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U.N. International Awareness and Commemorative Dates

Outline: List of International days of observance established by the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). United Nations (U.N.) promotes international awareness and action on a number of important world issues. 24 March - International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.

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What Are International Days of Observance?

International days of observance, and/or awareness, are notable observed periods such as days, weeks, months, years and even decades, declared by various world governments, major groups and organizations to raise awareness of a particular issue, to commemorate a group or event, or created to celebrate an occasion.

By creating special dates or observances, the United Nations (U.N.) promotes international awareness and action on a number of important world issues.

Many of these dates have been established by:

Listed below is a list of international days of observance observed or declared by the United Nations.

International Awareness and Commemorative Dates as Observed by the United Nations
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U.N. International Days

January

  • 27 January - International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

February

  • 4 February - World Cancer Day
  • 6 February - International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • 13 February - World Radio Day
  • 20 February - World Day of Social Justice
  • 21 February - International Mother Language Day

March

  • 1 March - Zero Discrimination Day - (UNAIDS)
  • 3 March - World Wildlife Day
  • 8 March - International Women's Day
  • 20 March - International Day of Happiness
  • 21 March - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • 21 March - World Poetry Day - (UNESCO)
  • 21 March - International Day of Nowruz
  • 21 March - World Down Syndrome Day
  • 21 March - International Day of Forests
  • 22 March - World Water Day
  • 23 March - World Meteorological Day
  • 24 March - World Tuberculosis Day
  • 24 March - International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
  • 25 March - International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • 25 March - International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

April

  • 2 April - World Autism Awareness Day
  • 4 April - International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
  • 6 April - International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
  • 7 April - International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda
  • 7 April - World Health Day - (WHO)
  • 12 April - International Day of Human Space Flight
  • 22 April - International Mother Earth Day
  • 23 April - World Book and Copyright Day
  • 23 April - English Language Day
  • 24 - 30 April - World Immunization Week - (WHO)
  • 25 April - World Malaria Day - (WHO)
  • 26 April - World Intellectual Property Day - (WIPO)
  • 28 April - World Day for Safety and Health at Work
  • 29 April - Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
  • 30 April - International Jazz Day

May

  • 3 May - World Press Freedom Day
  • 8-9 May - Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War
  • 9-10 May - World Migratory Bird Day - (UNEP)
  • 15 May - International Day of Families
  • 17 May - World Telecommunication and Information Society Day - (ITU)
  • 21 May - World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialog and Development
  • 22 May - International Day for Biological Diversity
  • 23 May - International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
  • 29 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers
  • 31 May - World No-Tobacco Day - (WHO)

June

  • 1 June - Global Day of Parents
  • 1 June - "Vesak", the Day of the Full Moon
  • 4 June - International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
  • 5 June - World Environment Day - (UNEP)
  • 6 June - Russian Language Day at the UN - (in Russian)
  • 7 June - World Food Safety Day
  • 8 June - World Oceans Day
  • 12 June - World Day Against Child Labour
  • 13 June - International Albinism Awareness Day
  • 14 June - World Blood Donor Day - (WHO)
  • 15 June - World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
  • 17 June - World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
  • 20 June - World Refugee Day
  • 21 June - International Day of Yoga
  • 23 June - United Nations Public Service Day
  • 23 June - International Widows' Day
  • 25 June - Day of the Seafarer - (IMO)
  • 26 June - International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
  • 26 June - United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

July

  • 4 July - (first Saturday in July) - International Day of Cooperatives
  • 11 July - World Population Day
  • 15 July - World Youth Skills Day
  • 18 July - Nelson Mandela International Day
  • 28 July - World Hepatitis Day - (WHO)
  • 30 July - International Day of Friendship
  • 30 July - World Day against Trafficking in Persons

August

  • 9 August - International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
  • 12 August - International Youth Day
  • 19 August - World Humanitarian Day
  • 23 August - International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition - (UNESCO)
  • 29 August - International Day against Nuclear Tests
  • 30 August - International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

September

  • 5 September - International Day of Charity
  • 8 September - International Literacy Day - (UNESCO)
  • 12 September - United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
  • 15 September - International Day of Democracy
  • 16 September - International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
  • 21 September - International Day of Peace
  • 25 September - (last week of September) - World Maritime Day - (IMO)
  • 26 September - International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
  • 27 September - World Tourism Day

October

  • 1 October - International Day of Older Persons
  • 2 October - International Day of Non-Violence
  • 5 October - World Teachers Day - (UNESCO)
  • 5 October - (first Monday in October) - World Habitat Day
  • 9 October - World Post Day
  • 10 October - World Mental Health Day - (WHO)
  • 11 October - International Day of the Girl Child
  • 13 October - International Day for Disaster Reduction
  • 15 October - International Day of Rural Women
  • 16 October - World Food Day - (FAO)
  • 17 October - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • 20 October - World Statistics Day
  • 24 October - United Nations Day
  • 24 October - World Development Information Day
  • 27 October - World Day for Audiovisual Heritage - (UNESCO)
  • 31 October - World Cities Day

November

  • 2 November - International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
  • 6 November - International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
  • 10 November - World Science Day for Peace and Development
  • 14 November - World Diabetes Day
  • 15 November - (third Sunday in November) - World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
  • 16 November - International Day for Tolerance - (Resolution 5.61 of the 28th session of the UNESCO General Conference)
  • 19 November - World Toilet Day
  • 19 November - (third Thursday in November) - World Philosophy Day
  • 20 November - Africa Industrialization Day
  • 20 November - Universal Childrens Day
  • 21 November - World Television Day
  • 25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
  • 29 November - International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

December

  • 1 December - World AIDS Day
  • 2 December - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • 3 December - International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • 5 December - International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
  • 5 December - World Soil Day - (FAO)
  • 7 December - International Civil Aviation Day - (ICAO)
  • 9 December - International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime
  • 9 December - International Anti-Corruption Day
  • 10 December - Human Rights Day
  • 11 December - International Mountain Day
  • 18 December - International Migrants Day
  • 20 December - International Human Solidarity Day
U.N. International Weeks

February

  • 2 - 8 February (first week of February) - World Interfaith Harmony Week

March

  • 21 - 27 March - Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination

April

  • 19 - 23 April - Global Soil Week
  • 24 - 30 April - World Immunization Week (WHO)

May

  • 4 - 10 May - UN Global Road Safety Week (WHO)
  • 25 - 31 May - Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories

August

  • 1 - 7 August - World Breastfeeding Week - (WHO)

October

  • 4 - 10 October - World Space Week
  • 24 - 30 October - Disarmament Week

November

  • 9 - 15 November (the week in which 11 November falls) - International Week of Science and Peace
U.N. International Years
  • 2024 - International Year of Camelids
  • 2022 - International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • 2019 - International Year of Indigenous Languages, International Year of Moderation, International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements
  • 2018 -
  • 2017 - International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
  • 2016 - International Year of Pulses
  • 2015 - International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, International Year of Soils (FAO)
  • 2014 - International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, International Year of Small Island Developing States, International Year of Crystallography, International Year of Family Farming
  • 2013 - International Year of Water Cooperation, International Year of Quinoa
  • 2012 - International Year of Cooperatives, International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
  • 2011 - International Year for People of African Descent, International Year of Chemistry, International Year of Forests, International Year of Youth
  • 2010 - International Year of Youth (12 August 2010 - 11 August 2011), International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, International Year of Biodiversity, International Year of the Seafarer
  • 2009 - International Year of Reconciliation, International Year of Natural Fibers, International Year of Human Rights Learning, International Year of Astronomy, Year of the Gorilla (UNEP and UNESCO)
  • 2008 - International Year of Planet Earth, International Year of Languages, International Year of Sanitation, International Year of the Potato
  • 2007-2008 - International Polar Year (WMO)
  • 2006 - International Year of Deserts and Desertification
  • 2005 - International Year of Microcredit, International Year for Sport and Physical Education, International Year of Physics
  • 2004 - International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition, International Year of Rice
  • 2003 - Year of Kyrgyz Statehood, International Year of Freshwater
  • 2002 - United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, International Year of Mountains, International Year of Eco-tourism
  • 2001 - United Nations Year of Dialog among Civilizations, International Year of Volunteers, International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
  • 2000 - International Year of Thanksgiving - (A/RES/52/16), International Year for the Culture of Peace
  • 1999 - International Year of Older Persons
  • 1998 - International Year of the Ocean
  • 1996 - International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
  • 1995 - United Nations Year for Tolerance, World Year of Peoples Commemoration of the Victims of the Second World War
  • 1994 - International Year of the Family, International Year of Sport and the Olympic Ideal
  • 1993 - International Year for the World's Indigenous People
  • 1992 - International Space Year
  • 1990 - International Literacy Year
  • 1987 - International Year of Shelter for The Homeless
  • 1986 - International Year of Peace
  • 1985 - Year of the United Nations, International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace
  • 1983 - World Communications Year; Development of Communication Infrastructures
  • 1982 - International Year of Mobilization for Sanctions Against South Africa
  • 1981 - International Year for Disabled Persons
  • 1979 - International Year of The Child
  • 1978 - 1979 - International Anti-Apartheid Year
  • 1975 - International Women's Year
  • 1974 - World Population Year
  • 1971 - International Year for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Prejudice
  • 1970 - International Education Year
  • 1968 - International Year for Human Rights
  • 1967 - International Tourist Year
  • 1965 - International Co-operation Year
  • 1961 - International Health and Medical Research Year
  • 1959 - 1960 - World Refugee Year
U.N. International Decades
  • 2015 - 2024 - International Decade for People of African Descent
  • 2014 - 2024 - United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All
  • 2011 - 2020 - Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, Decade of Action for Road Safety
  • 2010 - 2020 - United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification
  • 2008 - 2017 - Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty
  • 2006 - 2016 - Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions (3rd decade after the Chernobyl disaster)
  • 2005 - 2015 - International Decade for Action, Water for Life
  • 2005 - 2014 - United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People
  • 2003 - 2012 - United Nations Literacy Decade: Education for All
  • 2001 - 2010 - International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa, Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism
  • 1997 - 2006 - Decade for The Eradication for Poverty
  • 1995 - 2004 - Decade for Human Rights Education
  • 1994 - 2004 - Decade of the World's Indigenous People
  • 1993 - 2003 - Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
  • 1991 - 2000 - Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa, Second Transport and Communications Decade in Africa, United Nations Decade Against Drug Abuse, Fourth United Nations Development Decade
  • 1990 - 2000 - International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism
  • 1990 - 1999 - United Nations Decade of International Law, International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction
  • 1990s - Third Disarmament Decade
  • 1988 - 1997 - World Decade for Cultural Development
  • 1983 - 1993 - Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
  • 1983 - 1992 - United Nations Decade for Disabled Persons
  • 1981 - 1990 - International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade, Third United Nations Development Decade
  • 1980 - 1990 - Second Disarmament Decade
  • 1980's - Industrial Development Decade for Africa
  • 1978 - 1988 - Transport and Communications Decade for Africa
  • 1976 - 1985 - United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace
  • 1973 - 1983 - Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
  • 1971 - 1980 - Second United Nations Development Decade
  • 1970's - Disarmament Decade
  • 1960 - 1970 - United Nations Development Decade

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