United Nations Conferences and Observances

1 March 2010
Reference Paper No. 49

United Nations Conferences and Observances

February 2010
Press Release
Reference Paper No. 49
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Conferences and Observances


Recognizing Nelson Mandela’s leading role in Africa’s struggle for liberation and unity, his dedication to the service of humanity, his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and in promoting a culture of peace worldwide, the General Assembly has designated 18 July each year as Nelson Mandela International Day, beginning in 2010.


The observance, which coincides with Mr. Mandela’s birthday, is one of three new days added to the United Nations Calendar in 2010.  Convinced that every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people and the environment, the Assembly has declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests.


Stressing the need to foster better understanding of the causes of disasters and to strengthen coping capacities through various means, the Assembly has designated 13 October each year as the International Day for Disaster Reduction.


Concerned by the continued loss of biodiversity and acknowledging the need for an unprecedented effort to slow such loss, the Assembly has proclaimed 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity.  In support of the Year, it will also hold a one-day high-level meeting in 2010, with the participation of Heads of State and Government, as close as possible to the opening of its general debate.


The Assembly focuses attention on the importance of mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue as well in 2010, which it has proclaimed the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.


Bearing in mind that 2010 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1985 International Youth Year:  Participation, Development and Peace, the General Assembly has proclaimed the year commencing on 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding.  During that period, the Assembly will also organize a United Nations World Youth Conference as a highlight of the Year.


In addition, this year marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (2010-2020), which aims to raise awareness of the problems of desertification, land degradation and drought at all levels.


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The year 2010 also marks the holding of several major United Nations meetings.


From 20 to 22 September, the Assembly will hold a High-level Plenary Meeting to spur collective action towards fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.  Participants, including Heads of State and Government, will review efforts to reach those goals thus far, including successes, best practices, lessons learned, obstacles, challenges and opportunities, to arrive at strategies to meet the 2015 target date.


The Assembly will hold a commemorative meeting during March 2010 to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which emerged from the Fourth World Conference on Women.


On 16 and 17 March, the Assembly will hold its fourth High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, on “The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development:  status of implementation and tasks ahead”.  The Dialogue will provide an input to the preparatory process for the Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals.


The President of the Assembly will convene a High-level Interactive Dialogue on 22 March 2010, World Water Day, on the implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015).


On 30 April, the Assembly will convene the second Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia.


The States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will hold their 2010 Review Conference from 3 to 28 May 2010 in New York.


The Assembly has also welcomed Tajikistan’s offer to host a high-level international conference on a midterm review of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015) in June 2010.


The fourth biennial meeting of States to review implementation of the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons will take place from 14 to 18 June in New York.  No later than 2011, a one-week meeting of governmental experts will consider implementation challenges relating to the Programme.  A two-week conference to review progress in its implementation will take place in New York, no later than in 2012.


The General Assembly will convene a special one-day high-level meeting on transnational crime during the second quarter of 2010, to foster universal adherence to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, 10 years after its adoption on 15 November 2000.


The Assembly will also convene a two-day high-level review in September 2010 to assess progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of small island developing States through the implementation of the 2005 “Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States”.


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Moving on to next year, the General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent, the International Year of Chemistry, and the International Year of Forests.


The International Year for People of African Descent aims to strengthen support for people of African descent with respect to the full enjoyment of their economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights; their integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society; and a greater knowledge of and respect for their heritage and culture.


The International Year of Chemistry will highlight the fact that education in and about chemistry is critical in addressing challenges such as global climate change, in providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy, and in maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people.


The International Year of Forests will highlight the significant contribution that forests and their sustainable management can make to sustainable development, poverty eradication and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.


Among the special meetings and conferences to be held during 2011 is the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which will be held at a high level for five days during the first half of the year, venue to be determined.  An intergovernmental preparatory committee for the Conference will meet in New York, from 10 to 14 January and 18 to 25 April 2011.


On or around 5 December 2011, the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, the Assembly will devote two plenary meetings to follow up on the International Year of Volunteers and to commemorate its tenth anniversary.


Also in 2011, the Assembly has invited Member States to observe the twentieth anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan with events that will provide information on the deteriorating consequences of nuclear testing on human health and the environment.  The site was officially closed on 29 August 1991.


Within existing resources, the Assembly will also hold a one-day informal thematic debate on international migration and development in 2011, to be followed by a high-level dialogue on the subject in 2013.


And, as mentioned earlier, a one-week meeting of governmental experts will consider implementation challenges relating to the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, no later than 2011.


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Recognizing that cooperatives promote the fullest possible participation of all people in economic and social development, the General Assembly has proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.


In addition, three major conferences will take place during the year.


The Assembly will organize a three-day United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at the highest possible level, to be hosted by Brazil in 2012.  In advance of the Conference, a preparatory committee will meet at specified times in 2010 and 2011 in New York, and immediately preceding the Conference, in Brazil.


The Assembly has also decided to convene a United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty for four consecutive weeks in 2012, to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.  Its Preparatory Committee will hold four sessions total during 2010 and 2011, as well as a fifth session in 2012, to decide on all procedural matters for the Conference.


Also, as mentioned earlier, the Assembly will convene a Conference to Review Progress in Implementing the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons no later than 2012.


During its sixty-eighth session, which begins in September 2013, the Assembly will convene a meeting “at the highest appropriate political level” in support of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017).


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Meanwhile, the Assembly continues to observe the Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa (2001-2010); the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010); the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010); the United Nations Literacy Decade:  Education for All (2003-2012); the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014); the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014); the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015); the Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions, relating to the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (2006-2016); and the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017).


The following pages contain additional information on United Nations conferences and special observances scheduled for 2010 and ensuing years, listed by theme.  Under each subject heading, conferences and meetings are listed first, followed by special decades, years, weeks and days, in that order.


Strictly chronological listings appear in the index.


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CONTENTS


AIDS

Children

Cultural Diversity

Decolonization

Disarmament and International Security

Disasters and Disaster Reduction

Drug Abuse Control and Transnational Crime

Economic and Social Development

Environment and Development

Health

Human Rights

Human Settlements

Humanitarian Assistance

Hunger

Indigenous People

Information

Older Persons

Outer Space

Palestine Question

Peace

Persons with Disabilities

Racism and Racial Discrimination

Second World War

Women

Youth

Other Observances

Index


AIDS

 


World AIDS Day

(1 December)


The General Assembly, in 1988, stated its deep concern about the pandemic proportions of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).  Noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared 1 December 1988 World AIDS Day, the Assembly stressed the importance of observing that occasion (resolution 43/15).  Today, more than 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.


Children

 


International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

(4 June)


On 19 August 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, “appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression”, decided to commemorate 4 June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression (resolution ES-7/8).


Universal Children’s Day

(20 November)


The General Assembly recommended in 1954 (resolution 836 (IX)) that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of activity promoting the welfare of the world’s children.  It suggested to Governments that the Day be observed on the date which each considers appropriate.  The date of 20 November marks the day in which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.


Cultural Diversity


International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures

(2010)


The General Assembly, on 17 December 2007, declared 2010 the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (resolution 62/90).  It recommended that events be organized on interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace during the year, including a high-level dialogue and/or informal interactive hearings with civil society.


Affirming that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of the dialogue among civilizations and the culture of peace, the Assembly encouraged Member States to consider initiatives that identify areas for practical action at all levels of society to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding and cooperation.  It also encouraged the promotion of dialogue among the media from all cultures and civilizations.


On 13 November 2008, the Assembly invited the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in consultation with Member States, to play a leading role in the preparations for celebration of the Year (resolution 63/22).


World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

(21 May)


Emphasizing the need to enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global, peaceful coexistence, the General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, proclaimed 21 May the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (resolution 57/249).  Acting during the closing days of the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage (2002), the Assembly recognized the close link between protecting cultural diversity and the larger framework of the dialogue among civilizations.


Decolonization

 


Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism

(2001-2010)


On 8 December 2000, as the General Assembly observed the fortieth anniversary of its adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, it declared 2001-2010 the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (resolution 55/146).


On 22 December 2004, the Assembly urged Member States to contribute to the United Nations efforts to usher in a world free of colonialism within the Second International Decade, giving their full support to the Special Committee on decolonization in that endeavour (resolution 59/134).  Addressing the situation of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands, the Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable right of the peoples of the Territories to self-determination in conformity with the United Nations Charter and the General Assembly Declaration on decolonization (resolution 1514 (XV)).


The Assembly reaffirmed that there is no alternative to self-determination, and called on the administering Powers, in cooperation with the territorial governments, to facilitate political education programmes in the Territories to foster awareness among their peoples of their right to self-determination.  It also reaffirmed the responsibility of the administering Powers to promote the socio-economic development and preserve the cultural identity of the Territories, and request the Territories and administering Powers to protect the environment of the Territories under their administration against environmental degradation.


The first International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, 1990‑2000, was declared in 1988 (resolution 43/47).


Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories

(beginning 25 May)


The General Assembly in 1999 requested the Special Committee on decolonization to observe annually the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories commencing on the week beginning 25 May 1999 (resolution 54/91 of 6 December).  The Week had been proclaimed in 1972 (resolution 2911 (XXVII)) as the Week of Solidarity with the Colonial Peoples of Southern Africa and Guinea (Bissau) and Cape Verde Fighting for Freedom, Independence and Equal Rights, to begin on 25 May, Africa Liberation Day.


Disarmament and International Security


Second Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties

that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia

( New York, 30 April 2010)


On 2 December 2009, the General Assembly decided to convene the second Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia, to meet in New York on 30 April 2010 (resolution 64/52).


The purpose of the Conference is to strengthen the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime by considering ways to enhance consultations and cooperation among States parties and signatories, treaty agencies and other interested States.  The Assembly urged the States parties and treaty signatories to develop cooperation and coordination activities, in the framework of the Conference, to promote their common objectives.


2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty

on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

( New York, 3 to 28 May 2010)


On 2 December 2009, the General Assembly reaffirmed the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weaponsas the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and as an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (resolution 64/47).


The Assembly welcomed the results of the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty, noting that the Conference would be meeting during the year of the sixty-fifth anniversary of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.  It will take place from 3 to 28 May in New York.


Stressing the importance of an effective review process, the Assembly called upon all States parties to work together so that the 2010 Review Conference can successfully strengthen the Treaty regime and establish effective and practical measures in the Treaty’s three pillars -- non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.


Biennial Meeting of States on Implementation of the Programme of Action

on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

( New York, 14 to 18 June 2010)


On 2 December 2008, the General Assembly decided that the next biennial meeting of States to consider the national, regional and global implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects shall be held in New York for a period of one week, no later than in 2010 (resolution 63/72).  By its resolution 64/50 of 2 December 2009, the Assembly set the dates for that meeting as from 14 to 18 June 2010.


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Meeting of Governmental Experts on Implementation Challenges Relating to

the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

( New York, no later than in 2011)


By the same resolution, the Assembly decided to convene an open-ended meeting of governmental experts for a period of one week, no later than in 2011, to address key implementation challenges and opportunities relating to the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.


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Conference to Review Progress in Implementing the Programme of Action

on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

( New York, for two weeks, no later than in 2012)


Also by this resolution, the Assembly decided to convene a conference to review progress made in implementing the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.


United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

(for four consecutive weeks in 2012)


Mindful of the need to prevent the diversion of conventional arms, including small arms and light weapons, from the legal to the illicit market, the General Assembly has decided to convene a United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (resolution 64/48 of 2 December 2009).  The Conference will meet for four consecutive weeks in 2012 to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.


Expressing the view that such unregulated trade and diversion to illicit markets can fuel instability, transnational organized crime and terrorism, the Assembly decided that the Conference will be undertaken in an open and transparent manner, and on the basis of consensus, in order to achieve a strong and robust treaty.

The Assembly further decided that the Preparatory Committee for the Conference will hold four sessions in 2010 and 2011, to make recommendations to the Conference on elements needed in an effective and balanced international instrument.  A fifth session of the Preparatory Committee, in 2012, will decide on all procedural matters for the Conference.  The Assembly stressed the need to ensure the widest possible and effective participation in the Conference in 2012.


Disarmament Week

(24-30 October)


The annual observance of Disarmament Week, which begins on the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, was called for in the Final Document of the General Assembly 1978 special session on disarmament (resolution S-10/2).  States were invited to highlight the danger of the arms race, propagate the need for its cessation and increase public understanding of the urgent tasks of disarmament.


In 1995, the Assembly invited Governments, as well as non-governmental organizations, to continue taking an active part in Disarmament Week (resolution 50/72 B of 12 December).  It invited the Secretary-General to continue using the United Nations information entities as widely as possible to promote a better understanding among the public of disarmament problems and the aims of the Week.


International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

(4 April)


On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be officially proclaimed and observed as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action (resolution 60/97).  It called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.


International Day against Nuclear Tests

(29 August)


Convinced that every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people and the environment, the General Assembly has declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests (resolution 64/35 of 2 December 2009).


The Day is devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one means of achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world.  The Assembly has invited Member States, the United Nations system, civil society, academia, the mass media and individuals to commemorate the Day in an appropriate manner, including educational and public awareness-raising activities.


Disasters and Disaster Reduction


Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected

Regions (relating to the Chernobyl disaster)

(2006-2016)


On 20 November 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed the third decade after the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (2006-2016) as the Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions, aimed at achieving the goal of a return to normal life for the affected communities as far as is possible within that time frame (resolution 62/9).


Profoundly concerned at the ongoing consequences of the accident on the lives and health of people, particularly children, in the affected areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and other countries, the Assembly requested that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) coordinate the efforts of the United Nations system and other relevant actors with respect to the Decade.  Welcoming UNDP’s proposal to coordinate the drafting of a United Nations action plan for Chernobyl recovery to 2016, the Assembly asked UNDP to present its draft plan for review by the Chernobyl Inter-Agency Task Force by 26 April 2008 ‑‑ the twenty-second anniversary of the disaster.


International Day for Disaster Reduction

(13 October)


Stressing the need to foster better understanding and knowledge of the causes of disasters, as well as to build and strengthen coping capacities through various means, the General Assembly has designated 13 October each year as the International Day for Disaster Reduction (resolution 64/200 of 21 December 2009).  It took that action in the context of its text on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, reaffirming the importance of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015:  Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.


The Assembly stressed the importance of strengthening coping capacities through such means as the transfer and exchange of experiences and technical knowledge, educational and training programmes for disaster risk reduction, access to relevant data and information, the strengthening of institutional arrangements and the promotion of community participation and ownership through community-based disaster risk management approaches.


The Assembly urged Member States to continue to develop, update and strengthen disaster risk reduction, including preparedness measures, at all levels, in accordance with the Hyogo Framework.  It also encouraged the secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction to continue to develop, promote and improve methods for predictive multirisk assessments, including on the economics of disaster risk reduction and socio-economic cost-benefit analysis of risk reduction actions at all levels.


International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

(second Wednesday of October)


In 2001, the General Assembly decided to maintain the observance of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on the second Wednesday of October (resolution 56/195 of 21 December), as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction ‑‑ including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.  The Assembly had designated that Day to be observed during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990-1999 (resolution 44/236).


Drug Abuse Control AND TRANSNATIONAL CRIME


High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Transnational Organized Crime

( New York, one day during the second quarter of 2010)


During the second quarter of 2010, the General Assembly will convene a special one-day high-level meeting on transnational organized crime, aimed at fostering universal adherence to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, and at strengthening international cooperation against transnational crime (resolution 64/179 of 18 December 2009)


The meeting is being convened in the framework of the tenth anniversary of the Convention, which was adopted by the Assembly on 15 November 2000 (resolution 55/25).


International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

(26 June)


The General Assembly, in 1987, decided to observe 26 June as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.  It took that action on 7 December 1987 (resolution 42/112), following a recommendation of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which, on 26 June, had adopted the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control.


Economic and Social Development

 


Fourth High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing for Development

( New York, 16 and 17 March 2010)


The General Assembly will hold its fourth High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development on 16 and 17 March; its overall theme will be “The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development:  status of implementation and tasks ahead” (resolution 64/194 of 21 December 2009).


The High-level Dialogue will result in a summary by the President of the Assembly that will provide an input on financing for development to the preparatory process for the High-level plenary meeting of the Assembly on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, which will take place from 20 to 22 September 2012.


High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to accelerate progress

towards achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals by 2015

( New York, 20 to 22 September 2010)


The General Assembly will hold a High-level Plenary Meeting from Monday, 20 September 2010, to Wednesday, 22 September, with the aim of accelerating progress towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 (resolution 64/184 of 21 December 2009).  The Meeting will be held with the participation of Heads of State and Government, and the Assembly has encouraged all Member States to be represented at that level.


The Assembly is convening this Meeting based on the conviction that it will provide a significant opportunity to galvanize commitment, rally support and spur collective action to reach those Millennium Development Goals by 2015.


In conducting their review, participants will take account of progress made with regard to the internationally agreed development goals, through a comprehensive review of successes, best practices and lessons learned, obstacles and gaps, challenges and opportunities, leading to concrete strategies for action.  The Assembly has asked the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report on that subject ahead of the Meeting.


In an exceptional arrangement, the High-level Meeting will take place prior to the Assembly’s general debate, which will begin on Thursday, 23 September 2010, but this will not set a precedent for future sessions of the Assembly.  The Meeting will be presided over jointly by the Presidents of the sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth sessions.  (Resolution 64/184 follows on the Assembly’s resolution 63/302 of 9 July 2009, by which it decided to convene the High-level Plenary Meeting at the start of its sixty-fifth session.)


General Assembly High-Level Review to Assess Progress Made in Addressing

the Vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States

( New York, September 2010)


The General Assembly will convene a two-day high-level review in September 2010 as part of its sixty-fifth session, to assess progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of small island developing States through the implementation of the 2005 “Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States” (resolution 64/199 of 21 December 2009).


Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

(for five days during the first half of 2011,

at a venue and time to be determined)


On 19 December 2008, the General Assembly has decided to convene the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries at a high level in 2011 for a duration of not more than five working days (resolution 63/277).  To that end, it will convene an intergovernmental preparatory committee towards the end of 2010 and/or early in 2011, to hold no more than two meetings.  This will be preceded by two regional-level preparatory meetings, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), respectively.


By its resolution 64/213 of 21 December 2009, the Assembly decided to convene the Conference in the first half of 2011 for a duration of five days, at a venue and time to be determined in consultation with the host Government.


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Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations

Conference on the Least Developed Countries

( New York, 10 to 14 January and 18 to 25 April 2011)


By its resolution 64/213 if 21 December 2099, the General Assembly decided that the meeting of the intergovernmental preparatory committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries will meet in New York from 10 to 14 January and 18 to 25 April 2011.


Two Plenary Meetings of the General Assembly as Follow-up to

the International Year of Volunteers and to Commemorate

its Tenth Anniversary

( New York, on or around 5 December 2011)


On 18 December 2008, the General Assembly decided that, on or around 5 December 2011, the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, it would devote two plenary meetings to follow-up to the International Year of Volunteers and to commemorate its tenth anniversary (resolution 63/153).


High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

( New York, during the General Assembly’s

sixty-eighth session in 2013)


On 19 December 2008, the General Assembly decided to hold a high-level dialogue on international migration and development during its sixty-eighth session, in 2013 (resolution 63/225).  The focus and modalities of the dialogue will be decided upon at the Assembly’s sixty-seventh session (2012-2013).  This will be preceded, in 2011, by a one-day informal thematic debate on international migration and development.


Meeting of the General Assembly in Support of the Second United Nations

Decade for the Eradication of Poverty

( New York, during the Assembly’s sixty-eighth session (2013-2014))


The General Assembly decided to convene a meeting on poverty eradication “at the highest appropriate political level” during its sixty-eighth session, in support of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (resolution 63/230 of 19 December 2008).  The meeting and its preparatory activities are to be carried out within the budget level proposed by the Secretary-General for the biennium 2012-2013.

By its resolution 64/216 of 21 December 2009, the Assembly reaffirmed that the meeting, held at the midpoint of the Decade, would be centred on the review process for the theme of the Decade.


Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries,

Particularly in Africa

(2001-2010)


On 7 December 2009, the General Assembly welcomed the increased funding for malaria interventions and for research and development in support of the goals of the Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa (resolution 64/79).  It called upon the international community to continue to support the “Roll Back Malaria” Partnership and partner organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as vital complementary sources of support for the efforts of malaria-endemic countries.


The Assembly urged the international community to become fully knowledgeable about WHO technical policies and strategies, including for indoor residual spraying, long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and case management.  It called upon the international community, by helping to meet the financial needs of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to intensify access to affordable, safe and effective anti-malarial combination treatments, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancies, long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and insecticides for indoor residual spraying for malaria control.


The General Assembly proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa, on 7 September 2001 (resolution 55/284).  In its efforts to address one of the most deadly tropical diseases ‑‑ which causes some 1 million deaths each year in Africa where 9 out of 10 cases occur ‑‑ the Assembly called for joint comprehensive efforts by Africa and the international community to reach specific goals aimed at rolling back this disease.


United Nations Literacy Decade:  Education for All

(2003-2012)


On 19 December 2001, the General Assembly proclaimed 2003 to 2012 as the United Nations Literacy Decade:  Education for All (resolution 56/116).  It reaffirmed that literacy for all was at the heart of the notion of basic education for all, and that creating literate environments was essential to eradicating poverty, achieving gender equity and ensuring sustainable development.


On 18 December 2008, the Assembly appealed to all Governments to develop reliable literacy data and information, and to devise innovative strategies to achieve the goals of the Decade (resolution 63/154).  It appealed to all Governments and to economic and financial organizations and institutions, both national and international, to lend greater financial and material support to efforts to increase literacy.


The Assembly took note of the three priority areas of the remaining years of the Decade, namely, mobilizing stronger commitment to literacy, reinforcing more effective literacy programme delivery and harnessing new resources for literacy.  It invited Member States, United Nations bodies and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to support the implementation of those priorities within the framework of internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.


Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty

(2008–2017)


On 19 December 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 to 2017 as the second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, in order to support efficient and coordinated action for attaining internationally agreed development goals on poverty reduction, including the Millennium Development Goals (resolution 62/205).  In doing so, the Assembly described the eradication of poverty as “the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in particular for developing countries”.


By its resolution 64/216 of 21 December 2009, the Assembly reaffirmed that each country must take primary responsibility for its development, while stressing that national efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger should be complemented by an enabling international environment.  While recognizing that sustained economic growth is essential for eradicating poverty and hunger, it also called upon donor countries to support the effective national efforts of developing countries, through adequate, predictable financial resources, on either a bilateral or a multilateral basis.


On 19 December 2008, the Assembly considered that a theme for the Decade, to be reviewed by the Assembly at its sixty-fifth session, shall be “Full employment and decent work for all” (resolution 63/230).


International Year of Cooperatives

(2012)


Recognizing that cooperatives promote the fullest possible participation of all people in economic and social development, the General Assembly has proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (resolution 64/136 of 18 December 2009).


The Assembly urged Governments, relevant international organizations and specialized agencies to collaborate with national and international cooperative organizations in various endeavours, which would include developing the potential of cooperatives for attaining social development goals ‑‑ particularly in the eradication of poverty, the generation of full and productive employment, and the enhancement of social integration.


It also urged them to facilitate the establishment and development of cooperatives, by taking measures aimed at enabling people living in poverty or belonging to vulnerable groups ‑‑ including women, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons and indigenous peoples ‑‑ to fully participate in cooperatives on a voluntary basis, and to address their social service needs.


The Assembly has been observing the first Saturday in July as the International Day of Cooperatives since 1995.


World Day of Social Justice

(20 February)


The General Assembly has decided to celebrate 20 February each year as the World Day of Social Justice, beginning in 2009.  By its resolution 62/10 of 26 November 2007, the Assembly recognized that the attainment of social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security and yet cannot be attained without peace, security and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.


The Assembly recognized that broad-based and sustained economic growth in the context of sustainable development is necessary to sustain social development and social justice, but that serious challenges remain, including serious financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among societies, and considerable obstacles to the further integration and full participation of developing countries and some countries with economies in transition in the global economy.


International Day of Cooperatives

(first Saturday of July)


On 16 December 1992, the General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 as the International Day of Cooperatives (resolution 47/90).  The date marked the centenary of the International Cooperative Alliance, an umbrella group of organizations comprising 760 million members in 100 countries.  On 23 December 1994, recognizing that cooperatives were becoming an indispensable factor of economic and social development, the Assembly invited Governments, international organizations, specialized agencies and national and international cooperative organizations to observe the Day every year (resolution 49/155).


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

(17 October)


In 1992, the General Assembly, welcoming the fact that certain non-governmental organizations, on the initiative of one of them (the French-based International Movement ATD Fourth World), had, in many States, observed 17 October as World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, declared that date the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (resolution 47/196 of 22 December).  The observance aims to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries ‑‑ a need that has become a development priority.


Africa Industrialization Day

(20 November)


Within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1991-2000), the General Assembly proclaimed 20 November as Africa Industrialization Day (resolution 44/237 of 22 December 1989).  The Day is intended to mobilize the commitment of the international community to the industrialization of Africa.


International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

(5 December)


The General Assembly has invited Governments to observe the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on 5 December each year (resolution 40/212 of 17 December 1985).  It urged them to heighten awareness of the contribution made by volunteer service, thereby stimulating people in all walks of life to offer their services as volunteers, both at home and abroad.  In 2001, the International Year of Volunteers, the Assembly adopted a set of recommendations on ways that Governments and the United Nations system could support volunteering and asked that they be widely disseminated (resolution 56/38 of 5 December 2001).  On 18 December 2008, the General Assembly decided that, on or around 5 December 2011, the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development it would devote two plenary meetings to follow-up to the International Year of Volunteers and to commemorate its tenth anniversary (resolution 63/153).


International Human Solidarity Day

(20 December)


In connection with its observance of first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), the General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, decided to proclaim 20 December of each year as International Human Solidarity Day (resolution 60/209).  In taking that action, it recalled that the Millennium Declaration identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the twenty-first century.


Environment and Development


High-Level Meeting to Mark the International Year of Biodiversity

(New York, in 2010, as close as possible to the opening of the

general debate of the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session)


On 19 December 2008, the General Assembly also decided to hold a one-day high-level meeting in 2010, during its sixty-fifth session, as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity (resolution 63/219).  The meeting will be convened with the participation of Heads of State and Government and delegations.  By its resolution 64/203 of 21 December 2009, the Assembly decided to convene that meeting as close as possible to the opening of the general debate of its sixty-fifth session.


United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

( Brazil, 2012) (date and venue to be determined)


On 24 December 2009, the General Assembly decided to organize, in 2012, a three-day United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government, and accepted the offer by Brazil to host it (resolution 64/236).


The aim of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development; assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in implementing the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development; and to address new and emerging challenges.  Its themes, which are to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process for the Conference, will include:  a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.


To that end, the Assembly also decided to establish a preparatory committee within the framework of the Commission of Sustainable Development, to carry out the preparations for the Conference, with the full participation of all States Members of the United Nations, the specialized agencies, and other participants in the Commission.


The first meeting of the Preparatory Committee will be held in 2010 for three days, immediately after the first meeting of the Commission’s nineteenth session.  The second meeting of the Committee will be held in 2011 for two days, immediately after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting of the nineteenth session of the Commission.  The third and final meeting of the Preparatory Committee will be held in Brazil in 2012 for three days, immediately preceding the Conference.


United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

(2005-2014)


The General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, proclaimed the 10-year period beginning on 1 January 2005 as the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (resolution 57/254).  The Assembly designated the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as lead agency for promotion of the Decade, asking it to develop a draft international implementation scheme, clarifying the Decade’s relationship with such existing educational processes as the Dakar Framework for Action adopted at the World Education Forum in 2002 and the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012).


On 22 December 2004, the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General call upon UNESCO to finalize the draft implementation scheme as soon as possible, preferably by the beginning of the Decade, with a view to its submission to UNESCO’s governing bodies for its final consideration and adoption (resolution 59/237).  It invited Governments to promote public awareness and wider participation in the Decade, including cooperation with and initiatives engaging civil society and other relevant stakeholders, especially at the beginning of the Decade.


International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”

(2005-2015)


On 23 December 2003, the General Assembly proclaimed the period from 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, commencing on World Water Day, 22 March 2005 (resolution 58/217).  It welcomed the decision of the Commission on Sustainable Development to consider water, sanitation and human settlements as the thematic cluster in the first cycle, 2004-2005, and invited the Commission to work within existing resources to identify possible activities and programmes in connection with the Decade within the framework of its consideration of that cluster at its twelfth and thirteenth sessions.


The Assembly invited the Secretary-General to take the appropriate steps to organize the activities of the Decade, taking into account the results of the International Year of Freshwater and the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development at its twelfth and thirteenth sessions.  It also called upon the relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, regional commissions and other organizations of the United Nations system to deliver a coordinated response, utilizing existing resources and voluntary funds, to make “Water for Life” a decade for action.  By its resolution 59/228 of 22 December 2004, the Assembly called on the United Nations system to step up efforts to make the International Decade a period for delivering on promises through the use of existing resources and voluntary funds.


- and –


International Conference and High-level Dialogue on a midterm review

of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015)

( Tajikistan, June 2010)


On 21 December 2009, the General Assembly welcomed Tajikistan’s offer to host a high-level international conference on a midterm review of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015), in June 2010 (resolution 64/198).  It invited the relevant United Nations bodies, agencies, commissions and other organizations of the United Nations system to actively engage in preparations for the conference.


- and –


High-level Interactive Dialogue on implementation of the International

Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015)

( New York, 22 March 2010)


The Assembly also invited its President to convene a high-level interactive dialogue on 22 March 2010, World Water Day, on the implementation of the Decade.  It encouraged the United Nations system, Member States and major groups to continue their efforts to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals.  The Assembly expressed its determination to achieve these goals, including halving the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water, by 2015; and halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation.


United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight

against Desertification

(2010–2020)


The General Assembly has declared the period 2010-2020 as the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, as recommended by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (resolution 62/195 of 19 December 2007).  To serve as focal point for the Decade, the Assembly designated the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa as the focal point of the Decade ‑‑ in collaboration with UNEP, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and other relevant bodies of the United Nations, including the United Nations Department of Public Information (resolution 64/201 of 21 December 2009).


By its resolution 64/201, the Assembly invited parties to the Convention, observers and other relevant stakeholders to organize activities to observe the Decade, with the aim of raising awareness of ongoing land degradation and desertification, its causes and solutions, in the framework of the 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance implementation of the Convention (2008-2018).  The Assembly also encouraged Member States and multilateral agencies to support the secretariat of the Convention both financially and technically, with a view to supporting special initiatives in observance of the Decade.


International Year of Biodiversity

(2010)


On 20 December 2006, the General Assembly declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity (resolution 61/203).  It designated the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity as the focal point for the Year and invited the secretariat to cooperate with other relevant United Nations bodies, multilateral environmental agreements, international organizations and other stakeholders, with a view to bringing greater international attention to the continued loss of biodiversity.


The Assembly encouraged Member States and other stakeholders to take advantage of the Year to increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity by promoting actions at the local, regional and international levels.  It invited Member States to consider establishing national committees for the Year, and invited Member States and relevant international organizations to support the activities to be organized by developing countries ‑‑ especially least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States ‑‑ and countries with economies in transition.


On 21 December 2009, the Assembly urged all Member States to fulfil their commitments to significantly reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010 by focusing on this issue in their relevant policies and programmes (resolution 64/203).  Having already decided to convene a one-day high-level meeting in support of the Year in its previous resolution, the Assembly further decided to convene that meeting as close as possible to the opening of the general debate of its sixty-fifth session.


International Year of Chemistry

(2011)


Stressing that education in and about chemistry is critical in addressing challenges such as global climate change, in providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy, and in maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people, the General Assembly, on 19 December 2008, decided to proclaim 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (resolution 63/2903).  It designated UNESCO as the lead agency and focal point for the Year.


The Assembly expressed awareness that the Year also provides the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science on the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Maria Skłodowska-Curie.  The Year also provided an opportunity to highlight the need for international scientific collaboration on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.


International Year of Forests

(2011)


Recognizing that forests and sustainable forest management can contribute significantly to sustainable development, poverty eradication and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, the General Assembly, on 20 December 2006, decided to proclaim 2011 as the International Year of Forests (resolution 61/193).  It requested that the secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, serve as the focal point for the Year, in collaboration with Governments, international, regional and subregional organizations and processes, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and relevant major groups.


The Assembly invited FAO in particular, as the Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, to support implementation of the Year.  It encouraged voluntary partnerships among Member States, international organizations and major groups to facilitate and promote activities related to the Year at the local and national levels, including by creating national committees or designating focal points in their respective countries.


World Day for Water

(22 March)


The General Assembly has declared 22 March as World Day for Water (resolution 47/193 of 22 December 1992).  The observance aims at promoting awareness of the extent to which water resource development contributes to economic productivity and social well-being.


International Mother Earth Day

(22 April)


Acknowledging that the Earth and its ecosystems is our home, and convinced that to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the planet, the General Assembly, on 22 April 2009, designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day (resolution 63/278).


In so doing, the Assembly recognized that “Mother Earth” is a common expression in a number of countries and regions, reflecting the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we inhabit.  It requested that Member States, United Nations bodies, international, regional, subregional and non-governmental organizations, civil society and relevant stakeholders observe and raise awareness of the Day as appropriate.


International Day for Biological Diversity

(22 May)


On 20 December 2000, the General Assembly proclaimed 22 May, the date of adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as the International Day for Biological Diversity (resolution 55/201).  The Day was previously observed on 29 December (resolution 49/119 of 19 December 1994).  In 2000, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, at its fifth meeting, had recommended that the date be changed to give it greater visibility.


World Environment Day

(5 June)


By resolution 2994 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972, the General Assembly designated 5 June as World Environment Day to deepen public awareness of the need to preserve and enhance the environment.  That date recalls the opening day of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment ( Stockholm, 1972), which led to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).


World Oceans Day

(8 June)


Recognizing the important contribution of the sustainable development and management of oceans and seas to the achievement of international development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the General Assembly, on 5 December 2008, designated 8 June as World Oceans Day (resolution 63/111).


Among the many features of its wide-ranging resolution on oceans and the law of the sea, the Assembly noted that ecosystem approaches to ocean management should be focused on managing human activities in order to maintain and, where needed, restore ecosystem health.  The aim would be to sustain goods and environmental services, provide social and economic benefits for food security, sustain livelihoods in support of international development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, and conserve marine biodiversity.


World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

(17 June)


The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, 17 June, was proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1995 (resolution 49/115), marking the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification on 17 June 1994.  The Assembly invited States to devote the World Day to promoting awareness of the need for international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought, including implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification.


International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

(16 September)


In 1994, the General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (resolution 49/114).  States were invited to devote the Day to promote activities in accordance with the objectives of the Protocol and its amendments.  The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.


International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment

in War and Armed Conflict

(6 November)


On 5 November 2001, the General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (resolution 56/4).  In taking this action, it considered that damage to the environment in times of armed conflict impairs ecosystems and natural resources long after the period of conflict, often extending beyond the limits of national territories and the present generation.  It also recalled the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which emphasizes the necessity of working to protect our common environment.


United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation

(19 December)


On 23 December 2004, the General Assembly declared 19 December of each year as the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation (resolution 58/220).  This marks the date, in 1978, when the General Assembly endorsed the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (resolution 33/134).


Health

 


World Autism Awareness Day

(2 April)


Deeply concerned by the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world, the General Assembly has designated 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day.  By its resolution 62/139 of 18 December 2007, the Assembly encouraged Member States to take measures to raise awareness throughout society regarding children with autism.


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life and results from a neurological disorder.  It affects the functioning of the brain and is characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restrictive, repetitive behaviour, interests and activities.  Autism affects children in all regions, irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status.  It poses challenges to long-term health care, education, training and intervention programmes, and has a tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies.


World Diabetes Day

(14 November)


Welcoming the fact that the International Diabetes Federation has been observing World Diabetes Day globally since 1991, with co-sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), the General Assembly, on 20 December 2006, designated 14 November, the current World Diabetes Day, as a United Nations Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2007 (resolution 61/225).

Recognizing that diabetes is a chronic, debilitating and costly disease which poses serious challenges to development, the Assembly encouraged Member States to develop national policies for its prevention, treatment and care in line with the sustainable development of their health-care systems, taking account of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.


The Assembly also invited all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Diabetes Day in an appropriate manner, including through education and the mass media.


Human Rights


International Year for People of African Descent

(2011)


On 18 December 2009, the General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent (resolution 64/169).  The observance aims to strengthen national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of their rights (economic, cultural, social, civil and political); their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society; and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.


The Assembly has encouraged Member States, the specialized agencies of the United Nations system and civil society to make preparations for and identify possible initiatives that can contribute to the success of the Year.


World Refugee Day

(20 June)


On 4 December 2000, the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.  It, therefore, decided that, as from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day (resolution 55/76).  [Note:  OAU was replaced by the African Union on 9 July 2002.]


International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

(26 June)


The Assembly, in 1997, on the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council (decision 1997/251), proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (resolution 52/149 of 12 December).  The Day aims at the eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force on 26 June 1987.


International Day for Tolerance

(16 November)


In 1996, the General Assembly invited Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public (resolution 51/95 of 12 December).  This action came in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the Assembly in 1993 (resolution 48/126).  The Year had been declared on the initiative of UNESCO; on 16 November 1995, the UNESCO member States adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.


International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

(2 December)


The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, recalls the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of Others (resolution 317 (IV) of 2 December 1949).


Human Rights Day

(10 December)


All States and interested organizations were invited by the General Assembly in 1950 to observe 10 December as Human Rights Day (resolution 423 (V)).  The Day marks the anniversary of the Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.


International Migrants Day

(18 December)


As recommended by the Economic and Social Council (decision 2000/288 of 28 July 2000), the General Assembly has proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day (resolution 55/93 of 4 December 2000).  On that day in 1990, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families was adopted (resolution 45/158).  The Assembly has stressed the need to make further efforts to ensure respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants.  It is estimated that 1 in every 35 persons in the world is a migrant, living and working in a country other than his or her own.  All countries have migrants among their population.


Human Settlements


World Habitat Day

(first Monday of October)


In 1985, acting on a recommendation of the Commission on Human Settlements, the General Assembly designated the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day (resolution 40/202 A).  The first observance of the Day, in 1986, marked the tenth anniversary of the first international conference on the issue ‑‑ Habitat:  United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Vancouver, Canada, 1976).


Humanitarian Assistance


World Humanitarian Day

(19 August)


On 11 December 2008, the General Assembly designated 19 August each year as World Humanitarian Day (resolution 63/139).  The Day is intended to increase public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in that sphere.  It also aims to honour all humanitarian and United Nations workers in the humanitarian cause, including those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty.


Hunger

 


World Food Day

(16 October)


The aim of World Food Day, proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of FAO of the United Nations, is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.  The Day marks the date of the founding of FAO in 1945.  In 1980, the General Assembly endorsed observance of the Day in consideration of the fact that “food is a requisite for human survival and well-being and a fundamental human necessity” (resolution 35/70 of 5 December).


Indigenous People


Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People

(2005-2014)


On 16 December 2005, the General Assembly adopted the Programme of Action for the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (document A/60/270, sect. II), and adopted “Partnership for action and dignity” as its theme (resolution 60/142).  It appealed to the international community at large to provide financial support to the Programme of Action, including through contributions to the Voluntary Fund for the Second Decade, and urged all Governments and indigenous organizations concerned to take action to facilitate adoption of the draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples as soon as possible.


The Assembly proclaimed the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People on 21 December 1993, with the goal of strengthening international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health (resolution 48/163).  It proclaimed the Second International Decade on 20 December 2004, with the goal of further strengthening cooperation in those areas, including economic and social development (resolution 59/174).  It asked the Secretary-General to appoint the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs as the Coordinator for the Second Decade, and invited Governments to ensure that activities and objectives for the Second Decade are planned and implemented in full collaboration with indigenous people.


International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

(9 August)


On 23 December 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (resolution 49/214).  By its resolution 59/174 of 20 December 2004, in which the Assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014), it also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People every year during the Second Decade, in New York, Geneva and other offices of the United Nations.  The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to support observance of the Day from within existing resources, and to encourage Governments to observe the Day at the national level.


Information

 


World Press Freedom Day

(3 May)


The General Assembly in 1993 declared 3 May as World Press Freedom Day (decision 48/432 of 20 December).  This action stemmed from the UNESCO General Conference, which, by a 1991 resolution on “Promotion of press freedom in the world”, had recognized that a free, pluralistic and independent press was an essential component of any democratic society.  The General Conference had transmitted to the General Assembly the wish of UNESCO member States to have 3 May declared “International Press Freedom Day”.


That date commemorates the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, adopted on 3 May 1991 by the Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, organized by UNESCO and the United Nations in Windhoek, Namibia.


World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

(17 May)


On 27 March 2006, the General Assembly decided to proclaim 17 May annual World Information Society Day, to help to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communications technology can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide (resolution 60/252).  The date marks the founding of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on 17 May 1865.  The Assembly took this action as part of its follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society, which was held from 10 to 12 December 2003 in Geneva, and from 16 to 18 November 2005 in Tunis.  The Assembly also decided to conduct an overall review of the implementation of the Summit outcomes in 2015.


Prior to the establishment of this Day, World Telecommunication Day had been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969.  Following the Assembly’s proclamation, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, in November 2006, decided to celebrate both observances together, as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.


World Development Information Day

(24 October)


The General Assembly in 1972 instituted World Development Information Day to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them (resolution 3038 (XXVII)).  The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide in principle with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.  The Assembly felt that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.


World Television Day

(21 November)


In 1996, the General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day, commemorating the date on which, in 1996, the first World Television Forum was held at the United Nations.  States were invited to observe the Day by encouraging global exchanges of television programmes focusing on issues such as peace, security, economic and social development, and the enhancement of cultural exchanges (resolution 51/205 of 17 December).


Older Persons


International Day of Older Persons

(1 October)


The General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons by resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990, following up on United Nations initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the General Assembly.


Outer Space


World Space Week

(4-10 October)


By resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, the General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week, to be observed between 4 and 10 October, to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.  The dates recall the launch, on 4 October 1957, of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, and the entry into force, on 10 October 1967, of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space.


Palestine Question

 


International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

(29 November)


In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B).  On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II)).


On 2 December 2009, by its resolution 64/17, the Assembly encouraged Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.  It requested that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission for Palestine to the United Nations, as part of the observance of the Day.


Peace

 


International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence

for the Children of the World

(2001-2010)


On 7 December 2009, the General Assembly again stated that the objective of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World is to further strengthen the global movement for a culture of peace (resolution 64/80).  The Assembly invited States to continue to expand their activities promoting such a culture and encouraged UNESCO, as lead agency for the Decade, to further strengthen its activities to promote a culture of peace.  It also encouraged the Peacebuilding Commission to continue promoting a culture of peace and non-violence for children and invited States to observe 21 September each year, the International Day of Peace, as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.


The Assembly proclaimed the International Decade in 1998, following the observance of the International Year for the Culture of Peace in 2000 (resolution 53/25 of 10 November).  It invited non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and groups, educational institutions, artists and the media to support the Decade for the benefit of every child of the world.


International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

(29 May)


The Assembly has designated 29 May of each year as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace (resolution 57/129, 11 December 2002).  The Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals to observe the Day in an appropriate manner.


International Day of Peace

(21 September)


In 1981, the General Assembly declared that the opening day of its regular session in September “shall be officially dedicated and observed as the International Day of Peace and shall be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples” (resolution 36/67).  In 1998, the Assembly reaffirmed that the Day should continue to be observed on the opening day of its annual regular session (resolution 52/232 of 4 June).


On 7 September 2001, the Assembly decided that, beginning in 2002, the International Day of Peace shall be observed on 21 September each year, with this date to be brought to the attention of all people for the celebration and observance of peace (resolution 55/282).  It declared that the Day shall, henceforth, be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities throughout the Day.  It also invited Member States, United Nations bodies, regional and non-governmental organizations to commemorate the Day and to cooperate with the United Nations in establishing the global ceasefire.  On 17 December 2007, it again invited Member States to observe the International Day as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence (resolution 62/89).


International Day of Non-Violence

(2 October)


Reaffirming the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence, and desiring to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence, the General Assembly has decided to observe 2 October as the International Day of Non-Violence.  By its resolution 61/271 of 15 June 2007, the Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate the Day in an appropriate manner and to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.


The resolution originated from a Declaration adopted at the “International Conference on Peace, Non-Violence and Empowerment ‑‑ Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century”.  Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869.


Persons with Disabilities


International Day of Persons with Disabilities

(3 December)


On 18 December 2007, the Assembly decided to rename the International Day of Disabled Persons, observed every year on 3 December, as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (resolution 62/127).  It also called upon States that had not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol as a matter of priority.  The Convention was adopted on 13 December 2006.


The Assembly proclaimed the Day in 1992, at the conclusion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992), by its resolution 47/3.  The Decade had been a period of raising awareness and enacting measures to improve the situation of persons with disabilities and provide them with equal opportunities.  Subsequently, the Assembly appealed to Member States to highlight the observance of the Day in order to further integrate people with disabilities into society (resolution 47/88).


Racism and Racial Discrimination


Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling

against Racism and Racial Discrimination

(beginning 21 March)


As part of its programme for the first Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, the General Assembly in 1979 called for the observance by all States of a Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination, beginning on 21 March (resolution 34/24).


International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

(21 March)


The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March.  On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”.  Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).


International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of

Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

(25 March)


Recognizing how little is known about the 400-year-long transatlantic slave trade and its lasting consequences, felt throughout the world, the General Assembly has designated 25 March as an annual International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (resolution 62/122 of 17 December 2007).  The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to establish a programme of educational outreach to mobilize educational institutions and civil society, among others, on the subject of remembering the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, in order to inculcate future generations with the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade and to communicate the dangers of racism and prejudice.


This designation makes perennial the Assembly’s observance of 25 March 2007 as the International Day for the Commemoration of the Two-Hundredth Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.


Second World War


International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims

of the Holocaust

(27 January)


On 1 November 2005, the General Assembly designated 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust conducted during the Second World War by the Nazi regime (resolution 60/7).  In doing so, the Assembly rejected any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part.  By its resolution 61/255 of 26 January 2007, the Assembly condemned without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust.  It urged all Member States unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to that end.


By other terms of resolution 60/7, the Assembly urged Member States to develop educational programmes to inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.  It commended those States which have actively engaged in preserving those sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons during the Holocaust.  It requested that the Secretary-General establish a programme of outreach on the subject of “the Holocaust and the United Nations”, as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education.


Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who

Lost Their Lives during the Second World War

(8 and 9 May)


By its resolution 59/26 of 22 November 2004, the General Assembly declared 8 and 9 May as a time of remembrance and reconciliation, and invited Member States, United Nations bodies, non-governmental organizations and individuals to observe annually either one or both of those days in an appropriate manner, to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Second World War.


Women

 


Commemorative Meeting of the General Assembly to mark the fifteenth anniversary of

the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

(New York, March 2010, during the fifty-fourth session

of the Commission on the Status of Women)


In accordance with a decision adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 2009, the Assembly will hold a commemorative meeting to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which emerged from the Fourth World Conference on Women.  The meeting will take place at some point during the fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women.


United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace

(8 March)


In 1977 (resolution 32/142), the General Assembly invited States to proclaim, in accordance with their historical and national traditions and customs, any day of the year as United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.  States were called upon to contribute to creating conditions for the elimination of discrimination against women and for their full and equal participation in social development.  That action came on the wake of the International Women’s Year (1975) and the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985), both proclaimed by the Assembly.  The United Nations began observing International Women’s Day, 8 March, in 1975 ‑‑ the International Women’s Year.


International Day of Rural Women

(15 October)


The General Assembly has declared that 15 October of each year shall be officially proclaimed and observed as the International Day of Rural Women.  By its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, the Assembly urged Member States, in collaboration with the organizations of the United Nations and civil society, to undertake measures to improve the situation of rural women, including indigenous women, in their national, regional and global development strategies.


These measures include creating an enabling environment to improve the situation of rural women; pursuing their political and socio-economic empowerment; supporting their full and equal participation in decision-making at all levels; integrating a gender perspective in the design, implementation, follow-up and evaluation of development policies and programmes; addressing their specific health needs; ensuring the rights of older women in rural areas to basic social services; mobilizing resources for increasing women’s access to existing savings and credit schemes; and integrating increased employment opportunities for rural women in all international and national development and poverty eradication strategies.


International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

(25 November)


The General Assembly has designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and has invited Governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to organize on that day activities to raise public awareness on the problem (resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999).  Women’s activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981.  The date came from the brutal 1961 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.


Youth

 


International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding

(the year beginning on 12 August 2010)


Bearing in mind that 2010 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1985 International Youth Year:  Participation, Development and Peace, the General Assembly has proclaimed the year commencing on 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding (resolution 64/134 of 18 December 2009).  It has invited all Member States, the specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and youth organizations to take advantage of the Year to build on the synergies among their activities and to promote actions aimed at disseminating among young people the ideals of peace, freedom, progress, solidarity and dedication to the objectives and goals of progress and development, including the Millennium Development Goals.


- and –


United Nations World Youth Conference

(during the International Year of Youth)


Also by its resolution 64/134, the Assembly has decided to organize a United Nations World Youth Conference as a highlight of the Year.  To that end, it has invited the President of the General Assembly to conduct open-ended informal consultations with Member States with a view to determining the modalities of the Conference, which will be funded by voluntary contributions.


International Youth Day

(12 August)


The General Assembly, on 17 December 1999 (resolution 54/120 I), endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.  It recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, adopted by the Assembly in 1995 (resolution 50/81).


Other Observances


International Day of Families

(15 May)


In 1993, the General Assembly decided that 15 May of every year should be observed as the International Day of Families (resolution 47/237 of 20 September).  In 1989, by resolution 44/82, the Assembly had proclaimed 1994 the International Year of the Family, to increase awareness of family issues and improve the capability of nations to tackle family-related problems with comprehensive policies.


United Nations Public Service Day

(23 June)


On 30 November 2005, the Assembly stressed the importance of making more effective use of United Nations Public Service Day and the United Nations Public Service Awards in the process of revitalizing public administration by building a culture of innovation, partnership and responsibility (resolution 60/34).


The Assembly designated 23 June of each year as United Nations Public Service Day on 20 December 2002 (resolution 57/277).  It encouraged Member States to organize special events on that Day to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process.


World Population Day

(11 July)


In 1989, the Governing Council of UNDP recommended that 11 July be observed as World Population Day.  An outgrowth of the Day of Five Billion, celebrated on 11 July 1987, the Day seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, particularly in the context of poverty reduction and development strategies and plans.  World population totalled 6.7 billion in 2007, and was growing by some 78 million a year.  The United Nations estimates that there will be between 7.7 billion and 10.6 billion people in 2050, with 9.1 billion the most likely projection.


Nelson Mandela International Day

(18 July)


Recognizing Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s leading role in Africa’s struggle for liberation and unity, his dedication to the service of humanity as a humanitarian, and acknowledging his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and in promoting a culture of peace worldwide, the General Assembly has designated 18 July each year as Nelson Mandela International Day (resolution 64/13 of 10 November 2009).


In taking this action, the Assembly recognized Nelson Mandela’s outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa, as well as his service in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, human rights, reconciliation, gender equality, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, and the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities.


The Assembly has invited all Member States, the United Nations system and other international organizations, and civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day in an appropriate manner.


The annual observance coincides with Mr. Mandela’s birthday; he was born on 18 July 1918.


International Day of Democracy

(15 September)


The General Assembly has decided to observe 15 September of each year as the International Day of Democracy, to be brought to the attention of all people for its celebration and observance (resolution 62/7 of 8 November 2007).  The Assembly encouraged Governments to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy.  It encouraged regional and other intergovernmental organizations to share their experiences in the field of democracy promotion with each other and with the United Nations system where appropriate.  It also urged them to actively participate in future meetings and activities of the International Conference of New or Restored Democracies.


The Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, regional and intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate the International Day of Democracy in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.  It also invited Member States to continue to ensure that parliamentarians and civil society organizations are given appropriate opportunity to be involved in, and to contribute to, the celebration of the International Day.


United Nations Day

(24 October)


The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on 24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.  It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization.  In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that Member States observe it as a public holiday (resolution 2782 (XXVI)).


World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

(third Sunday of November, annually)


On 26 October 2005, the General Assembly invited Member States and the international community to recognize the third Sunday in November of every year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, as acknowledgement for victims of road traffic crashes and their families (resolution 60/5).


International Civil Aviation Day

(7 December)


In 1996, the General Assembly proclaimed 7 December as International Civil Aviation Day, and urged Governments, as well as national, regional, international and intergovernmental organizations, to take steps to observe it (resolution 51/33 of 6 December).  The Day had been declared in 1992 by the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations specialized agency, to highlight and advance the benefits of international civil aviation.  Observation of the Day started on 7 December 1994 ‑‑ the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which established ICAO.


International Anti-Corruption Day

(9 December)


On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4).  The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.  The Convention entered into force in December 2005.


Other International Days


Other international days observed throughout the United Nations system include:  International Mother Language Day (21 February); World Meteorological Day (23 March); World Health Day (7 April); World Book and Copyright Day (23 April); World No-Tobacco Day (31 May); International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition (23 August); International Literacy Day (8 September); World Maritime Day (during last week of September); World Teachers’ Day (5 October); World Post Day (9 October); World Mental Health Day (10 October); and International Mountain Day (11 December).


Index

 


Conferences, Events and Special Meetings


Fourth High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing for Development

( New York, 16 and 17 March 2010)


Commemorative Meeting of General Assembly to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

( New York, March 2010, during the fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women)


High-level Interactive Dialogue on implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015)

( New York, “World Day for Water”, 22 March 2010)


Second Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia

( New York, 30 April 2010)


First meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference Sustainable Development

( New York, for three days in 2010)


2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

( New York, 3 to 28 May 2010)


International Conference and High-level Dialogue on a midterm review of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005-2015)

( Tajikistan, June 2010)


Biennial Meeting of States on Implementation of the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

( New York, 14 to 18 June 2010)


High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to accelerate progress towards achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals by 2015

( New York, 20 to 22 September 2010)


General Assembly High-Level Review to Assess Progress Made in Addressing the Vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States

( New York, two days in September 2010)


High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Transnational Organized Crime

( New York, one day during the second quarter of 2010)


High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to mark the International Year of Biodiversity

( New York, for one day, in 2010, as close as possible to the opening of the general debate of the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session)


United Nations World Youth Conference

(during International Year of Youth, which begins on 12 August 2010; modalities, including dates, to be determined)


Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

( New York, from 10 to 14 January, and 18 to 25 April 2011)


Second meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

( New York, for two days in 2011)


Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

(for five days during the first half of 2011, at a venue and time to be determined)


Two Plenary Meetings of the General Assembly as Follow-up to the International Year of Volunteers and to Commemorate Its Tenth Anniversary

( New York, on or around 5 December 2011)


Meeting of Governmental Experts on Implementation Challenges Relating to the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

( New York, for one week, no later than in 2011)


Conference to Review Progress in Implementing the Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

( New York, for two weeks, no later than in 2012)


Third and final meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

( New York, for three days in 2012, immediately preceding the Conference)


United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

( Brazil, 2012, for three days; date and venue to be determined)


United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

(for four consecutive weeks in 2012)


Meeting of the General Assembly in support of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty

( New York, during the Assembly’s sixty-eighth session (2013-2014))


High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

( New York, during the General Assembly’s sixty-eighth session in 2013)


International Decades and Years


2001-2010

Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa


2001-2010

Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism


2001-2010

International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World


2003-2012

United Nations Literacy Decade:  Education for All


2005-2014

Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People


2005-2014

United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development


2005–2015

International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (from 22 March 2005)


2006–2016

Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions (relating to the Chernobyl disaster)


2008–2017

Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty


2010–2020

United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification


2010

International Year of Biodiversity


2010

International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures


2010/11

International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding (beginning on 12 August 2010)


2011

International Year for People of African Descent


2011

International Year of Forests


2011

International Year of Chemistry


2012

International Year of Cooperatives


Annual Days and Weeks


27 January

International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust


20 February

World Day of Social Justice


21 February

International Mother Language Day


8 March

United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace (International Women’s Day)


21 March

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


Beginning 21 March

Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination

22 March

World Day for Water


23 March

World Meteorological Day


25 March

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade


2 April

World Autism Awareness Day


4 April

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action


7 April

World Health Day


22 April

International Mother Earth Day


23 April

World Book and Copyright Day


3 May

World Press Freedom Day


8 and 9 May

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War


15 May

International Day of Families


17 May

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day


21 May

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development


22 May

International Day for Biological Diversity


Beginning 25 May

Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories


29 May

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers


31 May

World No-Tobacco Day


4 June

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression


5 June

World Environment Day


8 June

World Oceans Day


17 June

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought


20 June

World Refugee Day


23 June

United Nations Public Service Day


26 June

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking


26 June

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture


3 July

International Day of Cooperatives (first Saturday of July)


11 July

World Population Day


18 July

Nelson Mandela International Day


9 August

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (through 9 August 2014)


12 August

International Youth Day


19 August

World Humanitarian Day


23 August

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition


29 August

International Day against Nuclear Tests


8 September

International Literacy Day


15 September

International Day of Democracy


16 September

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer


21 September

International Day of Peace


September

World Maritime Day (during last week of September)


1 October

International Day of Older Persons


2 October

International Day of Non-Violence


4-10 October

World Space Week


5 October

World Habitat Day (first Monday of October)


5 October

World Teachers’ Day


9 October

World Post Day


10 October

World Mental Health Day


13 October

International Day for Disaster Reduction


13 October

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction (second Wednesday of October)


15 October

International Day of Rural Women


16 October

World Food Day


17 October

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty


24 October

United Nations Day


24 October

World Development Information Day


24-30 October

Disarmament Week


6 November

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict


14 November

World Diabetes Day


16 November

International Day for Tolerance


20 November

Africa Industrialization Day


20 November

Universal Children’s Day


21 November

World Television Day


21 November

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (third Sunday of November)


25 November

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


29 November

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People


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


7 December

International Civil Aviation Day


9 December

International Anti-Corruption Day


10 December

Human Rights Day


11 December

International Mountain Day


18 December

International Migrants Day


19 December

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation


20 December

International Human Solidarity Day


* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.