Human Rights Calendar 2017

JANUARY

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is held on January 27th every year in remembrance of the millions who died as a result of the Holocaust during World War II. Its annual observance is meant to remind future generations of the atrocities committed against Jews and other minorities.

FEBRUARY

World Cancer Day

Every year on the 4th of February, the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer raises awareness about cancer through World Cancer Day. The purpose of the day is to spread the word about lifestyle changes that can lower the risk of cancer, which kills more than 8 million people worldwide every year.

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (A/RES/67/146)

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is observed on February 6th of every year as an outcry against the mutilation of girls’ genitals. On this day, the World Health Organization and the United Nations perform public outreach to raise awareness about this terrible abuse of human rights that has injured more than 200 million girls and women worldwide.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science (A/RES/70/212)

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an annual event held on February 11th that has two purposes. First, the day celebrates the achievements of women who have contributed in all branches of science. Secondly, the annual event seeks to encourage young girls and female teens to pursue an education in sciences.

World Radio Day

World Radio Day is celebrated every year on February 13th. Although the radio is not the primary form of communication today, for years it was the only way to spread the word quickly about natural disasters and other important news. This day seeks to honor the place of the radio in history.

World Day of Social Justice

The World Day of Social Justice is held on the 20th of February every year to encourage all countries to institute policies that protect the rights of people, promote equality and protect the planet. Individuals are encouraged to speak out against injustices, and events take place all around the world to raise awareness about social justice issues.

International Mother Language Day (A/RES/56/262)

International Mother Language Day is an annual event observed on February 21st to recognize the importance of keeping mother tongues alive throughout the world. It seeks to encourage educators and schools to continue to provide education in languages other than English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, so that cultures can retain their identities.

MARCH

Zero Discrimination Day

Zero Discrimination Day is an event held on the March 1st to combat all forms of discrimination around the world. People are encouraged to sign up to say that they support full equality for all individuals regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status or religion.

World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day takes place every 3rd of March to raise awareness about animals that are being endangered by human activities. Often, a particular species is focused on for each year’s celebration. In the past, elephants, whales and other animals in danger of extinction have been honored with the event.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is held on March 8th every year to further efforts to bring full equality to women in every country of the world. On this day, events take place to raise awareness about inequality across the globe. The United Nations invites speakers from all over the world to address the assembly in honor of the event.

International Day of Happiness (A/RES/66/281)

On March 20th of every year, the United States sponsors the International Day of Happiness. The purpose of the event is to remind people all over the world of the importance of having a high quality of life filled with happiness. Programs related to mental health and promoting a more peaceful world are often launched on this day.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (A/RES/2142 (XXI)

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is held on March 21st every year to raise awareness about the many forms of racial discrimination that continue to take place around the world. In honor of the event, the United Nations holds events that educate the public on everything from genocide to institutional racism.

World Poetry Day (UNESCO 30 C/Resolution 29)

World Poetry Day is held on March 21st every year to celebrate the literary art form of poetry. Schools around the world are encouraged to read poetry in classrooms and live poetry readings are sponsored all over the globe. One or more accomplished poets are usually invited to address the United Nations.

International Day of Nowruz (A/RES/64/253)

The International Day of Nowruz is held on March 21st every year to coincide with the celebration of Norwuz, a holiday that is observed in many parts of Central Asia and the Middle East. Its annual observance is meant to help preserve the heritage of groups in the region and to promote international solidarity.

World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149)

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects millions of people around the world. On March 21st of every year, the United Nations holds World Down Syndrome Day to educate the public about what it means to have the disease and to develop strategies and programs to improve the quality of life for individuals with Downs and their families.

International Day of Forests (A/RES/67/200)

The International Day of Forests is an annual event held on March 21st. Its purpose is to promote the conservation of forests around the world, which more than 1.6 billion people rely on for their homes. In honor of the event, the United Nations typically invites speakers to address the assembly on topics related to climate change and deforestation.

World Water Day (A/RES/47/193)

World Water Day takes place on March 22nd of every year in hopes of one day putting an end to water shortages across the world. The day raises awareness about the fact that millions of people do not have access to clean water and to the importance that water plays for the global economy.

World Meteorological Day [WMO] WMO/EC-XII/Res.6

World Meteorological Day is held on March 23rd each year to discuss topics related to meteorological science. Because climate change has a major impact on weather patterns, the annual event often includes programs and events related to conservation and environmentalism. Experts in the field of meteorology are honored by the United Nations on the day.

World Tuberculosis Day [WHO]

While tuberculosis has been mostly cured in many parts of the world, thousands still contract it every year. World Tuberculosis Day seeks to raise awareness of the disease with the United Nations conducting annual hearings on March 24th to discuss the epidemic. Projects initiated in conjunction with the event have saved more than 43 million lives, according to the World Health Organization.

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights
Violations and for the Dignity of Victims (A/RES/65/196)

On March 24th of each year, the United Nations observes International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. The event is a time to reflect on genocide, slavery and other extreme abuses of human rights and is intended to shed light on these subjects to ensure that these types of injustices are not repeated in the future.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic
Slave Trade (A/RES/62/122)

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is held on March 24th to reflect on the impact of the 400 years of slave trade that displaced 15 million men, women and children. Its purpose is to keep the memory of these individuals alive for future generations and to address racism in the modern world.

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

On March 25th, the United Nations holds the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members in order to remember United Nations workers who went missing in the line of duty or who are currently or were imprisoned. The purpose is not just to pay tribute to them but to continue to push for their release and for the search to gain information about their whereabouts.

APRIL

World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139)

Autism affects millions of adults and children around the world and is being diagnosed at an alarming pace. On April 2nd of every year, World Autism Awareness Day is held to raise awareness about the disease and to call for continued research into the causes of the condition and potential treatments.

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action (A/RES/60/97)

On April 4th, the United Nations sponsors International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. The purpose of the event is to continue to push for programs for sweeping for land mines in areas where armed conflicts have taken place in order to protect innocent civilians from injury and death.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (A/RES/67/296)

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is held on April 6th every year to promote athletic competition as a way of bringing together diverse peoples from around the world. In honor of the occasion, athletic programs take place across the globe, and the United Nations invites athletes and coaches to address the Assembly.

International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda (A/RES/58/234)

On April 7th of every year, the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda is held to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands killed during the genocide in Rwanda that took place in 1994 and was perpetrated against the Tutsi ethnic group. Memorials are held around the world in their honor.

World Health Day [WHO] (WHA/A.2/Res.35)

The World Health Organization and the United Nations cosponsor World Health Day on April 7th of every year. Each year, the event seeks to raise awareness about diseases that are having a major impact on populations around the world, such as diabetes, cancer and HIV and AIDS.

International Day of Human Space Flight (A/RES/65/271)

On April 12th, the United Nations sponsors the International Day of Human Space Flight. The purpose of the day is both to honor the achievements of astronauts and the scientists and engineers who have made spaceflight possible and to encourage the continued exploration of space for the betterment of all of mankind.

International Mother Earth Day (A/RES/63/278)

On April 22nd, International Mother Earth Day is held to promote conservation and spread awareness about environmental concerns. It was on this date that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed, and every year, there are numerous programs and celebrations held around the world to honor the Earth and educate people on how best to protect it.

World Book and Copyright Day (UNESCO 28 C/Resolution 3.18)

World Book and Copyright Day is held on April 23rd every year the same day that three important writers–Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vegas–died. Its purpose is to celebrate the importance of books to both mankind’s past and future and to encourage people everywhere to pick up a book and read.

English Language Day

English Language Day is held on April 23rd every year, the same day as the birthday of William Shakespeare. The purpose of the event is to honor one of the two primary official languages of the United Nations and to encourage the study of English around the world without sacrificing local languages.

World Malaria Day [WHO]

On April 25th, the world celebrates World Malaria Day, an event sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The purpose of the day is to encourage more research and donations for medical supplies to help stamp out the disease of malaria which continues to affect more than 200 million people every year.

World Intellectual Property Day [WIPO]

World Intellectual Property Day is held on April 26th of every year to raise awareness about the importance of protecting individuals’ intellectual property. On this day, the United Nations listens to speakers discuss various problems related to international intellectual property laws and works to come up with solutions to these problems.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The United Nations sponsors World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28th of every year to encourage employers around the world to promote safe, healthy work environments for their employees. Governments are encouraged to examine their laws and rules that are in force to protect workers.

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare (OPCW C-10/5)

On April 29th, the United Nations holds the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare. The date corresponds with the day that Chemical Weapons Convention that banned the use of these deadly weapons was enacted. Its purpose is to remember those who perished before the laws were put into place and to those who continue to suffer due to governments ignoring the policies.

International Jazz Day (UNESCO 36 C/Resolution 39)

International Jazz Day is held on April 30th of every year to celebrate the role that jazz has played in shaping societies around the world and for providing for free, creative expression. Jazz musicians often visit the United Nations on this date, and concerts are held worldwide for the public.

MAY

World Press Freedom Day (UNESCO 26 C/Resolution 4.3)

On May 3rd, the United Nations sponsors World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness about the importance of a free press in a democratic world. The event seeks to call attention to instances of censorship, propaganda and other interferences with the free press in hopes of putting an end to these human rights abuses.

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War (A/RES/59/26)

About 3 percent of the world’s population was killed during the fighting of World War II and the Holocaust that coincided with it. On May 8th and 9th of every year, the United Nations remembers these individuals with the Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War.

World Migratory Bird Day [UNEP]

Since 2006, the United Nations has celebrated World Migratory Bird Day on May 9th and 10th. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about the importance that migratory birds have in their ecosystems and how human activities endanger and interfere with these species.

International Day of Families (A/RES/47/237)

The International Day of Families is held on May 15th of every year as a part of the United Nations’ efforts to improve the lives of families around the world. Every year, the UN chooses a different theme for the event, focusing on everything from promoting education to ending poverty.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (A/RES/60/252; ITU Resolution 68/2006)

The United Nations sponsors World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on May 17th of every year in order to support efforts to continue to improve communications on a global scale using cellular devices, the Internet and other forms of communication. Important individuals and experts in telecommunications and IT often address the Assembly on this day.

“Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon (A/RES/54/115)

“Vesak,” the Day of the Full Moon is held on May 20th of every year in celebration of the most sacred event in the Buddhist faith. The day honors when the Buddha was born and also when he achieved enlightenment. It is celebrated globally on this day as a show of solidarity with Buddhists worldwide.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (A/RES/57/249)

On May 21st of every year, the United Nations holds World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The purpose of this day is to encourage governments around the world to foster diversity and help all cultures in their societies retain their identities in order to develop stronger nations.

International Day for Biological Diversity (A/RES/55/201)

The International Day for Biological Diversity is held on May 22nd of every year in hopes of raising awareness about the importance of protecting all of the species in our global ecosystems. On this date, the United Nations holds hearings and events related to species protection and conservation.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (A/RES/67/147)

Obstetric fistula is a complication of delivery that impacts the lives of millions of women and results in many deaths. On May 23rd, the United Nations and the World Health Organization cosponsor the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula to educate the public and medical providers about how this preventable complication can be eliminated worldwide.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers (A/RES/57/129)

UN Peacekeepers are called into some of the most dangerous situations in the world with a simple mission to preserve peace. On May 29th of every year, the United Nations thanks these brave men and women with the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, often wearing blue in honor of the hats that the workers don.

World No-Tobacco Day [WHO] (WHA Resolution 42.19)

Every year tobacco claims the lives of 6 million people. Although tobacco use is diminishing around the world, the problems it causes persist, which is why the United Nations and the World Health Organization cosponsor World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st every year. The annual event seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use.

JUNE

Global Day of Parents (A/RES/66/292)

Since 2012, the United Nations has celebrated the Global Day of Parents on June 1st of every year. The day is meant to honor mothers and fathers for the sacrifices that they make to raise their children and to further programs and campaigns that assist parents around the world.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression (A/RES/ES-7/8)

The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is held on June 4th of every year to remember children whose lives are negatively impacted by armed conflicts around the world. Relief programs are launched in war-torn areas on this date to help provide services, care and protection for young people.

World Environment Day (A/RES/2994 (XXVII)

World Environment Day is held on June 5th of each year to promote the importance of protecting the planet. Every year, the United Nations focuses on a set theme, inviting speakers and holding hearings related to how to solve various environmental problems, such as protecting endangered species or addressing climate change.

World Oceans Day (A/RES/63/111)

The United Nations observes World Oceans Day on June 8th every year to encourage people around the world to work to promote cleaner oceans. Various events take place worldwide in honor of the event, which focuses on ways to combat industrial and consumer pollution to protect ocean waters and the species that live in them.

World Day Against Child Labour

Although much of the world has made child labour illegal, children in some countries are still forced to work like slaves. Since 2002, the United Nations has committed June 12th of every year to fighting this problem and putting an end to it for good as a part of World Day Against Child Labour.

International Albinism Awareness Day (A/RES/69/170)

International Albinism Awareness Day is held on June 13th every year to educate the public about albinism, a condition that is largely misunderstood. The United Nations launches educational campaigns on this day every year and typically invites people living with the condition to speak in front of the Assembly.

World Blood Donor Day [WHO] (WHA Resolution 58.13)

World Blood Donor Day is held on June 14th of every year through cooperation between the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The purpose of the event is to encourage people in every country to donate blood in order to save the lives of those who are in need.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (A/RES/66/127)

Millions of senior citizens are victims of elder abuse around the world, and often, they suffer in silence with no one to protect them. On June 15th of every year, the United Nations sponsors World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to educate the world about the problem in hopes of addressing it.

International Day of Family Remittances (GC 38/Resolution 189)

On June 16th of every year, the United Nations sponsors International Day of Family Remittances. The purpose of this day to educate the public about migrant workers who leave their homes in order to work abroad and send money home to support their families who are often living in poverty in developing nations.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (A/RES/49/115)

While deserts are natural features of the environment, mankind is having a detrimental impact on the planet and causing many areas that were once lush to become deserts. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought seeks to raise awareness of this problem and to promote responsible land use. It is held on June 17th every year.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict (A/RES/69/293)

Although sexual violence as a war tactic is a war crime, it is still commonplace in many parts of the world. The United Nations hopes to call attention to this barbaric practice and eradicate it and uses International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict held on June 19th to educate the world about it.

World Refugee Day (A/RES/55/76)

World Refugee Day is held on June 20th of every year to raise awareness of the challenges facing individuals who are forced to flee their homes due to armed conflict and natural disasters. The United Nations sponsors the event in hopes of encouraging countries to treat refugees with dignity and respect.

International Day of Yoga (A/RES/69/131)

Yoga has been proven to provide health benefits, to alleviate stress and promote emotional well-being. On June 21st of each year, the United Nations seeks to educate the public about the many benefits of yoga through the International Day of Yoga. Programs promoting yoga are held throughout the world on this day.

United Nations Public Service Day (A/RES/57/277)

United Nations Public Service Day is held on June 23rd every year to spread the word about what an impact everyday people can have when they choose to serve their communities. Volunteer programs are held in communities all around the world in honor of the event, and the UN encourages employees to volunteer their time.

International Widows’ Day (A/RES/65/189)

On June 23rd of every year, the United Nations holds International Widows’ Day. The purpose of this day is to remind societies that people who lose their spouses may face a number of problems from depression to isolation to financial insecurity. Individuals, communities and governments are encouraged to support those who have lost their spouses through programs and campaigns.

Day of the Seafarer [IMO] (STCW/CONF.2/DC.4)

The Day of the Seafarer is held on June 25th of every year. Through the event, the United Nations hopes to call attention to the importance that the maritime industry has on world economies and to pay tribute to the men and women who spend time away from their families to work in the industry.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (A/RES/42/112)

Drug addiction is a global epidemic, and drug trafficking has led to rampant violence in many countries of the world. On June 26th, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness about these problems through the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, an event that encourages individual and government involvement in the war on drugs.

United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (A/RES/52/149)

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is an annual event held on June 26th to raise awareness about the fact that despite being banned under the Geneva Convention, torture continues to be used for interrogations and to humiliate people during times of war.

JULY

International Day of Cooperatives (A/RES/47/90)

On July 2nd of each year, the United Nations sponsors the International Day of Cooperatives. The day seeks to promote cooperatives that come together for the betterment of mankind and to protect the planet. A different theme is chosen for the event each year.

World Population Day (UNDP decision 89/46 15, A/RES/45/216)

World Population Day is celebrated on July 11th of each year as a time to reflect on population growth and segments of the global population that are in need. Every year, the United Nations chooses a different theme for the event, such as caring for the elderly or investing in adolescent girls.

World Youth Skills Day (A/RES/69/145)

World Youth Skills Day is held on July 15th of each year as a time to celebrate the achievements of teenagers and people in their 20s. The purpose of the event is to empower young people and inspire them to be leaders in their communities, countries and globally.

Nelson Mandela International Day (A/RES/64/13)

Nelson Mandela International Day is held on July 18th of every year and was set up in November 2009 to honor the life’s work of Nelson Mandela who fought against apartheid in South Africa. The day seeks to promote freedom, justice and democracy all around the world.

World Hepatitis Day [WHO]

Hepatitis is a group of diseases that kills more than 1 million people around the world every year. Often, the disease is preventable, and on July 28th, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness about how people can protect themselves and their families through programs associated with World Hepatitis Day.

International Day of Friendship (A/RES/65/275)

The International Day of Friendship is held on July 30th of every year in hopes of promoting peace, brotherhood and solidarity in communities, between countries and around the world. People are encouraged to reflect on the importance of friendship in their lives and to let their friends know how much they mean on this day.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons (A/RES/68/192)

More than 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, and these individuals may spend their lives in forced labor without help. On July 30th of every year, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness of the problem through the observance of World Day against Trafficking in Persons .

AUGUST

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (A/RES/49/214)

On August 9th, the United Nations sponsors the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a time when issues faced by native populations around the world are discussed at the UN and elsewhere. The UN chooses a different theme for each year’s observance. Past themes have included education and substance abuse prevention.

International Youth Day (A/RES/54/120)

International Youth Day is held on August 12th of every year and is a time when the United Nations raises awareness about the problems facing teenagers in countries around the world. A different focus is chosen each year to bring to light various social and health problems that impact teens.

World Humanitarian Day (A/RES/63/139)

World Humanitarian Day is held on August 19th of every year. Its purpose is to remember people who are suffering due to poverty, hunger, natural disasters and violence and to encourage global participation in efforts to provide relief for these individuals through volunteerism, charity and empowering local communities.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition [UNESCO] (29 C/Resolution 40)

The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition is held on August 23rd of every year to ensure that the damaging practices of slavery as an institution is never forgotten. It is a time when the United Nations honors abolitionists and those who fought for freedom and equality for all people.

International Day against Nuclear Tests (A/RES/64/35)

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is held on August 29th of each year to remind the global community of the ban on nuclear testing that was instituted in 1996. While instances of tests have dramatically declined, some countries continue to develop nuclear weapons. This event hopes to change that.

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (A/RES/65/209)

Enforced disappearances is a tactic used to subjugate peoples and put communities in fear and involves kidnapping individuals who speak out against oppression and other injustices. On August 30th, the United Nations remembers those who have been victims of this violation of human rights and calls for these practices to be abolished worldwide through the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

SEPTEMBER

International Day of Charity (A/RES/67/105)

While wealth has grown considerably over the last few decades, poverty still persists in developed and developing nations. On September 5th of every year, the United Nations urges people around the world to remember and help those less fortunate than them through the International Day of Charity.

International Literacy Day [UNESCO] (14 C/Resolution 1.441)

Being able to read provides people with the ability to earn a good living, break free of poverty and better their families’ lives. On September 8th of each year on International Literacy Day, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness about the importance of literacy for all men, women and children worldwide.

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation (A/RES/58/220)

The United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation is held on September 12th of every year to encourage countries located in the Southern Hemisphere to partner with one another in order to develop their economies and address social issues. These cooperative measures can help to strengthen the overall global economy.

International Day of Democracy (A/RES/62/7)

The International Day of Democracy is an annual event celebrated on September 15th. Its general purpose is to promote the spread of free and democratic elections around the world. Each year, the United Nations chooses a different focus or theme for its observance to bring to light issues related to democracy.

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (A/RES/49/114)

September 16th is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, a time when the United Nations partners with environmental groups around the world to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the ozone layer. The event seeks to educate the public and companies about the impact that they can have on the environment.

International Day of Peace (A/RES/36/67) (A/RES/55/282)

September 21st is the International Day of Peace, a time when people around the world are encouraged to put aside their differences and to call upon their leaders and demand that they strive for peace. In recent years, the day has also centered on promoting a greener world and living in peace with the planet.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (A/RES/68/32)

September 26th is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a time when the United Nations encourages all nations around the world to stop their nuclear programs. The UN hopes to one day eliminate the more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the possession of countries like the U.S., Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Pakistan, Israel, India and North Korea.

World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day takes place on September 27th of every year. The day is meant to celebrate the positive impact that travel has for people and to encourage everyone to explore the world. Plus, the United Nations honors the positive impact that the tourism industry has on world economies.

World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day is held on September 28th of each year to raise awareness about the disease. While a different theme is chosen by the United Nations for each annual observance, the purpose of the event is generally to encourage those with animals to have their pets vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies.

World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day is observed on September 29th of every year to remember the importance that the maritime industry has had on the history of the world and continues to have on societies and economies today. The United Nations selects a different theme for the event every year.

OCTOBER

International Day of Older Persons

The International Day of Older Persons is an annual event held on October 1st to honor people over the age of 55 and to fight worldwide ageism. On this day, the United Nations invites speakers from all over the world to address issues that affect the elderly.

International Day of Non-Violence

International Day of Non-Violence is held on October 2nd of each year. The purpose of the day is to promote non-violent resolutions to problems and to put a stop to all forms of violence, including war, terrorism, domestic violence and gun violence. Each year, the United Nations sponsors outreaches around the world to raise awareness about violence.

World Habitat Day (A/RES/40/202 A)

World Habitat Day is held on October 5th of every year to raise awareness about the importance of protecting habitats in order to keep species from facing extinction and to make the world a greener place for people. The United Nations selects a different theme for the event each year.

World Teachers’ Day [UNESCO] (27 C/INF.7)

October 5th is World Teachers’ Day, a time when educators are honored by the United Nations. The event seeks to empower teachers around the world to educate students and to encourage people to pursue teacher education in order to have more educators in the field to work in schools.

World Post Day (UPU/1969/Res.C.11)

World Post Day is held on October 9th of every year to promote preserving the postal systems in place around the world. The United Nations uses the annual event to raise awareness about the importance of postal services for communications and to honor the history of the post.

World Mental Health Day [WHO]

On October 10th of every year, the United Nations and the World Health Organization cosponsor World Mental Health Day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about mental health concerns and the need for treatment for people around the globe. In addition, the event seeks to de-stigmatize those with mental health problems.

International Day of the Girl Child (A/RES/66/170)

October 11th is International Day of the Girl Child. The purpose of this annual event sponsored by the United Nations is to promote the rights of female children and adolescents and to raise awareness about the importance of educating young girls and protecting them from violence.

International Day for Disaster Reduction (A/RES/64/200)

While natural disasters are never fully preventable, the impact that humans have on the planet can increase the likelihood of their occurrence. On October 13th of each year, the United Nations seeks to bring awareness to how the world community can take steps to reduce the risk of natural disasters through the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

International Day of Rural Women (A/RES/62/136)

Women make up 45 percent of the workforce in agricultural and rural areas, and they are often underpaid and more likely to live in poverty than their male counterparts. On the International Day of Rural Women held on October 15th, the United Nations seeks to promote equality and a better quality of life for women in rural areas.

World Food Day [FAO] (A/RES/35/70)

World Food Day is held on October 16th of every year and is sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The purpose of the event is to promote more sustainable growing methods for food, encourage healthy eating and put an end to hunger.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)

On October 17th of each year, the United Nations sponsors the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about poverty and encourage individuals, companies and governments to take steps to improve the lives of impoverished people around the world.

World Statistics Day (A/RES/69/282)

World Statistics Day is held on October 20th of every year. The purpose of this day is to encourage the responsible collection of data for all types of research in order to save lives and to improve governments’ ability to provide services to their populations.

United Nations Day (A/RES/168 (II); A/RES/2782 (XXVI)

United Nations Day takes place on October 24th of every year and is intended to commemorate the ratification of the documents that established the UN in 1945. On this day, the UN looks back at the history of the organization while laying forth strategies to further their mission going into the future.

World Development Information Day (A/RES/3038 (XXVII)

World Development Information Day is held on October 24th, the same day as United Nations Day. The date was chosen purposefully as a way of promoting the spread of information about the issues facing developing nations around the world. The UN uses the day to educate the public.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (UNESCO 33/C/Resolution 53)

Digital media and audiovisual recordings are important treasures of the past that allow us to look back on history. On October 27th of every year, the United Nations encourages countries around the world to preserve these important pieces of the past on World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

World Cities Day (A/RES/68/239)

World Cities Day is held on October 31st of every year. Its purpose is to raise awareness about issues that affect cities around the world on environmental, economic, social and political levels. Each year, the United Nations chooses a different theme for the annual observance.

NOVEMBER

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (A/RES/68/163)

Over the last 10 years, more than 700 television and print journalists have been murdered simply for trying to share the news. On November 2, the United Nations remembers these individuals on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The event seeks to bring an end to the unpunished murder of journalists worldwide.

World Tsunami Awareness Day (A/RES/70/203)

Tsunamis can claim the lines of thousands to millions of people at a time. On December 22, 2015, the United Nations established November 5th as World Tsunami Awareness Day to help to educate people about the threat of tsunamis and to encourage governments to put plans in place to respond to the threat of tsunamis.

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (A/RES/56/4)

Wars impact the lives of millions of people and also cause devastation to the planet. On November 6th of each year, the United Nations focuses on spreading the word about the impact that armed conflicts have on the Earth through the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

World Science Day for Peace and Development (UNESCO 31 C/Resolution 20)

November 10th is World Science Day for Peace and Development, an annual event sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. On this day, UNESCO seeks to promote the furthering of scientific inquiry in order to positively affect the global community and promote peace and prosperity.
World Diabetes Day (A/RES/61/225)

The World Health Organization and the United Nations partner to cosponsor World Diabetes Day on November 14th of every year. As a part of the event, the UN and WHO launch programs to raise awareness of how people can improve their lifestyles in order to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

International Day for Tolerance (UNESCO 28 C/Resolution 5.61; A/RES/51/95)

November 16th is the International Day for Tolerance, an event that the United Nations has sponsored every year since 1995. The purpose of the day is to encourage worldwide tolerance of people who may be of different races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds and levels of ability.

World Philosophy Day (UNESCO 33 C/Resolution 37)

The United Nations sponsors World Philosophy Day on November 19th of every year and seeks to remind the world of the importance of philosophy in the past, present and future. Each year, a different theme is chosen for the focus of the annual observance.

World Toilet Day (A/RES/67/291)

World Toilet Day is held on November 19th of every year to raise awareness of the fact that more than 2 billion people around the world do not have access to toilets and plumbing. The purpose of the event is to call for support to improve sanitation in developing nations.

Africa Industrialization Day (A/RES/44/237)

Since 1989, the United Nations has observed Africa Industrialization Day every year on November 20th. The purpose of the event is to promote the responsible continued development of African economies to improve living conditions throughout the continent and better the economic situations of families while protecting the planet.

Universal Children’s Day (A/RES/836(IX))

Universal Children’s Day has been celebrated on the 20th of November each year since 1954. The purpose of the day is to honor children and the commonalities between kids in countries all over the world. School-aged children across the globe participate in various activities to connect with kids in other countries as a part of the event.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (A/RES/60/5)

More than 1.25 million people are killed in automobile accidents every year. On the third Sunday in November, these individuals are remembered on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. The day is also a time to promote highway safety regulations at local and national levels and to encourage safe driving worldwide.

World Television Day (A/RES/51/205)

Television is an important form of media that entertains, educates and connects us. On November 21st of every year, the United Nations holds World Television Day to encourage the responsible use of television as a media. Individuals from broadcasting are often called upon to speak at the UN on this day.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (A/RES/54/134)

One out of every three women has been the victim of either physical or sexual violence, and it’s often committed by romantic partners. On November 25th, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness about this global problem and to end it through the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (A/RES/32/40B)

Since 1977, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has been observed on November 29th by the United Nations to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The flag of Palestine is raised at the UN on this day and flown around the world in solidarity.

DECEMBER

World AIDS Day

While interventions have helped to slow the spread of AIDS and help those who have the disease lead fuller, healthier lives, there is still much to be done to eradicate this preventable disease. On December 1st, the United Nations raises awareness about HIV and AIDS through the observance of World AIDS Day.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (A/RES/317(IV))

While the formal slave trade has been eradicated, millions of people are still victims of forced labor around the world. The United Nations is seeking to put an end to this form of slavery and seeks to raise awareness about the issue through the observance of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery held on December 2nd.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (A/RES/47/3)

On December 3rd of every year, the United Nations celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose of this event is to encourage inclusion for all people regardless of their ability level, to promote tolerance of the disabled and to put a stop to discrimination.

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (A/RES/40/212)

Individuals can make a huge difference in the lives of others by volunteering their time and using their talents. On December 5th of every year, the United Nations reminds the global community of this fact through the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.

World Soil Day (A/RES/68/232)

December 5th is World Soil Day, an annual event sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of soils to humans, animals and plants and to promote conservation and better use of land.

International Civil Aviation Day [ICAO] (A/RES/51/33)

Air travel has become vital for economic development and the free movement of people. On International Civil Aviation Day held on December 7th of each year, the United Nations focuses on furthering civil aviation in developing nations to ensure that the entire world has access to safe air transportation.

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime (A/RES/69/323)

Millions around the world have been killed by genocide even though it has been banned and classified as a war crime since 1948. The International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime is held December 9th of each year on the anniversary of the day that the convention banning it was signed to remember those who were killed because of it and work to prevent its re-occurrence in the future.

International Anti-Corruption Day (A/RES/58/4)

The United Nations sponsors International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9th of every year in hopes of eradicating government and corporate corruption that causes serious abuses of human rights. Each year, the UN chooses a different theme to base the annual observance around.

Human Rights Day (A/RES/423 (V))

December 10th is Human Rights Day, a time when the United Nations spreads awareness about the importance of protecting the basic rights of people all around the world. Every country in the world is invited to participate in the annual observance and to take steps to ensure that the rights of individuals in all countries are protected.
International Mountain Day (A/RES/57/245)

The United Nations sponsors International Mountain Day on December 11th of every year. Mountains cover 22 percent of the world’s surface and have a major impact on world economies. This day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of mountains and to encourage countries around the world to protect mountain landscapes.

International Migrants Day (A/RES/55/93)

International Migrants Day is observed on December 18th every year. The purpose of the day is to remember people who have been displaced due to armed conflict, famine and other natural and man-made disasters. A number of events take place in conjunction with the annual event, and communities around the world are encouraged to hold candlelight vigils to remember migrants.

International Human Solidarity Day (A/RES/60/209)

While there is a lot that makes us different, humans all around the world have many basic things in common. The Untied Nations seeks to remind us that we are all members of one human family with the annual observance of International Human Solidarity Day on December 20th.