The United Nations observes designated days, weeks, years, and decades, each with a theme, or topic. By creating special observances, the United Nations promotes international awareness and action on these issues.The majority of observances have been established by resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, although some have been designated by UN specialized agencies.
The list of August observances are:
Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity. Around the world, more than 5,000 distinct indigenous groups live in some 90 countries. International Day of the World’s Indigenous People promotes the enjoyment of the rights of indigenous people and the full development of their distinct cultures and communities. This Day also highlights the importance of honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 1995 resolution A/RES/49/214.
Young people today face pressing global challenges, including high levels of unemployment, vulnerable working conditions and marginalization from decision-making processes. International Youth Day promotes national action and international support to improve the situation of young people. Every year, the UN works with Governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and philanthropists to help increase opportunities for young people. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 1999 resolution A/RES/54/120.
Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people in need around the world. World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others, as well as draw attention to the importance of international cooperation in meeting humanitarian needs. This Day coincides with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which the UN marks with a memorial service paying tribute to those who have lost their lives in service to humanity. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 2009 resolution A/RES/63/139.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its December 19, 2017 resolution A/RES/72/165, in order to honour the victims and survivors of terrorism and to promote and protect the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. On 15 June 2017, the General Assembly established the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT). It is fully committed to supporting victims of terrorism, including by enhancing the UN Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, building the know¬ledge and skills of victims of terrorism to counter the narrative of violent extremists,
campaigning for global awareness on the role of victims of terrorism, developing and supporting projects to enhance Member States capa¬cities to assist and show solidarity with victims of terrorism.
This International Day is the occasion to highlight both the extent of the repercussions of this human tragedy and the richness of the cultural expressions that people of African descent have produced in the face of adversity through visual arts, music, dance, spirituality, thought, political action and knowledge building. This commemoration recalls that the slave trade is not just a thing of the past. It reveals how the slave trade has shaped the face of many modern societies, creating unbreakable bonds between peoples and continents, irreversibly transforming the destiny of nations as well as their economies, cultures, and identities. Ultimately, it is the occasion to learn lessons from the discourses that justify barbarism, and to pay homage to the dignity and resilience of the victims of the slave trade.
Since nuclear weapons testing began in the mid-twentieth century, history has shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing and its continued threat to human health and global stability. International Day against Nuclear Tests urges States to observe their obligation to develop and sustain international peace through nuclear disarmament. Educational events, activities and messages raise awareness of the need for a unified attempt to prevent further nuclear weapons testing. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 2009 resolution A/RES/64/35.
Enforced disappearance is often used as a strategy to spread terror within communities. While once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearance has become a global problem. International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances highlights the global insecurity generated by this practice and its effects on not only the relatives of the disappeared, but also their communities and society as a whole. This Day urges States to strengthen laws to prevent human rights violations, support the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 2012 resolution A/RES/65/209.