International Family Day 2021 – Message from our President.

Dear Members, Collaborators, Colleagues and Friends,

Today our world is characterized by accelerated and unprecedented pace of change. Globalization, new technologies, migration, changing labour markets, transnational environmental challenges, political stability and the COVID-19 Pandemia, completely changed families lives demanding new habits, skills, knowledge needed for work and in special strong feelings of citizenship belonging to face the present “new normal”.

Acknowledging that the family – the basic unit of society – is a powerful agent for sustainable social, economic, environment and cultural development, including peace and security, bearing the primary responsibility for the care, development and protection of children and the elderly, as well as instilling values of citizenship and belonging in the society, this 2021 Celebrations of the International Family Day provide us an opportunity to draw further attention to the increasing cooperation at all levels on family issues and to undertak concerted actions to strengthen family-centered policies and programs as part of an integrated comprehensive approach to development.

Until a few months back, not many of us had heard phrases connected to our health and survival like “the apex”, “flattening the curve” or “stay at home to save lives”. But these are unprecedented times. The world is facing one of the gravest health challenges in modern times bringing families the opportunity to test bonds and kindness towards its members and the society as a whole, in solidarity and compassion.

Technological development, particularly digitization, deserves increasingly attention. Due to automatization, new occupations are emerging while others are no longer in demand. The digital economy itself is also bringing-in new types of informality and vulnerability. At a time when millions of families will need the set of skills that is required for work and life, the challenge for all countries is to develop and implement effective education, lifelong learning and training policies that include a focus on re-skilling and upskilling.

A global pandemic is a time of tough choices. The economic and social policy decisions taken now will shape the fate of millions families and define the future of all nations. Many questions have to be answered to allow for right choices: How to save people’s lives without destroying their livelihoods? Where to allocate scarce resources? How to protect those who do not have the means to protect themselves?

In the above mentioned context, its our wish that the Celebrations of the International Family Day 2021 will bring us the opportunity to seek for a better understanding on how to address the social and economic impacts and the digital gaps on the family and the role that social protection schemes can play in face of the complex drivers and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic on the social fabric and on the wider family that is human society.

Happy 2021 International Family Day!

Dr. Deisi Kusztra
WFO President

Mr. Isidro de Brito – WFO Vice-President for Legal and Administrative Affairs
Viviane Weingärtner – WFO Focal Point for the Latin America
Sofia Silva – WFO Focal Point for Europe