The United Nations, when formed in 1945, determined by its Charter to “Save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”

United Nations Observances

The United Nations has set aside certain days each year for the observance of both overall and specific human rights issues.

27 January: International Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

20 February: World Day of Social Justice
21 February: International Mother Language Day

8 March: International Women's Day
21 March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
22 March: World Water Day
23 March: World Meteorological Day
25 March: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

2 April: World Autism Awareness Day
4 April: International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
7 April: World Health Day
23 April: World Book and Copyright Day

3 May: World Press Freedom Day
8—9 May: Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War
15 May: International Day of Families
17 May: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
21 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity
29 May: International Day of UN Peacekeepers
31 May: World No-Tobacco Day

4 June: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
17 June: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
20 June: World Refugee Day
23 June: United Nations Public Service Day
26 June: International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
26 June: United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

5 July (first Saturday): International Day of Cooperatives
11 July: World Population Day.

9 August: International Day of the World's Indigenous People
12 August: International Youth Day
23 August: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

8 September: International Literacy Day
15 September: International Day of Democracy
16 September: International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
21 September: International Day of Peace
Last week of September: World Maritime Day

1 October: International Day of Older Persons
2 October: International Day of Non-Violence
5 October: World Teachers' Day
8 October (first Monday): World Habitat Day
8 October (second Wednesday): International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
9 October: World Post Day
10 October: World Mental Health Day
15 October: International Day of Rural Women
16 October: World Food Day
17 October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
24 October: World Development Information Day
24 October: United Nations Day

6 November: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
14 November: World Diabetes Day
16 November: International Day for Tolerance
16 November (third Sunday): World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
20 November: Africa Industrialization Day
20 November: Universal Children's Day
21 November: World Television Day
25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
29 November: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

2 December: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
5 December: International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
7 December: International Civil Aviation Day
9 December: International Anti-Corruption Day
10 December: Human Rights Day
11 December: International Mountain Day
18 December: International Migrants Day
19 December: United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
20 December: International Human Solidarity Day