Painting by William fon Moll Bertz - The Wools May 15, 2007. Kyiv, Ukraine. In resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 15 May of every year shall be observed as the International Day of Families. This Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to the family as the basic unit of society as well as to promote appropriate action to recognize and promote the importance of families. For 2007, the theme of the observance is "Families and Persons with Disabilities". Painting by William fon Moll Bertz - The Wools May 15, 2007. Kyiv, Ukraine. In resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 15 May of every year shall be observed as the International Day of Families. This Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to the family as the basic unit of society as well as to promote appropriate action to recognize and promote the importance of families. For 2007, the theme of the observance is "Families and Persons with Disabilities".
Painting by William fon Moll Bertz - The Wools
Painting by William fon Moll Bertz - The Wools

May 15, 2007. Kyiv, Ukraine. In resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 15 May of every year shall be observed as the International Day of Families. This Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to the family as the basic unit of society as well as to promote appropriate action to recognize and promote the importance of families. For 2007, the theme of the observance is "Families and Persons with Disabilities".

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In its preamble, the Convention reconfirms that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State. It also states that persons with disabilities and their family members should receive protection and assistance so that families can contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities.

As the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon emphasized in his message on the observance of the 2007 International Day of Families “For many persons with disabilities, their family has been, and remains, a source of empowerment…Tragically, for others, their family has viewed them with stigma or shame, and has even become a source of abuse and neglect.” And he continued that society and Governments have a responsibility to persons with disabilities and their families. “On this International Day of Families, let us dedicate ourselves to enabling the family, the most basic unit of society, to fulfill its role in ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy full human rights and dignity, and flourish as individuals”, called the UN leader. Full text of the Secretary-General's message.

This Day becomes a mobilizing factor on behalf of families in all countries, which avail themselves of this opportunity and demonstrate support of family issues appropriate to each society. In Ukraine a series of initiatives undertaken by the Government, Kyiv City Administration, educational institutions and religious groups including the All-Ukrainian conference “Family Policy in Ukraine and EC”, public event “Healthy Family is a Healthy State”, parade of twins, Kyiv Mayor rewards for single young fathers and winners of the “Family of 2006” contest are crucial in promoting a better understanding of the functions and problems, strengths and needs of families.

While presenting his speech during the All-Ukrainian Conference «Family Policy in Ukraine and the EU», the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ukraine H.E. Francis M. O’ Donnell stated that the observance of this day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life, their full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society. In Ukraine it should mark a “paradigm shift” in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities.

The United Nations in Ukraine avails its appreciation to all instituions and individuals engaged in organizing observances of the International Day of Families and calls to use future opportunities in increasing knowledge of the economic, cultural, social and demographic processes affecting families.

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For further information, please contact UN Communications Officer Ms. Veronika Vashchenko at veronika.vashchenko@un.org.ua, tel (+38 044) 254 0035.