annually on July 30. The International Day of Friendship is a United Nations (UN) hosted day about “promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity.”

First observed in 2011, the International Day of Friendship builds upon a 1997 UN resolution defining the Culture of Peace.

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21 April: World Creativity and Innovation Day

In its resolution A/RES/71/284, the General Assembly called for international recognition of April 21 as World Creativity and Innovation Day; a day to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in problem-solving and by extension, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. More than 80 countries joined in support of the resolution. Continue reading “21 April: World Creativity and Innovation Day”

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of Holocaust

The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2016, including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, is “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”. 

The theme links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Holocaust, which resulted in the destruction of nearly two thirds of European Jewry, remains one of the most painful reminders of the international community’s failure to protect them.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme seeks to remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.

The Outreach Programme was created at the request of the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 60/7, adopted on 1 November 2005. The United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) has taken the lead in creating a broad initiative, designed to encourage the development by United Nations Member States of educational curricula on the subject of the Holocaust, and to mobilize civil society for education and awareness.

The “Holocaust Remembrance” resolution also designates 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust – observed with ceremonies and activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at UN offices around the world. The 2006 ceremony in the General Assembly Hall drew over 2200 people, and was viewed by countless others globally via webcast and live television broadcast.

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirms that ‘the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one-third of the Jewish people along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice”.

In addition, resolution 60/7 rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or in part, and commends those states which have actively engaged in the preservation of sites which served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons during the Holocaust.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/255 adopted on 26 January 2007 also condemns any denial of the Holocaust and urges all Member States unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust.

UNDPI has embarked on a number of activities, including special events, film screenings, discussion papers from leading academics, information materials, partnerships with intergovernmental organisations and other initiatives, to encourage awareness and remind the world of the threat posed to us all when genocide and crimes against humanity are allowed to occur.

About UNESCO and Holocaust Remembrance

At its 34th session of the General Conference in Paris in 2007, UNESCO adopted by consensus 34c/61 resolution on Holocaust Remembrance. The resolution requests the Director General to consult with the United Nations Secretary-General on the programme of outreach on the subject of “the Holocaust and the United Nations”, with a view to exploring what role UNESCO could play in promoting awareness of Holocaust remembrance through education and in combating all forms of Holocaust denial. It also requests the Director-General to report the results of these consultations and his recommendations to the Executive Board at its 180th session.

The two programmes complement each other: while the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme aims to mobilize civil society for Holocaust and education in order to prevent future acts of genocide, UNESCO seeks to promote Holocaust remembrance through education.

10 November: World Science Day for Peace and Development

Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on 10 November each year. It offers an opportunity to demonstrate to the wider public why science is relevant to their daily lives and to engage them in debate on related issues.

By throwing bridges between science and society, the aim is to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science, while underscoring the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable. Recent themes have included ‘towards green societies’ (2011), science for the rapprochement of peoples and cultures (2010) and astronomy (2009).

Every year, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific research institutions, professional associations, universities, municipalities, the media, science teachers, schools and others are encouraged to organize their own celebration of World Science Day.

Since its inception, World Science Day has also generated concrete projects, programmes and funding for science around the world. Several ministries have announced an increase in spending on science, for instance, or the creation of a university or research body. The Day has also helped to foster cooperation between scientists living in regions marred by conflict, one example being the creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO), with UNESCO support.

World Science Day was instigated as follow-up to the World Conference on Science, organized jointly by UNESCO and the International Council for Science in Budapest (Hungary) in 1999. The Day offers an opportunity to reaffirm each year our commitment to attaining the goals proclaimed in one of the twin documents adopted by the World Conference on Science: the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and to follow up the recommendations contained in the Conference’s Science Agenda: Framework for Action. The biennial World Science Forum is always held as close as possible to World Science Day.

World Science Day for Peace and Development 2015

This year’s theme is ‘Science for a Sustainable Future; celebrating the UNESCO Science report’

What Do People Do?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works with people, government agencies and organizations to promote the WSDPD each year. The WSDPD celebrations include:

  • Open days to highlight science’s important role in peace and development.
  • Classroom discussions to emphasize how science and technology affect daily life.
  • Distributing the WSDPD posters throughout tertiary institutions, school campuses, and public venues.
  • Arranged science museum visits to commemorate the day.
  • Visits to local schools on careers in science or scientific presentations.

Some governments have, in the past, used World Science Day to publicly affirm their commitment to increased support for scientific initiatives that help society, as well as launch new science policy programs together with scientific institutions, civil society, universities and schools.

Public Life

The WSDPD is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

It was recommended at the World Conference on Science in Budapest in 1999 recognition was required for the need for a new compact between science and society. It was discussed at the conference that a World Science Day would help strengthen commitments to attain the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge’s goals and to pursue the Science Agenda: Framework for Action’s recommendations.

Following the World Conference on Science, UNESCO established the WSDPD through a proclamation at a general conference in 2001. The WSDPD was to be served a reminder of the organization’s mandate and commitment to science. The day was first celebrated on November 10, 2002 and has been held annually on November 10 since then.

Symbols

Various images promoting science and technology are seen in World Science Day posters. The UNESCO logo is also seen on promotional material associated with the day. The logo features the words “UNESCO” pictured as part of a temple building or structure. The words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” are presented underneath this image.

(Source: UNESCO)