Tag Archives: United Nations General Assembly

The International Women’s Day 2015: Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity… If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… – Mahatma Gandhi

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International Women's Day 2015 (Photo: UN Women/Fernando Bocanegra)
International Women’s Day 2015 (Photo: UN Women/Fernando Bocanegra)

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On March 8th every year, the day originally known as the International Working Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. Two years later, in December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and increase support for women’s full and equal participation. To this to effect, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women Rights and International Peace observed on any day of the year according to their historical and national traditions by Member States.

The Beijing Platform for Action

The International Women’s Day 2015 celebrated globally today will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain.

On this day, the focus is on upholding women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and pay greater attention to women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. The Beijing Platform for Action focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.

To this end, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is the clarion call of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!”

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India Celebrates Children’s Day 2013


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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I wish all children in India “A Happy Children’s Day!”

In 1925, The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed June 1 as International Children’s Day and then established universally in 1954. Now, many countries around the world, celebrate Children’s Day, but on different days each year.

Universal Children’s Day

A major global variant of Children’s Day is the Universal Children’s Day celebrated on November 20 every year.

The United Nations General Assembly recommended this day in 1954 to urge all its member countries to institute a day, with the aim to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children, and to initiate action to help and promote the welfare of children globally as outlined in the Charter.

On November 20, 1959 the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and on November 20, 1989 the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

India celebrates Children’s Day on November 14

Children’s Day (ISource: ndianEagle.com)
Children’s Day (Source: IndianEagle.com)

Today, November 14, India celebrates Children’s Day. On this day, India remembers and honours the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The children of India fondly called him “Chacha Nehru” (Hindi: चाचा नेहरू)) or Uncle Nehru.

Nehru consistently emphasized the importance of showering love and affection on children. He saw in them the future of India.

On Children’s Day, the Kids in India engage themselves in the fun and frolic. Various educational, cultural, social, institutions organize functions and conduct competitions for children all over the country. The State and the Central governments organize film festivals in many parts of the country to showcase Children’s films.

In many schools, the children themselves arrange the cultural activities on this day. Teachers also get involved; in many schools, they sing and dance for their students.

First Day Covers for commemorating Children's Day 2012 in India
First Day Cover for commemorating Children’s Day 2012 in India

Every year, India Post issues special stamps of paintings  by children and First Day Covers for commemorating Children’s Day in India. Here are the commemorative stamps issued from year 2006 to 2012. Please note that these images of the postage stamps are not to scale.

Children's Day November 14, 2012- Rs 5
Children’s Day 2012

Children's Day November 14, 2011 - Rs 5
Children’s Day 2011

Children's Day November 14, 2011 - Rs 20
Children’s Day 2011

Children's Day November 14, 2010 - Rs 5
Children’s Day 2010

Children's Day November 14, 2010 - Rs 5
Children’s Day 2010

Children's Day November 14, 2010 - Rs 5
Children’s Day 2010

Children's Day Nov 14, 2010
Children’s Day 2010

Children's Day 2009
Children’s Day 2009

Children's Day 2009
Children’s Day 2009

Children's Day 2008
Children’s Day 2008

Children's Day 2008
Children’s Day 2008

Children's Day 2008
Children’s Day 2008

Children's Day 2007
Children’s Day 2007

Children's Day 2007
Children’s Day 2007

Children's Day 2006
Children’s Day 2006

Children's Day 2007
Children’s Day 2007.

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August 29: The International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2013


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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The International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2012 - Logo

“A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.”
– Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Nuclear Explosion

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Nuclear weapons testing began with the first test on July 16, 1945 by the United States of America. Since then, nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have taken place. There has been scant consideration of the devastating effects of nuclear testing on human life, and no clear understanding of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. In the early years, having nuclear weapons meant scientific sophistication and military might.

Today’s nuclear weapons are far more powerful and destructive. History has brought to light the terrifying and tragic effects of testing nuclear weapons, especially when controlled conditions go astray.

On September 10, 1996, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – the main mechanism for eradicating nuclear weapons testing by a large majority, exceeding two-thirds of the General Assembly’s Membership. It opened for signature in New York on September 24, 1996, and 71 States signed it, including five of the eight then nuclear-capable states. This international instrument, to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing has yet to enter into force. To date, 183 countries have signed the treaty and 159 have ratified and another 24 states have signed, but not ratified it. For the Treaty to come into force, States with significant nuclear capabilities must ratify it. There are still eight countries that will not ratify: China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

Subsequent incidents worldwide brought about the need to observe an International Day against Nuclear Tests.

The 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly held on December 2, 2009, declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35 . The Preamble of the resolution emphasizes that “every effort should be made to end nuclear tests to avert  devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people” and that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991 where the Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests from 1949 until 1989 with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment.

The year 2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Since then, each year, August 29th,has been observed as the International Day against Nuclear Tests by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, instruction in academic institutions, media broadcasts and others. A number of events have been held at United Nations Headquarters, as well. Similar activities are planned for the 2013 observance.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General has clearly stated: “A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.”

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Today is International Friendship Day!


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Fridenship Day
Today, is the first Sunday of August and we in India are celebrating Friendship Day. For many years, people the world over have celebrated Friendship Day.

It has become a popular tradition for friends to exchange gifts, flowers, greeting cards and wrist bands on Friendship Day.

Joyce C. Hall

Friendship Day was originally promoted in 1930 by Joyce C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards. He intended to celebrate it on August 2nd.  Though the Friendship Day was initially promoted by the greeting card industry, the growth of the internet and proliferation of mobile phones have made it easier to greet friends than ever before. Advent of social networking sites, helps people to celebrate Friendship Day online/

Dr. Artemio Bracho was the first to propose the idea of a World Friendship Day .
Dr. Artemio Bracho

On 20 July 1958 by Dr. Artemio Bracho was the first to propose the idea of a World Friendship Day during a dinner with friends in Puerto Pinasco, Paraguay. Out of this humble meeting of friends, the World Friendship Crusade that promotes friendship and fellowship among all human beings, regardless of race, colour or religion was born. Since then, 30 July has been faithfully celebrated as Friendship Day in Paraguay every year and has also been adopted by several other countries.

Winnie-the-Pooh
Winnie-the-Pooh

In 1998, in honour of Friendship Day Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nation. The event was co-sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information and Disney Enterprises, and was co-hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford.

On 27 April 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations drew a draft resolution on International Day of Friendship that designated 30 July as the International Day of Friendship:

United Nations

International Day of Friendship

The General Assembly,

Recalling the goals and objectives of its Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010), and all its relevant resolutions,

Recognizing the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world,

Bearing in mind that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and presents an opportunity to build bridges between communities, honouring cultural diversity,

Affirming that friendship can contribute to the efforts of the international community, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, towards the promotion of dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation,

Convinced of the importance of involving youth and future leaders in community activities aimed at the inclusion of and respect between different cultures, while promoting international understanding, respect for diversity and a culture of peace, in accordance with the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace,

Noting that friendship-related activities, events and initiatives are observed each year in many countries,

1. Decides to designate 30 July as the International Day of Friendship;

2. Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Friendship in an appropriate manner, in accordance with the culture and other
appropriate circumstances or customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through education and public awareness-raising activities;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and organizations of the United Nations system.

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Though the General Assembly of the United Nations designated 30 July as the official International Day of Friendship, some countries, including India, celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August.

In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on 8 April each year.

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“A Promise Is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity… If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… – Mahatma Gandhi

A promise is a promise - the theme for International Women’s Day 2013

On March 8th every year, the day originally known as the International Working Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) focusing on respect, appreciation and love towards women and to celebrate the achievements of women in economic, political and social arena without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments of women, and for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

This day was originally known as the International Working Women’s Day. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. Two years later, in December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and increase support for women’s full and equal participation. To this to effect, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women Rights and International Peace observed on any day of the year according to their historical and national traditions by Member States.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” seeks to strengthen international community’s commitment to put an end to violence against women – a gross human rights violation that affects up to 70% women.

As part of the effort the UN leads to fight violence against women, UNiTE campaign, the United Nations Secretary-Generals Ban Ki-moon’s “Unite to End Violence Against Women” calls on all governments, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing this global pandemic.

The song “One Woman” written for UN Women and performed by acclaimed singers and musicians from China to Costa Rica, from Mali to Malaysia spreads a message of unity and solidarity. The song is a rallying cry to inspire listeners to join the drive for women’s rights and gender equality, and overcome violence and discrimination against women.

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Let Us Celebrate the 64th Annual Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012


“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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My Voice Counts, Human Rights Day - 1

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During the Second World War, the allies adopted the following Four Freedoms, as their basic war aims:

      • Freedom of speech
      • Freedom of religion
      • Freedom from fear
      • Freedom from want

The United Nations Charter “reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person” and committed all member states to promote “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”

After the Second World War, the world became aware of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany. The world community concurred that the United Nations Charter did not sufficiently define the rights it referenced above. Hence arose the necessity for an universal declaration that specified the rights of individuals to give effect to the Charter’s provisions on human rights.

At the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, the members decided to celebrate Human Rights Day on December 10 every year because on December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was the first worldwide proclamation of human rights, and also one of the major achievements of the new United Nations. The General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day.

Traditionally, on December 10th, the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded.

This year, the spotlight is on the rights of all people – women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized and to make their voices heard in public life and to include them in political decision-making.

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Which Countries Voted for Palestine …


Palestine vote

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The UN general assembly has just voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a state. An astounding 138 nations chose to support the path of peace and justice.

Just weeks ago, the vote was expected to be much closer, with Israel and the US lobbying hard to deny Palestine key European support. But in the face of major public pressure and vigorous campaigning by the Avaaz community, countries such as France, Spain, Belgium and Sweden decided to vote yes to statehood for Palestine. In the end, just nine countries ended up on the wrong side of history: Israel, the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Panama, Palau, Nauru, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

Celebrate this historic moment, share this map with everyone.

[Update: This map has been corrected to show New Zealand also voted in favor, rather than abstaining.]

Source: AVAAZ.ORG

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Today Is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2012


August 29th is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2012. We are not making enough progress. There are still 8 countries that will not ratify: China, DPRK, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. It’s time to ban the bomb and the mayhem and tragedy that comes with it.”. – Dr Helen Caldicott

Today (August 29th) is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2012.

The 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly held on December 2, 2009, declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991 where the Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests from 1949 until 1989 with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment.

This resolution unanimously adopted by 64/35 votes called for an increased awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions. Its goal was to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. It advocated the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests has promoted a worldwide environment with increased prospects for a world devoid of nuclear firepower. While there are clear indications of progress on numerous fronts, challenges are still there. The United Nations hopes to eliminate all nuclear weapons, eventually. Until then, as we work towards achieving global peace and security, we must observe the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

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