Marking International Day of Friendship, UN chief hails power of the human spirit

30 July 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised a Paraguayan man whose “profound vision that the forces of animosity and hatred in our world are no match for the power of the human spirit” led to the creation of the International Day of Friendship, which falls on July 30 every year.

“I had the opportunity, earlier this year in Paraguay, to commend that pioneer, Dr. Ramón Bracho, for his conviction that just as friendship builds bridges between people, it can also inspire peace in our world,” the UN chief said in a message for the International Day of Friendship 2015.

The Day was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities with a particular emphasis on involving young people in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

Dr. Bracho, who initiated the idea of the day, “had a simple but profound vision: that the forces of animosity and hatred in our world are no match for the power of the human spirit,” Mr. Ban said.

“As we confront the discrimination, malice and cruelty that drive conflicts and atrocities afflicting millions of people today,” he said. “We must counter these destructive trends with a renewed commitment to finding our common humanity and fostering shared progress.”

“On this International Day of Friendship, let us strengthen bonds among individuals and generate greater respect and understanding in our world,” he said.


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