March 1st is Zero Discrimination Day, an annual global event that promotes diversity and recognizes that everyone is important. This year’s theme is Stand Out and “encourages everyone to stand for fair and just societies.”
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in commemoration of this day, said that “stigma and discrimination damage people and fragment societies- people should never have to suffer in fear and darkness,” and encouraged everyone to support zero discrimination.
According to UNAIDS, discrimination remains as a widespread challenge around the world, based on gender, nationality, age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religion. Indeed, in only 4 out of 10 countries are there equal numbers of girls and boys that attend secondary school. 75 countries still have laws that criminalize same-sex relations.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a great framework for global development policy. The 17 ambitious goals range from globally ending hunger and poverty to achieving gender equality and combating climate change.
UNAIDS welcomed the latest development agenda in 2015, as it is trying to leave no one behind. Mr Sidibé stated that “This international framework has the potential to save millions of lives and to achieve fairer and more just outcomes for people everywhere.”
The observance day urges people to “value and embrace diversity and recognize set of talents and skills that each person brings- talents that enrich society and strengthen communities.” By welcoming diversity we are reinforcing “social cohesion” and it brings many benefits to societies around the world.
To find out more please visit the official observance day webpage at:
Learn more at unaids.org