The United Nations announced the year 1994 as the International Year of Families. The announcement was a response to changing social and economic structures, which affected, and still affect, the structure and stability of families in many regions around the world. Ever since 1994, May 15th has been celebrated as the International Day of Families, in order to remind all individuals, businesses, and governments alike that families are the center of society and provide a supporting, stable home for people of all ages.
Here are some primary points regarding family that the United Nations Social Policy and Development Division list in their mission statement:
- The integration of a family perspective into policy-making at the national, regional and international levels must be promoted
- Family research and diagnostic studies need to be supported
- There must be continuous dialogue with Governments, civil society and the private sector on family issues
- Coordination on family policies and programmes within national governments and within the United Nations system will be encouraged and supported
Policy meetings for public officials, exhibitions and organized discussions to raise awareness of the annual theme, educational sessions for children and young people, and the launch of campaigns that support families are common activities on the International Day of Families.
Although the definition and meaning of family varies greatly from one culture to another, and from one person to the next, family is a universal unit that all of us can relate to, in one way or another. Happy International Day of Families to you all!
Also in May:
World No-Tobacco Day - May 31st
International Day for UN Peacekeepers - May 29th
World Day Against Homophobia - May 17th