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Why the UN’s Year of Glass is important

, Glass International

The industry has endorsed a plan to pursue a United Nations (UN) International Year of Glass for 2022.

There are plenty of arguments supporting the significance of glass as an enabling material for building a sustainable society. The concept of a UN International Year of Glass was first introduced at the 2018 fall annual meeting of the International Commission on Glass (ICG) in Yokohama, Japan. 

Encouragement received at this meeting gave rise to renewed effort to secure a UN International Year of Glass for the year 2022. This was to coincide with ICG’s International Congress on Glass in Berlin, Germany during the 100th anniversary of the German Society of Glass Technology. The initiative to solicit the United Nations to declare a resolution for an International Year of Glass evolved from a series of events in recent years.

In 2014 Corning Incorporated introduced arrival of the “Glass Age.”

A special issue of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science published the article 'Welcome to the Glass Age' by Dr. David L. Morse and Dr. Jeffrey W. Evenson. Subsequently, this idea of a Glass Era was spearheaded in technical presentations at scientific meetings across the globe.

In May 2019, the ICG, The Corning Museum of Glass, the American Ceramic Society and the Glass Art Society endorsed this initiative to the Office of the US Mission of the UN in New York City.  A meeting in Madrid with the UN Ambassador from Spain further encouraged the effort to promote and lead this historical undertaking. At a celebration in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 11th June 2019, the Council of the International Commission on Glass strongly supported and approved the initiative and agreed to bring the proposal to the United Nations.

The Community of Glass Associations organised by Italian glass manufacturers and machinery associations, gathering glass associations, journals and magazines of the glass field met 10th-12th July 2019 in Venice, Italy, and added the most recent strong support to the initiative.

A UN Year of Glass in 2022 would underline the technological, scientific and economic role of glass and the importance of a year of glass for improving the performance and development of key technologies that contribute to meet the challenges of a sustainable society.

Extensive planning is now underway at the international level to make possible a UN Year of Glass. Part of this planning process is to reach out to both art and scientific glass-themed societies and museums and share this concept with them. Formal endorsements will be requested to permit arriving to a successful resolution at UN General Assembly in July 2020.

Securing a Year of Glass would the first time a material has been celebrated in this manner.

, © Glass International

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