The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969. This Day aims to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. On this day, we recognise and celebrate the progress made by use of communication and positive exchanges through technology.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by UNGA Resolution A/70/1 recognises that the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress and to bridge the digital divide. The COVID-19 and other unprecedented crisis have highlighted the critical role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for continued functioning of societies and also brought to the fore the startling digital inequalities between and within countries.
The International Day of Families is observed annually on 15 May, and in 1993, the United Nations General Assembly with resolution (A/RES/47/237) decided to proclaim this date as an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families. On this Day, we want to stress out the importance of having healthy and happy familial relationships. Sadly, the approaches to family policies for inclusive and equal societies vary around the world.
By celebrating this day, we aim to increase knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families. In some regions emphasis is placed on the social inclusion of various types of families and/or individuals such as: migrant, refugees, indigenous families, ethnic minorities, or families with persons with disabilities. In other regions, the primary emphasis is placed on social protection for vulnerable families to facilitate their full inclusion in the mainstream of society.
The World Press Freedom Day is observed annually on 3 May and aims to inform everyone that freedom of press and expression are fundamental human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference. On this day we celebrate the basic principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom in the world, defend the media against attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In times of crisis, the importance of accurate and reliable journalism cannot be overstated. Yet, since 1993 more than 1380 journalists have been killed ‘in the line of duty’ or merely for the fact of being a journalist. Hence, securing a free and independent media and ensuring journalism without fear or favour are therefore more than ever essential for democracy to survive. This Day calls attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating this information, by tackling misinformation and other harmful content.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated annually on 28 April and it promotes safe, healthy, and decent work for all. This Day focuses on addressing the prevention of accidents and diseases at work, and it stimulates national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work. It also raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces, and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play.
Each of us is responsible for stopping deaths and injuries on the job. Sadly, every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work related diseases more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually, many of these resulting in extended absences from work. We have learned from past crisis that workplaces can be of vital importance to prevent and control outbreaks.
The World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated globally on 23 April and it promotes the joy and benefits of reading. Through reading we could open ourselves to others despite distance, and we can travel thanks to imagination. On this Day we need to recognise the magical power of books, a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.
This date was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books. Especially nowadays, the power of books can be leveraged to combat isolation, to reinforce ties between people, and to expand their horizons, while stimulating their minds and creativity. We can only champion books and copyright by standing up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge.