In 2005, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 20th to be International Human Solidarity Day to promote and strengthen the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing necessary for working towards the eradication of poverty.
World leaders recognized that in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, solidarity and cooperation would be imperative to international relations in the 21st century. After all, the United Nations has been a long-standing proponent that striving for international peace and security relies on unity, harmony, and solidarity.
December 20th serves to remind governments of their commitments to international agreements to fight poverty and injustice, while people are reminded that we are part of a global community that needs to hold our governments accountable to those commitments. People are also encouraged to discuss ways to foster and maintain solidarity, and continue to strive towards building a world where no one must face insecurity, oppression, marginalization or poverty.
Solidarity has long been an inseparable principle of Catholic social teaching. It arises from a particular way of looking at the interconnectedness of people living in different parts of the world that is a feature of our contemporary human existence.
As a movement rooted in Catholic social teaching, Development and Peace continues to strive daily to maintain solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters in the Global South in the struggle for social justice, human dignity, and equality.
“Solidarity is an authentic moral virtue, not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. That is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.”
(Cf. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, N° 193).
In his December 14th message for the 46th World Day of Peace, Pope Benedict XVI said: “The pedagogy of peace …implies activity, compassion, solidarity, courage and perseverance.”
Today, for International Human Solidarity Day, in the spirit of partnership, we encourage you to share our Christmas Campaign with your friends, family, and co-workers to help us celebrate our connections with each other, our partners, the communities we work with, and our supporters, here and around the world.
Together, we can make the star of justice shine!