International Day of Conscience Date in the current year: April 5, 2024

International Day of Conscience The International Day of Conscience is a United Nations observance held annually on April 5. It was declared by the UN General Assembly in 2019 to promote inclusion, peace, solidarity, tolerance and understanding.

Wikipedia defines conscience as “a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on individual’s moral philosophy or value systems”. In other words, it is conscience that makes us feel remorse or guilt after doing something that conflicts with other moral values. Conscience is inseparable from the concepts of morality and ethics.

One of the main guidelines of conscience is the so-called Golden Rule, which is found in most cultures and religions across the world. It is usually formulated as follows: treat others as you would like them to treat you, and do not wish upon others what you would not want for yourself. Although the term “Golden Rule” is relatively modern, the maxim itself dates back to ancient times, and the concept appears prominently in all major religions.

Respect for the rights, feelings and beliefs of others implied by the Golden Rule is the cornerstone of a society where relationships between people are based on peace and harmony. Building such a society is one of the main goals of the United Nations.

The United Nations strives to create a world where future generations will not experience wars and poverty thanks to friendly relations between nations and peoples, respect for human rights and freedoms, and the absence of discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexuality, age, disability, etc.

To highlight the role of conscience in achieving the sustainable development goals, the UN General Assembly proclaimed April 5 as the International Day of Conscience. Its main task is to highlight the importance of tolerance, understanding, solidarity and unity for achieving peace and harmony throughout the world.

The International Day of Conscience is closely tied to the concept of a culture of piece, which emerged at an international congress held by the UNESCO in 1989. According to this concept, it is impossible to maintain peace relying solely on political and economical agreements between governments. Peace must be founded upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind; therefore, a culture of peace should be inseparable from culture per se. A culture of peace is a set of values, traditions and modes of behavior directed towards respect for human rights and the rejection of violence.

The International Day of Conscience isn’t the only UN observance that highlights of importance of a culture of peace; other related observances include International Day of Human Fraternity, Zero Discrimination Day, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, International Day of Living Together in Peace, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, International Day of Peace, International Day of Non-Violence, International Day for Tolerance, International Human Solidarity Day, etc.

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