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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
Planning for the first-ever World Humanitarian Day
23 July 2009 / 11:55

[Dateline: New York | Author: OCHA]

World Humanitarian Day Six years after the United Nations Office in Iraq was bombed and 22 people lost their lives, the first-ever World Humanitarian Day will be observed on 19 August 2009.

Among those lost in 2003 was Sergio Vieira de Mello, at that time the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq and previously Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees.

Last December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/63/139) calling for the anniversary of this incident as World Humanitarian Day to commemorate those who have lost their lives in humanitarian operations and to place emphasis on current pressing humanitarian needs and challenges.

For the occasion, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is working with humanitarian partners to ensure appropriate observance of the day. 

Two short films will be available; the first will be a one minute film showing images of humanitarian work and will be released at the beginning of August. The second will be shown on World Humanitarian Day and will include a message by the Secretary-General commemorating fallen colleagues.

An information package will be released in early August which contains information on the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers, a summary of humanitarian work worldwide, and key messages for delivery on the day.

All staff are asked to help publicize the day by transmitting the World Humanitarian Day leaflet to your networks and reminding them of the existence of this day and the reasons for its establishment.

The following leaflets are available at this time.

Arabic leaflet | Chinese leaflet | English leaflet | French Leaflet | Spanish Leaflet | Russian Leaflet