Monthly Archives: November 2010

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: NOVEMBER 25, 2010

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women raises public awareness of violence against women in all countries around the world and at all levels of society. It is observed each year on November 25.

Local names

Name Language
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women English
Día Internacional de la Eliminación de la Violencia contra la Mujer Spanish

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011
See list of observations below.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness of violence against women. It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.

Campaigns to protect women are a part of the International  Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. ©iStockphoto.com/Pascal Genest

What do people do?

Various  activities are arranged around the world to draw attention to the need for  continuing action to eliminate violence against women, projects to enable women  and their children to escape violence and campaigns to educate people about the  consequences of violence against women. Locally, women’s groups may organize  rallies, communal meals, fundraising activities and present research on  violence against women in their own communities.

An ongoing  campaign that people are encouraged to participate in, especially around this  time of the year when awareness levels for the day are high, is the “Say NO to  Violence Against Women campaign”. Through the campaign, anyone can add their  name to a growing movement of people who speak out to put a halt to human  rights violations against women.

Public life

International  Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On November  25, 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva  Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican  Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel  sisters fought hard to end Trujillo’s dictatorship. Activists on women’s rights  have observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these  three women since 1981.

On December  17, 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the  Elimination of Violence against Women by the UN General Assembly. Each year  observances around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence  against Women concentrate on a particular theme, such as “Demanding Implementation, Challenging  Obstacles” (2008).

Symbols

Events  around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women are  coordinated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The logo  of this organization consists of “UNIFEM”. The letters “U” and “N”  are in blue and the letters “I”, “F”, “E” and “M” are in a darker shade of this  color. An image of a dove surrounded by olive branches is to the right of the  word. The image of the dove incorporates the international symbol for  “woman” or “women”. This is based on the symbol for the  planet Venus and consists of a ring on top of a “plus” sign.

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Nov 25 2000 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Sun Nov 25 2001 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Mon Nov 25 2002 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Tue Nov 25 2003 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Thu Nov 25 2004 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Fri Nov 25 2005 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Sat Nov 25 2006 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Sun Nov 25 2007 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Tue Nov 25 2008 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Wed Nov 25 2009 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Thu Nov 25 2010 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Fri Nov 25 2011 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Sun Nov 25 2012 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Mon Nov 25 2013 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Tue Nov 25 2014 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day
Wed Nov 25 2015 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nation day

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WORLD TELEVISION DAY: NOVEMBER 21, 2010

WORLD TELEVISION DAY

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) World Television Day is globally celebrated on November 21 each year.

Local names

Name Language
World Television Day English
Día Mundial de la Televisión Spanish

World Television Day 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

World Television Day 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011
See list of observations below follows below.

The United Nations’ (UN) World Television Day is annually observed in many places around the world on November 21. The day recognizes that television plays a major role in presenting different issue that affect people.

World Television Day helps people remember the beneficial purposes of television. For example, it is used to educate people about the world around them. ©iStockphoto.com/René Mansi

What do people do?

World  Television Day is a day to renew governments’, organizations’ and individuals’  commitments to support the development of television media in providing  unbiased information about important issues and events that affect society. News  about World Television Day may be shared via print, online and broadcast media.  Television and radio bloggers may write comments, editors may write in the  editors’ columns, and writers, academics and journalists may write feature  articles about the meaning behind this event.

Educational  institutions may mark World Television Day on their calendars and educators may  use this day as an opportunity to invite guest speakers to discuss media and  communication issues relating to television. Discussion topics may include: how  television promotes cultural diversity and a common understanding; the links  between democracy and television; and the role of television in social, political  and economic developments.

Public life

World  Television Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The UN  acknowledges that television can be used to educate many people about the  world, its issues and real stories that happen on the planet. Television is one  of the most influential forms of media for communication and information  dissemination. It is used to broadcast freedom of expressions and to increase cultural  diversity.  The UN realized that  television played a major role in presenting global issues affecting people and  this needed to be addressed.

On December  17, 1996, UN General Assembly proclaimed November 21 as World Television Day to  commemorate the date on which the first World Television Forum was held earlier  that year. The UN invited all member states to observe the day by encouraging  global exchanges of television programs focusing, among other things, on issues  such as peace, security, economic and social development and cultural change  enhancements.

Symbols

The UN logo  is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It  features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North  Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of  the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts  the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and  security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and  includes five concentric circles.

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World Television Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Nov 21 1997 World Television Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 21 1998 World Television Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 1999 World Television Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 21 2000 World Television Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 21 2001 World Television Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 21 2002 World Television Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 21 2003 World Television Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 2004 World Television Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 21 2005 World Television Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 21 2006 World Television Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 21 2007 World Television Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 21 2008 World Television Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 21 2009 World Television Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 2010 World Television Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 21 2011 World Television Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 21 2012 World Television Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 21 2013 World Television Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 21 2014 World Television Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 21 2015 World Television Day United Nation day

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AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 2010

 

AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY

Quick Facts

Africa Industrialization Day aims to stimulate the international community’s commitment to the industrialization of Africa.

Local names

Name Language
Africa Industrialization Day English
Día de la Industrialización de África Spanish

Africa Industrialization Day 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Africa Industrialization Day 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
See list of observations below.

Africa Industrialization Day is celebrated on November 20 each year. It is a time when governments and other organizations in many African countries examine ways to stimulate Africa’s industrialization process. It is also an occasion to draw worldwide media attention to the problems and challenges of industrialization in Africa.

Africa Industrialization Day themes have focused on business and technology in previous times. ©iStockphoto.com/bonnie jacobs

What do people do?

Various  events are held to mark Africa Industrialization Day. Many of these involve  local and national leaders and representatives of national and international  non-governmental organizations. A special effort is made to unite leaders or  representatives of as many African countries as possible to stimulate  discussion on the industrialization of Africa and assess the progress made in  the past year. The United  Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) plays an important role in  coordinating events on or around Africa Industrialization Day.

In  addition, statements are delivered at UNIDO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria. These  statements are from leaders from the African Union, the Economic Commission for  Africa, and the UN. It is hoped that these parties will raise global  consciousness of the importance of industrialization in Africa and remind the  international community that more than 30 of the world’s 50 least developed  countries are located in Africa

Public life

Africa  Industrialization Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The 25th  Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the  Organization of African Unity (OAU) was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July  1989. During this session, November 20 was declared to be Africa  Industrialization Day. On December 22, 1989, the UN General Assembly also  proclaimed this date to be Africa Industrialization Day. It was first observed  on November 20, 1990.

Each year  events around Africa Industrialization Day concentrate on a particular theme.  In the past the themes have been: “New information and communication  technologies” (2002); “Acceleration of Africa’s integration in the  global economy through effective industrialization and market access”  (2003); “Strengthening productive capacity for poverty reduction within  the framework of NEPAD” (2004); “Generating African competitiveness  for sustainable market access” (2005); “Reducing poverty through  sustainable industrial development” (2006); “Technology and  innovation for industry: investing in people is investing in the future”  (2007); and “Business through technology” (2008).

Symbols

A common  symbol of Africa Industrialization Day is a geographical representation of the  continent, including the island of Madagascar. Flags of international  organizations in Africa, such as the African Union, or a selection of national  flags may also be displayed.

 

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Africa Industrialization Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Nov 20 1980 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1981 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1982 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1983 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 1984 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1985 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 1986 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1987 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1988 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 1989 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 1990 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1991 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1992 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1993 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1994 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 1995 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1996 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 1997 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1998 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1999 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 2000 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2001 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 2002 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2003 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 2004 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2005 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 2006 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2007 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2008 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 2009 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 2010 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2011 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2012 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 2013 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2014 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 2015 Africa Industrialization Day United Nation day

 

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UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 2010

UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day is an occasion to promote the welfare of children and an understanding between children all over the world. It is held on November 20 each year

Local names

Name Language
Universal Children’s Day English
Día Universal del Niño Spanish

Universal Children’s Day 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Universal Children’s Day 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
List of dates for other years follows below.

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.

Universal Children’s Day promotes the welfare of and understanding between children. ©iStockphoto.com/Jani Bryson

What do people do?

Many  schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform  children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the  Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their  pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain  the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally  well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where  this is not the case.

In some  areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children’s rights.  These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start  nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunizations or  breastfeeding.

Many  countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal  Children’s Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the  Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the  Child. However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the  fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). Universal  Children’s Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar  observance, National Child’s Day, is held on the first Sunday in June.

Public life

Universal  Children’s Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On December  14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should  introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day to  encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and  promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries  should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the  time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a  Children’s Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this  recommendation and the Universal Children’s Day has since been annually observed on  November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and  India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate  this day.

On November  20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the  Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the  Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the  date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the  convention on children’s rights.

Symbols

Universal  Children’s Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations  Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a  globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN’s  blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.

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Universal Children’s Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Nov 20 1980 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1981 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1982 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1983 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 1984 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1985 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 1986 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1987 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1988 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 1989 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 1990 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1991 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1992 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1993 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1994 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 1995 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1996 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 1997 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1998 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1999 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 2000 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2001 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 2002 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2003 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 2004 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2005 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 2006 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2007 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2008 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 2009 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 2010 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2011 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2012 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 2013 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2014 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 2015 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day

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WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ROAD TRAFFIC VICTIMS: THIRD SUNDAY

WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ROAD TRAFFIC VICTIMS

Quick Facts

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims serves as a major advocacy day for road traffic injury prevention.

Local names

Name Language
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims English
Día mundial en recuerdo de las víctimas de los accidentes de tráfico Spanish

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
List of dates for other years follows below.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is held on the third Sunday of November each year. It is a day to remember those who died or were injured from road crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the consequences of their deaths or injuries.

Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, play a major role to promote the day.


Road victims are remembered on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims ©iStockphoto.com/Slobo Mitic

What do people do?

Remembrance  services and flower-laying ceremonies are held in memory of dead road victims  around the world on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Police  officers, associations supporting families of road victims, governments and communities  unite families and friends of those who died or were injured from road traffic  crashes in promoting the day through various activities.

These  activities include: media campaigns and coverage;  websites dedicated to the day; celebrity  involvement; information distribution via the internet, posters and leaflets;  DVD presentations on road traffic crashes; advocacy messages from world  leaders; moments of silence; seminars and workshops; exhibitions and displays  of photographs of injuries and road crash scenes; and marches or processions.  These activities occur in many countries in nearly every continent.

A book,  titled World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: a guide for organizers,  provides practical guidance to people or groups who organize events related to  this day. WHO, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and  RoadPeace worked together in developing this book.

Public life

The UN’s  World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

According  to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, road  crashes are the leading cause of death in people aged between five to 34 years  in the United States. It is the leading cause of death globally for children  and young people aged between 10 to 24 years, and the third leading cause of  death globally among people aged between 30 to 44 years. Every six seconds  someone is killed or injured on the world’s roads, including drivers,  passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The World  Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first observed by RoadPeace in  1993 and has since been held by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in many  countries. Since then it has been observed and promoted worldwide by several non-governmental  organizations, including the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR)  and its associated organizations. On October 26, 2005, the United Nations  endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each  year.

Symbols

RoadPeace uses  an image of red, bleeding flower on a black background with the words “Remember  Me” underneath the flower to promote the day. WHO’s emblem is also found in  promotions for the day. The emblem, which was chosen by the first World Health  Assembly in 1948, is often associated with the UN’s promotional material for  World Mental Health Day. The emblem consists of the UN symbol surmounted by a  staff with a snake coiling round it. The staff with the snake has long been a  symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It originates from the story of  Aesculapius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose  cult involved the use of snakes.

Note: Although the day became an official UN day on  the third Sunday of November in 2005, many people around the world celebrated  the day since 1993.

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World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sun Nov 21 1993 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1994 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 19 1995 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 17 1996 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 1997 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 15 1998 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 1999 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 19 2000 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 18 2001 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 17 2002 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2003 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 2004 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2005 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 19 2006 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 18 2007 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2008 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 15 2009 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 2010 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2011 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 18 2012 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 17 2013 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2014 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 15 2015 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR TOLERANCE: NOVEMBER 16, 2010

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR TOLERANCE

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is observed on November 16 each year to help people understand the importance of tolerance worldwide.

Local names

Name Language
International Day for Tolerance English
Día Internacional para la Tolerancia Spanish

International Day for Tolerance 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

International Day for Tolerance 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
List of dates for other years follows below.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed on November 16 to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.

The International Day for Tolerance educates people about the importance of global tolerance. ©iStockphoto.com/Julie de Leseleuc

What do people do?

The  International Day for Tolerance is a time for people to learn about respecting  and recognizing the rights and beliefs of others. It is also a time of  reflection and debate on the negative effects of intolerance. Live discussions  and debates take place across the world on this day, focusing on how various  forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a  negative impact on society.

Many  educators use the theme of this day to help students in classrooms or in  lecture theatres understand issues centered on tolerance, human rights and  non-violence. These issues are also found in text books, lesson material and  other educational resources used for this event. The UN Chronicle Online  Education also features articles about tolerance.  Information on the day is disseminated  through flyers, posters, news articles and broadcasts, and other promotional  material to raise people’s awareness about the importance of tolerance. Other  activities include essays, dialogues and story-telling of people’s personal  accounts of intolerance and how it affects their lives.

Human  rights activists also use this day as an opportunity to speak out on human  rights laws, especially with regard to banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination  against minorities. In the workplace, special training programs, talks, or  messages from workplace leaders about the importance of tolerance are utilized  on this day.

Public life

The UN’s  International Day for Tolerance is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 1996 the  UN General Assembly invited member states to observe the International Day for  Tolerance on November 16, with activities directed towards both educational  establishments and the wider public (resolution 51/95 of 12 December). This  action came in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995,  proclaimed by the assembly in 1993 (resolution 48/126). The year was declared  on the General Conference of UNESCO’s initiative. On November 16, 1995, the  UNESCO member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up  Plan of Action for the year.

The 2005  World Summit Outcome document outlines the commitment of Heads of State and  Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well  as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different  cultures, civilizations and peoples.

Symbols

UNESCO’s  logo, which features a temple including the UNESCO acronym (for United Nations  Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) within itself and the words  “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” underneath  the temple, is used for online or print promotional material associated with  the International Day for Tolerance. The use of the complete name in English,  in association with one or several other languages provides an explanation of  the acronym of the organization. The six official languages of UNESCO are  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Images of people of all backgrounds, cultures and  ages, which are assembled into a collage, are also used for the International  Day for Tolerance to get the message across to people about understanding  tolerance regardless of differences.

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International Day for Tolerance Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Nov 16 1996 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 1997 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Mon Nov 16 1998 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Tue Nov 16 1999 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Thu Nov 16 2000 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Fri Nov 16 2001 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sat Nov 16 2002 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2003 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Tue Nov 16 2004 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Wed Nov 16 2005 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Thu Nov 16 2006 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Fri Nov 16 2007 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2008 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Mon Nov 16 2009 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Tue Nov 16 2010 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Wed Nov 16 2011 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Fri Nov 16 2012 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sat Nov 16 2013 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2014 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Mon Nov 16 2015 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day

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“N” WORD REMAINS FAR TOO PERVASIVE

The power of the word nigger is like a sharp sword that can damage and insult, and its use by Black Americans remains a travesty, as detailed in the following Houston Chronicle article by Ms. Tammie Lang Campbell.

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‘N’ Word Remains Far Too Pervasive

By TAMMIE LANG CAMPBELL
HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Oct. 30, 2010,  4:06PM

A string of incidents this year has made it clear that the offensive and destructive use of the “N” word, once thought to be on the wane, remains far too prevalent in our society.

In August, Dr. Laura Schlessinger used the word 11 times in a five-minute rant on her radio show as she tried to make a point about racism to an African-American caller.

In May, CNN played a song that included the N word as a tribute to a 103-year-old black woman.

In April, a black teacher’s aide at Sterling High School was sent home after using the N word in response to a student’s comment.

In March, protesters opposed to health care reform reportedly called U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the N word.

In February, filmmaker Spike Lee used the N word during his presentation at Houston Community College’s Black History Scholarship Banquet.

In February, a fifth-grade black male student at Quail Valley Elementary School in the Fort Bend Independent School District found the N word in a book he got from the school library called Catch a Tiger by the Toe.

Some people refuse to let the N word die. Hate is the culprit that keeps the word alive.

On Sept. 11, the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attack against our country in 2001, I was reminded of how hate destroys everything that it comes in contact with, including the hater. I chose that day to renew a campaign against the use of the slur.

This year’s string of N-word incidents only scraped the surface of how blacks are still being victimized by racial hate. From the days of slavery to the present day, the N word has been a code for perpetrating hate upon blacks. One of the most disturbing racial stereotypes is evident in the way dictionaries and other reference books defined the word over the years. Twenty years ago, for example, this is how the Merriam Webster dictionary defined the N word: “usually offensive; 1: a black person, 2: a member of any dark-skinned race, 3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons; (‘It’s time for somebody to lead all of America’s niggers … all the people who feel left out of the political process.’ — Ron Dellums).”

We’ve made some progress. A usage note that accompanies the word in today’s  Random House Dictionary describes the N word as “now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War.” It goes on to describe the “deeply disparaging” nature of the term, and to note that it is used “when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense.”

It certainly does cause great offense. But I’m looking forward to the day that the word has fallen so far out of usage that dictionaries no longer include it.

Defining black people as the N word is a character assassination of our good name. It reinforces racial stereotypes and diminishes our contributions. Being called the N word even affected one of America’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1966, during marches in Chicago, King said that being called the N word so many times made him wonder if he had a new name.

Since 1991, I have been on a mission to eradicate the N word. I started by petitioning Merriam-Webster and Random House to redefine or remove this offensive racial slur from their dictionaries. On July 7, 2007, I buried the N word during a symbolic service in Pearland. Unfortunately, some people have refused to let it die.

In Proverbs 22:1, King Solomon stated, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” To reclaim blacks’ good name/character, I renewed my anti-N-word campaign in September. This campaign, which is supported by Houston Area Urban League President Judson Robinson and Hawaii NAACP President Alphonso Braggs, is designed to liberate minds from this racial slur and promote healing and mutual respect among all.

Acknowledging that humanity must join forces to stop the destructive N word, John Mizuno, a Hawaii state representative, is introducing a resolution to ban it and stated that this racial slur does not need to be in the dictionary or used in our society.

To probe into America’s psyche regarding the racial incidents mentioned above, I conducted an online survey called “What’s in a Name? The Lethal Side Effects of the N word.”

The survey asked participants to rank several recent racially charged statements or actions. The demographics of participants were: African-American, 72.2 percent; Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.2 percent; Latino, 5 percent; Native American, 0.3 percent; Caucasian, 10.6 percent; multiracial, 8.4 percent; and other, 1.3 percent. Of 320 respondents, some selected “most offensive” for more than one statement.

The survey resulted in the following statements being independently rated as “most offensive:”

49.7 percent: Houston Independent School District’s double standard of purchasing reference books that define blacks as the N word while firing a Sterling High School black teacher’s aide for saying, “N——-, please.”

35.9 percent: Mel Gibson’s racial rant about the mother of his child dressing to solicit “rape by a pack of n——-s.”

26.3 percent: Sandra Bullock’s ex-husband using the N word and attempting to adopt a black baby.

22.2 percent: CNN’s standard apology for an N-word-laced song tribute to a 103-year-old black woman.

13.8 percent: Black rappers using the word as a term of endearment.

7.8 percent: Spike Lee saying “N——-, please” during Houston Community College’s Black History program.

Even though the above incidents make the state of race relations in our country seem bleak, they are not as bleak as they once were. America is making great strides in race relations. In the past, incidents like these wouldn’t have had a negative impact upon the perpetrators, wouldn’t have been mentioned in the media and my call to action for the eradication of the N word wouldn’t have attracted any attention.

Won’t you please join in this campaign?

Campbell is the founder  and executive director of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation and a former president of Missouri City NAACP. For additional information about her work, visit the foundation’s Web site at http://www.honeybrownhope.org.

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