May 16 of every year is set aside to CIE is pleased to participate in the Steering Committee of the IDL and to support the promotion, understanding and better awarness that Light is of fundamental importance in our daily life, our environment, in fact the Universe itself.
This importance is well expressed in this message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, on the occassion of this year's International Day of Light.
In Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia begs her father, Agamemnon, not
to obey goddess Artemis’ order to sacrifice her. Of all the reasons for staying
alive, for Iphigenia, the most important is the sweet contemplation of light.
Light here symbolizes life, and it is foremost among all other determinations.
Light comes first; light allows us to see the world. Its essential nature makes
light a central concern for all civilizations.
The importance of light marks the architecture of World Heritage sites: the
rose windows of Notre-Dame de Paris or the very structure of Machu Picchu,
designed in accordance with the sun’s path in the sky.
Light and its treatment are essential elements of the visual and performing
arts, literature, and human thought. Beyond the meaningful symbolism of light
in works of art, philosophy, or the human sciences, the conception of light, as
evinced in such works, has evolved as our scientific understanding has grown.
Light is a natural phenomenon which science has come to understand and
learned to use, and it plays an essential role in all the sciences and their
applications. From the birth of the universe to the creation of all kinds of new
technologies, from X-rays to radio waves, in fields as diverse as medicine,
agriculture, energy, optics, and countless others, light has shaped – and
continues to shape – our world. By understanding light, we are able to achieve
the greatest of scientific and technological progress.
All its natural benefits and its scientific and technological applications make
light an essential part of the daily life of our societies; these benefits and
applications make light an important issue for the Sustainable Development
Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Particularly crucial are the issues surrounding electrical access to light as a
means of improving the standard of living in developing countries, and the
issues concerning the optical fibre used to connect the world’s citizens through
the Internet. The resulting communication networks can lead to more cultural
exchanges, more justice, responsibility, and peace.
The International Day of Light shows the importance of light in people’s lives,
its importance in all areas of life. This day was first observed last year in 87
countries. The International Day of Light is being celebrated for a second
time this year, and on the occasion of its celebration, UNESCO affirms its
commitment to the international scientific community and its work on this
most important subject.