INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES

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Families are the basic core of our society, we are born into them and some of the most important developing years of our lives are spent growing up with our families. Every family’s life is different and the UN Family Programme recognises this, just as we have lots of different cultures, we also have different ways that people use to interact with each other depending on where they are from.

International Day of Families was brought about by the United Nations Programme on the Family. In 1994, it was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations as a response to changing social and economic structures which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of family units in many regions of the globe. The International Day of Families is then continuously celebrated on the 15th of May annually to provide opportunities to promote awareness of family issues and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic conditions affecting families.

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

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Each year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom. This day was proclaimed as the World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991.

World Press Freedom Day serves as an occasion to inform citizens on the violations of press freedom, a reminder that is in dozens of countries around the world where publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered. It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which is a target for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

This year’s theme, "Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Safety in the Digital Age", aims to bring to the attention the situation journalists face when operating in hostile environments. As journalism is more and more carried out over the internet, journalists often are harassed online.

We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), have always been and will continue to support and recognise the Universal Declaration of Human Rights especially those rights of young people including the right of press. According to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Acknowledging the right of press, WAY serves as a reminder in lots of countries and to young people through publication of many of our resourceful reading materials. In fact, we also publish a monthly bulletin which comprises up-to-dated news pertaining to young people from at least 25 different countries from all continents of the world. It is our way of showing our appreciation towards the dedication and hard works that press has contributed in spreading the fact from all parts of the world.

We, at WAY, would like to wish you all Happy World Press Freedom Day!

WORLD BOOK AND COPYRIGHT DAY

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Literacy is the door to knowledge, essential to individual self-esteem and empowerment. Recognizing the essential role that book in all forms play, World Book and Copyright Day is a symbolic date for the world literature, an event to pay a universal mark of respect to both books and authors as well as to persuade people to find out the enjoyment of reading. This day is also a way to express and show our appreciation for those who have made unique contributions to social and educational advancements through the means of books.

With 175 million adolescents in the world mostly girls and young women are unable to read a single sentence, UNESCO is committed to harness information and communication technologies, especially mobile technology, to support literacy and to reach the unreached with quality learning.

UNESCO’s commitment towards literacy has been vigorous since the day when the World Book and Copyright Day was firstly recognized. It was a collective decision made during the UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure from reading.

As for today, the World Book Day is the most important event organized annually by the UNESCO in order to promote the reading, publishing and copyright among the public worldwide. It is also observed by millions of people in over 100 countries, in hundreds of voluntary organizations, schools, public bodies, professional groups and private businesses. In this lengthy period, World Book and Copyright Day have won over a considerable number of people from every continent and all cultural backgrounds to the cause of books and copyright.

Acknowledging this day, the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) is fighting against illiteracy, to be included as a crucial ingredient in the formula of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. With that determination, WAY has always worked in providing a resourceful reading material for the young people. For instance, recently, we have written an article on the involvement of young people in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which gives a clear description on how youth could contribute in the attainment of SDGs.

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY

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 I appeal to all people everywhere to raise their voices. Speak out on behalf of this planet, our only home. Let us care for Mother Earth so she can continue to care for us as she has done for millennia. - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo

For many years, climate change seems like a distant problem, but the reality is that it has already been affecting people, animals and environment around the world. Being the only planet where life is possible till today, it is very pivotal to maintain the natural assets of the earth so that the existence of us and other living creatures could endure. In fact, a change needs to be made everywhere collectively.

International Earth Day is celebrated every year as an annual event by over a billion people across the world on 22nd of April in order to increase the awareness among people about the environment safety as well as to demonstrate the environmental protection measures. First time, the world earth day was celebrated in the year 1970 and then continued to be celebrated annually on global basis by almost all countries.

International Mother Earth Day was established in 2009, by the General Assembly under a Resolution which recognizes that “the Earth and its ecosystems are our home” and that “it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.” The term Mother Earth is used because it “reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit”.

As our population grows, we have to recognize that our consumption of the planet's resources is unsustainable. We need a global transformation of attitude and practice. It is especially urgent to address how we generate the energy that drives our progress. Burning fossil fuels is the principal cause of climate change, which increasingly threatens prosperity and stability in all regions. That is why world leaders have pledged to reach a global legal climate agreement in 2015.

Action on climate change presents multiple opportunities to reset our relationship with Mother Earth and improve human well-being, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable. Sustainable energy for all can increase health, wealth and opportunity for billions of people, as can climate-smart agriculture; more efficient cities and better managed and protected forests.

This year's theme, ‘It’s our turn to lead’, appropriately demonstrates the need for us to take matters in our own hands and lead in the efforts to save our dear planet Earth from further environmental deterioration.

We, at World Assembly of Youth (WAY), are observing the selected theme "it’s our turn to lead". On this year’s Earth Day, we encourage everyone especially the young people to take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction. It is your turn, as young leaders, to lead, so that others can follow by example. Together, let’s redefine what progress looks like; especially for the youth, it is your turn to lead the societies in saving the Mother Earth!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY!

YOUTH RUN FOR PEACE AND SUSTAINABILITY

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THE day marked a remarkable occasion for the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), in collaboration with Melaka State Government, Melaka State Youth Council and several local NGOs as over 300 highly passionate participants gathered for the Youth Run, which took place in River Square Melaka, Malaysia.

The theme of the event, “Youth Run for Peace and Sustainability” was intended to promote peaceful and inclusive society in the minds of young people and other generations; to bring about a unified commitment towards the eradication of dissonance; to create an emancipated atmosphere for armistice declaration, and sustainability and to share time and resources with other peers.

The categories were as follows two (2) categories for the runners: 5 kilometres (Run for Fun), and 3 kilometres (United Run). The venue for start and finish was in Melaka River Square (Dataran Sungai Melaka).

The Secretary General of the World Assembly of Youth, Ms. Ediola Pashollari, during her welcoming remarks introduced the theme of the event, ‘Youth Run for Peace and Sustainability. She welcomed the participants to the event and thanked all the sponsors and everyone who contributed their time and made themselves available for the event.

It was an honour to have the remarks by Hon. Datuk Norpipah Binti Abdol, Deputy State EXCO for Youth Development and Heritage, Melaka shared on the importance of youth and the reason why the event was good for young people and people in Melaka. She went on to talk about the event as a tool to promote peaceful and general society in the minds of young people.

The day began with the collection of race kits, warm up exercise, 5km flag off time, 3km flag off time, exhibition, collection of certificates and the welcome addresses by Ms Ediola Pashollari, Secretary General of WAY. This was followed by the remarks from the Hon. Datuk Norpipah Binti Abdol, Deputy State EXCO for youth Development and Heritage, who also officiated the opening ceremony representing the Rt. Hon. Datuk Seri. Idris Bin Haron, Chief Minister of Melaka cum President of WAY.

It was then concluded with the presentation of the the 1st lucky draw, 5km awards, 3km awards, 2nd lucky draw and the VIPs Gifts Presentation. Photos were also taken with all the participants, VIPs, partners, sponsors, volunteers, and WAY staff. After that, the day was continued with lunch and then the closing of the event. It was indeed a day to remember.