International Human Solidarity Day, celebrated annually on December 20, is a testament to the fundamental and universal value of solidarity proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. This day serves as a call for unity and a reminder of our shared responsibility in addressing pressing global challenges. As we delve into the purpose and significance of this day, we find a poignant connection with the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict, underlining the imperative for collective action on both a global and specific scale.
The Purpose and Significance:
The General Assembly's resolution 60/209, dated December 22, 2005, identified solidarity as a fundamental value underpinning relations between peoples in the twenty-first century. This recognition led to the proclamation of December 20 as International Human Solidarity Day. The day catalyses global initiatives and national policies that support economic solidarity, particularly in addressing challenges inadequately met by the government or the market.
Last Year, on December 20, International Human Solidarity Day 2022 was marked by a call to "Pursue efforts to build solidarity within the international community" on December 20 at the UNHQ, celebrating unity, kindness, and diversity. In a world grappling with poverty, starvation, conflict, and environmental degradation, global solidarity becomes imperative, transcending borders and uniting nations. The hashtag movements, including #SolidarityDay, #20December, #HumanSolidarityDay, #TheWorldWeWant, #PromotingSolidarity, and #LeaveNoOneBehind, amplify the day's importance. This collective effort signifies the commitment of nations to work together for a more just and equitable world.
Connecting International Human Solidarity Day with the Israel-Palestinian Conflict:
The historical context of International Human Solidarity Day intersects with the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict, particularly in the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. The exhibit, "Palestine – a Land with a People," running from November 29, 2023, to January 8, 2024, at UNHQ, commemorates the Palestinian Nakba and sheds light on the enduring struggles faced by the Palestinian people.
The exhibit vividly portrays the catastrophic events during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, emphasising the forced displacement of more than half of the Palestinian population. This visual journey spans the pre-Nakba, Nakba, and post-Nakba periods, resonating with the tragic experiences of millions who remain refugees. The 2023 Gaza war, marked by the UN Secretary-General as a "humanitarian catastrophe," further underscores the urgency of addressing the longstanding conflict.
Here is one of the videos of the exhibit. This video belongs to Abdullah Abdulkader Jaber's testimony, Survivor of the 1948 Al-Dawayima Massacre (Credit: NOUR, Nadia Saah of Project 48, Institute for Middle East Understanding)
“We exist” by Edward Said, Palestinian-American Professor and Intellectual (Credit: Institute for Middle East Understanding)
To watch more videos of this exhibit, please click this link: https://www.un.org/unispal/palestine-a-land-with-a-people/
Why Commemorate International Human Solidarity Day?
The celebration of International Human Solidarity Day stems from the conviction that promoting a culture of solidarity and sharing is integral to combating poverty. Resolution 57/265, dated December 20, 2002, led to the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund in February 2003. This trust fund of the United Nations Development Programme aims to eradicate poverty and promote human and social development, particularly among the most vulnerable populations.
The launch of International Human Solidarity Day in 2002 was marked by statements from the Chair of the Second Committee and the president of the Economic and Social Council. Emphasising the critical role of solidarity in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, these leaders reaffirmed the commitment to building solidarity within the international community.
How to Get Involved: A Call to Action!
Celebrate Our Unity in Diversity
Embrace and celebrate the diversity that enriches our global community.
Engage in Discussions
Foster discussions on both narrow and broad concepts of solidarity, encouraging a deeper understanding of its various dimensions.
Sensitise the Public
Raise awareness about the importance of solidarity in building meaningful connections between individuals and communities.
Lead Action for Global Issues
Encourage proactive involvement in addressing global problems, emphasising that challenges faced by one become the concern of all in our interconnected world.
Debate Sustainable Development Goals
Engage in debates that focus on ways to promote solidarity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly emphasising poverty eradication.
Create Platforms for Solidarity
Establish and participate in platforms facilitating a global solidarity movement to tackle current challenges effectively.
Responsible Business Practices
Encourage businesses to conduct operations with a focus on social, environmental, and community goals, contributing to the betterment of society.
Remind governments of their commitments to international agreements, urging them to uphold them in the spirit of global solidarity.
Develop partnerships based on common interests and shared solidarity, fostering collaborations that transcend borders.
Expand Circles of Concern
Encourage individuals to broaden their circles of concern beyond the current generation, promoting a sense of responsibility for future well-being.
Create a fund that allows individuals to contribute a small sum of money annually, providing a tangible way for people to contribute to the betterment of others' lives personally.
Investing in Future Security
Emphasise the importance of investing in today for future security, recognising that actions taken now have far-reaching implications for future generations.
As we commemorate International Human Solidarity Day on December 20, let us celebrate our unity in diversity and acknowledge the challenges nations face, including the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict. By actively engaging in discussions, fostering awareness, and taking meaningful actions, we can contribute to a global solidarity movement that addresses broader global issues and specific conflicts, ultimately working towards a more just, equitable, and sustainable world for all.