Human Rights Day

10 December 2014

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.

This is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

As the first universal instrument recognizing the inherent dignity of every member of the human family, the Declaration embodied centuries of thinking – it marked also the start of concerted global efforts to realise human rights in all circumstances.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

03 December 2014

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated each year on the 3rd of December, seeks to raise awareness and mobilize support for the dignity and well-being of persons with disabilities. Today, around 15 per cent of the world’s population is estimated to be living with some form of disability. UNESCO recognizes that the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of social life remains an enormous challenge.

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Students and teachers of UNESCO Associated Schools representing 32 countries came together in Okayama, Japan, during the UNESCO ASPnet International ESD Events from 4 to 8 November 2014, to share their views. Some 200 participants discussed their ideas and ambitions on protecting and respecting the environment, setting up effective recycling systems, preparing and preventing natural disasters, and on...Read more

International Day for Tolerance

16 November 2014

The International Day for Tolerance is an opportunity for each of us to renew our commitment to practicing tolerance and promoting harmony. Globalizing quickly, the world is also increasingly fragile. This is why every day, in every society, we need to build new bridges of tolerance, trust and understanding.

This takes commitment and time. We must begin with quality education, to combat ignorance, prejudice and hatred, which are at the root of discrimination and racism. We need education to disarm the fears that many feel of the unknown and of other people, their cultures, life choices and beliefs. Education is the best way to foster a culture of peace and build inclusive societies.

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World Science Day for Peace and Development

10 November 2014

Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwideworld science day logo on 10 November each year. It offers an opportunity to demonstrate to the wider public why science is relevant to their daily lives and to engage them in debate on related issues.

By throwing bridges between science and society, the aim is to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science, while underscoring the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable. Recent themes have included ‘towards green societies’ (2011), science for the rapprochement of peoples and cultures (2010) and astronomy (2009).

The WSDPD's objectives are:

  • To strengthen public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies
  • To promote national and international solidarity for a shared science between countries
  • To renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies
  • To draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raise support for the scientific endeavor

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Living in an environment of peace and security is fundamental to human dignity and development. Global Citizenship is key to world peace, and peace is essential for sustainable development. The International Peace Day is celebrated on 21 September under the theme “right of peoples to peace”. We invite you to celebrate Peace Day and take action at your school!

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International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

17 October 2014

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris , where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world and serve as a gathering place to celebrate the Day. One such replica is located in the garden of United Nations Headquarters and is the site of the annual commemoration organized by the United Nations Secretariat in New York.

Through resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution. The resolution further invites intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to assist States, at their request, in organizing national activities for the observance of the Day, and requests the Secretary-General to take, within existing resources, the measures necessary to ensure the success of the Day's observance by the United Nations.

17 October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

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International Day of Peace

21 September 2014

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. This anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.

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Today, two in three of the world’s 781million illiterate adults are women. A further 58 million children of primary school age are not in school, and 63 million adolescents of lower secondary school age are also missing out their right to an education, running the risk of creating a new generation of illiterates.

For UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, “this unacceptable situation is...Read more

A new video of the Teaching Respect for All (TRA) project has just been released - to hear children and educators from all around the world talk about TRA, watch the video below!

Teaching Respect for All is a UNESCO project, in cooperation with the USA and Brazil, to counteract discrimination both in and through education.

The...Read more


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