International Friendship Day
As the philosopher Aristotle once said, “In poverty and
other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge.”
Friendships are a vital and enhancing element of life,
crucial to mental health and according to studies Close
friendships enhance moods and functioning as well as
emotional and physical health.
In the aim of encouraging and promoting peace, happiness
and unity, the United Nations General Assembly (UN), in the
year 2011, designated International Day of Friendship to be
annually commemorated on the 30th July.
Acknowledging the human rights violations around the
world, discrimination, political and cultural discord, in
addition to other prominent issues, maintaining peace
and prioritizing friendships remains a necessity in ensuring
a harmonious existence in global society. Thus, International
Day of Friendship aims to shed a light on the vital importance of friendships in our society, by building bridges between the different cultures and existing ideologies, thus bridging understanding and consensus.
International Friendship Day this year coincides with extremely complex circumstances, exacerbated by the Corona-virus pandemic. The pandemic affects most countries around the world, requiring immediate coordinated responses and solidarity to overcome the challenges.
This important day promotes diversity, inclusion and appreciation. Moreover, it aims to encourage the message of accepting and embracing others regardless of the differences in their background or ideologies. Hence, the United Nations encourages governments, international organizations and community groups to promote dialogue on this necessary message through activities and initiatives.
On this day, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights appeals to all countries, particularly those of the Middle East and North Africa, where ethnic rivalries and conflicts remain, to promote unity and solidarity through the establishment of programs promoting intercultural dialogue, cultural participation and social equality.
Furthermore, the Institute urges states and humanitarian organisations to support the goals and objectives of the General Assembly Declaration and Program of Action on Culture Peace and the Action Plan on International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World 2001-2010, that aims to further strengthen the global movement for a culture of peace.