World Humanitarian Day 2016
Humanitarian Aid Workers Celebrated All Over the World as Ambassadors of PeaceAugust 15th, 2016
World Humanitarian Day (WHD) falls this year on August 19th, 2016 and is a global celebration of humanitarian aid workers and of humanitarian action. In a world affected by constant turmoil, humanitarian assistance is of utmost importance in order to offer help and hope for those in need, and promote cooperation between people.
The day was designated by the General Assembly seven years ago to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. The theme of the World Humanitarian Day, ‘One Humanity’, relates back to the global meeting at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul earlier this year. During the summit commitments were made to support those in crisis and ensure safety for those who offer humanitarian assistance.
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, delivered a speech that stressed the worldwide need for humanitarian aid workers and cooperation, outlining the UN definition of ‘One Humanity’: "In a world that is ever more digitally connected, each of us has the power and responsibility to inspire our fellow human beings to act to help others and create a more humane world."
This year will also see the launch of a new digital campaign attached to World Humanitarian Day, entitled ‘The World You’d Rather’, which will bring to light the scenarios faced by people in crisis. After being confronted with challenging choices, users will be able to share a personalized graphic on social media, tweet their world leader and learn about the Agenda for Humanity.
Events will be held on WHD all around the world. In New York, a special event will be held at the General Assembly on August 19th between 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Hala Kalim and her four children, who were featured in the documentary ‘Children of Syria’, will attend. They will tell their stories of the difficult and life-threatening choices they faced living in and fleeing from Syria in a series of four short films.
Another event that will take place during WHD is the photographic exhibition, ‘When I Grow Up’, which will be held in the General Assembly Visitors’ Hall at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from August 8th to October 14th and at Photoville. The exhibition will present touching photos that show the life of young people affected by humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Jordan, Mali and Niger.
World Humanitarian Day stresses the importance of people that offer their help to those in need and cooperate in order to create a better and safer world. Similar to cultural diplomacy, which uses cultural bridges to connect people from around the world, WHD connects people through humanitarian actions.