Procedure for the proclamation of the international days


No guidelines exist within the United Nations for the proclamation of international days.

Proclamation of international days

In the case of United Nations specialized agencies, such as UNESCO, the proclamation of international days depends on their governing bodies and internal regulations only.

Consequently, UNESCO need not pass through the General Assembly to proclaim an international day.

However, once the day is proclaimed, UNESCO (or another specialized agency) may request the General Assembly to endorse the international day, but this is not mandatory.

Preparing a proposal

While no guidelines exist, caution should be exercised to avoid the designation of international days except on the most important and relevant issues, while taking into account the high number of such days already in the calendar.

According to the established UNESCO practice, after a proposal has been submitted to its Executive Board, a feasibility study has to be conducted by the Secretariat on the basis of consultations with the intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations concerned for consideration and approval by its General Conference.

As from July 2005, there is no office within the United Nations with responsibility for coordinating and overseeing the implementation of international days proclaimed by the various United Nations agencies. However, the United Nations Department of Public Information maintains a database.


Various terms have been used when proclaiming international days. These may be called International Days, World Days, United Nations Days, Universal Days, and so on.

This variety depends solely on the terminological preferences of the author of the proposal, and does not denote any difference in nature of these days.

The preparation of proclamation process, observance and evaluation of international days do not differ according to terminology used.


List of International Days proclaimed by UN and observed at UNESCO