Submitted by Jazmin Hernandez, Community Health Educator Supervisor
Today, more than ever, our world faces many challenges, crises and divisions that arise in aspects such as poverty, violence, violations of human rights and that all of these threaten peace, security, development and social harmony among and within the peoples of the world.
To combat all these challenges, crises and divisions, it is necessary to confront the causes that provoke them, encouraging and defending solidarity, which can manifest itself in many ways, such as friendship.
In 2011 the United Nations (UN) designated July 30 as the International Friendship Day seeking to exemplify opportunities to build bridges between peoples, countries, cultures through proposing initiatives of peace and friendship to face all these current challenges that afflict the world.
The UN proposes that commemorating this celebration is intended to encourage governments, international organizations and society in general to hold events that promote initiatives of dialogue, solidarity and mutual understanding among peoples.
Through friendship, cultivating the bonds of camaraderie and strengthening trust, we can contribute to the fundamental and necessary changes to achieve lasting stability, weave a social support network that protects us all, and generate passion for a better world, all united for the common good.
Within the framework of this celebration, the Culture of Peace was proposed by UNESCO and the UN General Assembly, and is the set of values, attitudes, and behaviors that reject violence and seek to prevent conflicts by addressing the root causes with the aim of resolving them. It is stressed that a culture of peace and non-violence must be instilled in children through education. If children learn to live in peace and harmony, this will contribute to the strengthening of international peace and cooperation.
This Culture of Peace established 8 lines of action that will allow respect for diversity, as well as international understanding that are the main objectives of this day.
- Promote a culture of peace through education;
- Promote sustainable economic and social development;
- Promote respect for all human rights;
- Ensure equality between women and men;
- Promote democratic participation;
- Promote understanding, tolerance and solidarity;
- Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;
- To promote international peace and security.
What human being is not moved by the feeling of friendship when it is genuine and makes us the best version of ourselves? For this reason, an annual celebration is based on the recognition of friendship as a noble and valuable feeling in the lives of human beings around the world.
“On this International Day of Friendship, let us make it our purpose to value and cultivate as many relationships of affection as possible, which enrich our lives and contribute to a better future.” –Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2016