May 16, 2014 - The United Nations on Thursday marked this year's International Day
of Families highlighting the vital role that these critical social units in every
society play in achieving globally agreed development goals and advancing a better
world for all. “As we commemorate this year's International Day of Families, we
recognize the meaningful contributions that families make to advancing the mission
of the United Nations,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the
Day, observed annually on 15 May. “By providing economic and emotional sustenance
to their members, families can raise productive, caring citizens committed to the
common good. Strong, well-functioning families, whatever form they may take, can
help reduce poverty, improve the wellbeing of mothers, promote gender equality and
uphold human rights.” This year's Day marked the 20th anniversary of the International
Year of the Family and offers an opportunity to refocus on the role of families
in development, particularly in achieving internationally agreed development goals.
Ban called for mobilizing the world's families as countries strive to usher in a
more sustainable future, achieve the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs), shape a new development agenda and combat climate change.
“Let us strive to strengthen these small but critical units found in every society
so that we may advance as one human family toward greater progress,” he said.