International Human Solidarity Day, celebrated today, highlights the importance of collective action in addressing global challenges and meeting global development goals. It is marked as an opportunity to celebrate our unity in diversity, remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements, and raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity.
In the Millennium Declaration, world leaders identified solidarity as one of the pillars vital to international relations in the twenty-first century. Furthermore, the 2005 Human Development Report underscores human solidarity as a moral imperative whether motivated by human rights, religious values or wider ethical systems.
Aligned with the International Year of Youth, this year’s theme of the International Human Solidarity Day is to explore the value of solidarity and intergenerational approaches as a tool for social development.
At a press briefing His Excellency, Mr. Ghazi Jomaa, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations stated that “intergenerational dialogue is crucial to increase inclusion.” He added that dialogue and mutual understanding are key for achieving development, prosperity and peace. He also highlighted the need to consider “youth as equal thinkers” when talking about intergenerational solidarity as many times, this segment is seen as less capable or knowledgeable.
Ms. Jessica Frank, Chairperson of the NGO Committee on Ageing to the United Nations, also added that aging persons must be included in order to reach one of the UN goals, which is “to build a society for all ages.” She underlined that the resources devoted for aging persons are not comparable to those given to other segments of society, including youth or women. Ms. Frank also added that the MDG’s discussion does not explicitly mention older people.
This generation has a vital role in income generation, education and care giving. Without integrating the aging persons as key agents for poverty eradication, achieving the goals would be more difficult, Ms. Frank explained. She closed her remarks by stating that “a country that does not take care of its young and old people is a country without a soul.”
The International Human Solidarity Day should remind nations about the importance of solidarity for the achievement of internationally agreements, including programmes of action of international conferences and multilateral accords. Only the international community guided by the spirit of human solidarity and a shared sense of justice and fairness can ensure sustainable social and economic development for all.