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International Days

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International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition - 23 August

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 Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Days with which UNESCO is associated is available here

International Days observed at UNESCO

27 January International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust 34 C/Resolution 61 A/RES/60/7
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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
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8 March International Women’s Day 20 C/Resolution 13.2 UN web
20 March International Francophonie Day Message from the Director-General  
21 March World Poetry Day 30 C/Resolution 29 UN web
21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 14 C/Resolution 11 A/RES/2142 (XXI)
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21 March International Day of Nowruz 184 EX/SR.1-9 A/RES/64/253
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22 March World Day for Water 141 EX/22 A/RES/47/193
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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 web
30 April International Jazz Day 36 C/Resolution 39  
3 May World Press Freedom Day 26 C/Resolution 4.3 UN web
21 May World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 166 EX/37 A/RES/57/249
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22 May International Day for Biological Diversity 146 EX/32 A/RES/49/119
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25 May Africa Day / Africa Week    
5 June World Environment Day 112 EX/15 A/RES/2994 (XXVII)
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8 June World Oceans Day 181 EX/4 A/RES/63/111
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17 June World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought   A/RES/49/115
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18 July Nelson Mandela International Day   A/RES/64/13
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9 August International Day of the World's Indigenous People 146 EX/32 A/RES/49/214
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12 August International Youth Day 159 EX/28 A/RES/54/120
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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
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21 September International Day of Peace 114 EX/24 A/RES/36/67; A/RES/55/282
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5 October World Teachers' Day 27 C/INF.7 UN web
Second Wednesday in October International Day for Disaster Reduction 134 EX/15 A/RES/44/236; A/RES/64/200
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17 October International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 28 C/Resolution 2.1 A/RES/47/196
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20 October World Statistics Day   A/RES/64/267
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27 October World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 33 C/Resolution 53 UN web
2 November International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists   A/RES/68/163
10 November World Science Day for Peace and Development 31 C/Resolution 20 UN web
Third Thursday in November World Philosophy Day 33 C/Resolution 37 UN web
16 November International Day for Tolerance 28 C/Resolution 5.61 A/RES/51/95
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25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 159 EX/28 A/RES/54/134
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29 November International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 114 EX/24 A/RES/32/40B
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1 December World AIDS Day 130 EX/INF.3 UN web
3 December International Day of Persons with Disabilities   A/RES/47/3
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10 December Human Rights Day 3 C/Resolution 14.8 A/RES/423 (V)
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18 December International Migrants Day 161 EX/37 A/RES/55/93
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18 December World Arabic Language Day 190 EX/Decision 48