Seven International Years & two decades

As we close out the year 2021, I’d like to catch up and look ahead at a number of UN calendar observances. Seven of those are International Years: 4 that are coming to a close; 2 that will begin next year; and one that was declared earlier this year for 2023 – the International Year of Millets, about which I’ve written on this blog. Two are Decades: the UN Decade of Family Farming, which began in 2019; and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, another observance about which I’ve written here, which begins in 2022

The 4 Years of 2021

Some calendar years have a surfeit of UN International Year observances, and 2021 was one of them. Here’s a quick overview of the 4 concurrent observations, listed in the chronological order in which they were declared by UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, with short descriptions following:

  • International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour (IYECL)
  • International Year of Peace and Trust (IYPT)
  • International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development (IYCESD)
  • International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV)

IYECL – Elimination of Child Labor

IYECL promotes the goals of ending child labor by 2025, and forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery by 2030.

The Year was declared in UNGA resolution 73/327 on 25 July 2019. ILO was tasked with facilitating the implementation of IYECL.

IYPT – Peace and Trust

IYPT had as its purpose “mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace and trust among nations based on, inter alia, political dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation, in order to build sustainable peace, solidarity and harmony.”

The Year was declared by UNGA resolution 73.338 on 12 September 2019. The resolution, which was initiated by Turkmenistan, did not designate an agency to coordinate observance, but rather called on member states, UN organizations, and a range of actors to promote the message of peace and trust.

IYCESD – Creative Economy for Sustainable Development

IYCESD highlighted the role of creative industries in diversified planning for sustainable development. The creative economy is seen as one of the world’s most rapidly growing sectors.

The Year was declared by UNGA resolution 74/198 on 19 December 2019. UNCTD and UNESCO were given roles in implementing and reporting on IYCESD

IYFV – Fruits and Vegetables

IYFV was intended to “raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health and as well in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Year was declared by UNGA resolution 74/244 on 19 December 2019. FAO was designated the lead agency for this observance.

The 2 Years of 2022

The UNGA declared two year-long observances for 2022, which I will just name here, and hopefully return to with more details next year:

International Year of Millets, 2023

I’ve been following the progress of India’s proposal for an International Year of Millets since 2018. Well, on 3 March 2021, the Year was declared for 2023 by UNGA resolution 75/263. I hope to have more to say about news related to IYOM2023 during the coming year.

UN Decade of Family Farming, 2019-2028

UNDFF “aims to shed new light on what it means to be a family farmer in a rapidly changing world and highlights more than ever before the important role they play in eradicating hunger and shaping our future of food.”

Following the success of the International Year of Family Farming (2014), the UNGA declared the Decade in resolution 72/239 on 20 December 2019.

It would seem to relate directly or indirectly to three of the Years discussed above: IYFV 2021; IYAFA 2022; and IYOM 2023.

International Decade of Indigenous Languages, 2022-2032

I’ve been tracking the IDIL proposal since its discussion following the success of the International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019. And of course I intend to follow it as it evolves, with a particular interest in its potential impact in Africa.

The Global Action Plan for IDIL is available online.


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