The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000.
UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.
Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages, which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.
World Art Day, a celebration to promote the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art, was proclaimed at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019.
Art nurtures creativity, innovation and cultural diversity for all peoples across the globe and plays an important role in sharing knowledge and encouraging curiosity and dialogue. These are qualities that art has always had, and will always have if we continue to support environments where artists and artistic freedom are promoted and protected. In this way, furthering the development of art also furthers our means to achieve a free and peaceful world.
UNESCO encourages everyone to join in through various activities such as debates, conferences, workshops, cultural events and presentations or exhibitions.
World Creativity and Innovation Day is a global UN day celebrated on April 21 to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem solving with respect to advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals. The first World Creativity and Innovation Day was celebrated on April 21, 2018.
The purpose of the day is to encourage creative multidisciplinary thinking at the individual and group levels which, according to a special report on the creative economy by UNESCO, UNDP, and UNOSSC, has “become the true wealth of nations in the 21st century.”
The creativity and innovation sector is a highly transformative sector of the world economy in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. It can expand opportunities for everyone. It can also provide solutions to some of the most concerning issues such as poverty, hunger.
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.
The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002. In 2015, the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development, affirming that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can best be achieved by drawing upon the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures, and engaging in continuous dialogue to ensure that all members of society benefit from sustainable development.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an occasion to promote culture and highlight the significance of its diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change. It represents an opportunity to celebrate culture’s manifold forms, from the tangible and intangible, to creative industries, to the diversity of cultural expressions, and to reflect on how these contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development.
Following the success of the Second World Conference on Arts Education (Seoul, 2010), the UNESCO’s General Conference at its 36th session in 2011 proclaimed the fourth week of May as International Arts Education Week.
The International Arts Education Week aims at increasing the international community’s awareness on the importance of arts education and at reinforcing its co-operation by promoting cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.
Gastronomy is sometimes called the art of food. Sustainable gastronomy means cuisine that takes into account where the ingredients are from, how the food is grown and how it gets to our markets and eventually to our plates. In 2016, The UN General Assembly designated 18 June as an international observance, Sustainable Gastronomy Day. The decision acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world.
UNESCO, FAO and the UN General Assembly work to facilitate the observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day, in collaboration with Member States, UN organizations and other international and regional bodies, as well as civil society, to observe the Day in raising public awareness of its contribution to sustainable development.
The Creative Cities of Gastronomy is one of the seven fields of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, created in 2004.
12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.
International Youth Day (IYD) gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. The commemoration is hosted by youth for youth, together with independently organized commemorations around the world that recognize the importance of youth participation in political, economic and social life and processes.
Tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors. It employs one in every ten people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. For some countries, it can represent over 20 percent of their GDP. It allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity.
World Tourism Day has been commemorated on 27 September each year since 1980. The date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes in 1970.
World Tourism Day is also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of protecting World Heritage and ensuring that tourism makes a positive contribution to the sustainable development of destinations and their local communities.
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage
Many sound recordings, moving images and other audiovisual material are lost because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Organizations such as UNESCO felt that more audiovisual documents would be lost if stronger and concerted international action was not taken. A proposal to commemorate a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was approved at a UNESCO general conference in 2005. The first World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was held on October 27, 2007.
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage aims to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken. It also focuses on acknowledging the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.