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Youth Month 2019 (1 to 30 June 2019)
Every year on the 16th of June South Africa commemorates the 1976 youth who stood up against the apartheid government and laid down their lives fighting for freedom and the right to equal education. On 16 June 1976 between 3000 and 10 000 students mobilized by the South African Students Movement's Action Committee supported by the BCM marched peacefully to demonstrate and protest against the government’s directive. The march was meant to culminate at a rally in Orlando Stadium.
The theme of this youth month is "25th Year of Democracy: A celebration of youth activism".
National Environment Month 2019 (1-30 June 2019)
National Environment month is celebrated in June, with the South African government and captains of industry leading the way by stimulating awareness on environmental issues and challenging all to become agents for change.
World Environment Day is the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) biggest annual event commemorated on 5 June, with an aim of galvanising positive environmental action. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1972, and was first celebrated in 1974 with a view to deepening environmental awareness and address concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming.
World Oceans Day 2019 (8 June 2019)
World Oceans Day aims to raise awareness of the role of the oceans and the importance of conserving and protecting our marine environment.
The 8th of June is observed internationally as World Oceans Day. While the day has been unofficially celebrated since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to officially recognise World Oceans Day on June 8 each year.
This special day is an opportunity to celebrate the world’s shared oceans and to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in people lives. The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life. They also power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.
Observance of World Oceans Day in South Africa
The observance of World Oceans Day in South Africa allows us to highlight the impact of oceans on our country and the various ways in which oceans contribute to our country. Celebrating the day provides the department with an opportunity to highlight the considerable challenges we face in dealing with marine pollution, maintaining the oceans’ capacity to regulate the global climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation.
The celebration of the day coincides with and forms part of the dedication of June as National Environment Month.
World Refugee Day 2019 (20 June 2019)
World Refugee Day is held every year on 20 June. It is a special day when the world takes time to recognise the resilience of forcibly displaced people throughout the world.
This year we celebrate the day under the theme: "#withrefugees". World Refugee Day is celebrated annually to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threats of persecution, conflict and violence. On this day, the international community seeks to draw attention to the plight of refugees and celebrate their courage and resilience.
Around the world more than 50 million people have fled their homes. Each day thousands more follow.
On 4 December 2000, the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
It was therefore decided that, as from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day (resolution 55/76). [Note: The OAU was replaced by the African Union on 9 July 2002.]
Ambassador P I Malefane
South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey