The International Day of Families fell on the first day of National Families Week in Australia, which was launched at Parliament House by Assistant Minister for Children and Families the Hon. Dr David Gillespie MP, Ms Prue Warrilow, Chair, Families Australia, and Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, Director, United Nations Information Centre.
The event, which was held at the parliamentary child care centre, was enlivened by 20 pre-preschoolers happily running in-between speakers and the media cameras waving small UN flags. Speaking to the theme of the International Day, the UNIC Director stressed the importance of families in providing security to children and helping them socialize, factors that lead to more secure and resilient lives and ultimately to peaceful and inclusive societies.
He stressed that families can only help with realizing SDG 16: the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, if these and other conditions, such as the rights of women and vulnerable members of families, are addressed. One key to this, is family member registration, with the World Bank estimating that globally, some 625 million children remain undocumented. This was not an issue on the day, though, as everyone, young and old, were included in the celebration.