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International Year of Light

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies,


2015 (IYL 2015) is a United Nations observance that aims to raise
awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and
its importance to humankind. IYL 2015 opening ceremonies will be held
19-20 January 2015 in Paris.

International Year of Light logo

The International Year of Light is "a global initiative adopted by the United
Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote
sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in
energy, education, agriculture, communications and health."
UNESCO delegates from Ghana and Mexico introduced the proposal to the
Executive Board, explaining the motivation and mission underlying the
International Year of Light. The resolution was adopted by the Executive
Board joined by co-signatories from a further 28 Board Members. The
resolution proposing an IYL 2015 was placed before the 190th Session of
the UNESCO executive board held in Paris from 1318 October 2012 by
Ghana, Mexico, and the Russian Federation (Board Members) and New
Zealand (UNESCO Member State).
The International Year of Light is a global initiative which will highlight to
the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies
in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. It is a
unique opportunity to inspire, educate, and connect on a global scale.
The resolution A/RES/68/221 proclaiming the IYL 2015 was adopted on 20
December 2013 during a plenary meeting of the 68th Session of the UN
General Assembly, with the General Assembly acting on the
recommendation of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) during
consideration of an Agenda item on Science and Technology for
Development.
This International Year has been the initiative of a large consortium of scientific
bodies together with UNESCO, and will bring together many different stakeholders

including scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology


platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners.
In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its
applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global
awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development
and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and
health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting
discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up
international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking
cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.

An International Year of Light is a tremendous opportunity to


ensure that international policymakers and stakeholders are
made aware of the problem-solving potential of light
technology. We now have a unique opportunity to raise global
awareness of this.
says John Dudley, Chairman of the IYL 2015 Steering
Committee.