Observances of the United Nations International Day of Families 2013 organized by the Universal Peace Federation in various nations. The theme for 2013 was Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "Around the world, family members are doing their part. They deserve support from policy-makers and decision-makers, from public institutions and private businesses. There is a growing recognition around the world that we need to strengthen policies promoting intergenerational solidarity and support intergenerational programmes and initiatives. Evidence shows that adequate pensions and caregiver support help not only older persons but whole families. Intergenerational programmes promoting volunteering among the young and old benefit all generations. Opportunities for people of all ages to bond revitalize whole communities. Intergenerational initiatives also address global development priorities. They counteract inequality and exclusion, encourage active citizenship and even improve public infrastructure through community-based projects."
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.