A national or international awareness day or observance is a date usually set by a major organisation or government to commemorate a public health or ethical cause of importance on a national or international level.
An international observance, also known as an international dedication or international anniversary, is a period of time to observe some issue of international interest or concern. This is used to commemorate, promote and mobilize for action. Many of these periods have been established by the United Nations General Assembly (UN), Economic and Social Council, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO) and other United Nations bodies including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In this case, the lead agency for a particular international observance uses the symbolism of the United Nations (UN), perhaps a specially designed logo for the year, and the UN infrastructure to coordinate events worldwide. It also presents a written report about the event. This summarizes the activities that took place around the world under the auspices of the international observance, and makes recommendations for the future.
The lists below include some days, month, years, and decades that have been recognized as international observances by the United Nations, or by other organizations that declare international observances but are not as widely recognized.