UN declares 20 February as World Day of Social Justice

26 November 2007 –

Recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment, the United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually – starting in 2009 – as the World Day of Social Justice.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 192-member body also invited Member States to devote the Day to promoting activities at the national level in support of the objectives and goals of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen.

Governments meeting at that Summit pledged to make poverty eradication, the goal of full employment and the fostering of social integration overriding objectives of development.

In designating the World Day, the Assembly “recognizes the need to consolidate further the efforts of the international community in poverty eradication and in promoting full employment and decent work, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all.”

In other action today, the Assembly adopted a resolution on the link between the illicit trade in rough diamonds and the fuelling of armed conflicts around the world, stressing the need for the widest possible participation in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

The Scheme, which came into effect in January 2003, establishes minimum acceptable international standards for national certification schemes covering the import and export of rough diamonds.

By a third resolution adopted today, the Assembly called on States that are not yet parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider ratifying or acceding to it without delay.

The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Adopted at a major diplomatic conference in the Italian capital in 1998, the Rome Statute currently has 105 parties.

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