This Week’s Sky at a Glance, June 24 – July 1 Arcturus and Vega are about equally high overhead shortly after dark this weekend, and the last-quarter Moon (exact at 2:19 p.m. EDT) rises around 1 a.m. below the Great Square of Pegasus.
Sky & Telescope’s astronomy podcast takes you on a guided tour of the night sky. After the Sun sinks from view, enjoy watching Mars and Saturn near Scorpius in the southeast and Jupiter near Leo well up in the southwest.
International Widows’ Day was introduced to address poverty and injustice faced by widows and their children in many countries. It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2010 and is observed anually on June 23.
What Do People Do?
The first officially recognized International Widows’ Day on June 23, 2011 was marked with a conference held in the United Nations headquarters in New York.
International Widows’ Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
International Widows’ Day was initiated by the Loomba Foundation in 2005. The plight of widows world-wide has been the foundation’s focus since it was established in 1997. According to its founder, Raj Loomba, women in many countries experience great hardship after their husbands die. “They are not looked after by governments or NGOs and they are shunned by society.”
The observance falls on June 23 because Loomba’s mother became a widow on that date in 1954.
The United Nations’ Public Service Day is held on June 23 each year. It recognizes that democracy and successful governance are built on the foundation of a competent civil service. The day aims to celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community.
What Do People Do?
The United Nations (UN) holds a Public Service Awards ceremony each year. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions worldwide. This event promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. At the same time, Africa Public Service Day is celebrated in Africa to coincide with the United Nations Public Service Day.
Many public service organizations and departments around the world celebrate this day by holding various events to recognize the valuable role that public servants play in making improvements in society. Activities include: information days featuring stalls and booths about the public service; organized lunches with guest speakers; internal awards ceremonies within public service agencies or departments; and special announcements to honor public servants.
Public Service Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
On December 20, 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 23 of each year as United Nations Public Service Day (resolution 57/277). It encouraged member states to organize special events on that day to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process.
This day was created to: celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants; and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.
The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) uses a special logo for Public Service Day. It features two columns, one on the left side and one on the right side, and in between are a pair of hands outlined in orange in a flame-like manner. These hands surround three blue human figures. The figure in the middle depicts a woman and the two other figures, one on each side of the woman, are male. The word “Public”, which joins the two columns, is written above the heads of the figures, which are standing on or supported by the word “Service” in capital letters, which joins the two columns. A smaller version of UNPAN’s main logo is located above the word “Public”.
UNPAN’s main logo, in blue and white, is similar to the logo on the UN flag. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world.
In 2014, the United Nations (UN) proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a series of exercises that combines physical, mental, and spiritual practice. The word itself is derived from Sanscrit and means to join or unite.
Originating in India, yoga was introduced to the west in the late 19th and early 20th century. Since the 1980s, the number of yoga practitioners has grown each year.
Many Different Practices
Today yoga is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow as a sport and a lifestyle. Traditional yoga has a meditative and spiritual core in addition to the physical exercises. The result is a wide variety of schools, practices, and goals within the yoga community.
Yoga for Peace
It is because of yoga’s holistic approach to body and mind that the UN decided to dedicate June 21 to this ancient tradition.
“Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.” said Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.
The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
What Do People Do?
People honor the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day. It is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) often get involved in various activities for the day. They may include:
Activist protests against using former prisons to detain migrants and asylum seekers.
Screenings of films about the lives of asylum seekers living in a western country.
Organization members visiting asylum seekers in detention to offer moral support.
Letters or petitions to governments on the treatment of asylum seekers in detention.
Some communities dedicate an entire week that includes World Refugee Day to encourage people to think about the lives of refugees and the human right to a secure place to that one can see as “home”.
World Refugee Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000.
The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.
The UN Refugee Agency’s (UNCHR) logo is often associated with the day. The colors used are either white on a blue background or blue on white background. The logo features olive branches that symbolize peace surrounding or protecting two hands facing each other, and in the middle a figure of a person protected by these hands. The logo is sometimes featured with the words “UNHCR”, followed by “The UN Refugee Agency” in smaller text to mark the logo.
The UNHCR in Canada uses a special World Refugee Day logo that features two figures – one smaller figure on the left and a taller figure on the right. They are protected by brackets or half circles. The words “World Refugee Day” are placed at the centre top of the figures, and “20 June” is placed at under the figures at the centre. All elements of the logo are the one color – green.
Students in El Fasher, North Darfur, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert González Farran
“Sexual violence is now widely recognized as a deliberate strategy used to shred the fabric of society; to control and intimidate communities and to force people from their homes. […] We must continue to speak up for the women, girls, men and boys whose bodies for too long have been considered the spoils of war.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) proclaimed 19 June of each year the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, in order to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.
The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), in which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peacebuilding.
A panel discussion to commemorate the first annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 21 June 2016, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Please RSVP here.
BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS · A BLOGSITE FOR THE PRAISING OF ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME IN HONOR OF ALL BLACK WOMEN. "ONLY THE BLACK WOMAN CAN SAY WHEN AND WHERE I ENTER, IN THE QUIET, UNDISPUTED DIGNITY OF MY WOMANHOOD, WITHOUT VIOLENCE AND WITHOUT SUING OR SPECIAL PATRONAGE, THEN AND THERE THE WHOLE. . .RACE ENTERS WITH ME." ANNA JULIA COOPER, 1892