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International Days and Observances


nternational Days and Observances are days in the calendar that have been designated to highlight issues and themes of critical global importance to humanity and to the Earth itself. Most of such days are designated by the UN General Assembly, with a UN Agency acting as the Lead Organization, to celebrate the year. International Days and Observances are used to commemorate, promote and mobilize action at the international, national and local levels.

International Days
that are closely related to GDRC's programmes and projects are marked with a yellow background and explained further with additional information links.

• 4 World Braille Day
• 24 International Day of Education

2 World Wetlands Day
• 21 International Mother Language Day

8 International Women's Day
• 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
• 21 World Poetry Day
21 International Day of Forests
22 World Water Day
23 World Meteorological Day

7 World Health Day
18 World Heritage Day
• 23 World Book and Copyright Day
• 24 International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace

• 3 World Press Freedom Day
• 15 International Day of Families
17 World Telecommunication Day + Information Society Day
21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
22 International Day for Biological Diversity
• 25 Africa day
• 25- to 1 June - Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories
• 29 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
• 31 World No-Tobacco Day

• 4 International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
5 World Environment Day
8 World Oceans Day
17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
20 World Refugee Day
• 23 United Nations Public Service Day

• 3 (First Saturday) International Day of Cooperatives
11 World Population Day
• 15 World Youth Skills Day
26 World Mangrove Day
• 30 World Day against Trafficking in Persons

9 International Day of the World's Indigenous People
• 12 International Youth Day
19 World Humanitarian Day
• 23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

8 International Literacy Day
16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
21 International Day of Peace
27 World Tourism Day
• Last Week World Maritime Day

Urban October Between World Habitat Day on 3 October, and World Cities Day on 30 October, the world community celebrates "Urban October" - a series of events and campaigns to promote a better urban future. Urban October was developed to raise awareness, promote participation, generate knowledge and engage the international community towards a New Urban Agenda, in 31 days of promoting a Better Urban Future.

• 1 International Day for Older Persons
• 4 - 10 World Space Week
3 World Habitat Day
5 World Teacher's Day
10 International day for Disaster Reduction
• 9 World Post Day
• 10 World Mental Health Day
16 World Food Day
17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
• 24 United Nations Day and World Development Information Day
• 24-30 Disarmament Week
31 World Cities Day

• 6 International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
• 10 World Science Day for Peace and Development
• 16 International Day of Tolerance
19 World Toilet Day
• 20 Universal Children's Day and Africa Industrialization Day
• 21 World Television Day
21 World Fisheries Day
• 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
• 29 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

• 1 World AIDS Day
• 2 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
• 3 International Day of Disabled Persons
5 International Volunteer Day
• 7 International Civil Aviation Day
• 10 Human Rights Day
• 11 International Mountain Day
• 18 International Migrants Day

International Decades During the decade of 2020-2030, the world community also observes the following decades:

• United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030)
• United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030)
• United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)
• Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace (2019-2028)
• United Nations Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028)
• International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development" (2018-2028)
• Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018-2027)
• United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025)
• Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2025)
• International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)
• United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024)

International Days and Observances are closely interlinked to the 17 SDGs. See resources developed by GDRC on the topic:

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of critical global concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. See full list

Besides the individual international days listed here, the world community also observes a number of "Decades" on different themes, particularly focused on the Post-2015 Agendas.

Comments and suggestions may please be sent to GDRC's Coordinator at -