Message on the Occasion of the International Day of Friendship (July 30) and Esperanto Day (July 26)

It is a happy coincidence that the International Day of Friendship and Esperanto Day take place within a few days of one another.

Proposed to the United Nations by Paraguay in 1958, the UN’s International Day of Friendship (July 30) celebrates this most human of connections – both personal and collective. It reminds us that co-operation is better than conflict, recognizing the good in others is better than fighting over the bad, and true international harmony and collaboration require trust. It reminds us that it is worth working hard to cultivate friendship on a worldwide scale.

It was on July 26, 1887, that Zamenhof published his international language Esperanto. Zamenhof maintained that the essence of trust is understanding – and that understanding is best achieved though a common language. He proposed Esperanto as an easily learned neutral language between speakers of different languages. Today, hundreds of thousands of people speak it across the world, and literally millions have signed up in recent years to learn the language on line.

Speaking the same language does not necessarily bring peace, but linking it with friendship offers the best chance for peace. That is why Esperanto speakers use their language to promote friendship across the world. We encourage others to join us.