On 15 May 2001, the seventh year anniversary celebration of the International Day of Families will be observed. Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993, this annual observance reflects the importance, which the international community attaches to families as basic units of society as well as its concern regarding their situation around the world. The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families as well as to promote appropriate action. The Day can become a powerful mobilizing factor on behalf of families in all countries, which avail themselves of this opportunity and demonstrate support of family issues appropriate to each society. The 2001 observance of the International Day of Families offers a valuable opportunity for families and volunteers to demonstrate their solidarity.
The international theme for 2001 is “Families and Volunteers: Building Social Cohesion”. This theme was suggested in the context of the International Year of Volunteers and provides the opportunity to raise public awareness about the value and opportunities of volunteerism and the role of families in voluntary activities in the quest for social cohesion.
Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development
Chapter 4: Social Integration
Social integration and family responsibilities
The family is the basic unit of society and as such should be strengthened. It is entitled to receive comprehensive protection and support.
In different cultural, political and social systems, various forms of the family exist. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses, and husband and wife should be equal partners.
(a) Encouraging social and economic policies that are designed to meet the needs of families and their individual members, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members, with particular attention to the care of children;
(b) Ensuring opportunities for family members to understand and meet their social responsibilities;
(c) Promoting mutual respect, tolerance and cooperation within the family and within society;
(d) Promoting equal partnership between women and men in the family.