4th February (’23): International Day of Human Fraternity

The International Day of Human Fraternity was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 21, 2020, with resolution 75/200 as a way to promote greater cultural and religious tolerance. With this resolution, which was co-facilitated by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations invited all its member states and other international organizations to observe the International Day of Human Fraternity annually on February 4.

Celebrations of the International Day of Human Fraternity include events attended by UN member states, religious leaders and civil society representatives along with the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, which recognizes individuals or entities anywhere in the world for their profound contributions to human fraternity.

Since it was celebrated for the first time on February 4, 2021, the International Day of Human Fraternity has received endorsements from different world leaders. Pope Francis; Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar; and the President of the United States, Joe Biden, have given their support to the initiative.


Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, on February 4, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, also known as the Abu Dhabi declaration. The principles of compassion and human solidarity embodied in this text are the same ones that later inspired the declaration that designated February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity, as it has been stated by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in different occasions.

To fulfill the aspirations of the Document on Human Fraternity, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF), was established in August 2019. The HCHF, which is constituted by both religious and civil leaders from different countries and creeds, awards the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity among other initiatives.

Finally, the Document on Human Fraternity also influenced the encyclical Fratelli tutti, as Pope Francis acknowledges in the same text by stating that he was inspired to write it by his meeting with Ahmed el-Tayeb in 2019.

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4th February (’23): World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is celebrated on February 4, promoted by the UICC – Union for International Cancer Control – and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Now in its twenty-third edition, the day represents an important call to reflect on what institutions and individuals can do together to fight cancer.

‘Close the Care Gap – Everyone deserves access to cancer care’ is the theme of the 2022-2024 campaign. The slogan calls attention to the importance of understanding and recognizing inequalities in cancer care around the world.

“Cancer is a preventable and curable pathology. We are preparing initiatives to enhance the promotion of cancer screening and at the same time encourage correct lifestyles to reduce risk factors. Prevention is essential and for this reason we want to spread a strong message of promotion of health to the entire population and in particular to young people, starting from elementary schools” declared the Italian Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci.

29th October ’22: (World Stroke Organization): World Brain Stroke Day

World Stroke Day Campaign Logo

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is a non-profit medical association that works to raise awareness of prevention and treatment of stroke. The organization was founded in 2006 from the merging of two organizations previously in existence, the International Stroke Society (ISS) and the World Stroke Federation (WSF). Its membership consists of both professional individuals and organizations that share the WSO’s goals.


Mission
The mission of the World Stroke Organization is to “provide access to stroke care and to promote research and teaching in this area that will improve the care of stroke victims throughout the world.” The association also works to “increase visibility and credibility of its activities among stroke clinicians, researchers, other health professionals, international professional and lay organizations, and the general public.”

Activities
The WSO hosts a biennial congress that provides skill-building workshops to participants. In the past, congresses have attracted up to 2400 participants. Each year the WSO also endorses several conferences hosted by national regional societies that are members of the WSO.

The World Stroke Organization is responsible for the creation of World Stroke Day and its associated campaigns. World Stroke Day is held on 29 October each year.

The World Stroke Organisation runs the World Stroke Academy, which is the global e-learning platform for stroke education.

Publications
The WSO produces the bimonthly International Journal of Stroke, published by SAGE. The journal contains both original contributions and topical reviews, focusing on the clinical aspects of stroke. It has an international focus, with editors from six different regions. The journal was created in 2005 and became the official publication of the WSO with the organization’s creation in 2006.

27th october (’22): World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage takes place every 27 October. This commemorative day was chosen by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2005 to raise awareness of the significance and preservation risks of recorded sound and audiovisual documents (films, sound and video recordings, radio and television programmes). Events are held in many countries, organised by national and regional sound and film archives, broadcasters, museums and libraries, and major audiovisual associations including the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), International Council on Archives (ICA), International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)).

The main objectives of designating the date of 27 October were listed by UNESCO:

raising public awareness of the need for preservation;
providing opportunities to celebrate specific local, national or international aspects of the heritage;
highlighting the accessibility of archives;
attracting media attention to heritage issues;
raising the cultural status of audiovisual heritage;
highlighting audiovisual heritage in danger, especially in developing countries.
The 2012 and 2013 events were co-ordinated by the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations, through the SouthEast Asia & Pacific Audiovisual Archives Association (SEAPAVAA) and International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA).

National Day of the People’s Republic of China

National Day (Chinese: 国庆节; pinyin: guóqìng jié; lit. ‘national celebration day’), officially the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国国庆节), is a public holiday in China celebrated annually on 1 October as the national day of the People’s Republic of China, commemorating the formal proclamation of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October 1949. The Chinese Communist Party victory in the Chinese Civil War resulted in the Kuomintang “retreat” to Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Revolution whereby the People’s Republic of China “replaced” the Republic of China.

Although it is observed on 1 October, another six days are added to the official holiday, normally in lieu of the two weekend breaks around 1 October, making it a de facto public holiday comprising seven consecutive days also known as Golden Week (黄金周; huángjīn zhōu) with specifics regulated by the State Council. Festivities and concerts are usually held nationwide on this day, with a grand military parade and mass pageant event held on select years. The parade held on 1 October 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) defeated the incumbent Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist government of the Republic of China in the Chinese Civil War that took place from 1927 to 1950 except for a brief alliance against Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. In its aftermath, the internationally recognized government of China withdrew to the island of Taiwan, previously a prefecture of the Qing Empire that was ceded to Japan under its colonial rule from 1895 to 1945.

The People’s Republic of China was founded on 1 October 1949, with a ceremony celebrating the forming of the Central People’s Government taking place in Tiananmen Square in its new national capital of Peking (previously Peiping) on the same day that year. The first public parade of the new People’s Liberation Army took place there, following the address by the country’s first Chairman Mao Zedong officially declaring the formal establishment of the Republic. The Central People’s Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on 2 December 1949, and declared that 1 October is the National Day.

National Day marks the start of the only golden week (黄金周) in the PRC that the government has kept. Removing one of the Golden Weeks caused controversies when it happened in 2007.

The day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organized festivities, including fireworks and concerts, as well as sports events and cultural events. Public places, such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing, are decorated in a festive theme. Portraits of revered leaders, such as Mao Zedong, are publicly displayed. The holiday is also celebrated by many overseas Chinese.

1st October (’22): International MUSIC Council

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The International Music Council (IMC) was created in 1949 as UNESCO’s advisory body on matters of music. It is based at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France, where it functions as an independent international non-governmental organization. Its primary aim is to facilitate the development and promotion of international music-making.

The IMC currently consists of some 120 members, divided into four categories (National Music Councils, International Music Organisations, Regional Music Organisations, National and specialized organisations in the field of arts and culture). It is represented by regional councils in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Their task is to develop and support programmes specifically tailored to the needs of the IMC members and partners in their region.


The International Music Council advocates for access to music to all, through a set of values which are at the basis of the action of both the International Music Council and its regional councils. Those core beliefs have been gathered under the name of Five Music Rights.

The Five Music Rights were first proclaimed in Tokyo during the International Music Council’s General Assembly of 2001, and have since been promoted by the International Music Council and related bodies, through advocacy activities, programmes and other initiatives (such as the Music Rights Awards and the appointment of the ” Music Rights Champions”).

The principles contained in the Five Music Rights (originally written in English) have been translated into French, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese.

IMC undertakes many initiatives within the music ecosystem – such as developing projects, organizing conferences, awarding prizes, etc. Projects are international, regional and sometimes local and are often supported by international, intergovernmental and supranational organizations.

International Rostrum of Composers
One of the IMC’s regular activities is the annual International Rostrum of Composers, a forum offering representatives of national broadcasting organisations the opportunity to exchange and publicize works of contemporary classical music.

The IMC UNESCO Music Prize
The IMC UNESCO Music Prize was awarded from 1975 until 2005 by the International Music Council, as of 1978 in cooperation with UNESCO. The Prize was addressed to both musicians and musical institutions, in alignment with the purposes of the United Nations Charter and UNESCO’s Constitution. The Prize was assessed by four categories: composition, musicology, pedagogy, and performance. The last laureate of the IMC UNESCO Music Prize was Mikis Theodorakis.

African Music Development Programme
The African Music Development Programme, launched in 2014 by the International Music Council, took place in nine African countries.

The 3-years-long project was implemented with the financial support of the European Union and the technical assistance of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), and aimed at supporting the music industry through a series of targeted actions.

Advocacy
The main arena for IMC advocacy is UNESCO, specifically the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist, the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Some advocacy actions are carried out in alliance with other international organisations such as the #Culture2030Goal campaign for the inclusion of culture among the Sustainable Development Goals.

International Music Day
The International Music Day was initiated in 1975 by Yehudi Menuhin, former president of the IMC. It is celebrated worldwide on October 1.

29th September ’22: World heart day

World Heart Day, celebrated on 29 September each year, is a global information and awareness campaign on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, promoted worldwide by the World Heart Federation through a community of over 200 national organizations that together support the commitment of the medical society and foundations for the heart in over 100 countries.

Cardio-cerebro vascular diseases are by far the leading cause of death in many countries of the world. They are responsible for 17.5 million premature deaths each year and are projected to increase to 23 million by 2030. In Italy 127,000 women and 98,000 men die each year from cardio-cerebrovascular diseases and many of these deaths occur prematurely before the age of 60. Cigarette smoking, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, high blood sugar levels, poor diet, weight and abdominal circumference, sedentary lifestyle, stress and living conditions in unhealthy environments are the modifiable risk factors responsible for at least 80 % of premature deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, heart failure and stroke, which can be avoided.

World Heart Day adheres to the “25by25” campaign launched by the World Health Organization in 2012 to urge all countries of the world to put in place alliances and the best strategies to reduce, by 2025, 25% of premature deaths caused from chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diseases of the heart, blood vessels and diabetes.

In Italy, World Heart Day is coordinated by the Italian Foundation for the Heart Association, a national member of the World Heart Federation. In September and beyond there are many free events open to the public, with the distribution of information material, organized freely by hospitals, ASLs, patient associations, hospitals, public and private bodies to sensitize people to take care of their heart.

27th September (’22): World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day as international observances on September 27. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.

At its Twelfth Session in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 1997, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as the Organization’s partner in the celebration of World Tourism Day. At its Fifteenth Session in Beijing, China, in October 2003, the Assembly decided the following geographic order to be followed for World Tourism Day celebrations: 2006 in Europe; 2007 in South Asia; 2008 in the Americas; 2009 in Africa and 2011 in the Middle East.

The late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, a Nigerian national, was the one who proposed the idea of marking September 27 of every year as World Tourism Day. He was finally recognized for his contribution in 2009. The colour of World Tourism Day is Blue.

21th September (’22): International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace, also officially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1981 and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people.

To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace”.

In recent years, a searchable map of events has been published at un.org.

21th September ’22: Independence Day [Malta]

Independence Day (Maltese: Jum l-Indipendenza) is one of the five national holidays in Malta. It celebrates the day the country gained independence from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1964. Throughout its existence, Malta had a long and complex history which resulted in the island being ruled by a plethora of foreign rulers. Such rulers include the likes of the “Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British”. Malta’s final ruler, Britain, granted Malta self-governance after Malta’s brave resistance to the Axis powers and loyalty to Britain during World War II, which did allow for the movement for independence to grow more in popularity. Malta attained independence from the British Empire and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1964 and declared itself a republic a decade later, known as Republic Day.


Malta has been an area of interest, for its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, since classical times. The island allowed for great international trade and a militarily strategic location, the island was wonderful for navies to stop and rest and it was a great base for military assaults from the air and the sea. The island’s longest ruler was the Knights of St. John, who controlled the island for 250 years. The Knights lost their control of the island after an invasion by French forces led by Napoleon. Napoleon’s fleet was en route to invade Egypt and beyond, but needed a place to rest beforehand. Malta refused Napoleon’s request to harbour at its islands, but he was not going to let his invasion fail at the fault of the small island-state so he invaded and seized control of the island. While Malta might have been taken through force, the French did not treat them wrongly. France established many reforms that reflected that of the French Revolution, such as ending the remaining feudalistic policies, building and founding many schools, and abolishing slavery. Despite this, the people of Malta saw those policies as excessive for the locals were “largely dominated by [and loyal to] two institutions: the aristocracy and the Church.” The Maltese people revolted against the French in response to the policies enacted by France in the occupation of 1799. The French had also been plundering art and national treasures belonging to Malta and taking them back to France, such as the sword belonging to Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Vallette. During this time, the French had been at war with the British, hence why Napoleon was headed for British-owned Egypt. So when the Maltese resistance attempted to retake their capital of Valletta and failed, they turned to Britain for help. Britain accepted Malta’s plea for help since France was Britain’s nemesis. With famous Admiral Lord Nelson, British forces blockaded the island and took it in 1800. Britain incorporated Malta into their empire, and in 1869, Malta would become famous for its use as a halfway stop between British Gibraltar and the newly opened Suez Canal. The island would then be built up as a fortress and made into the home the British Mediterranean fleet.

A century later would have the Second World War occur. Being the home of the British fleet in the Mediterranean, the Axis powers would try repeatedly to either destroy or control the island. This devastated Malta, but the island never gave in. Their stern resistance against the Nazis and Fascist Italians was rewarded by the British, who both gave the people of Malta the George Cross and promised to give the Maltese people independence. A small amount of local rule was given in 1947, though it wasn’t until 21 September 1964 that full independence came. Malta became a republic a decade later and British forces finally left the country after the defence treaty expired on 31 March 1979, which is celebrated as “Freedom Day”.