International Years

United Nations observances, including International Years, 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. They provide a useful means for the promotion of international and national action and stimulate interest in United Nations activities and programmes.  To learn more about past and future International Years please visit

International Year in 2017
International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017) 

To Promote and advance Sustainable Tourism as a key driver for Development in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030.

The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the SDGs.


International Years in 2014

The International Year of Small Island Developing States highlights the common links between small islands developing States and other countries, and encourage new partnerships to achieve a sustainable future for generations to come. The Year coincides with the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa from the 1 to 4 September.

UntitledThe International Year of Family Farming aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

downloadThe International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People aims to promote solidarity with the Palestinian people contributing to international awareness of the core themes regarding the question of Palestine, obstacles to the ongoing peace process, particularly those requiring urgent action such as settlements, Jerusalem, the blockade of Gaza and the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and mobilization of global action towards the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine in accordance with international law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

The International Year of Crystallography aims to increase public awareness of the science of crystallography and how it underpins most technological developments in our modern society. It commemorates not only the centennial of X-ray diffraction, which allowed the detailed study of crystalline material, but also the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s observation in 1611 of the symmetrical form of ice crystals, which began the wider study of the role of symmetry in matter.