International Day of Friendship, a UN day, is observed on 30 July to raise awareness and educate the public about promoting empathy and playfulness for all children.
Address the global community, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged everyone to use the potential of friendship to “strengthen common bonds and inspire effors for peace and sustainable development.
Ki-Moon added: “The International Day of Friendship is an important opportunity to confront the misunderstandings and distrust that underlie so many of the tensions and conflicts in today’s world.”
He also issued a reminder that International Friendship Day was created eight years ago as a “reminder that human solidarity is essential to promoting lasting peace.”
The significance of International Friendship Day
International Friendship Day falls amid the 1 000 days of action to reach the eight anti-poverty targets as proposed in the Millennium Development Goals back in 2015.
Therefor, global citizens are urged to cultivate warm ties which not only strengthen our common humanity, but also “promote the well-being of the human family.”
The International Friendship Day resolution invites all international and regional organisations, as well as members from the global community, to observe the day in accordance with local culture and customs.
The resolutions are listed as follows:
- Recalling the goals and objectives of its Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) and all its relevant resolutions,
- Recognising the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world,
- Bearing in mind that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and presents an opportunity to build bridges between communities, honouring cultural diversity,
- Affirming that friendship can contribute to the efforts of the international community; in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, towards the promotion of dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation,
- Convinced of the importance of involving youth and future leaders in community activities aimed at the inclusion of and respect between different cultures; while promoting international understanding; respect for diversity and a culture of peace, in accordance with the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace,
- Noting that friendship-related activities, events and initiatives are observed each year in many countries
Why observe UN Days?
Each International UN day has a dedicated webpage. In addition, it serves as an inidicator of the interest that any given subject matter attracts from various points across the globe.
The UN moniters the level of engagement that each of the unique commemorations – such as International Friendship Day – receive. The UN sites the Internation Day of Human Rights as an example:
“This Day is observed all around the world with initiatives ranging from military and police officers swapping guns for running shoes in South Sudan; to a student competition in Russia, or a exhibit in Brazil. All in all, a multitude of individuals from all walks of life get involved in the celebration of this special day.”
The most popular UN days include International Day of Peace on 21 September; World Water Day on 22 March; and International Women’s Day on 8 March.