Invite a friend for coffee today and tell her how much you appreciate the time you spend together.

Friendship

Invite a friend for coffee.

It’s the International Day of Friendship, a UN observance day that promotes the role friendship plays in promoting peace.

Friendship Day has been celebrated in many South American countries since the 50s, but it was proclaimed an international observance day in 2011 by the UN, with the idea that friendships help bridge communities and cross cultures. The UN resolution particularly emphasizes friendships between young people, our future leaders, and community activities that include different cultures.

A popular way to celebrate friendship is wearing friendship bracelets with your friend. In 1998, Nane Annan, the wife of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. 

Today is United Nations Day, a day that marks the anniversary of the UN Charter entry into force in 1945.

United Nations Day

United Nations Day has been celebrated since 1948.

The charter came into force when France, Republic of China, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States, the five permanent members of he security council, all approved the charter that had been drawn out earlier in the year. The United Nations Day has been celebrated since 1948.

United Nations works together with many specialized agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). So, today is not only to celebrate the United Nations alone, but to highlight all the important international work done in fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.

Today is the International Day Against Nuclear Testing, a day that aims to end nuclear testing around the world and promote peace and security.

Against Nuclear Testing

The UN hopes for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Since the first nuclear test in 1945, the world has seen over 2000 different nuclear weapons tests. Although history has shown us how devastating the impact of nuclear weapons is many world leaders still hold the belief that possessing nuclear weapons is a sign of a country’s scientific sophistication and military might. This type of ideology gives little appreciation for human life or our atmosphere and environment.

In December 2009, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a new resolution with a goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon also stated that, “A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.”

August 29th was chosen as the date for International Day Against Nuclear Testing because it marks the day in 1991 when the world’s largest nuclear test site was closed in Kazakhstan.

World Humanitarian Day is an annual, global celebration of people helping people.

World Humanitarian Day

Beyonce performed for the UN in New York.

Every year thousands of human aid workers help other people regardless of who they are and where they are. The lives of millions of people worldwide are threatened every day by natural disasters, gender-based conflict, political conflict, hunger, and migration. The global economic crisis has created an increasing number of problems such as poverty and a decline in global health. Hence, more and more humanitarian aid workers are needed across the globe. In addition, the total number of people affected by natural disasters is rising: approximately 211 million people are directly affected each year.

Today’s date, August 19th, marks the day in 2003 when the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was bombed and 22 members of UN staff died. World Humanitarian Day honors humanitarian causes and the lives that have been lost in the cause of duty.

This year’s theme for World Humanitarian Day is ‘I was here.’ ‘I was here’ is an awareness campaign trying to promote everyone to do something good, to someone, somewhere. Pop star and icon Beyonce performed a song “I was here” at the UN headquarters in New York last Saturday, the 11th, to honour World Humanitarian Day. A music video has been made of the event and the performance will be aired today. The goal of this year’s World Humanitarian Day is to get 1 billion people visit the online site, watch the music video, and learn more about World Humanitarian Day campaign.

Today is International Youth Day!

Youth Day

Young people are the generation of change.

The age group which the United Nations defines as youth, 15-25 –year-olds, makes up for one sixth of the world’s population, the largest youth generation the world has ever known. Young people worldwide face high rates of unemployment, vulnerable working conditions, and marginalization from decision-making processes. 85% of the world’s youth live in developing countries. The main purpose of International Youth Day is the promote the rights and abilities of young people around the world.

1985 was the first International Year of Youth. Ten years later, in 1995, the United Nations adopted an official set of policy guidelines, World Programme of Action for Youth, for nations and NGOs to improve the living, working, and social conditions of youth.

International Day of Cooperatives was proclaimed by the UN in 1992, but only in the recent years has the day grown in significance.

International Day of Cooperatives

2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives

Globalisation and changing economy have highlighted the importance of the international cooperative movement and the idea of international community, and, to quote the UN secretary Ban Ki Moon, “The global financial and economic crisis has demonstrated the resilience of alternative financial institutions such as cooperative banks and credit unions.” 2012 was, thus, named the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations.

There are over 1.4 million cooperative businesses across the world, and over 3 billion people rely to cooperative businesses for their livelihood. In the UK, there are 5450 cooperative businesses. This year, we can expect to see a range of fairs, exhibits, contests, and campaigns world wide, all looking to raise awareness of cooperative businesses, and strengthen relationships between cooperatives and other actors such as governments.

Today’s date commemorates a day in 1976 when ten thousand school children gathered for a march in Soweto, South Africa, to protest the poor quality of their education and demanding the right to be taught in their own language.African Child Hundreds of children were shot and more than a thousand were injured in the protest.

The International Day of the African Child has been celebrated since 1991. It is an important day for campaigning for children’s rights, and for essentials such as health care and education. Moreover, it is a day for African children to celebrate and voice their opinions through drama, poetry, or organized debates. In addition, thousands of football matches for children take place across African countries on this day.

Although every year has its own unique theme, most years so far have highlighted the lack of quality education for children in Africa. The gap between legislation and practice is enormous. All African countries recognize the United Nations declaration of Human Rights and agree that all children are entitled to good, basic education. According to the Right to Education project, however, there are 75 million children in the world who do not have access to basic education, and 150 million children currently enrolled will drop out before completing primary education and least two-thirds of them are girls. Out of the 75 million children approximately 40 million are in Africa.

Watch this video about how Mozambique celebrated International Day for the African Child two years ago.

 

 

 

Today is the tenth time the world celebrates World Day Against Child Labor.

The International Labor Organization, (ILO), launched the day in 2002 as a way to bring attention to the hundreds of millions of working children deprived of a childhood.

World Day Against Child Labor

Hundreds of millions of children start work too early.

Children who are forced to work are denied of the opportunity to go to school, and instead they are often forced to work in dangerous, hazardous conditions.

In 2010, the international community adopted a roadmap for achieving elimination for the worst forms of child labor by 2016. The document stresses children’s right to personal freedom and highlights that child labor is a hindrance for development. The document distinguishes the four following conditions as the worst forms of child labor: all forms of slavery, prostitution or use of children for pornographic material, use of children for production or trafficking drugs, and work which is likely to harm a child’s health.

Following up on World Environment Day, today we are celebrating World Oceans Day!

This day has been unofficially celebrated since 1992, when Canada proposed it in the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008.

World Oceans Day

Oceans cover 70% of our planet.

The World Oceans Day is largely about respecting our oceans and bringing issues like overconsumption and pollution into discussion. But, it is also an opportunity to remind everyone about the psychological, entertaining, and functional purposes of these large bodies of water. Oceans make up for 70% of the world’s surface and they connect us with each other…

Today is World Environment Day (WED), one of the principle ways in which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.

This year’s theme is Green Economy: Does it include You? Basically, what the UN means by Green Economy are the overall efforts of nations to reduce carbon emission and pollution, to enhance energy and resource efficiency, and to prevent the loss of biodiversity. World Environment DayAccording to the UN Environment Program, Green Economy both significantly lowers environmental risks and improves human well-being and social equity. This years theme, therefore, aims to encourage people to find out more about Green Technology and about the various different ways in which they are already included, and the ways in which they can participate further. The official WED website is pledging people to “help break the record for the greatest number of activities registered in WED’s four decade history.”