February 20 was declared the World Day of Social Justice by the United Nations in 2007 for tackling poverty, segregation and unemployment in order to promote solidarity, harmony and equality in opportunities within and between societies. At its sixty-second session, in November 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice. The observance of the day is meant to contribute to the further consolidation of the efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all. In a unanimously adopted declaration the UN also invited Member States to devote the Day to promoting activities at the national level in support of the objectives and goals of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen.
The Goodwill Ambassador maintained that that social development and social justice are very important for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations. On the other hand, social development and social justice cannot be achieved in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. “Social justice in a real sense of the term can be achieved if the poor and marginalized in the society can avail the benefits of the economic progress; if people are allowed to move freely in search of employment and means of livelihood; if people are treated equally by the law enforcing agencies; if rampant corruption in the administrative machinery is rooted out; if people can have easy access to education and healthcare; and if the fundamental rights of the people are not tampered with”, said Dr. Homoud.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Homoud said “it is important that social justice be a shared responsibility between the government and its people, ensuring that all expectations not remain on the government’s shoulders. Citizen’s participation and advocacy is crucial to ensure that this begins at home, in the neighborhood and across the nation”. He went on to say “it should be recognized that social development aims at social justice, solidarity, harmony and equality within and among countries; social justice, equality and equity constitute the fundamental values of all societies. Economic growth should promote equity and social justice and that “a society for all” must be based on social justice and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Social justice is based on the values of fairness, equality, respect for diversity, access to social protection, and the application of human rights in all spheres of life”.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. “These basic rights have been overlooked by our generation and amid developments and modernization we are lacking far behind yet to tackle this menace of world, which is like an eclipse on our faces” Dr. Naseer added.
“This day is an opportunity for us to show camaraderie with millions of men, women and children who continue to live in wretched poverty and are denied of their social rights and justice, and to freely acknowledge and encourage the work of organizations and individuals who are making significant assistance for ensuring social justice for all. It is also an occasion to raise public consciousness and mobilize various state and non-state actors to show their renewed assurance for attaining a classless society and for achieving the Millennium Development Goals” Dr. Naseer added.
In his appeal Dr. Homoud urged “I would like to underline the important role of the civil society and non-governmental organizations for their work to achieve social justice. We appreciate and encourage their further active role in promoting the theme of social justice and social integration as fundamental elements of social development nationally and internationally”
On this day, IIMSAM call on world leaders to fulfill their MDG commitments through clear, practical, targeted, and measurable initiatives, matched by clear points of accountability and transparency for ensuring successes and challenges can be understood by all. IIMSAM believes that promise in the Millennium Development Goal to reduce hunger and poverty by half of the year 2015 can only be redeemed by serious thinking, planning and action. Dr. Homoud further added “when we look the other side, there are impending challenges for the mankind, the nature of crisis asks for global and concerted efforts on the part of world bodies, governments and civil society groups to tackle it”. IIMSAM under visionary guidance of its secretary General, Ambassador R. Maradona is committed, among others, towards UN MDGs Number 1 to reduce extreme poverty and hunger”, concluded Dr. Homoud.