Being personally focused on next year’s International Year of Millets, I have nearly overlooked this year’s four (4) International Observance Years. I had earlier noted two (2) Years coming up in 2022, but there were evidently two others as well. This is not the first time the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has approved 4 (or 5) concurrent year-long observances – if interested, you can check the list of Years online.
In any event, the full list for 2022 is presented below, in alphabetical order. Each name will be linked to a separate article following this, as they are published:
- International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA)
- International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD)
- International Year of Glass (IYOG)
- International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development (IYSMD)
Why the attention to International Years?
I got interested in the concept of topical year-long observances at the time of the African Academy of Language’s Year of African Languages (2006) and the International Year of Languages (2008).
The year 2008, when I started this blog , turned out to be another of those years for which the UNGA designated concurrent observances. So I posted about a couple of those at the time, and began thinking of how these Years were organized and what they accomplished.
Fast forward to the restart of this blog, I’ve been giving intermittent, and sometimes tardy, attention to various International Observance Years – and two Decades – since 2016.
Again, these seem noteworthy, as much for what distinguishes them (beyond differences in topics addressed) as for what they have in common. Although I am not planning any deeper study of these Years – the number of which since 1960 is approaching 90 – it does seem that there is an opportunity here for comprehensive review and analysis. What have they achieved? What factors have made some more successful or influential than others? What has changed over time?