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UNESCO proclaims May 16th as the International Day of Light

Posted By Administration, Tuesday 14 November 2017
Updated: Tuesday 14 November 2017

PARIS, 14 November 2017: The 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference has today proclaimed the date of May 16th as the International Day of Light. The proclamation of this annual International Day will enable global appreciation of the central role that light and light-based technologies play in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, technology, culture, education, and sustainable development. The International Day of Light is an enduring follow-up to UNESCOs highly successful International Year of Light in 2015 that reached over 100 million people in over 140 countries. The International Day of Light was introduced to UNESCO by sponsors Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand and the Russian Federation, and supported at the UNESCO Executive Board and the General Conference by 27 countries: Argentina, Colombia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Iran, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Nigeria, Paraguay, Qatar, Togo, Vietnam, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The International Day of Light is administered from UNESCOs International Basic Science Programme by a Steering Committee that also includes representatives from: the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), Bosca, the European Centres for Outreach in Photonics (ECOP), the European Physical Society (EPS), the International Association of lighting Designers (IALD), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), - the international network of accelerator based light sources, Light: Science and Applications, The Optical Society (OSA), Philips Lighting, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) and Thorlabs.

Partners worldwide are now making plans for an ambitious series of outreach and education activities in May 2018, with special focus on students, young people and the public at large. In addition, a flagship inauguration featuring Nobel Laureates and leaders in areas of education, industry, design and lighting will take place on 16 May 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

Involvement and Opportunities: UNESCO welcomes all partners who wish to get involved in the International Day of Light either through organizing their own activities or by supporting the flagship event on May 16 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. For event registration, enquiries about partnership opportunities, and any other questions, please contact:

John Dudley, IDL 2018 Steering Committee Chair,

Jean-Paul Ngome Abiaga, International Basic Sciences Programme UNESCO HQ, Paris,


Jorge Rivero González, International Day of Light Secretariat & Press Officer,

Further Information

Twitter: and #IDL2018

Tags:  IDL2018  International Day of Light  International Year of Light 2015  IYL2015 

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Launch of the IYL 2015 Final Report on 3 October 2016

Posted By Administration, Tuesday 13 September 2016

The Final Report of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) will be delivered to UNESCO leadership at a special half-day event to be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on Monday 3 October 2016.

The IYL 2015 has been a tremendously successful global initiative with thousands of events reaching millions of people worldwide. United by the interdisciplinary theme of light, IYL 2015 has brought together a diverse range of participants along with UNESCO, all committed to raising awareness of how light science and technology provide solutions to the many challenges facing the world today.

The event will consist of an overview summarizing key facts and figures of the International Year, followed by a series of short speeches from a selection of IYL 2015 partners. Finally, the IYL 2015 Final Report will be officially delivered to the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences Flavia Schlegel. For more information, see the programme below.

Participation at the event is free but invitations are limited and therefore registration is mandatory. If you wish to attend the event, please contact as soon as possible to provide further details on the registration process.

Tags:  events  International Year of Light 2015  IYL 2015  report 

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Call for entries for IYL 2015 Film Festival at the IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony

Posted By Administration, Monday 23 November 2015
Dear all,

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) will be brought to an official close with a ceremony to be held over three days from 4-6 February 2016 in the city of Mérida, Mexico. As a parallel event of the programme, we are glad to announce the organization of the IYL 2015 Film Festival to showcase videos/documentaries developed to celebrate the IYL 2015. A call for entries is open to select films for the festival. We would appreciate if you can disseminate this information as wide as possible using your own dissemination channels in your countries.

The art of cinema can show us the true nature of life but it is just an illusion. An illusion, at 24 frames per second, which fools our eyes into sensing motion when light is projected onto a big screen. Over the year, many people worldwide have decided to celebrate light and the IYL 2015’s themes and goals by creating several videos documenting IYL 2015 anniversaries, physics phenomena related to light or just IYL 2015 activities. With this festival we would like to get a glimpse of what have been produced around the world and pay homage to the creators of the videos.

Information about Submission Process

1) Any form: Films of any length. (Shorts and Features)
2) Films that were produced to celebrate the IYL 2015 or that fit the IYL 2015 themes and goals
3) Films that are in English/Spanish or suitably subtitled in English (films originally produced in any languages are welcome).
4) Entries for selection are required to be sent in digital (upload) format.

How to submit a film:

Please fill in the following form (

Deadline for submission: Tuesday 15 December 2015 at 23:59:59 CET.


For any enquiries, please contact
For more information:

Best regards,

Jorge G. Rivero González
EPS IYL2015 Outreach Officer

Tags:  call  film  International Year of Light 2015  IYL 2015 

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