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Note:  This is not a list of National Days, commemorative days, or days which have some significance in one or a very small number of countries.

Definition of an International Observance:
An international observance, also known as an international dedication or an international anniversary is a period of time to observe some issue of international interest or concern. 

►  See International Observances
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This is used to commemorate, promote and mobilize for action. 
Many of these periods have been established by the United Nations General Assembly (UN), Economic and Social Council, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO) and other United Nations bodies including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In this case, the lead agency for a particular international observance uses the symbolism of the United Nations (UN), perhaps a specially designed logo for the year, and the UN infrastructure to coordinate events worldwide. It also presents a written report about the event. This summarizes the activities that took place around the world under the auspices of the international observance, and makes recommendations for the future.
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List of international observances
Below is a list of years and decades that have been denoted as international observances by the United Nations and also other organizations that declare international observances but are not as widely recognized.
Days

Years
Before 1950

  1882/1883 – International Polar Year
  1932/1933 – International Polar Year

1950s

  1957/1958 – International Geophysical Year
  1959/1960 – World Refugee Year

1960s

  1961 – International Health and Medical Research Year
  1965 – International Cooperation Year
  1967 – International Tourist Year
  1968 – International Year for Human Rights

1970s

  1970 – International Education Year
  1971 – International Year for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
  1974 – World Population Year
  1975 – International Women's Year
  1978/1979 – International Anti-Apartheid Year
  1979 – International Year of the Child

1980s

  1981 – International Year of Disabled Persons
  1982 – International Year of Mobilization for Sanctions against South Africa
  1983 – World Communications Year
  1984 – Year of Women in South Africa
  1985 – Year of the United Nations
  1985 – International Youth Year
  1986 – International Year of Peace
  1987 – International Year of Shelter for the Homeless

1990s

  1990 – International Literacy Year – United Nations General Assembly Resolution 104 session 42 International Literacy Year on December 7, 1987
  1992 – International Space Year
  1993 – International Year of the World's Indigenous People
  1994 – International Year of Sport and the Olympic Ideal
  1994 – International Year of the Family
  1995 – World Year of Peoples' Commemoration of Victims of the Second World War
  1995 – United Nations Year for Tolerance
  1996 – International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
  1998 – International Year of the Ocean
  1999 – International Year of Older Persons
  1999 – International Men's Day

2010s

  2010 – International Year of Communications, International Year for the Reapprochement of Cultures
  2010 – International Year of Biodiversity
  2010 – International Year of Youth
  2011 – International Year of Forests
  2011 – International Year of Advanced Skills
  2011 – International Year of Chemistry, recognized by UNESCO
  2011 – International Year for People of African descent
  2011 – World Veterinary Year 2011
  2012 – International Year of Cooperatives
  2012 – International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
  2013 – International Year of Water Cooperation
  2013 – International Year of Quinoa
  2014 – International Year of Family Farming
  2014 – International Year of Crystallography
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Decades

  •   1976–1985 – United Nations Decade for Women, recognized by the UN
  •   1990s – International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction
  •   1994–2004 – First International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, recognized by the UN
  •   1997–2006 – First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, recognized by the UN
  •   2000–2010 – Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (pdf), recognized by the UN
  •   2000–2010 – Bone and Joint Decade, recognized by WHO
  •   2001–2010 – International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, recognized by the UN
  •   2001–2010 – Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa (2001–2010), recognized by the UN
  •   2003–2012 – United Nations Literacy Decade , recognized by the UN
  •   2005–2014 – United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development – , recognized by the UN
  •   2005–2014 – Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, recognized by the UN
  •   2005–2015 – Water for Life Decade, recognized by the UN
  •   2010–2020 – United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification, recognized by the UN
  •   2011–2020 – United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, recognized by the UN; Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, recognized by the UN; Decade of Action for Road Safety [www.who.int/roadsafety/decade_of_action/en/index.html], recognized by the UN
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See also
  •   Awareness days
  •   List of commemorative days

References
http://www.un.org/en/events/observances/days.shtml

External links

Resources: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article May / and other related pages. Top Photo: homestead
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