In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought"(WDCD). Since 1995 Country Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), non-governmental organisations and other interested stakeholders celebrate this particular day with a series of outreach activities worldwide.
This year on WDCD, the international community marks the 11th anniversary of the UNCCD, which plays a key role in the world’s efforts to eradicate poverty, achieve sustainable development and reach the Millennium Development Goals.
The Convention is the only internationally recognized, legally binding instrument that addresses the problem of land degradation in dryland. It enjoys a truly universal membership of 191 Parties.
This year’s celebration will constitute a special occasion for awareness raising on the issue of desertification as the international community prepares for the forthcoming celebration of the "International Year of Deserts and Desertification" in 2006.
17 June constitutes a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation at all levels.
The theme of this year’s celebration is "Women and Desertification" to recognize and support the unique role women play in regions affected by desertification and drought, particularly in rural areas of developing countries.
Country Parties and civil society organisations are invited to organize events to celebrate the WDCD as an additional opportunity to increase awareness raising and participation in the process.
To request further information, such as WDCD messages from United Nations officials or press releases in additional languages, as well as past campaign, press or awareness raising materials, please contact secretariat [at] unccd.int (secretariatatunccddotint) .
WDCD Events Around the World 2005
Message from the United Nations Secretary General
Women and Desertification