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Photo credit, top to bottom: Adrien Olichon, UNESCO, Cia Gould.
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This Day is an opportunity to learn more about water-related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.
A new World Water Development Report is released each year on or near World Water Day, to provide decision-makers with tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. This report is coordinated by UNESCO’s World Water Development Programme (WWAP) on behalf of UN-Water. The annual theme for World Water Day is aligned with the focus of the report.
UNESCO also contributes to the observance of World Water Day within the activities of its International Hydrological Programme (IHP), which worlds all year long to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21. States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources.
“In an increasingly globalised world, the impact of water-related decisions crosses borders and affects everyone, therefore advocating for comprehensive water governance. This World Water Day, UNESCO reaffirms its commitment to support governments in their efforts towards achieving universal access to water and sanitation for all, without discrimination. By prioritizing those most in need, we can build more resilient communities, more equal societies and a more peaceful, sustainable world.”
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, on the occasion of World Water Day 2019
International days are celebrations and calls to action. They are for everyone to participate in. This is how you can take part in an International Day in three simple steps.
This is the best way to engage with an International Day. You will find valuable resources on UNESCO's main website, linked on each one of these International Day pages.
Sharing posts, articles, and even this page is a great way to spread awareness online and give the opportunity to your network to engage and gain knowledge on an important global issue.
Learning about an important cause, topic or celebration is the first step in teaching it. The E in UNESCO stands for Education and these International Days are unique opportunities to transmit values to younger generations.
Are you a teacher, a business owner or simply an interested citizen? Discover how you can bring these important days to life and learn more about what has been achieved through them.
International days also provide a unique opportunity to engage citizens on global issues, to mobilise political will and resources to address these problems, but also to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity as well as remember some of our darkest times as they guide us towards building a better world.
The United Nations International Days are for everyone, all around the globe. Because they are open, you can have an important role to play in them. NGOs, universities, schools, press and more will be putting together campaigns, events, and calls to action worldwide to provide further opportunities to engage, learn, and transmit the values and knowledge associated with each International Day. They serve as an important vehicle to connect the local to the international.
At their root, UN International Days contribute to the achievement of the purposes of the UN Charter and promote awareness of and action on important political, social, cultural, humanitarian or human rights issues. International days are at the heart of the United Nations Charter. They work to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.