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UN International Day of Families 2013

The Role of the Family in Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity

The United Nations General Assembly passed UN Resolution 52/81 on December 12, 1997 proclaiming the International Day of Families to be celebrated annually on May 15. The Universal Peace Federation fully supports the 2013 theme of the UN International Day of Families: “Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity.”

Affirmed by civilizations and religions for millennia, the family forms the basis of natural procreation, lineage, the honoring of parents and grandparents, and our development as spiritual and rational beings.

UPF regards the family as the school of love and the foundation for a stable society. Marriage between husband and wife lays the foundation for the family. The father and the mother complement one another biologically and psychologically as they raise their children. The family has both private and public functions, promoting both social cohesion and intergenerational solidarity. The love we receive at home provides the framework for fulfilling our potential as human beings.

Social cohesion is learned in the family where members attend to the well-being of one another. Likewise, when families contribute to the well-being of their community, the community prospers, offering benefit and protection for families in return.

The importance of grandparents in promoting intergenerational solidarity cannot be underestimated. They are the repositories of information about the ancestors and the conveyers of tradition and culture. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is second in emotional power only to that between parents and children. Together, the grandparents, parents, and children form a link between the past, the present and the future.

Every culture throughout the world affirms the central role of the family in promoting social integration, intergenerational solidarity, and a healthy society. Religious traditions such as Confucianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism emphasize the sacred and social significance of the family.

The purpose and ideal of marriage and the family center on procreation, raising children within a committed and faithful relationship of the natural parents, and the development of love and spiritual well-being. However, UPF also acknowledges that no one attains this ideal without education and a supportive social, ethical, political, and cultural environment. For this reason, UPF advocates the development of educational programs that help individuals gain a better understanding of the virtues and skills necessary for the most fulfilling relationships and happy, thriving marriages and families. 

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