International Human Solidarity Day

19 Dec 2011   |   Blog   |   Long-term Development

International Human Solidarity Day

Today is the United Nations’ (UN) International Human Solidarity Day, which is held on 20 December every year. This day’s aim is to celebrate unity in diversity and to remind people on the importance of solidarity in working towards eradicating poverty.

Solidarity, under the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching (CST), is one of the values that Caritas Australia is shaped by.

The values within CST provide a moral framework so the common good of individuals and humanity can unite, and covers all spheres of life – the economic, political, personal and spiritual. This holistic approach, with all the principles flowing into one another, is what Pope Paul VI calls ‘authentic development’.

Development is to reach those who are most marginalised and gives expression to the principle of human solidarity. But what does Solidarity mean?

Solidarity is the value binding us together. We are one family, regardless of ethnic, cultural, religious or political difference.

On 15 December, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about solidarity as a mainstay for the integral development of peoples.

"In our time the unity of the human family is an undeniable fact," said the Holy Father.

"Thanks to the communications media which bring all regions of the planet together, transport which facilitates human contacts, commercial ties which make economies interdependent, and problems of global importance such as environmental protection and mass migration, human beings have become more aware of their shared destiny…

"Mankind must see this interdependency not as a threat but as an opportunity. We are all responsible for one another, therefore it is important to maintain a positive vision of solidarity because it is the driving force of integral human development."

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