International Peace Day

International Peace Day

When everyone around seems to be on the verge of killing each other and World War III looks like on the go, peace is one thing we need to be praying about every single day. On 21 September, you can do just that, but together with the entire world, as everyone celebrates the International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day.

This year, the theme of The International Day of Peace 2014, has been announced to be “Right of Peoples to Peace“. Appropriately chosen to mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, which “solemnly proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace”. The day will work as an additional push to remind of the foundation UN was built on and its purposes, principles and commitments. The theme also promotes the recently launched “Rights Up Front” initiative which focuses on the significance of peace in order to enjoy the rest of the human rights.

The International Day of Peace was created in General Assembly Resolution 36/67 on 27 November 1981. In the year 1982, the first Peace Day was observed on the third Tuesday of September and continued to be the Peace Day until 2002. That year 21 September was announced as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace, to be observed globally. On this day, the UN invites nations and people all over the world to celebrate the day of peace through education and public awareness. The day sees millions of people across the world attending and organizing events that voice out the dire need for world peace and elimination of violence and war.

The inauguration of the day is special in itself, where the UN Peace Bell, made from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, is rung at UN Headquarters. The bell was a gift from the UN Association of Japan, to remind the world of the human cost of war. An inscription engraved on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace”. This year, lets come together and pray for absolute world peace and the end of violence, both big and small.

World Ozone Layer Day

Celebrated on the mid September annually, The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer has been observed since 1995. The date 16th of September marks the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987 and thus to commemorate this initiative taken for the protection of ozone layer at a global level, this day has been picked by United Nations General Assembly.

Ozone in simplest terms is tri-oxygen. The naturally occurring gas made up of three oxygen atoms forms a protective shield above 10-50km the earth surface. That region of earth’s stratosphere is the sole reason we are still able to breathe, see, eat, read this post or be alive. Otherwise the harmful rays of the sun would fry us like our favorite potato chips. The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. Then after various studies and researches were carried out on its properties, its necessity but the alarm rang only during the 1970s when it was discovered that the layer was depleting and Ozone hole had come to existence. This revelation jeopardized the life forms on earth. All the nations thus, came together with an initiative to guard the Ozone layer, basically to protect Earth. In 1985, the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer was agreed upon.

This observation aims to spread the awareness of the causes and consequences of the Ozone Layer depletion. Corresponding promotional items are also used this day that makes the use of symbols of sun, sky, or to represent the significance. As much as it intends to evade the use of ozone depleting substances mainly CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) used as refrigerants, it encourages finding possible alternatives and solutions for the perpetuation of the earth’s protective cast.

United Nations Environment Programme is currently responsible in supervising the compliance with the international protocols in the eradication of use of CFC not only as refrigerants but in aerosols and the pesticide Methyl bromide. UNEP’s efforts to recover the original form of Ozone and maintaining it have a lot of challenges but it is attainable with persistency. This year, the theme for Ozone Layer Day is “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes On”.

As per UNEP in their official site, “this year’s theme seeks to galvanize all stakeholders to increase their efforts to address the challenges. It was selected following an online voting exercise.”

Visit UNEP Ozone Secretariat site to know more.

World Ozone Day is observed all around the world. For educators, community and organizations of all levels, this day is practical in organizing various activities and raise understanding about ozone, its importance and our role in the depletion as well as protection. The topics regarding this subject matter is addressed with value.

In contrary to the substantial role Ozone layer has, it’s merely a fragile gas layer preserving life on Earth. We Earthlings are not actually saving the ozone from depletion but ourselves. Hence, for us and the future generations to come, it’s time we contribute and if not add up; then stop thinning the layer that has protected the whole ecosystem so far.

Labor Day

Labor Day is an annual celebration that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of the workers throughout the world. In America, it is observed on the very first Monday in the month of September. Originated during the 19th century labor movement and the Industrial revolution era, the first Labor Day was observed on September 5th 1882. This day was supposedly chosen by the union as it fell in between Independence Day and thanksgiving. Gradually, the idea of holiday for Working Men spread and caught up across the workers in the country and after more than a decade, after some states designated Labor Day, it was ultimately declared as a federal holiday in 1894.

The end of summer, this day symbolizes the end of gloomy period in the history of American Labors. As bizarre as it may sound right now, it was true that even after working for a 12 hours a day, seven days a week; it was difficult to acquire basic needs. To the dismay of Americans, not only the adults but even the kids had to face unbefitting toil, unsafe working conditions and low wages. This stipulation of late 1800s slowly but surely started taking a turn where labor unions were not just formed but their voice was now more audible. The wages were renegotiated, the unfeasible commands were protested and there were strikes and gatherings raising voice for Labor rights. The consequences weren’t all that pleasant however.

Even so, President Grover Cleveland wasn’t a supporter of Labor union and it was partly because of him that the American railroad union strike took a violent turn – he signed a law that cited that the first Monday in September will be celebrated as Labor Day. That was almost a century ago, yet still there is a mystification on who proposed the holiday. While some credit the co founder of the American Federation of Labor, Peter J. Mcguire while other records suggest the name of Matthew Maguire, a machinist to have proposed the holiday. The subsequent researches done also add evidence to the latter being the founder of this holiday.

A Day dedicated to the commencement of socio-economic upliftment of American labors has a considerable national importance but seems to be losing significance with time. The celebration should come ahead as a tribute to all the efforts that the Labor has put in to build a nation. Currently, apart from treating Labor Day as just a day off or a holiday, numerous parades can be observed that in fact demonstrates the spirit and vigor of the workers. The power of Labor rights and its significance of this are the major highlights of this special Monday. Though we have seen a change in the pattern of Labor Day celebration, the prominence has remained the same.

With various audiovisual and print mediums, mass displays have been a way of expression. Similar expressions happen throughout the globe but on different days. In Europe, Asia and various other parts of the world, May Day, the 1st of May is observed as a holiday to commemorate the value of labors in nation building.

World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day

There has always been a difference between doing well and doing good. In a world age, where everyone is so engulfed by the desire of achieving something in life, there has been a notable negligence in finding out what you take for granted, might be a need to others. Amidst the slogans of human rights, humanitarianism speeches and huge ongoing projects; it’s quite ordinary to lay back and comment. But let’s not forget that we ourselves are capable of bringing that one small change that can make a huge difference.

Change starts from us, from our minds. If not go out in the fields to work, the finest we can do is – comprehend and acknowledge the ethics and zeal of those who do. Well, to be honest, we wouldn’t need this day to do so, but what better day?

August 19th has been declared by UN as World Humanitarian Day, a day of the year with other remaining 364 days to recognize the passion and effort of those who face millions of perils and adversity on their way to help the ones in need. United Nations define it as an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the Globe.

The date coincides with the date in 2003 when United Nations’ Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq was bombed. After a decade, this year too, United Nations continue their campaign of turning words into aid with their campaign. The theme for this year is THE WORLD NEEDS MORE. After the commemoration of World Humanitarian Day in 2009, various themes had been integrated successfully to credit the activities and attainment of the workers in this field. We are Humanitarian Workers, People Helping People are few themes including I Was Here for which Beyonce, the American singer also did an exclusive performance.

This day is also designated as the effect of persistent efforts of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation and his family working in corporation with the Ambassadors of various countries. Sergio Vleira de Mello, a Brazilian national who lived more than thirty years of his life as a UN service officer working in the most adverse of situations during conflict dedicated his life serving the humanitarian community. As a respect to such humanitarian leader in every humanitarian worker, for the courage and empathy in them, August 19th is an aspiration to achieve greater goals in humanitarianism.

To quote the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, “Humanitarian workers and their families are hit hardest by these crimes. But they are also felt by millions of others. Let us honor the fallen by protecting those who carry on their work – and supporting humanitarian relief operations worldwide.”

To find out more about this day and United Nations campaign, visit their official site.