International Days

The United Nations General Assembly designates a number of "International Days" to mark important aspects of human life and history (the comprehensive list of all days celebrated by the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies is available here: International Days).

United Nations Specialized Agencies, including UNESCO, can also proclaim World Days. In this case, the proclamation of international days depends on their governing bodies and internal regulations only.

UNESCO thus celebrates UN International Days related to its fields of competence, in addition to the other World Days, proclaimed by the Organization's governing bodies or other institutions.

The list of official messages by the Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of International Days with which UNESCO is associated is available here

International Days observed at UNESCO

January   February   March   April   May   June   July   August   September   October   November   December


27 January
International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust ( 34 C/Resolution 61; A/RES/60/7)
UN website


11 February
International Day of Women and Girls in Science ( A/70/474/Add.2)
UN website

13 February
World Radio Day ( 36 C/Resolution 63; A/67/62)

21 February
International Mother Language Day ( 30 C/62; A/RES/56/262)
UN website


8 March
International Women’s Day
( 20 C/Resolution 13.2)
UN website

20 March
International Francophonie Day (in French)
(Message from the Director-General)

21 March
World Poetry Day
( 30 C/Resolution 29( Message from the Director-General)
UN website

21 March
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
( 14 C/Resolution 11; A/RES/2142 (XXI))
UN website

21 March
International Day of Nowruz
( 184 EX/SR.1-9; A/RES/64/253( Message from the Director-General)
UN website

22 March
World Day for Water
( 141 EX/22; A/RES/47/193)
UN website


6 April
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
( 37 C/60; A/RES/67/296)

23 April
World Book and Copyright Day
( 28 C/Resolution 3.18)
UN website

30 April
International Jazz Day
( 36 C/Resolution 39)


3 May
World Press Freedom Day
( 26 C/Resolution 4.3)
UN website

5 May
African World Heritage Day ( 38 C/68)

16 May
International Day of Light ( 39 C/40)

21 May
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
( 166 EX/37; A/RES/57/249( Message from the Director-General)
UN website

22 May
International Day for Biological Diversity
( 146 EX/32; A/RES/49/119( Message from the Director-General)
UN website

25 May
Africa Day / Africa Week (from 22 to 24 May)


5 June
World Environment Day
( 112 EX/15; A/RES/2994 (XXVII) )
UN website

8 June
World Oceans Day
( 181 EX/4; A/RES/63/111 )
UN website

17 June
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
( A/RES/49/115)
UN website


18 July
Nelson Mandela International Day
( A/RES/64/13)
UN website

26 July
International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
( 38 C/66)


9 August
International Day of the World's Indigenous People ( 146 EX/32; A/RES/49/214)
UN website

12 August
International Youth Day
( 159 EX/28; A/RES/54/120)
UN website

23 August
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
( 29 C/Resolution 40)


8 September
International Literacy Day
( 14 C/Resolution 1.441)

15 September
International Day of Democracy
( A/RES/62/7( Message from the Director-General)
UN website

20 September
International Day of University Sport 
( 38 C/Resolution 44)

21 September
International Day of Peace
( 114 EX/24; A/RES/36/67; A/RES/55/282)
UN website

28 September
International Day for the Universal Access to Information
( 38 C/70)


5 October
World Teachers' Day
( 27 C/INF.7)

13 October
International Day for Disaster Reduction
( 134 EX/15; A/RES/44/236; A/RES/64/200)
UN website

17 October
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
( 28 C/Resolution 2.1; A/RES/47/196)
UN website

20 October
World Statistics Day
( A/RES/64/267)
UN website

27 October
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage
( 33 C/Resolution 53)
UN website


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

5 November
World Day of Romani Language
( 38 C/65)

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

10 November
World Science Day for Peace and Development
( 31 C/Resolution 20)
UN website

Third Thursday in November
World Philosophy Day
( 33 C/Resolution 37)
UN website

16 November
International Day for Tolerance
( 28 C/Resolution 5.61; A/RES/51/95)
UN website

25 November
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
( 159 EX/28; A/RES/54/134)
Event organized at UNESCO Headquarters on 24 November 2017 (details)
UN website

29 November
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
( 114 EX/24; A/RES/32/40B)
UN website


1 December
World AIDS Day
( 130 EX/INF.3)
UN website

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

10 December
Human Rights Day
( 3 C/Resolution 14.8; A/RES/423 (V))
UN website

18 December
International Migrants Day
( 161 EX/37; A/RES/55/93)
UN website

18 December
World Arabic Language Day
( 190 EX/Decision 48)