On February 20, 2014, the United Nations recognized the fifth World Day of Social Justice with this year’s theme focused on alleviating global inequality.

The UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the theme, saying, “The gap between the poorest and wealthiest around the world is wide and growing. This situation is not only between countries but within them, including many of the most prosperous.” He went on to state, “The World Day of Social Justice is observed to highlight the power of global solidarity to advance opportunity for all.”

In 2007, the General Assembly of the UN announced that February 20 would officially be the World Day of Social Justice. The assembly made it clear that the governments of Member States would be invited to spend that day spreading awareness of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development’s objectives and goals. The day is meant to support all efforts to rid the world of poverty and reach full employment, gender equity and justice for all people.

In terms of social justice, the UN is seeing progress in its current causes and missions. The International Labour Organization recently adopted the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, demonstrating a strong commitment to social justice. The goal of the Declaration is to produce fair outcomes for everyone through employment, social protection, social dialogue and fundamental principles and rights in the workplace.

Mr. Ban discussed the dangers of the world’s growing inequalities, which create tension and strains existing issues within a society. Due to this increased tension, the economy can suffer as well as the general well being of society, with violence as a common result.

Mr. Ban also noted that, “There is nothing inevitable about inequality. Our shared goal should aim at taking practical steps to remove this formidable barrier to development and human dignity.”

This year’s World Day of Social Justice was centered on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and work on a post-2015 agenda. In order to do so, the UN believes that there must be an emphasis on social justice.

Social justice is closely connected with human rights, as promoting social development and equality helps to remove any barriers that people face because of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, culture or disability. In order to create a peaceful society and an environment in which people can coexist, we must be sure that maintaining and upholding human rights become priorities.

Since 1995, the UN has made progress in its efforts to improve international relations. General Assembly President John Ashe made a point of discussing the progress that has been made, such as the reduction of the number of people living in extreme poverty, improvements in health and progress toward gender equality, such as working towards equal access to primary education for all children.

Ashe spoke about plans for the future, including a 2015 agenda, in that, “We must serve the needs and harness the capacities of all members of our global family, especially women, the young, older persons and persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and the poor and marginalized among us.”

– Julie Guacci

Sources: UN, Human Rights Education Associates
Photo: UNE-SEN

World Day of Social Justice
Days ago, on Wednesday, February 20th, the global observance of the World Day of Social Justice was honored by the U.N. It was first observed in 2009. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the U.N., uttered some words of remembrance this year when he expressed that in order to achieve a better and more ideal world, there will be a need for a more “inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice.”

The World Day of Social Justice is dedicated to the hopes of better employment, social justice, and equality for all. By breaking social barriers of race, gender, disability, and religion, such an idealistic goal can be met. Ten years after political leaders’ decision to tackle global poverty and unemployment, a promise was made to better develop social justice. Thus, in 2007, the World Day of Social Justice was launched by the U.N. General Assembly. Although relatively new, each year the cause becomes more known and incorporates more and more people and institutions, such as various schools and colleges, to take it into account.

Social justice holds a powerful force to influence and lead better lives, equally and positively affecting people from all over the world and from different backgrounds. With the growth of poverty, particularly child poverty, all over the world including in the U.K., poverty awareness is becoming increasingly important. Future policies must better address poverty in hopes of fulfilling social justice and promoting coexistence.

– Leen Abdallah

Source: New Free Press

World Day Of Social JusticeIn an annual message marking the World Day of Social Justice celebrated every February 20, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke of the need to address increasing inequality and limited access to education, healthcare and opportunities all around the world. Secretary-General Ban said, “Growing inequality undermines the international community’s progress in lifting millions out of poverty and building a more just world.”

In 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice, dedicating the day to the promotion of national activities that furthered the cause of the World Summit of Social Development. These include the end of poverty and the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity, access to social well-being and justice for all. Along with advocating for policies that promote inclusive development, the Secretary-General called on countries to increase efforts to reach the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals which will expire in 2015. He also stressed the need to look beyond 2015 to set new goals for sustainable development.

“As we seek to build the world we want, let us intensify our efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice,” Secretary-General Ban said.

– Rafael Panlilio 

Source: UN