On 21 March the United Nations officially marks four International Observances –
The theme for this year's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is "Racism and Conflict," highlighting the fact that racism and discrimination often are at the root of deadly conflict.
The theme was chosen to capture the often ignored yet mutually reinforcing relationship between racism and conflict. In many parts of the world, racism, prejudice and xenophobia create extreme tension and are used as powerful weapons to engender fear or hatred in times of conflict. Prejudice and xenophobia can even lead to genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes.
This year's theme aims to raise awareness of these issues and to recall the plight of the victims who suffered or continue to suffer as a result of racism-related conflicts.
(Additional reading: ‘Let’s Fight Racism’ campaign)
Every year on 21 March UNESCO celebrates the World Poetry Day.
Poetry contributes to creative diversity, by questioning anew our use of words and things, our modes of perception and understanding of the world. Through its associations, its metaphors and its own grammar, poetic language is thus conceivably another facet of the dialogue among cultures. Diversity in dialogue, free flow of ideas by word, creativity and innovation. World Poetry Day is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities.
World Down Syndrome Day
Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, exists in all regions across the globe and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics or health.
Adequate access to health care, to early intervention programmes and to inclusive education, as well as appropriate research, are vital to the growth and development of the individual.
International Day of Nowruz
Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.
International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday (Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.
Source: United Nations (UN) Observances
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