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Friendship is the greatest possession of life. It is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people and a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. It is then unquestionable that one of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.

In 2011, the UN proclaimed the International Day of Friendship with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The UN wanted the day to involve young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

The International Friendship Day is celebrated on the 30th of July annually. Friendship Day was originally created by the greeting card industry and was promoted by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1919. It was, then, proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with an idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. This day is observed not only on the recognition of friendship in the general sense but also its relevance and noble value that friendship has in the sentiment and lives of human beings around the world.

As the contribution of World Assembly of Youth (WAY) in observing the International Day of Friendship, we encourage stakeholders, governments, organizations, and community groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that promote unity, mutual understanding and reconciliation, like our annual Melaka International Youth Dialogue (MIYD) where all participants who are mostly consisted of young leaders from different background, occupations and culture, share one common interest of attaining the better life for young people worldwide. Every year, new friendships are born during our dialogue while our young participants work together in the achievement of youth betterment. This year 17th MIYD has also engendered many sparks of beautiful friendships amongst both participants and volunteers.

On this International Day of Friendship, we would like to celebrate the ties that bind us together, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or borders.

Let us cultivate solidarity as a single human family on our one and only planet by pursuing true and lasting friendship.