United Nations Current Affairs - 2019
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The International Day of Happiness 2019 was celebrated on March 20 with the theme Happier Together, focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us.
International Day of Happiness
International Day of Happiness recognises the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. The concept of International Day of Happiness was conceptualised and materialised by UN special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire and spread a happiness movement globally and the first ever international day of happiness was observed on March 20, 2013.
Further to take forward the agenda of Happiness the United Nations has launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet which are the three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.
Why March 20?
March 20 was chosen for International Day of Happiness 2019 for its significance as the March equinox. March equinox is a universal phenomenon felt simultaneously by all of humankind, and which occurs the moment when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the Sun’s disk.
Zero Discrimination Day is annually celebrated by the UN and other international organisations on March 1st. Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated to promote and celebrate everyone’s right, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, etc.
Zero Discrimination Day aims to raise the voice for the right to live life with dignity, despite one’s choices, beliefs, profession, education, disability or even illness.
A butterfly is the symbol of the Zero Discrimination Day and it is widely used by people to share their stories and photos as a way to end discrimination and work towards positive transformation.
Zero Discrimination Day and UNAIDS
Zero Discrimination Day was first celebrated on March 1, 2014, and was launched by UNAIDS Executive Director at Beijing after UNAIDS launched its Zero Discrimination Campaign on World AIDS Day in December 2013.
Zero Discrimination Day is particularly noted by organisations like UNAIDS that combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS since HIV related stigma and discrimination is pervasive and exists in almost every part of the world.
From India, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) joins the campaign every year to generate awareness on discrimination and pertinent policies that will help mitigate stigma.