Kalio, 9, swims underwater near a shell of giant clam. Beveridge Reef area, Niue. UNDP/V.Sokhin/2016
These are the international decades currently observed by the United Nations. The United Nations designates specific days, weeks, years and decades as occasions to mark particular events or topics in order to promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organization. Usually, it is one or more Member States that propose these observances, and the General Assembly establishes them with a resolution. On occasion, these celebrations are declared by the specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO, etc., when they concern issues that fall within the scope of their competencies. Some of them may be later adopted by the General Assembly. Here are UN observation of International Decades for last two decades:
2022-2032: Indigenous Languages Decade
The United Nations General Assembly has declared the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the critical status of many Indigenous languages across the world and encourage action for their preservation, revitalization and promotion.
2021-2030: Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
The United Nations announced the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to mobilize the scientific community, policymakers, business and civil society around a programme of joint research and technological innovation. It also aims to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.
2015-2024: International Decade for People of African Descent
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent (resolution 68/237) citing the need to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.
As proclaimed by the General Assembly, the theme for the International Decade is “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.” Also, year 2011 was observed as International Year for People of African Descent.
2014-2024: United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared the decade 2014‑2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, underscoring the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and for the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.
2013-2022: International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures
The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2010 the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and has designated UNESCO to play a leading role in the celebration of the Year – capitalizing on the Organization’s invaluable experience of over 60 years to advance “the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples”. Later, International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures was announced for 2013-2022. Here are primary goals of International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures
- To help address major pressing global challenges through intercultural and interreligious dialogue for deepened understanding and cooperation for peace.
- To build new commitments and follow-up actions to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World Decade (2001-2010), the Programme of Action for a culture of peace and non-violence and to the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010).
- To identify gaps and initiate more adequate solutions for creating more peaceful and inclusive societies.
- To showcase why cultural diversity, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and participatory democratic governance are vital for development and peace, especially in time of crisis.
2011-2020: United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
General Assembly declared the period 2011–2020 to be “the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020.
2010-2020: United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification
Building on the successful celebration of the International Year of Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification (IYDD) in 2006, the United Nations General Assembly, by its resolution A/RES/62/195 of 2007, declared 2010 – 2020 the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification (UNDDD). The motivation for this resolution was the Parties’ concern about the deteriorating situation of desertification in all regions, which has far-reaching implications for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability.
2005-2015: International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”
On 23 December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period 2005-2015 “the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’”. It was decided that the primary goal of the ‘Water for Life’ Decade was to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015.
2005-2014: Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People
On 22 December 2004, the General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/59/174 for a Second International Decade, which commenced on 1 January 2005 and concluded in December 2014. The objectives of the Second International Decade were to:
- Promote non-discrimination and inclusion of indigenous peoples in processes at all levels
- Promote the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in decision making
- Redefine development policies that are culturally appropriate for indigenous peoples
- Adopt targeted policies/programs for the development of indigenous peoples
- Develop strong monitoring mechanisms to improve the lives of indigenous peoples
2005-2014: United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) sought to mobilize the educational resources of the world to help create a more sustainable future.
2003-2012: United Nations Literacy Decade
General Assembly proclaimed the period 2003 – 2012 as the United Nations Literacy Decade with the objective of achieving locally sustainable literate environments by extending literacy to the 860 million illiterate adults and the 113 million children out of school worldwide.
2001-2010: International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World
UN. General Assembly declared 2001 – 2010 as International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. The aim of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001-2010, is to strengthen further the global movement for a culture of peace following the observance of the International Year for the Culture of Peace in 2000.
International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism
UN declared consecutive 40 years in form 4 decades International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism
- First International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (1990 – 2000)
- In 2000, the General Assembly declared the period 2001 to 2010 the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.
- In 2010, the General Assembly declaring the period 2011-2020 the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and calling upon Member States to intensify their efforts to continue to implement the plan of action for the Second International Decade and to cooperate with the C-24 in updated it as necessary, with a view to using it as the basis for a plan of action for the Third International Decade.
- In 2020, the General Assembly adopted resolution declaring the period 2021-2030 the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. This resolution called upon Member States to intensify their efforts to continue to implement the plan of action for the Second International Decade