List of United Nations International Years

The United Nation recognises the specific dates, months, years, decades to mark particular happening (event) to promote general awareness, actions and objectives. Furthermore, these observances are done by one or more than one Member States & then the General Assembly establishes them with a resolution.

Since 1959, UN is recognising the International Years to bring everyone’s attention to the issues and to promote the international action to concerns which have global importance or effect. The first international year was declared as WORLD REFUGEE YEAR in 1959.


YearName given by UN
1959World Refugee Year
1960World Refugee Year
1961International Health & Medical Research Year
1965International Cooperation Year
1966International Year of
1967International Tourist Year
1968International Year for Human Rights
1970International Education Year
1971International Year for action to Combat Racism and Racial Prejudice
1974World Population Year
1975International Women’s Year
1978/79International Anti-Apartheid Year
1980International Year of the Child
1981International Year for Disabled Persons
1982International Year of Mobilizations for Sanctions against South Africa
1983World Communications Year; Development of Communication Infrastructures
1985Year of the United Nations;
International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace
1986International Year of Peace
1987International Year of Shelter for the Homeless
1990International Literary Year
1992International Space Year
1993International Year of World’s Indigenous People
1994International Year of Family;
International Year of Sport & the Olympic Deal
1995United Year for Tolerance;
World Year of Peoples’ Commemoration of the Victims of 2 nd World War
1996International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
1998International Year of Oceans
1999International Year of Older Persons
2000International Year of Thanksgiving;
International Year for the Culture of Peace
2001International Year of Volunteers;
International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia & Related Intolerance;
United Nations Year of Dialog among Civilisations
2002International Year of Mountains;
International Year of Ecotourism;
United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage
2003International Year of Freshwater;
Year of Kyrgyz Statehood
2004International Year of Rice;
International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery & its Abolition
2005International Year of Microcredit;
International Year of Physics;
International Year for Sport and Physical Education
2006International Year of Deserts and Desertification
2007International Polar Year
2008International Year of Planet Earth;
International Year of Languages;
International Year of Sanitation;
International Year of the Potato
2009International Year of Reconciliation;
International Year of Natural Fibres;
International Year of Human Rights Learning;
International Year of Astronomy;
Year of the Gorilla
2010International Year of Searfarer;
International Year of Biodiversity;
International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures;
International Year of Youth (12 August 2010- 11 August 2011)
2011International Year for People of African Descent ;
International Year of Chemistry;
International Year of Forests;
International Year of Youth (12 August 2010- 11 August 2011)
2012International Year of Cooperatives; International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
2013International Year of Water Cooperation;
International Year of Quinoa
2014International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People;
International Year of Small Island Developing States;
International Year of Family Farming;
International Year of Crystallography
2015International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies;
International Year of Soils
2016International Year of Pulses
2017International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
2018No specific title given to this year
2019International Year of Indigenous Languages ;
International Year of Moderation;
International Year of Periodic Table of Chemical Elements
2020International Year of Plant Health;
International Year of Nurse and Midwife