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UNO - International Years


Since 1959 the UN has designated International years in order to draw attention to major issues and to encourage international action to address concerns which have global importance and ramifications.

There is a concerted effort not to designate every year - for fiscal reasons and to avoid any process of trivialization. The following is the chronological list of years designated to date:

1959/60 World Refugee Year
1965 International Cooperation Year
1967 International Tourism Year
1968 International Year for Human Rights
1970 International Education Year
1971 International Year for Action to Combat Racism & Racial Discrimination
1974 World Population Year
1975 International Women’s Year
1978 International Anti-Apartheid Year
1979 International Year of the Child
1981 International Year of Disabled Persons
1982 International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions Against South Africa
1983 World Communications Year
1985 International Youth Year
1986 International Year of Peace
1987 International Year of Shelter for the Homeless
1990 International Literacy Year
1992 International Space Year (endorsed, not declared)
1993 International Year for World’s Indigenous People
1994 International Year of the Family;
International Year of Sport & Olympic Ideal
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;
Centennial of the First International Peace Conference
2000 International Year for the Culture of Peace;
International Year of Thanksgiving
2001 International Year of Volunteers;
United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations;
International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
2002 International Year of Mountains;
International Year of Culture Heritage;
International Year of Ecotourism
2003 International Year of Freshwater
2004 International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition;
International Year of Rice
2005 International Year of Microcredit;
International Year for Sport and Physical Education
2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification
2008 International Year of the Potato;
International Year of Planet Earth;
International Year of Sanitation;
International Year of Languages
2009 International Year of Human Rights Learning - from 10 December 2008 (Human Rights Day) to 10 December 2009
International Year of Reconciliation;
International Year of Natural Fibres;
International Year of Astronomy
2010 International Year of Biodiversity;
International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures
International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding - from 12 August 2010 (International Youth Day) to 11 August 2011
2011 International Year of Forests;
International Year of Chemistry;
International Year for People of African Descent
2012 International Year of Cooperatives
International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
2013 International Year of Water Cooperation
International Year of Quinoa
2014 International Year of Crystallography
International Year of Family Farming
International Year of Small Island Developing States
International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
2015 International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies
International Year of Soils
2016 International Year of Pulses;
International Year of Camelids
2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
2018 Not declared 2018 as International Year
2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages
International Year of Moderation
International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements
2020 International Year of Plant Health
2021 International Year of Peace and Trust
2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture
2024 International Year of Camelids

Last updated on: 21/10/2019

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