2 April: World Autism Awareness Day

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

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United Nations Economic and Social Council grants Special Consultative Status to YUVA

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at its Coordination and management meeting of 6 June 2019 adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to grant special consultative status to YUVA.

This consultative status enables YUVA to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a number of ways.

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6 April: International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

After fifteen years of progress in the unprecedented Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the world turned its attention to the successor Sustainable Development Goals in a period of transition to the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sport has proven to be a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting peace and development objectives.  In the Declaration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sport’s role for social progress is further acknowledged:

“Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.”

For these reasons, states, the United Nations system and, in particular, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, relevant international organizations, and international, regional and national sports organizations, civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and all other relevant stakeholders are invited to cooperate, observe and raise awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

Background

On 23 August 2013, the Sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Previously, the Fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2005 as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education to promote education, health, development and peace.

Many organizations of the United Nations system, including the International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development, organized jointly with the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, have already established partnerships with the International Olympic Committee. The mission and role of the Committee, as set out in the Olympic Charter, are placing sport at the service of humankind and promoting a peaceful society and healthy lifestyles by associating sport with culture and education and safeguarding human dignity without any discrimination whatsoever.

The General Assembly also recognizes the role that the International Paralympic Committee plays in showcasing the achievements of athletes with an impairment to a global audience and in acting as a primary vehicle to change societal perceptions of disability sport.

Documents

General Assembly

UNOSDP

SDP IWG

World Water Day: Play Dry Holi

Hundreds of thousand of Mauritians would be celebrating Holi this Thursday, 24 March 2016. YUVA has launched a national campaign on the occasion of World Water Day 2016 to sensitise Mauritians to save water by playing dry holi.

holi

Water means jobs

Water is the essential building block of life. But it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

Today, half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors. Moreover, nearly all jobs, regardless of the sector, depend directly on water. Yet, despite the indelible link between jobs and water, millions of people whose livelihoods depend on water are often not recognised or protected by basic labour rights.

2016 Theme: Better Water, Better Jobs

This year’s World Water Day theme focuses on the central role that water plays in creating and supporting good quality jobs. Learn more about this year’s theme in this video:

Learn more about this year’s theme and join the global celebrations by organising your own event.

World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year. It’s a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. 23 years later, World Water Day is celebrated around the world every year, shining the spotlight on a different issue. Join the movement.

Join the 2016 campaign to get informed, engaged and take action. You can also contribute on social media by using the hashtags #WaterIsWork and #WorldWaterDay.

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.

5 December: International Volunteer Day

The International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organisations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.

Through the Online Volunteering service, volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organisations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development, working to achieve the MDGs and engaging people to shape the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

With the theme ”The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!”, IVD 2015 is challenging every one of us to be part of implementing the newly launched Global Goals, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On December 5th, International Volunteer Day, we not only celebrate volunteerism in all its facets – but also pay special tribute to volunteers working to implement the new global goals. Through volunteerism the person can impact the sustainable development agenda by mobilising and engaging governments and communities. For IVD 2015, join volunteers in recognising the individuals who are engaged in volunteering their time, energies, and skills to change the world for a better future.

Background

International Volunteer Day is a chance for individual volunteers, communities and organizations to promote their contributions to development at the local, national and international levels. By combining UN support with a grassroots mandate, International Volunteer Day is a unique opportunity for people and volunteer-involving organizations to work with government agencies, non-profit institutions, community groups, academia and the private sector.

The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/40/212 on 17 December 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organisations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on 5 December.

A focus on partnership and development

Through the years, International Volunteer Day has been used strategically: many countries have focused on volunteers’ contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

The organization of International Volunteer Day is generally the result of a partnership between the UN system, governments, volunteer-involving organizations and committed individuals. Representatives from the media or academia, foundations, the private sector, faith groups, and sports and recreational organisations are often involved too.

Resolutions

The General Assembly invited Governments to observe annually, on 5 December, an International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (resolution 40/212 of 17 December 1985) and urged them to take measures to heighten awareness of the important contribution of volunteer service, thereby stimulating more people in all walks of life to offer their services as volunteers, both at home and abroad.

The United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 52/17 of 20 November 1997 proclaimed 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) The year was conceived for the purpose of furthering the recognition of volunteers, facilitating their work creating a network of communication and promoting the benefits of voluntary service.

In 2001, the International Year of Volunteers, the General Assembly adopted a set of recommendations on ways in which Governments and the United Nations system could support volunteering and asked that they be given wide dissemination (resolution 56/38 of 5 December 2001).

On 18 December 2008 the General Assembly decided that on or around 5 December 2011, the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, two plenary meetings of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly should be devoted to follow-up to the International Year and the commemoration of its tenth anniversary (resolution 63/153).

The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 57/106 of 22 November 2002, called upon the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to ensure that the potential of International Volunteer Day is fully realised.

– Source: United Nations