On the Awakening of Conscience
On behalf of the Association of World Citizens (AWC), I am pleased to send you best wishes as you celebrate the International Day of Friendship. It is a day in which we can affirm our common humanity and our desire to promote the well being of the human family.
The United Nations General Assembly established 30 July as the International Day of Friendship in 2011 as a continuation of the themes of dialogue and mutual understanding proposed in the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010). The AWC had been very active in promoting this Decade stressing values which reject the use of violence. Our emphasis was on the important role of education and the ways that schools can help prepare students to be active in the world society.
As world citizens, we know that humanity is advancing toward more farsighted and responsible attitudes. The challenges which confront humanity have brought us to the point where each person must make a personal commitment to preserving and protecting the planet and the natural beauty of our land, mountains, oceans and sky.
The idea of an International Day of Friendship had been first developed in the 1930s in the United States of America by the president of a well-known company which made Christmas cards, Birthday cards and cards to send on Mother's Day. He suggested that everyone send cards to their friends and even people they did not know indicating the joys of friendship and the need to keep ties active and strong.
Now, however, we live in a different period of time than in the 1930s. Although there are still many world tensions and local wars as in the Middle East, the idea of friendship among all the peoples of the world could become a real force for cooperation.
I am sure that you will also have other ideas as to ways to develop new friendships and to stress the values of friendship in the world society.
With all best wishes and thanks for your active cooperation.