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United Nations list of SEPTEMBER observances

The United Nations observes designated daysweeksyears, 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 September observances are:

  • September 5, International Day of Charity

Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection, and promote the rights of the marginalized and underprivileged. International Day of Charity, coinciding with the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, recognises the role of charity in responding to humanitarian crises and human suffering. The observance also aims to mobilize people, NGOs and stakeholders worldwide to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. Member States, organizations and civil society are invited to commemorate this Day by encouraging charity, including through education and public awareness-raising activities. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 2013 resolution A/RES/67/105.

  • September 9, International Literacy day 

Literacy is the foundation for lifelong learning, better well-being and livelihoods. It is a driver for sustainable and inclusive development, providing individuals with the skills to understand and shape the world, participate in democratic processes, and strengthen their cultural identity. International Literacy Day highlights that literacy is a human right and vital for social and human development. Every year, events are held to promote the importance of literacy and strategies for encouraging education opportunities in communities. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization proclaimed this Day in 1966.

  • September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for all ages. Every year, nearly one million people die from suicide. World Suicide Prevention Day encourages Governments to develop and maintain policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. Events held each year advocate for adequate treatment of depression, convey follow-up care options for people who have attempted suicide, and raise awareness of the importance of responsible reporting in the media. The World Health Organization supports the work of the International Association for Suicide Prevention in organizing this Day.

  • September 12, United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation

South-South cooperation is an important element of international cooperation for development. The rapid spread of modern information technology has dramatically increased connectivity and networking throughout the South, creating enormous opportunities for sharing experience, knowledge and good practices that can boost development. United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation urges multilateral institutions to intensify their efforts to offer viable opportunities for developing countries in their individual and collective pursuit of sustained economic growth and sustainable development. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 2004 resolution A/RES/58/220. 

  • September 15, International Day of Democracy

Freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. International Day of Democracy reminds States of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Events such as debates, school activities and radio and television programmes are held every year to raise awareness of the importance of democracy education. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 2007 resolution A/RES/62/7.

  • September 16, International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Sustainable peace requires sustainable development. International Day of Peace offers people globally a shared date to think about how, individually, they can contribute to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The UN invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during this Day, hold education and public awareness events on issues related to peace, and observe a minute of silence, at noon local time, to honour those killed in conflict and the survivors who live with daily trauma and pain. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 1981 resolution A/RES/36/67.

  • September 21, International Day of Peace

Sustainable peace requires sustainable development. International Day of Peace offers people globally a shared date to think about how, individually, they can contribute to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The UN invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during this Day, hold education and public awareness events on issues related to peace, and observe a minute of silence, at noon local time, to honour those killed in conflict and the survivors who live with daily trauma and pain. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this Day in its 1981 resolution A/RES/36/67.

  • September 23, International Day of Sign Languages

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations.  It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946. After general and complete disarmament first came onto the General Assembly’s agenda in 1959, nuclear disarmament has remained the most important and urgent objective of the United Nations in this field.  Since 1975, it has been a prominent theme of the review conferences of States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1978, the General Assembly’s first Special Session on disarmament reaffirmed that effective measures for nuclear disarmament have the highest priority. And it has been supported by every United Nations Secretary-General.

  • September 26, International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons  

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations.  It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946. After general and complete disarmament first came onto the General Assembly’s agenda in 1959, nuclear disarmament has remained the most important and urgent objective of the United Nations in this field.  Since 1975, it has been a prominent theme of the review conferences of States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1978, the General Assembly’s first Special Session on disarmament reaffirmed that effective measures for nuclear disarmament have the highest priority. And it has been supported by every United Nations Secretary-General.

  • September 27, World Tourism Day      

Hundreds of millions of people around the world depend on the tourism industry for their livelihood. Today, tourism is a trillion dollar sector involving the movement of over one billion tourists a year around the world and another five to six billion domestically. World Tourism Day fosters awareness in the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. Events held each year highlight the positive contribution tourism can make to sustainable development and cultural understanding. The World Tourism Organization established this Day at its third session in 1980.

  • September 27, World Maritime Day 

The passenger shipping sector has seen phenomenal growth on all fronts, including numbers of passengers, numbers of ships, new destinations and, perhaps most significant of all, in ship sizes. World Maritime Day reminds the public that despite advances in technology, shipping accidents continue to occur. This Day focuses attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment, and reminds States to reinvest in maintaining and updating the Convention on Safety of Life at Sea.

  • September 28, World Rabies Day

An estimated 55,000 people die every year from rabies—an average of one death every 10 minutes. World Rabies Day highlights the impact of human and animal rabies and effective ways to prevent and stop the disease. Every year, people take part in local, regional and national events to raise awareness about rabies, including educating village elders in remote areas, national media campaigns, sponsored runs and mass dog vaccinations.      

  • September 28, International Day for Universal Access to Information 

On 17 November 2015, UNESCO adopted a resolution (38 C/70) declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). IDUAI has particular relevance with the new 2030 Development Agenda, and in particular with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 16.10, which calls for ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.

  • September 30, International Translation Day

Transposition of a literary or scientific work, including technical work, from one language into another language, professional translation, including translation proper, interpretation and terminology, is indispensable to preserving clarity, a positive climate and productiveness in international public discourse and interpersonal communication. Thus, on 24 May 2017, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288 on the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development, and declared 30 September as International Translation Day.