World Civil Defence Day – 1st March
World Civil Defence Day is celebrated on 1st March every year, its an attempt to praise the huge developmental role shouldered by Civil Defence in protecting lives, resources, and national achievements.
It was on 1st March 1990 when the day was incorporated by International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO).
The International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO) is an intergovernmental organization whose objective is to contribute to the development by States of structures ensuring the protection and assistance of populations and safeguarding property and the environment in the face of natural and man-made disasters. These structures are generally known as civil protection, civil defense, civil safety and are all concerned with the management of emergency situations. The ICDO federates the national structures established by States for this purpose with the aim of favoring cooperation and mutual solidarity between them.
In the Terms of its Constitution, the ICDO:
- FEDERATES the national civil defense services of Member States and
- REPRESENTS them at the international level
- CONTRIBUTES to the creation and reinforcement of national civil defense structures
- EXTENDS technical assistance and consultancy services to national civil defense services
- DESIGNS AND DEVELOPS training and information programs for the personnel of civil defense services and the population
The issue of the defense of civil population especially actual in wartime situations. The first man who conceived it was the French Surgeon-General George Saint-Paul who founded the Association of “Geneva Zones” in Paris, on 28 May 1931. This gave him the idea to create safety areas or neutralized zones, were civilians, in particular women, children, the elderly, and the infirm, could seek refuge in times of war.
In 1936, in line with its mandate to work for the humanization of armed conflict, the Association launched a call for the establishment of areas of refuge for the population during the Spanish Civil War, the Sino-Japanese War (1937), and later in France during the Second World War.
In 1958, the International Association of Geneva Zones becomes the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO) and was given a new status as a non-governmental organization with the following objectives: establishing a liaison between national civil defense organizations; undertaking and promoting studies and research on population protection matters; facilitating the exchange of experience and the coordination of efforts in the area of disaster prevention, preparedness, and intervention.
In 1972 the representatives of ICDO member states approved the current text of the organization’s constitution, which entered into force on 1 March 1972. It attributes the status of the intergovernmental organizations to the ICDO. March 1 was established as World Civil Defense Day.
The day is celebrated to raise awareness and bring the attention of the world public to the vital importance of civil protection. This day is very special because on this day every citizen raises awareness of the preparedness for, and prevention and self-protection measures in the event of acidents or disasters.
The main purpose of the World Civil Defence Day celebration is to promote public awareness about civil defense, civil protection, and emergency management in order to better prepare the civilian population to *VOLUNTEER* to protect itself & others in the event of an emergency and to reduce the risk of disaster.
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