20 December

December 20

International Human Solidarity Day
The General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, by resolution 60/209 identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the Twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.

At the World Summit for Social Development, Governments committed themselves to the eradication of poverty as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind.

By resolution 57/265 the General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, established the World Solidarity Fund, which was set up in February 2003 as a trust fund of the United Nations Development Programme. Its objective is to eradicate poverty and promote human and social development in developing countries, in particular among the poorest segments of their populations.

Through initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund to eradicate poverty and the proclamation of International Human Solidarity Day, the concept of solidarity was promoted as crucial in the fight against poverty and in the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.

International Human Solidarity Day serves to remind us about the importance of solidarity for the achievement of the international agreements on social development, including programmes of action of international conferences and multilateral accords.

2010 theme: Reaching Out to Our Neighbours
The theme for the 2010 International Human Solidarity Day is: "Reach out to our neighbours," to highlight the fact that despite the encouraging signs of progress made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), deep disparities remain, among and within countries.


69 – Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of emperor.
217 – The papacy of Zephyrinus ends. Callixtus I is elected as the sixteenth pope, but is opposed by the theologian Hippolytus who accuses him of laxity and of being a Modalist, one who denies any distinction between the three persons of the Trinity.
1192 – Richard the Lion-Heart is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade.
1522 – Siege of Rhodes: Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.
1606 – The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.
1808 – Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.
1860 – South Carolina becomes the first state to attempt to secede from the United States.
1915 – World War I: Last Australian troops evacuated from Gallipoli.
1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police, is founded.
1924 – Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison
1941 – World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China.
1942 – World War II: Bombing of Calcutta by the Japanese.
1946 – The popular Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life is first released in New York City.
1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.
1952 – United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington killing 87.
1955 – Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.
1959 – The Walker family murders are committed.
1960 – National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam is formed.
1968 – The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
1971 – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto takes over as the fourth President of Pakistan.
1973 – The Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, is assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid.
1977 – Djibouti and Vietnam join the United Nations.
1984 – The Summit tunnel fire is the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.
1987 – History's worst peacetime sea disaster, when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).
1988 – The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed in Vienna.
1989 – United States invasion of Panama: The United States sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega. This is also the first combat use of purpose-designed stealth aircraft.
1991 – A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
1995 – NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.
1995 – American Airlines Flight 965, a Boeing 757, crashes into a mountain 50 km north of Cali, Colombia killing 160.
1996 – NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
1999 – Macau is handed over to the People's Republic of China by Portugal.
2004 – A gang of thieves steal £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland, one of the largest bank robberies in UK history.
2005 – In Durrës, Albania was founded Aleksander Moisiu University.
2005 – US District Court Judge John E. Jones III rules against mandating the teaching of "intelligent design" in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
2007 – Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.
2007 – The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, is stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari.

Holidays and observances

Abolition of Slavery Day, also known as Fête des Cafres (Réunion)
Christian Feast Day:
Dominic of Silos
O Clavis
Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne
Earliest date for Winter solstice's eve:
Yalda (Iran)
International Human Solidarity Day (International)
Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (Macau)
Bo Aung Kyaw Day (Burma)







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