International Days

These are the international days currently observed by the United Nations. The United Nations designates specific days, weeks, years and decades as occasions to mark particular events or topics in order to promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organization. Usually, it is one or more Member States that propose these observances and the General Assembly establishes them with a resolution. On occasion, these celebrations are declared by the specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO, etc., when they concern issues that fall within the scope of their competencies. Some of them may be later adopted by the General Assembly.

January

February

4 February World Cancer Day – February 4

The World Cancer Day is an annual special day initiated by the Union for International Cancer Control or UICC and observed every February 4. Its main objective is to significantly reduce the global morbidity and mortality from cancer. The special day is an opportunity for…

Continue reading »

13 February World Radio Day – February 13

Empowering Mass Communication for the Masses Radio as a means of mass communication is arguably the most empowering medium of information, ideas and opinions that shape the collective consciousness of the people. If used correctly, it is an instrument of good that can educate even…

Continue reading »

16 February International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Condemnation Against Female Genital Mutilation Old traditions oftentimes need to be preserved and protected for the sake of anthropological considerations and cultural diversity. As much as possible, “modern” society must not intervene and try to assimilate the “primitive” culture. Otherwise, the unique identity of tribal…

Continue reading »

20 February World Day of Social Justice – February 20

Promoting Equitable Access to Opportunities, Transcending Barriers Social justice is basically about the fair or just relations of the individual to society in general. It is fundamentally concerned how individuals are treated regardless of their socioeconomic class, gender, religion, ethnic background or age. Social justice…

Continue reading »

21 February International Mother Language Day – February 21

Changes and Threats on Some Languages of the World Communication through symbolic means is not unique in humans. Other species of organisms have varying forms of communication. Social insects like bees communicate through pheromones. Whales communicate through ultrasonic signals underwater. Apes can learn rudimentary sign…

Continue reading »

March

1 March Zero Discrimination Day

Overcoming Bigotry and Irrational Discrimination Bigotry comes in various forms such as racial, gender, religious, and age-based bigotry. Some people and groups of people are culturally conditioned to become bigots. Children learn bigotry from their parents and from the community where they belong. Although some…

Continue reading »

3 March All Lives at Stake: Why Conserve Wildlife?

As human population continues to increase, we are losing species at approximately 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate. It means that one to five species naturally get extinct every year. However, due to heightened anthropogenic factors, dozens get extinct on a daily basis (150-200…

Continue reading »

8 March Global Struggle for Women’s Rights and Equality, Not Over

Politically disenfranchised The struggle for women’s rights and equality continues despite of the past victories in some countries. Women remain marginalized and oppressed in some cultures. Although women won the rights for suffrage in many countries like those in Europe and North America, women are…

Continue reading »

20 March The Unending Pursuit of Happiness

From ancient philosophers and religious figures to present-day self-help gurus, the concept of happiness has been emphasized as the central and ultimate pursuit of human existence. People also have distinctions as to the quality and levels of being happy. Even sufferings and personal sacrifices are…

Continue reading »

21 March Forests as Major Lifeline of the World

Forests can be considered as major lifeline because of its many roles in the complex ecological balance of the earth. Aside from being a crucial source of oxygen, forests provide habitats for may organisms. Around 80% of all the land-based species of animals, plants and…

Continue reading »

21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Eradicating Racial Prejudice, Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia Racial prejudice, racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia are all related, but they should not be conflated. Most people have racial prejudice but not necessarily racist or xenophobic. The term xenophobia refers to the feelings of fear and distrust…

Continue reading »

December

1 December World AIDS Day

Aids Awareness, Prevention, Test and Treatment Word AIDS Day is an international observance initiated by the United Nations with the main purpose of inculcating global awareness. Awareness leads to better prevention programs and proactive medical interventions. The primary goals include avoiding infection and preventing the…

Continue reading »

2 December International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was first organized by the United Nations General Assembly on December 2, 1986. It was a recognition of the reality of slavery in the modern world. Despite of international treaties and national laws, human exploitation in the…

Continue reading »

3 December International Day of Persons with Disability

Acknowledging People with Disabilities In a politically correct world, they are sometimes euphemistically called differently abled persons or persons with special needs. The euphemism is not intended to misdirect but rather to show respect. However, the more accurate term, “disabled persons,” is officially used by…

Continue reading »

5 December World Soil Day

SOS: Save Our Soil #StopSoilPollution and be one of the world’s environmental warriors If soil gets polluted, the ecosystem gets harmed as well, killing many organisms in the process. Usually neglected, soil is getting more degraded in the past decades since a lot of people…

Continue reading »

7 December International Civil Aviation

The Need for a Global Celebration of International Civil Aviation Twenty-two years ago (1996), the United Nations General Assembly declared the seventh day of December as the special day for celebrating civil aviation. Since then, the International Civil Aviation Day has been celebrated around the…

Continue reading »

9 December International Anti-Corruption Day

Fighting Graft and Corruption for a Better World Economic experts estimate that at least US$2 trillion is stolen from government funds worldwide each year through corruption. At the same time, approximately US$ 1 trillion is paid to corrupt government officials as bribes to favor certain…

Continue reading »

9 December International Day for the Commemoration of the Victims of Genocide

The Nazi’s “Final Solution” led to the systematic torture, experimentation, enslavement, and ultimately extermination of more than six million Jews. Although the Nazis victimized other people, the industrial-level of efficiency and coldness the Holocaust was carried out was distinct. It targeted one specific ethnic group…

Continue reading »

10 December International Human Rights Day

Celebrating Human Equality and Dignity The annual celebration of the International Human Rights Day every 10th day of December purposely coincides with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This year marks the 70th year anniversary of the declaration. Historical background The…

Continue reading »

11 December International Mountain Day

Sustainability of Mountains and the Communities Dependent on Them The sustainability of mountain communities is directly dependent on the sustainability of the mountains. The mountain ecosystem must be protected without necessarily sacrificing the economic needs of the communities that are directly dependent on mountain resources….

Continue reading »

12 December International Day of Neutrality

Preventing Global Conflicts through Neutrality Both World War I and World War II occurred mainly because of alliances among nation-states that sought to dominate other countries. Extreme nationalism and regionalism led to these two most devastating wars in history. These wars were different from all…

Continue reading »

12 December International Health Coverage Day – December 12

Ensuring Fundamental Right to Health and Well-Being Access to universal healthcare is a hotly debated and highly politicized issue in some developed countries like the United States. Even though the governments in these developed countries can afford universal healthcare, the critics point out that it…

Continue reading »

18 December International Migrants Day – December 18

Balancing the Tide of Migration in a Globalized Economy The progress of humanity has been marked by major waves of migrations such as the prehistoric migration of the first groups of humans from the African continent into Europe. The spread of human population around the…

Continue reading »

18 December Arabic Language Day – December 18

Giving Importance to a Sacred Language Arabic was originally the common language of nomadic tribes but eventually was promoted to a high status with the emergence and spread of Islam. The language became a sacred language as it was used in writing down the revelations…

Continue reading »

20 December International Human Solidarity Day – December 20

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller Collective effort apparently defeats scattered individual efforts. This is simply called solidarity which was acknowledged as one of the fundamental values of international relations in the 21st Century by United Nations’…

Continue reading »