5/16: International Day of Light

200th session of the Unesco Executive Board (Source: Unesco, A. Dunasovs)

200th session of the Unesco Executive Board (Source: Unesco, A. Dunasovs)

Following the highly successful International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, IYL 2015, the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Unesco, has endorsed a proposal for an enduring follow-up in the form of an annual International Day of Light to be celebrated on 16 May every year from 2018.

Under the leadership of Unesco, the International Year of Light in 2015 brought together hundreds of national and international partners to organize more than 13,000 activities in 147 countries. The audience reached is estimated to be over 100 million. A Final Report of IYL 2015 was delivered to Unesco in Paris during a special half-day meeting on 3 October 2016 and also presented to the United Nations Second Committee in New York on 18 October 2016.

The International Day of Light proposal was examined by the Unesco Executive Board during its 200th Session in Paris held from October 4 to 18, introduced by sponsors Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand and the Russian Federation. The resolution was adopted with fifteen additional co-sponsors.

The purpose of an International Day of Light will be to provide an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of the central role that light plays in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, culture, education, sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications and energy. The broad theme of light will allow many different sectors of society to participate in activities around the world that will raise awareness of science and technology, as well as art and culture and their importance in achieving the goals of Unesco in promoting education, equality and peace. The first International Day of Light celebration is planned for 16 May 2018 following its official Proclamation at the General Conference of Unesco in November 2017. (Source: IYL2015)

Links: Proposal for the Proclamation of the International Day of Light during the 200th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board (PDF, 54 kB)International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

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