The 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference has today proclaimed the date of May 16th as the International Day of Light. The proclamation of this annual International Day will enable global appreciation of the central role that light and light-based technologies play in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, technology, culture, education, and sustainable development. The International Day of Light is an enduring follow-up to UNESCO’s highly successful International Year of Light in 2015 that reached over 100 million people in over 140 countries. The International Day of Light was introduced to UNESCO by sponsors Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand and the Russian Federation, and supported at the UNESCO Executive Board and the General Conference by 27 countries: Argentina, Colombia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Iran, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Nigeria, Paraguay, Qatar, Togo, Vietnam, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The International Day of Light is administered from UNESCO’s International Basic Science Programme by a Steering Committee that also includes representatives from: the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), Bosca, the European Centres for Outreach in Photonics (ECOP), the European Physical Society (EPS), the International Association of lighting Designers (IALD), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), lightsources.org - the international network of accelerator based light sources, Light: Science and Applications, The Optical Society (OSA), Philips Lighting, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) and Thorlabs.
Partners worldwide are now making plans for an ambitious series of outreach and education activities in May 2018, with special focus on students, young people and the public at large. In addition, a flagship inauguration featuring Nobel Laureates and leaders in areas of education, industry, design and lighting will take place on 16 May 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.
Involvement and Opportunities
UNESCO welcomes all partners who wish to get involved in the International Day of Light either through organizing their own activities or by supporting the flagship event on May 16 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. For event registration, enquiries about partnership opportunities, and any other questions, please contact: