Updated: Sep 21, 2018
The objective is to raise awareness for the importance of identity in a modern society and to pay homage to SDG 16.9.
Press Release: 4/24/2018
Abuja, Nigeria: During the opening ceremony of ID4Africa 2018, a petition to observe September 16 as International Identity Day was launched. The choice of the date is in recognition of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9 which calls for legal identity for all including birth registration by 2030.
International days of observance are an effective and practical way to raise awareness and generate momentum around an issue. According to the UN "United Nations observances contribute to the achievement of the purposes of the UN Charter and promote awareness of and action on important political, social, cultural, humanitarian or human rights issues. They provide a useful means for the promotion of international and national action and stimulate interest in United Nations activities and programmes."
Executive Chairman of ID4Africa, Dr. Joseph J. Atick, said “The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the important role identity plays in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society. Many causes have special days of observances, except identity. The time has come for the world to recognize one of the most important assets a human can possess, their legal identity.”
If adopted, countries and organizations that choose to observe this day, would be encouraged to organize events and activities that stimulate public awareness and sensitize legislators and public servants about the responsible adoption of legal identity and the necessary protections around it to ensure that it is a tool for public good.
Dr. Atick in the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting said “ID4Africa, its board of advisors and the host of this year, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), call upon all identity stakeholders around the world to join them, by signing the petition, that will be submitted to the United Nations General Secretariat, pursuant to UN protocol for declaration of observance days.”
This is the first step in an involved process that started today in Abuja and that will not end until the declaration of 16 September as International Identity Day at the UN in New York. ID4Africa, as the initiating institution, is coordinating a series of actions with its partners and supports to build momentum for this campaign. The petition will be available for signing in person duration the Annual Meeting in Abuja and it will also be available for signature online at www.id-day.org
The Annual Meeting opened this morning to record crowds reaching nearly 1600 official delegates that have come from 90 countries around the world including 47 African Nations. The scale and diversity of the event are the ideal opportunity to get signatures in support of International Identity Day, as many of the world’s identity stakeholders are present today in Abuja at ID4Africa 2018.
ID4Africa is an ID-4-All Movement that accompanies African nations on their journey to develop robust and responsible ID ecosystems around digital identity in the service of development, humanitarian action, security and facilitation. It is a tripartite with representation from African governments, development agencies and industry. The aim is to share experience and establish real world best practices that set the correct expectations for what is involved in launching and sustaining successful identity programs. The Movement holds an Annual Meeting in a different African country each year. The Movement was founded in 2014 and held its inaugural meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2015, followed by Annual Meetings in Kigali, Rwanda and Windhoek, Namibia and now in Abuja.