In establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, observed on 15 November, UNESCO's General Conference highlighted the importance of this discipline, especially for young people, underlining that “philosophy is a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promoting tolerance and peace”.
UNESCO was convinced that “the institutionalization of Philosophy Day at UNESCO as world philosophy day would win recognition for and give strong impetus to philosophy and, in particular, to the teaching of philosophy in the world”.
World Philosophy Day, celebrated for the tenth time, is being marked with events at the international, national and local levels. They will enable their participants to share a multitude of views and experiences, fully respecting cultural diversity, with regard to the main theme of the 2012 World Philosophy Day which is “Future Generations”.
For UNESCO, philosophy offers a cross-cutting reflection and analysis that should permeate all disciplines which aim to build a better understanding of our present world and develop adequate responses to challenges. Philosophers have a very important role in shedding light on contemporary challenges, especially when these relate to ethics and justice. We believe that critical thinking, foresight, and ethical judgment are invaluable ingredients for a healthy society. For this reason UNESCO strives to strengthen the philosophical perspective in all its programmes and fields of action.
On this Day of collective exercise in free, reasoned and informed thinking on the major challenges of our time, all of UNESCO’s partners (national governments, their public institutions and organizations, including National Commissions for UNESCO, relevant non-governmental organizations, associations, universities, institutes, schools, UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs, Associated Schools and Clubs and so forth) are encouraged to organize various types of activities - philosophical dialogues, debates, conferences, workshops, cultural events and presentations around the general theme of the Day, with the participation of philosophers and scientists from all branches of natural and social sciences, educators, teachers, students, press journalists and other mass media representatives, and the general public.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
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