OUR EVENTS

Below you’ll find a complete list of events either hosted or supported by the NCRB of the UNA Canada. Please check frequently as new events are always emerging.

August 9, 2020
  • International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 9 August

    August 9, 2020

    International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 9 August

    here are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 per cent of the world's population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world's estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.

    Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.

    Indigenous peoples have sought recognition of their identities, way of life and their right to traditional lands, territories and natural resources for years, yet throughout history their rights have always been violated. Indigenous peoples today, are arguably among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life.

    2017 Theme: 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    Ten years ago, on 13 September 2007, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a major milestone with respect to the cooperation and solidarity between indigenous peoples and Member States.

    The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. It embodies global consensus on the rights of indigenous peoples and establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for their survival, dignity and well-being. It elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms, as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples.

    Over the last decade, the implementation of the Declaration has achieved some major successes in at the national, regional and international levels. Despite the achievements, there continues to be a gap between the formal recognition of indigenous peoples and the implementation of policies on the ground.

    See the press release.

    Read more about this year's observance.

    On Twitter, follow #WeAreIndigenous and @UN4Indigenous

     

August 12, 2020
  • International Youth Day 12 August

    August 12, 2020

    International Youth Day 12 August

    On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

    Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution S/RES/2250 (2015) in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace. Another Security Council Resolution S/RES/2282 (2016) reaffirms the important role youth can play in deterring and resolving conflicts, and are key constituents in ensuring the success of both peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.

    "Youth Building Peace"

    International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that “Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security”. Goal 16 aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. The World Programme of Action for Youth, which provides a policy framework and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people, also encourages “promoting the active involvement of youth in maintaining peace and security”.

     

August 19, 2020
  • World Humanitarian Day 19 August

    August 19, 2020

    World Humanitarian Day 19 August

    "Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict. On this day we also take a moment to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

    World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

    2017 WHD campaign: #NotATarget

    Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. Trapped in wars that are not of their making, millions of civilians are forced to hide or run for their lives. Children are taken out of school, families are displaced from their homes, and communities are torn apart, while the world is not doing enough to stop their suffering. At the same time, health and aid workers – who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence – are increasingly being targeted.

    For WHD 2017, humanitarian partners are coming together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget. Through a global online campaign featuring an innovative partnership with Facebook Live, together with events held around the world, we will raise our voices to advocate for those most vulnerable in war zones, and demand that world leaders do everything their power to protect civilians in conflict.

    This campaign follows on the UN Secretary-General’s report on protection of civilians, which was launched earlier this year. Laying out his ‘path to protection’, the Secretary-General calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers as well as civilian infrastructure.

    Sign the petition at worldhumanitarianday.org to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget

     

August 21, 2020
  • 21 August International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (A/RES/72/165)

    August 21, 2020

    21 August International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (A/RES/72/165)

     

August 23, 2020
  • International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 23 August

    August 23, 2020

    Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

    The date 23 August marks the anniversary of the 1791 insurrection of enslaved men and women in the western part of the island of Santo Domingo, which, on proclaiming its independence reverted to its original Amerindian name: Haiti. The uprising conveyed a universal demand for freedom that transcends all limits of time and space. It speaks to humanity as a whole, without distinction of origin or religion, and continues to resonate now with undiminished force.

    Ignorance is our enemy: it is used as an alibi by the indifferent who state that “we cannot change anything”, and sanctions the lies of those who claim that “they did not know”. .

    Irina Bokova UNESCO Director-General

    By means of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, UNESCO aims to recall the crucial importance of the transmission of history in order to shed light on the fight against all forms of oppression and racism today. The 1791 uprising triggered a shockwave that has set the course of peoples’ liberation struggles and of human and civil rights movements for over 200 years. It crystallized the issues, concepts and principles with which it is essential to be familiar in the present fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. We are counting on the teaching of this history to place tomorrow’s citizens on the path to peace and dignity.

    By proclaiming the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), the United Nations General Assembly hopes to eradicate the social injustice that is a legacy of that history and to combat racism and racial discrimination. Freedom of rights, hard-won by force, must be translated into real freedom through public policies that guarantee to people of African descent the full exercise of economic, social and political equality, and full and equal participation in society. The 1791 uprising, like so many others across the world, shows us the way, but the path ahead is still long.

    In this spirit, at its most recent session, the World Heritage Committee approved the inclusion in the World Heritage List of Mbanza Kongo, Vestiges of the Capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo (Angola) and the Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site (Brazil), thereby acknowledging their outstanding universal value. In 2015, the Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site was recognized as a site of memory associated with the UNESCO Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage. Recognition of this heritage is decisive in raising the awareness of the general public, educating young people and in the processes of conciliation and social cohesion.

    This effort is the eternal effort for the comprehensive affirmation of human dignity, and UNESCO devotes to it the full force of its mandate, through education, culture, sharing of information and scientific research, which help to construct in the minds of all ramparts against racism and prejudice. The teaching of the General History of Africa, and the Slave Route programme are examples of this. Ignorance is our enemy: it is used as an alibi by the indifferent who state that “we cannot change anything”, and sanctions the lies of those who claim that “they did not know”. Everyone must know the scale of the crime of the slave trade, the millions of lives broken and the impact on the fate of continents up to this very day. Everyone must be fully informed of the struggle that led to its abolition, so that together we can build societies that are fairer, and thus freer.

     

August 29, 2020
  • International Day Against Nuclear Tests 29 August

    August 29, 2020

    International Day Against Nuclear Tests 29 August

    On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. The Day is meant to galvanize the United Nations, Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, youth networks and the media to inform, educate and advocate the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.

    2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Each year, since then, the day has been observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures in academic institutions, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

    Since its establishment, many bilateral and multilateral governmental level developments as well as broad movements in civil society have helped to advance the cause of banning nuclear tests.

    Moreover, “convinced that nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons are the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of nuclear weapons,” the General Assembly designated 26 September as the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons", which is devoted to furthering the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, through the mobilization of international efforts. First proposed in October 2013, the resolution (A/RES/ 68/32) was a follow-up to the high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament held on 26 September 2013 in the UN General Assembly. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed for the first time in September 2014. The International Day against Nuclear Tests, together with other events and actions, has fostered a global environment with more optimistic prospects for a world free of nuclear weapons.

    As the Secretary-General recognized in his message to the Conference on Disarmament, the security environment is increasingly complex, but the complexity cannot be an excuse for inaction and cynicism. Although challenges remain, especially in terms of the deteriorating international security environment along with increased military spending and a strategic tilt towards nuclear weapons, there have been visible signs of progress on various fronts in 2017. This was most apparent with the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, consensus on recommendations to the General Assembly by the Open-ended working group on the SSOD-IV, the positive environment at the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference on NPT, and the adoption by the UN Disarmament Commission of a consensus recommendations document after nearly two decades of inactivity.

    It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as we work towards promoting peace and security world-wide. As the High Representative Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu remarked at the Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation on 29 May, 2017, “there is no one path to the elimination of nuclear weapons. We should continue to exert all efforts to bring about other measures to achieve and maintain a nuclear-weapon-free world.” Initiatives such as the International Day against Nuclear Tests are part of the global efforts towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.

     

August 30, 2020
  • International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 30 August

    August 30, 2020

    Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole.

    Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents. Of particular concern are:

    the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance; the use by States of counter-terrorist activities as an excuse for breaching their obligations; and the still widespread impunity for enforced disappearance. Special attention must also be paid to specific groups of especially vulnerable people, like children and people with disabilities.

    On 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 the UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.

    By the same resolution the Assembly welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011.

    Missing Persons

    Since 1999 in Kosovo more than 6,000 people have been registered as missing. The UN Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, together with OHCHR has supported the creating of a missing persons' resource centre.

     

September 5, 2020
  • International Day of Charity 5 September

    September 5, 2020

    In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.

    The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth in the Agenda can be grouped into six critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. They have the potential to transform our lives and our planet by providing the framework needed for philanthropic institutions to enable all people to contribute to the betterment of our world.

     

September 8, 2020
  • International Literacy Day 8 September

    September 8, 2020

    International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on 8 September, is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world's remaining literacy challenges. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    The theme of this year's International Literacy Day is ‘Literacy in a Digital World’. On 7 and 8 September, 2017 a special two-day event will be organized at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, with the overall aim to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate increasingly digitally-mediated societies, and to explore effective literacy policies and programmes that can leverage the opportunities that the digital world provides. The 2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes awards ceremony will also take place to recognize and reward excellent literacy practices from around the world in connection with this year’s theme.

    The UN's Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, promotes, as part of its agenda, universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people’s lives. Sustainable Development Goal 4 has as one of its targets ensuring all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them.

     

August 2020

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  • International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 9 August
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  • International Youth Day 12 August
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  • World Humanitarian Day 19 August
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  • 21 August International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (A/RES/72/165)
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  • International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 23 August
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  • International Day Against Nuclear Tests 29 August
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  • International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 30 August
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