Marking the International Day of Friendship


On Friendship Day, Ban says lives can be enriched, future enhanced through unity and camaraderie

Young Children at the ELCRN hostel in Otjimbingwe, Namibia. Photo: Philip Schuler/World Bank

30 July 2016 – Marking the International Day of Friendship, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged everyone to unite in a shared spirit of human solidarity to overcome the crises confronting the global society.

“Friendship is a joy in itself, conferring happiness and a sense of wellbeing,” Mr. Ban said in his message on the Day.

“The accumulation of bonds of camaraderie around the world can contribute to fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability,” he added.

The Secretary-General said that by extending hands in friendship and building “ties of trust,” society can weave a protective safety net that can defeat the forces trying to undermine peace, security and social harmony.

“As understanding and awareness grow, we can build compassion and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good,” he highlighted.

He noted that the choice of greed over the health of the planet and its inhabitants, pursuing a fanatic attachment to an ideology or people having to suffer human rights violations because they are considered somehow less than equal are all betrayals of the heritage of humanity and place the future wellbeing of humankind in peril.

These betrayals, said Mr. Ban, can be overcome through unity and by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity, challenges such as poverty, violence and human rights abuses can be addressed at their roots.

This spirit of solidarity, the Secretary-General said, is revealed in many ways, from international assistance to political advocacy at the global level and it can take the simple and timeless form of friendship at the individual level.

“On this International Day of Friendship, let us resolve to cherish and cultivate as many warm relationships as possible, enriching our own lives and enhancing the future,” Mr. Ban concluded.

The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.