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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Africa Day 2016, May 25


День Африки, 25мая.
Journée de l'Afrique, 25 mai.
Día de África, 25 de mayo.
Africa Day, May 25.
非洲日, 5月25日.
 يوم أفريقيا ,25 مايو..
 
May 25th is Africa Day

 

 

 
Statement from Mr.Ban Ki-moon,United Nations Secretary-General, on Africa Day 2016.

 

Africa Day 2016 is being celebrated in furtherance of the African Union’s theme for this year: “Human Rights with a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women”. This demonstrates the commitment of Africa’s leaders to place women – as key drivers and enablers – at the front and centre of all efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Both frameworks share similar strategic principles, with a focus on people, prosperity, environmental sustainability, justice, human rights and mutually accountable partnerships. The alignment between the global and the continental agendas calls for a harmonized approach in planning, implementation and monitoring. Under Agenda 2063, Africa’s priorities include investing in its people, with an emphasis on women and youth; developing manufacturing and agro-processing; building transport, water, sanitation, energy and ICT infrastructure; domestic resource mobilization and stemming illicit financial flows; ending conflict; promoting human rights; and expanding democratic governance. Africa also has the opportunity to pursue industrialization in a more environmentally sustainable manner, including through climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy and arresting deforestation. I encourage African nations and their partners to spare no effort in advancing these priorities. The United Nations is committed in its support. Africa’s economic prospects are good, despite the uncertain global economic landscape. Growth is projected to increase to 4.4 per cent in 2016, from 3.7 percent in 2015. I urge Africa’s leaders to use these gains to address rising social and economic inequalities, and ensure that no African is left behind. This is crucial for tackling root causes of conflicts, terrorism and violent extremism, and fostering peace and stability. I also commend Africa’s bold initiative on “Silencing the Guns by 2020”, which is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063’s First Ten-Year Implementation Plan. The successful implementation of these new agendas will require a renewed partnership for development cooperation among African governments, UN entities, the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency, the Regional Economic Communities and the development partners. The private sector also has a key role to play in creating jobs, promoting innovation in technologies and services, and supporting the massive infrastructure transition needed to fulfil Africa’s sustainable development objectives. On this Africa Day, I urge all stakeholders to rally behind the transformative vision set out in the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. What is good for Africa is good for the world.





Ban Ki-moon,

United Nations Secretary General

 

United Nations- African Union Peace and Security Cooperation - U.N. Security Council, 7694th meeting.


1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international Peace and security.United Nations-African Union peace and security cooperation: Chapter VIII application and the future of the African Peace and Security Architecture

 

 

 

 

 
 
Forum :   Africa Day - 25 May

"Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous & Integrated Africa " African Union.
Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous & Integrated Africa

 

 
Events :
 


South Africa :
  1.  President Jacob Zuma is to host the 2016 Africa Day celebration on May 25, 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

 
Zambia : 
  1.  51st Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group - May 23 to 27, 2016.

 
Ethiopia :
  1.  African Union Commission launches 2016 edition of AU Research Grants
  2. 2nd Meeting of the Technical Team Meeting on the Establishment of the African Medicines Agency, AUC HQs, 7-8 June 2016

 

 
News :

 


 

 
Publications :

 
° African Economic Outlook 2016

African Economic Outlook 2016 - Afdb, OECD, UNDP

With two-thirds of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, how Africa urbanises will be critical to the continent’s future growth and development, according to the African Economic Outlook 2016 released today at the African Development Bank Group’s 51st Annual Meetings.


 Africa’s economic performance held firm in 2015 amid global headwinds and regional shocks. The continent remained the second... fastest growing economic region after East Asia. According to the report’s prudent forecast, the continent’s average growth is expected at 3.7% in 2016 and pick up to 4.5% in 2017, provided the world economy strengthens and commodity prices gradually recover.
In 2015, net financial flows to Africa were estimated at USD 208 billion, 1.8% lower than in 2014 due to a contraction in investment. At USD 56 billion in 2015, however, official development assistance increased by 4%; and remittances remain the most stable and important single source of external finance at USD 64 billion in 2015.


“African countries, which include top worldwide growth champions, have shown remarkable resilience in the face of global economic adversity. Turning Africa’s steady resilience into better lives for Africans requires strong policy action to promote faster and more inclusive growth,” stated Abebe Shimeles, Acting Director, Development Research Department, at the African Development Bank.
The continent is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom: the population living in cities has doubled from 1995 to 472 million in 2015. This phenomenon is unlike what other regions, such as Asia, experienced and is currently accompanied by slow structural transformation, says the report’s special thematic chapter.
According to the authors, lack of urban planning leads to costly urban sprawl. In Accra, Ghana, for example, the population nearly doubled between 1991 and 2000, increasing from 1.3 million to 2.5 million inhabitants at an average annual growth rate of 7.2%. During the same period, the built up area of Accra tripled, increasing from 10 thousand hectares to 32 thousand hectares by an average annual rate of 12.8%.
Urbanisation is a megatrend transforming African societies profoundly. Two-thirds of the investments in urban infrastructure until 2050 have yet to be made. The scope is large for new, wide-ranging urban policies to turn African cities and towns into engines of growth and sustainable development for the continent as a whole.
If harnessed by adequate policies, urbanisation can help advance economic development through higher agricultural productivity, industrialisation, services stimulated by the growth of the middle class, and foreign direct investment in urban corridors. It also can promote social development through safer and inclusive urban housing and robust social safety nets. Finally, it can further sound environmental management by addressing the effects of climate change as well as the scarcity of water and other natural resources, controlling air pollution, developing clean cost-efficient public transportation systems, improving waste collection, and increasing access to energy.
“Africa’s ongoing, multi-faceted urban transition and the densification it produces offer new opportunities for improving economic and social development while protecting the environment in a holistic manner. These openings can be better harnessed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – especially SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities – and the objectives of the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Acting Director of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate. “The benefits could accrue for both urban and rural dwellers, provided governments adopt an integrated approach,” he added.
This approach includes stepping up investment in urban infrastructure, improving connectivity with rural areas, better matching formal real estate markets with the housing demand by clarifying land rights, managing the growth of intermediary cities, and improving the provision of infrastructure and services within and between cities. Such investments need to be accompanied by productive formal employment – especially for the youth – and sufficient public goods.
In 2015, approximately 879 million Africans lived in countries with low human development, while 295 million lived in medium and high human development countries. Africa’s youth are particularly at risk from slow human progress. In sub-Saharan Africa nine out of ten working youth are poor or near poor.
According to the Outlook, seizing this urbanisation dividend requires bold policy reforms and planning efforts. For example, tailoring national urban strategies to specific contexts and diverse urban realities and patterns is essential. And harnessing innovative financing instruments is paramount. Ongoing endeavours to promote efficient multi-level governance systems, including decentralisation, capacity building and increased transparency, at all government levels, should be strengthened.
“In 2016, the emerging common African position on urban development and the international New Urban Agenda to be discussed in Quito in October provide the opportunity to begin molding ambitious urbanisation policies into concrete strategies for Africa’s structural transformation,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa at the United Nations Development Programme. “We need to invest in building economic opportunities, especially those of women of which 92% work in the informal sector. Cities and towns have a key role to play in that process, but only if governments take bold policy action.”





 

 
Other Publications :


 
 

 




 The AU Commission Strategic Plan 2014-2017


The African Union Commission Strategic Plan 2014-­2017 constitutes the framework that outlines the overall priorities of the Commission for the four year period, and provides guidance for program formulation and prioritization.







Sunday, 22 May 2016

Vesak Day 2016




2016年主題:佛教路徑世界和平。
Тема 2016: Буддийский путь к миру во всем мире.
Tema 2016: El camino budista a la paz mundial.
Thème 2016: La voie bouddhiste de la paix dans le monde.
موضوع 2016: مسار بوذي للسلام العالمي.






At this time of mass population movements, violent conflicts, atrocious human rights abuses and hateful rhetoric aimed at dividing communities, the sacred commemoration of the Day of Vesak offers an invaluable opportunity to reflect on how the teachings of Buddhism can help the international community tackle pressing challenges.

The fundamental equality of all people, the imperative to seek justice, and the interdependence of life and the environment are more than abstract concepts for scholars to debate; they are living guidelines for Buddhists and others navigating the path to a better future.

One Sutra tells the story of Srimala, a woman who pledged to help all those suffering from injustice, illness, poverty or disaster. This spirit of solidarity can animate our global efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, carry out the Paris Agreement on climate change, and promote human rights while advancing human dignity worldwide.

The actions of Srimala also illustrate the primary role that women can play in advocating for peace, justice and human rights. Gender equality and the empowerment of women remain urgent priorities that will drive progress across the international agenda.

In just a few days, the United Nations will convene the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, where leaders will join activists and other partners to address the needs of millions of vulnerable people in crisis.  Buddhists and individuals of all faiths who are concerned about the future of humanity can help advance the Summit’s aims to uphold humanitarian law, protect civilians in conflict, and improve the global response to emergencies.

On this Day of Vesak, let us pledge to reach out to bridge differences, foster a sense of belonging, and show compassion on a global scale for the sake of our common future.

Ban Ki-moon
United Nations, Secretary General

 
 
Other Statements
 
Ms. IRINA BOKOVA, The Director-General of UNESCO.
 

  • THE MOST VENERABLE PROF. DR. PHRA BRAHMAPUNDIT

  • Rector of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, President, International Association of Buddhist Universities, President, International Council for Day of Vesak
  • Somdet Phra Maharatchamongkhalachan, Acting Supreme Patriarch of Thailand
  • His Holiness Tep Vong, The Great Supreme Patriarch of Kingdom of Cambodia
  • His Holiness Samdech Preah Abhisiri Sugandha Maha Sangharajah Dhipati Bour Kry

  • The Great Supreme Patriarch Dhammayutta Order of the Kingdom of Cambodia

    Prime Minister and Présidents Message on the occasion of Vesak Day 2016

  • GENERAL PRAYUTH CHAN-OCHA , Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • Barack Obama , President of United States of America
  • The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia
  • Ranil Wickremesinghe , Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
  • Hon.Nandimitra Ekanayake  ,Deputy Minister of Higher Education of Sri Lanka
  • Ananda Prasad Pokharel, Minister, Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation , Government of Nepal
  • H.E.General Prem Tinsulanonda , President of the Privy Council and Statesman of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. Mr.Tanin Kraivixien, Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. General Surayud Chulanont , Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. Air Chief Marshal Siddhi Savetsila  , Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. Air Vice Marshal Kamthon Sindhvananda , Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. Palakorn Suwanrath ,Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. Admiral Chumpol Pachusanon  , Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • H.E. Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk , Privy Council of the Kingdom of Thailand

  •  
    The Foreign Embassies and Consulates in the Kingdom of Thailand

  • Ambassador of the Republic of the Argentine Republic
  • British Embassy, Bangkok
  • Embassy of India, Bangkok
  • Embassy of The republic of Indonesia, Bangkok
  • Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kenya
  • Embassy of the Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia
  • Ambassador of the Republic of Korea
  • Ambassador of Spain
  • Ambassador of Switzerland
  • Royal Embassy of Cambodia
  • Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist republic of Viet nam
  • Ambassador of Nepal
  • Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Singapore


  • VIP Messages
  • Most Ven. Warakagoda Gnnarathana Mahanayake Thero.
  • Official Residence, Asgiri Maha Viharaya, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
  •  


     


    


     
    The General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized the the International Day to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.

    Citing the story of Srimala, a woman who pledged to help all those suffering from injustice, illness, poverty or disaster, Mr. Ban said that this spirit of solidarity can animate global efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, carry out the Paris Agreement on climate change, and promote human rights while advancing human dignity worldwide.

    The actions of Srimala also illustrate the primary role that women can play in advocating for peace, justice and human rights. Gender equality and the empowerment of women remain urgent priorities that will drive progress across the international agenda.

    In just a few days, the UN will convene the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, where leaders will join activists and other partners to address the needs of millions of vulnerable people in crisis.



     

     
     




     


    See what people are saying on Vesak Day 2016, join the conversation.





    Among Overseas Chinese communities, Vesak day is celebrated depending on their respective traditions, the Buddhist culture in that country or simply both. On Vesak day, Buddhists visit monasteries to offer their prayers and to attend sermons led by Buddhist Venerables. Buddhist prayers often extend beyond themselves to pray for world peace and harmony. They also perform rituals such as the bathing of the Buddha; A symbolic act to commemorate the devas and spirits who made offerings to the Buddha at the time of his birth.
    During the Vesak Day period, monasteries are decorated with Buddhist flags and flowers while vegetarian restaurants offer promotions as people abstain from meat as an act of compassion.
    Many Buddhist will also make donations to charity organizations and to free animals that are captured for human consumption.
     








    คุณูปการของพระพุทธศาสนาต่อการรับผิดชอบสิ่งแวดล้อม

    23 May 2016
    13:20 p.m. - 16:00 p.m ...
    Venue: United Nations Conference Center
    Rajadamnern Nok Avenue and Klong Phadung Krungkasem Road, Bangkok

     


     
    Symposium II : Buddhist education for peace.
     
    การศึกษาแนวพุทธเพื่อสันติภาพ

    - 22 May 2016
    - 16:00 p.m. - 18:00 p.m ...
    - Venue: Conference Room
    2nd Floor, Conference Hall
    MCU Wang Noi, Ayutthaya




    Program: 22nd – 23rd May 2016 (B.E. 2559)





     
    Programme of the Vesak Day 2016





     

     
    Resources :

     
    UNESCO
    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

    International Day for Biological Diversity 2016, May 22.






     


















      United Nations Secretary General Message on World Day For Biological Diversity 2016, May 22.
     
     


    Biodiversity and the ecosystem services it supports are the foundations for life on Earth and the livelihoods and well-being of people everywhere.  Protecting biodiversity and preventing further losses is an essential investment in our collective future.


    Biodiversity is an important cross-cutting issue in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Goal 15 explicitly recognizes the importance of halting biodiversity loss, and other Goals recognize the importance of biological diversity for eradicating poverty, providing food and fresh-water, and improving life in cities.  It is critical that we make progress in mainstreaming biodiversity and transforming how societies value and manage it.


    Despite numerous commitments, biodiversity loss continues to accelerate in all regions.  Only 15 per cent of countries are on track to achieve the Aichi Targets on biodiversity by the target date of 2020.  In addition, the anticipated expansion of sectors that both depend on and affect biodiversity – including agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture – will pose a significant challenge to halting biodiversity loss in the coming decades.


    Reversing these trends will require action by all sectors and stakeholders, from United Nations Member States and agencies to civil society, academia and business.  We need better research, and we need to act on the evidence that biodiversity is integral to achieving social and economic goals.


    The responsible use of natural resources is essential to sustainable development.  Mainstreaming biodiversity will ensure that addressing development needs and protecting the environment are mutually supportive.


    On this International Day for Biodiversity, I urge all Governments and stakeholders to preserve and sustainably manage the variety of life on Earth for the benefit of current and future generations.  Preserving biological diversity is a vital part of our compact with each other and the planet that nurtures us.


    Ban Ki-moon
    United Nations Secretary General






    Other Statements :

     
    Forum : International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May.


    Biodiversity underpins peoples’ livelihoods and sustainable development in all areas of activity, including economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, among others. By halting biodiversity loss, we are investing in people, their lives and their well-being.
    Read Sustainable Livelihoods Stories >

     
     









    Events : 2016 International Day for Biological Diversity Celebrations around the world.
    The CBD Secretariat encourages all parties to the Convention and all organizations that deal in some way with the issue to organize activities and events to celebrate the IDB and to take advantage of it to raise public awareness and to showcase their work.

    - For schools, children and youth: The Green Wave
    - Deusche Welle (DW) - European Seed Association (ESA) - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

    World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2016, 21 May.



     

     
     
    2016年主題: 慶祝文化多樣性
     
     
     
    Celebrating cultural diversity means valuing an outstanding source of exchanges, innovation and creativity, recognizing that the wealth of cultures is the constitutive power of humanity and an important asset for peace and development, the promotion of which is inseparable from the observance of human rights.
    Celebrating cultural diversity also means being aware of the ties that bind us to our environment, because cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature, as clearly stated in the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted in 2001.
    Celebrating Cultural diversity means opening up new perspectives for sustainable development and promoting creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship as sources of millions of jobs worldwide – particularly for young people and especially for women. Culture is a sustainable development accelerator whose potential has been recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations. Culture offers the unique opportunity to reconcile the economic and social aspects of development – cultural goods and services have identities, reference points and values, while enabling millions of creators, artists and professionals to make a living from their work. Celebrating cultural diversity means enabling them to practice their trade and helps them to enrich the cultural landscape, which in turn enriches us.
    Celebrating, at the same time, cultural diversity that broadens our horizons and human rights that unite us: this is the core of UNESCO’s mandate, for heritage, education, information and knowledge sharing. The enemies of human rights always attack cultural diversity, which symbolizes the freedom to be and to think,
    and which is unbearable to them. On this day, let us dare to respond to them collectively: I call upon all Member States to strengthen the spirit of this day, as a peaceful weapon against the temptations of isolationism, closure and exclusion, which lead humanity to renounce itself, ignoring its own wealth.
     
    Irina Bokova

     


     

    How to join the campaign?                                                        

    Ten simple things YOU can do to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
     
    1. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
    2. Invite a family or people in the neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
    3. Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
    4. Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
    5. Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi).
    6. Go next week-end to visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
    7. Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you find out where you are from. 
    8. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming festival in China.
    9. Spread your own culture around the world through our Facebook page and learn about other cultures.
    10. Explore music of a different culture.
     
    There are thousands of things that you can do, are you taking part in it?
     


     

     
    Events :

     
    Resources :
     
    WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION

     
    UNESCO
     
    Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
     
     
    Diversity of Cultural Expressions

     

    From setting up a digital arts laboratory in Senegal and boosting cultural policy development in Togo to strengthening the music scene in Tajikistan as well as training the new generation of cultural entrepreneurs in Argentina, UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) contributes towards sustainable development and poverty reduction through creativity. This film highlights the concrete impact of some of the projects financed by the IFCD around the world. The Fund supports developing countries to bolster economies and create jobs by restructuring cultural policies and strengthening capacities and structures in cultural and creative industries.


     

    International Museum Day 2016, May 18.

     Международный день музеев, 18 мая.
    國際博物館日, 5月18日.
    International Museum Day, May 18.
    Día Internacional de los Museos, 18 de mayo.
    Journée internationale des musées, le 18 mai.
    اليوم العالمي للمتاحف ,18 مايو


    May 18




    Theme 2016 : “Museums and Cultural Landscapes
    2016年的主題博物館和文化景觀
    Тема 2016: "Музеи и культурные ландшафты"
    Tema 2016 : " Museos y Paisajes Culturales."
    Thème 2016: "Musées et paysages culturels"
    موضوع 2016: "المتاحف والمناظر الطبيعية الثقافية"










    For an hour, a night or an entire week, participants are free to mark this unifying, universal occasion, which turns 38 this year, as they see fit. In 2016, the theme of the International Museum Day is “Museums and Cultural Landscapes”, also at the heart of debates that will take place during the ICOM General Conference, to be held in Milan from 3 to 9 July 2016. This theme implies that museums have a certain responsibility towards the landscapes where they are located, to which they are able to bring their own specific knowledge and skills. The main mission of museums is to oversee the safekeeping and protection of the heritage that lies both within and beyond their walls. 

    In the Siena Charter, the cultural landscape is proposed as “the country where we live, which surrounds us with the images and symbols that identify and characterize it.” According to this vision, the landscape is considered as the context – geographic, historical, economic, social and cultural – in which museums exist and operate. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.
    This initiative has proven successful, according to ICOM President Hans-Martin Hinz: “Museum visitors should learn about the past and enjoy the diversity of cultures”. The event benefits from growing popularity, and in 2015, gathered more than 35,000 museums which organised celebrations in some 145 countries on five continents
    In the words of Johanna Regalado, Project manager for the Ethnological Museum of Guayaquil, Ecuador, one of the museums involved in IMD: “Without a doubt, every year, every IMD brings about great expectations. Families, children, adults, everyone enjoys special activities created for them, and nobody knows how much time the museum workers devote to making sure that every moment, every programme is a success. It is a pleasure for us, of course!  It is an extraordinary moment for museums!   In 2015 for the theme ‘Museums for a Sustainable Society’, our museum celebrated the whole month with different special activities. These included ‘ReciclArte’ for children (award for the best artwork made with sustainable material), ‘children’s guidance’ in the MAAC Museum, an inclusive programme with a ceramics workshop for disabled people, conferences, a ‘Night at the Museum’ and more, all of which were organised and enjoyed during this very special month.”





    For the second year ICOM has created an interactive map, allowing museums worldwide  to update their activities planned for International Museum Day celebrations. This is a highly practical tool for museum visitors around the globe, as a quick and useful way to check which IMD activities are taking place in every part of the world.


    Events :
     
    More than 1900 IMD activities worldwide are online on the interactive map, from Europe (including 1,422 activities in Germany, 129 in Switzerland and 70 in Spain) to Asia (India, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand), the Americas and Australia.
    Most museums around the world celebrate International Museum Day from tomorrow, 18 May, until 22 May, with celebrations planned around the globe this coming weekend. 



    News :


    Victoria and Albert Museum, London