MIL-OSI Translation: The 218 international days of the UN: what are they and what are they for?

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THOUSAND OSI Translation. Region: Spanish/Latin America/UN –

Source: United Nations – in Spanish 4

Headline: The 218 international days of the UN: what are they and what are they for?

This month there will be more global celebrations than there are days in June, to commemorate everything from bicycles to the oceans. But how did the UN begin to set global dates?

The tradition began long before the creation of the UN in 1945, but the Organization and its growing members soon adopted the designated days as a powerful promotional tool.

Who chooses the days?

One of the first designations was the declaration by the UN General Assembly in 1947 that October 24 should be celebrated as United Nations Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Charter that founded the Organization.

Since then, UN Member States have proposed more than 200 appointments, submitting draft resolutions to the General Assembly so that all members, representing 193 nations, can vote.

Other UN specialized agencies have also made designations, although instead of being called International Days they are called World Days, such as World AIDS Day, declared by the members of the World Health Organization (WHO) and celebrated annually on 1 December to bring together people from all over the world and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The Assembly has created most international celebrations, declaring them with a two-thirds majority vote in favor of resolutions setting out the reasons for each day.

What are the most recent days?

The world body declared its last international day last month. Unanimously adopted a resolution proclaiming May 25 International Football Day, since 2024 marks the centenary of the first international football tournament in history with representation from all regions, within the framework of the Summer Olympic Games in 1924, held in Paris.

The commemoration events began at United Nations Headquarters, where Member States held a special meeting for this occasion.

International Markhor Day was established on May 24, 2023, to celebrate this iconic and ecologically significant species found in mountain ranges from Afghanistan to Turkmenistan.

Unsplash/Andrey Sokolov

Doubling of days

As the decades have passed, the calendar has gotten a little crowded.

That’s why some days are shared. On June 5, as the world commemorates ecology, it will also celebrate the International Day to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

One of the busiest days is March 21, which UN Member States have designated as the start of the Week of Solidarity with People Fighting Racism and Racial Discrimination, as well as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Racial Discrimination, International Nowruz Day and International Down Syndrome Day.

There was also space on the calendar on March 21 for World Poetry Day, declared by the members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

rare exceptions

Sometimes there are exceptions.

In 1971, the then UN Secretary General, U Thant, declared April 22 the first Earth Day, but it was not until 2009 that UN Member States designated June 5 as World Environment Day. .

That global designation has since become the planet’s largest day focused on ecology, celebrated annually around the world.

Highlight global issues

International days can mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, while celebrating and reinforcing human achievements.

By creating special celebrations, the UN promotes global awareness and action on these issues.

Most importantly, governments, civil society, public and private sectors, schools, universities and citizens can make an international day a springboard for raising awareness.

Mandela Day

The UN considers international days to be occasions to educate the general public on topics of interest or to commemorate an important day or figure in history.

This is the case of Nelson Mandela International Day. It is celebrated annually on July 18, the date of birth of the first democratically elected President of South Africa, who fought against apartheid and won after 27 years in prison for defending civil rights.

What year do we celebrate?

The UN also celebrates designated weeks, years and decades, each with a theme or issue.

We are halfway through the Year of the Camelids, those trusty dromedaries that the UN has counted on for decades to bring lifesaving assistance to remote communities and peacekeeping troops to their missions.

The UN General Assembly declared 2024 the year of these heroes of the deserts and highlands.

Because? From alpacas to Bactrian camels, dromedaries, guanacos, llamas and vicuñas, camelids contribute to food security, nutrition and economic growth, as well as having great cultural and social significance for communities around the world.

Camelids also play a critical role in the culture, economy, food security and livelihoods of communities in the Andean highlands and arid and semi-arid lands of Africa and Asia, including indigenous peoples.

Plus, they’re just adorable.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

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