International Day of Friendship - 30 July


"On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family."—UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proclaiming 30 July the International Day of Friendship in 2011

The inspiration behind the establishment of the International Day of Friendship was that friendships between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The UN resolution (A/RES/65/275) places particular emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

The International Day of Friendship was designated to complement the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Cultural of Peace, adopted in 1999, which set eight action areas for nations, organizations, and individuals seeking to create a culture of peace. To promote a culture of peace, one must:

• foster a culture of peace through education
• promote sustainable economic and social development
• promote respect for all human rights
• ensure equality between women and men
• foster democratic participation
• advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
• support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
• promote international peace and security.

In the 10 Pillars of a Good Childhood, ACEI identified "social interactions and friendships" (pillar 3) as crucial to every good childhood. A good childhood is something to which all children have a right, and which cultivates positive human development—making the world a safer, more peaceful place. Good friends give children emotional security, the courage to play and explore, and confidence that they are loved and supported. All of these are crucial to positive social-emotional development. Strong friendships teach children emotional and social skills needed to thrive in their communities.

To mark the International Day of Friendship, the UN encourages governments, international organizations, and civil society groups, and individuals to hold events, activities, and initiatives that contribute to solidarity, promoting a dialogue among civilizations, and mutual understanding and respect.

Anne Bauer