International Year Events

International Year of Chemisty (2010)

Stressing that education in and about Chemistry is critical in addressing challenges such as global climate change, in providing sustainable sources of clean water, food, energy and in maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people, the General Assembly on 19 December 2008, decided to proclaim 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (resolution 63/209). It designated UNESCO as the lead agency and focal point of the Year.

The Assembly expressed awareness that the Year also provides the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science on the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Maria Sklodowska-Curie. The Year also provided an opportunity to highlight the need for international scientific collaboration on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the United Nations resolution declaring 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry recognizing the importance of Chemistry in maintaining a wholesome global environment and urges Sisterhoods to encourage the pursuit of scientific studies especially for women.

International Year of Forests (2010)

Recognizing that forests and sustainable forest management can contribute significantly to sustainable development, poverty eradication and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, the General Assembly on 20 December 2006, decided to proclaim 2011 as the International Year of Forests (resolution 61/693). It requested that the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, Department of Economic and Social Affairs serve as the focal point for the Year, in collaboration with governments, international, regional and subregional organizations and processes, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and major relevant groups.

The Assembly invited FAO in particular, as Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to support implementation of the Year. It encouraged voluntary partnerships among Member States, international organizations and major groups to facilitate and promote activities related to the Year at the local and national levels, including creating national committees or designating focal points in their respective countries.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the United Nation’s commitment to protect the forests of the world since they are crucial to the survival of the world.

International Year of Deserts and Desertification (2006)

During its 58th session, the General Assembly declared 2006 as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification (resolution 58/211 of 23 December 2003). It called upon all relevant international organizations and member states to support the activities related to desertification, including land degradation, particularly in Africa.

On 22 December 2005, the Assembly expressed it resolve to strengthen implementation of the Convention, in order to address the causes of desertification and land degradation and the poverty resulting from land degradation, through such means as the mobilization of adequate and predictable financial resources, the transfer of technology, and the capacity-building at all levels.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the basic principles of The International Year of Deserts and Desertification.

International Year of Freshwater (2003)

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the Year 2003 as the International Year of Freshwater. Its mandate encourages Governments, national and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and all people to take advantage of the Year to increase awareness of the importance of sustainable freshwater use, management and protection.

Water is the most vital of all our planet’s resources. However, it is not equally distributed to all the peoples of this earth. Today, 1.2 billion individuals, one out of every five people on earth, lack access to drinking water, and four million children die every year from water-related diseases. In other regions of the world where water seems to be in abundance, there has been neglect in its correct management and consumption.

Over use, pollution, added to the rising birthrate and the unfortunate effects of climate change have become, as the years go by, real threats to the survival of our society. The International Year of Freshwater will be used as a platform for promoting existing activities and spearheading new initiatives in water resources at the international, regional and national levels.

The International Year of Freshwater provides an opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the principles of integrated water resources management.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the declaration of the 2003 International Year of Freshwater.

The International Decade for A Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) (2002)

“The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World” stresses the principles of non-violence espoused so strongly during the “International Year for the Culture of Peace” (IYCP-2000) while focusing upon the plight of millions of children worldwide, and the need to create and to implement non-violent strategies to alleviate that plight.

Its mandate specifically emphasizes the need for the international community to recognize and implement strategies that focus on and ensure assistance for children exposed to harmful and violent situations. Both formal and informal education provide children with the necessary tools for acquiring the knowledge base, skills, values, attitudes and behaviors associated with non-violence. The mandate also stresses that tolerance of differing mentalities and opinions is essential for the creation of a lasting culture of peace.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the basic principles of “The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World” with the understanding that education of the children of the world is the route to peace in our world.

International Year of Ecotourism and International Year of Mountains (2002)

During 2002, the UN is observing both the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains.

It is a time to review the ecotourism industry’s effect on biodiversity, its potential contribution to sustainable development, its social, economic and environmental impacts, and the degree to which regulatory mechanisms and voluntary programs are effective in monitoring and controlling those impacts.

Ecotourism has been defined as a form of nature-based tourism in the marketplace; but it has also been formulated and studied as a sustainable development tool by NGOs, development experts and academics since 1990. The term, “ecotourism,” therefore, refers, on one hand, to a concept under a set of principles, and, on the other hand, to a specific market segment.

Although ecotourism has many definitions, a general goal should be to provide an opportunity to develop tourism in ways that minimize the industry’s negative impacts and a way to actively promote the conservation of Earth’s unique biodiversity. If handled properly, ecotourism can be a valuable tool for financing the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and the socio-economic development of populations living in or close to them.

The global significance of ecotourism dose not come from its revenue volume; but rather because it strives to protect the rapidly disappearing ecosystems that house most of the remaining biodiversity on Earth. It is one of the few feasible economic tools to finance conservation of sensitive ecosystems.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the goals of the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains to:

  1. Generate greater awareness among public authorities, the private sector, civil society and consumers regarding ecotourism’s capacity to contribute to the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage in natural and rural areas, and the improvement of standards of living in those areas;
  2. Disseminate methods and techniques for the planning, management, regulation and monitoring of ecotourism to guarantee its long-term sustainability;
  3. Promote exchanges of experiences and lessons learned in the field of ecotourism; and
  4. Increase opportunities for the efficient marketing and promotion of ecotourism destinations and products on international markets.

International Year For the Culture of Peace Year (2000)

(Adopted by the Board of Directors, June 7, 2000)

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the Year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As part of this celebration the six point Manifesto 2000 will be presented.

Manifesto 2000 calls for a new beginning that transforms the culture of war and violence into the culture of peace and non-violence.

These six points are:

  1. Respect all life. Respect the life and dignity of each human being without discrimination or prejudice.
  2. Reject violence. Practice active non-violence, rejecting violence in all its forms: physical, sexual, psychological, economical and social, in particular towards the most deprived and vulnerable such as children and adolescents.
  3. Share with others. Share time and material resources in a spirit of generosity to put an end to exclusion, injustice and political and economic oppression.
  4. Listen to understand. Defend freedom of expression and cultural diversity, giving preference always to dialogue and listening without engaging in fanaticism, defamation and the rejection of others.
  5. Preserve the Planet. Promote consumer behavior that is responsible and develop practices that respect all forms of life and preserve the balance of nature on this planet.
  6. Rediscover Solidarity. Contribute to the development of the community, with the full participation of women and respect for democratic principles, in order to create together new forms of solidarity.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its members to support the precepts of shared responsibility for the future of humanity, in particular to the children of today and tomorrow.

International Year of Older Persons (1999)

The UN General Assembly has decided to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons “in recognition of humanity’s demographic coming of age and the promise it holds for maturing attitudes and capabilities in social, economic, cultural and spiritual undertakings, not least for global peace and development in the next century.” (United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/5, Proclamation on Aging).

Without doubt, longevity is one of the great achievements of the 20th century. Between 1950 and 2000, the situation created by the decline in fertility and in mortality rates will have added 20 years to the average life span. But the aging of the world’s population is producing unprecedented challenges to citizens and policy makers – particularly regarding the protection of the economic and social security of older persons.

To ensure the rights and security of older persons, the UN program on aging in partnership with governments, UN specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector, is seeking ways to handle this demographic transition smoothly.

The conceptual framework of a program for the preparation and observance of the International Year of Older Persons in 1999 include:

  1. The situation of older persons
  2. Life-long individual development
  3. Multi-generational relationships
  4. Development and the aging of population

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the unifying theme “Towards a Society for all Ages” and the overall objective of the International Year of Older Persons, promoting the United Nations Principle for Older Persons including:

  1. Independence
  2. Participation
  3. Care
  4. Self-fulfillment
  5. Dignity

International Year of the Ocean (1998)

IYO aims to raise awareness of the oceans and coastal areas as finite-sized economical assets.

IYO also aims to obtain commitments from governments to take action, provide resources and give to the oceans the priority which they deserve.

At the same time, IYO will emphasize that it is only through global scientific cooperation that we can begin to improve our understanding of how the oceans work. The fruits of our knowledge and cooperation so far have already saved many lives through warning of tidal waves, storm surges and regional economies through predictions of drought or flooding.

Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the goals of the IYO and urges it affiliates to educate their members on these vital issues, so that we can indeed be partners with God in preserving the earth.

International Year of the Family (1994)

The General Assembly has proclaimed 1994 as the International Year of the Family. The guiding principles call for social welfare policies providing greater attention to the family. The goals include enhancing awareness of family issues; improving national capabilities in solving the most serious family-related problems; strengthening the emotional and material support of families, including care of children, the elderly, the sick, and disabled.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, a family-affirming organization, supports the goals set forth for the International Year of the Family and urges its affiliated groups to be mindful of these goals and to educate their members on these issues, particularly during the year 1994.

International Literacy Year (1988)

On December 7, 1987, the General Assembly proclaimed the Year 1990 as International Literacy Year, after approving the previous year an appeal of the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to proclaim such a year, and recalling a 1987 recommendation of the Economic and Social Council to that effect. The Assembly invited UNESCO to assume the role of lead organization (resolution 42/104).

The Assembly emphasized that widespread illiteracy, especially in many developing countries, seriously hindered economic and social development and cultural and spiritual advancement. It observed that the eradication of illiteracy called for world-wide cooperation and that its complete elimination should be recognized as a priority objective of the international community. The Assembly expressed the conviction that the elaboration of a global strategy for the eradication of illiteracy and the organization of a world-wide literacy campaign would promote deeper understanding of the problem and intensification of efforts to spread literacy and education.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, proud of its heritage as People of the Book, urges its members to initiate and participate in local literacy projects.

International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (1986)

For nearly three decades, Governments collectively have recognized that the crisis in human settlements exists, that adequate shelter is a basic human right, and that the appalling housing situation for the many poor and disadvantaged urgently calls for action. Despite increased action by Governments and international organizations, the number of people living in poverty grows steadily larger and the quality of the built environment continues to deteriorate. Inadequate shelter has become one of the most critical issues facing the world today.

It is estimated that more than 15 million people die unnecessarily every year from malnutrition and disease. Most of them are children. This is to a large extent linked to inadequate shelter, water supply and waste disposal.

The need for action is the basis of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, which the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed for 1987.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless and calls upon its Affiliates to:

  1. Develop programs to bring the urgency of this situation to its members.
  2. Participate in local community programs to help alleviate the plight of the homeless, including the opening of synagogue facilities for temporary housing where possible, legislation to ensure equitable housing opportunities and access to public services.

International Decade for Women 1975-1985 (1984)

The end of the International Decade for Women will be marked with a Conference in the summer of 1985 in Nairobi. The Decade was inaugurated in 1975 with high hopes and the theme of Equality, Development and Peace. At the first Conference, in Mexico City, a Resolution separate from the Program of Action, equated Zionism with Racism, the first such declaration at a major UN Conference. In Copenhagen, incorporated into the Program of Action along with the equation of Zionism and Racism, was the provision that “UN aid to Palestinian women would be given in consultation with the PLO.”

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its Sisterhoods to:

  1. Call upon their governments to take all steps necessary to prevent the politicization of the forthcoming Conference for the End of the UN Decade for Women.
  2. Provide information and education about the goals of the Conference.
  3. Engage in active dialogue with other responsible organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish, to foster understanding of mutual interests and differences in the advancement of the status of women.
  4. Translate the age-old Jewish concern for justice, equality and peace by expressing solidarity with women around the world.

International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) (1980)

1981 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Disabled Persons, with the goal of promoting the rights of disabled persons to participate more fully in the social, economic and educational life of the societies in which they live, and to have the opportunity to enjoy with all other people the benefits of technological progress.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its Sisterhoods to help promote the International Year of Disabled Persons, and to participate in related programs of study and action.

International Year of the Child (IYC) (1978)

The United Nations has designated 1979 as the International Year of the Child. With UNICEF as the lead agency, many programs of study and action will be developed and implemented within those nations which have UNICEF Committees and IYC Commissions. Throughout the world and within the various nations, attention will focus on the needs of children. Women’s League for Conservative Judaism lauds the United Nations for inaugurating this program.

The International Year of the Child gives all countries a special year in which to put a fresh focus on children’s concerns. The United Nations has asked the world to “think children”, to take a hard look at each nation’s programs for children, and then to mobilize every possible supportive action to develop far reaching programs directed toward permanently improving the status of all children – not only our own but also the millions in other less fortunate areas of our shrinking world.

Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its Sisterhoods to help promote the International Year of the Child on the local, national and international levels. Women’s League for Conservative Judaism further urges its Sisterhoods to participate in related programs of study and action on education, health, housing, nutrition, child abuse and the handicapped child

International Hijacking and Terrorism (1976)

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism deplores the ever-rising occurrences of international hijacking and terrorism. While these acts are directed primarily at the State of Israel and its citizens, the danger and fear engendered by these acts extend to the people of all nations. There can be no end to the activities of these terrorists until the nations of the world unite and promulgate a single course of action to combat the breach of every international law, of freedom of the airways and of freedom of all people to travel in safety.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism commends our government for the efforts it has made to bring about world action to combat these atrocities and urges that it continue these efforts with as much persuasion as is possible in the various international forums, to achieve these ends.

International Women’s Year (1974)

The designation of 1975 as International Women’s Year by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly comes at a time of growing world recognition of the importance of women as people, and as factors in the promotion of peace, economic and social development plans, and population programs.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports the aims of International Women’s Year as outlined in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution:

  1. To promote equality between men and women;
  2. To ensure the full integration of women in the total development effort, especially by emphasizing women’s responsibility and important role in economic, social and cultural development at the national, regional and international levels, particularly during the Second United nations Development Decade;
  3. To recognize the importance of women’s increasing contribution to the development of friendly relations and cooperation among nations and to the strengthening of world peace.

International Cooperation Year (1964)

National Women’s League supports the Resolution of the General Assembly as adopted on November 21, 1963, that 1965, the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations, be designated as INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION YEAR. May it be a year of dedication to the promotion of international cooperation, when conflicts will be lessened and problems more easily solved.

Since international cooperation is the essence of our way of life in an interdependent world, we should:

  1. Make a specialized effort to publicize the past accomplishments of the United Nations and its specialized agencies and urge increased support in strengthening the international community;
  2. Focus attention on America’s role in international cooperation and urge increased funds for UNICEF, UNESCO and the DAG HAMMARKSKJOLD FOUNDATION;
  3. Increase our awareness of the goals of the UN Decade of Development and encourage our government to intensify its efforts to make the programs under the Development Decade more effective.

National Women’s League calls upon all its members:

  1. To make greater effort to reach the uninformed and those hostile to the United Nations;
  2. To stimulate and encourage the search for new and better ways of increasing international understanding;
  3. To formulate plans, programs and projects to promote the purpose of the International Cooperation Year.