December 1 World AIDS Day
Since 1988, December 1 has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic. As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people globally (1981-2012) and an estimated 35.3 million people live with HIV. It is one of the most important public health issues in recorded history.
Around the world, government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals observe this day with education on AIDS prevention and control. Despite improved access to treatment, AIDS annually claims an estimated 2 million lives worldwide. Learn more.
December 8 Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council (1965)
Informally known as Vatican II, the Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. Known best for its sweeping changes in aesthetics, the Council was a direct reaction to crimes against humanity in World War II and presented a firm stance against war, "Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation."
Pope Paul VI, who oversaw most of the proceedings, sought dialogue with the world: other Christians, other religions, and atheists, excluding none. He saw himself as a servant of humanity and demanded significant changes in North America and Europe in favor of poorer countries.
Read Paul VI's closing speech of Vatican II.
December 10 Human Rights Day
In 1950, the UN General Assembly proclaimed Human Rights Day to bring attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
This year's theme, Human Rights 365
, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition that each one of us, everywhere, at all times, is entitled to the full range of human rights, and that these rights bind us together as a global community. Learn more.
December 18 International
On 4 December 2000, the UN General Assembly, taking into account the increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day.
UN Member States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental, are invited to observe International Migrants Day by disseminating information on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, sharing experiences, and developing actions to ensure migrants' protection. Learn more.Take action with #IAmAMigrantGlobal citizens may participate in International Migrants Day online!
Join the global conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #IAmAMigrant. Beginning 13 December, share photos and videos tied to your personal stories about how migrants positively contribute to communities and economies worldwide. From December 13-18, your postings will be featured on the UN Storify page