The twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF) offers an opportunity to refocus on the role of families in development; take stock of recent trends in family policy development; share good practices in family policy making; review challenges faced by families worldwide and recommend solutions.
Owing to rapid socio-economic and demographic transformations, families find it more and more difficult to fulfill their numerous responsibilities. Many struggle to overcome poverty and adequately provide for the younger and older family members. It is also more and more difficult for them to reconcile work and family responsibilities and maintain the inter-generational bonds that sustained them in the past.
In response to these trends, the preparations for the twentieth anniversary of the IYF will focus on exploring family-oriented policies and strategies aiming mainly at confronting family poverty; ensuring work-family balance and advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity. The preparatory process is to accelerate progress in family policy development; demonstrate its relevance for overall development efforts and draw attention to the role of different stakeholders in achieving these goals.
The preparations for the twentieth anniversary will include:
- International and regional expert group meetings gathering family experts and practitioners to explore recent family trends; analyse family-oriented policies and programmes and review good practices in family policy making.
- Research activities, including background papers on family poverty, work family balance and inter-generational solidarity.
- Exchange of good practices in family policy.
- Observances of the International Days of Families focusing on the themes for the twentieth anniversary.
- Side events at the Commission for Social Development.
- Government, civil society, academic and private sector initiatives at the national level.
- Findings and recommendations from these activities are to guide future action in effective family policy design, monitoring and implementation.
Governments, United Nations agencies and bodies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, research and academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to play a supportive role in promoting the objectives of the twentieth anniversary for the benefit of families worldwide.
For more information contact DSPD Focal Point on the Family at kaczmarska at un.org.