Books
World Book Day is a Unesco-designated day to pay a tribute to worldwide books and authors and promote literatureGetty

Few are aware that today, 23 April, is the UN-designated World Book and Copyright Day.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) created this day in 1995 to pay tribute to worldwide books and authors and promote literature. This date was chosen as it marks both the birth and the death of prominent authors. On 23 April of 1616 authors Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died.

Unesco describes this commemoration as "an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them. In recent months, we have seen attacks on children at school and the public burning of books.

"In this context, our duty is clear – we must redouble efforts to promote the book, the pen, the computer, along with all forms of reading and writing, in order to fight illiteracy and poverty, to build sustainable societies, to strengthen the foundations of peace."

IBTimes UK looks at some other UN days that few have heard of.

World Intellectual Property Day - 26 April

It was created in 2000 and is observed annually on 26 April. World Intellectual Property Day aims to encourage innovation and creativity that promote the development of societies and shed light on how patents, copyrights and trademarks are created.

World Migratory Bird Day - Second Saturday in May/October

This day is designed to promote awareness on conservation of migratory birds in the Western Hemisphere. Created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre, it has been observed on the second Saturday in May in the US and Canada and October in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2000. This year, the commemoration will focus on the importance of habitat to birds.

UK online courts
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day sheds light on how societies can benefit from the use of the internet and other information and communication technologiesGetty

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day - 17 May

Its purpose is to raise awareness on how societies can benefit from the use of the internet and other information and communication technologies, and how these can help reduce the digital divide.

This date was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - 15 June

According to the UN, around 4 to 6% of elderly people (aged 60 and older) worldwide have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. Created in 2011, this day aims to shed light on abuse against elderly people.

Yoga
International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on 21 JuneGetty Images

International Day of Yoga - 21 June

This day was designated by the UN in 2014, following a request by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a UN General Assembly held in September of that year.

Following the proclamation, Modi wrote on Twitter: "I profusely thank all 177 nations across the world who co-sponsored the resolution to declare 21 June as 'International Day of Yoga'. Yoga is the anchor of my life."

Day of the Seafarer - 25 June

Created in 2010, this day is all about recognising the contribution of seafarers to the world economy and society.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), which requested the designation of this day, said: "Ships transport almost 90% of the world's goods trade. Seafarers are not only responsible for the operations of such ships, but are also responsible for the safe and smooth delivery of the cargo.

"The day not only acknowledges the invaluable work of seafarers, but also aims to bring global attention to the issues affecting their work and lives, such as piracy."

World Youth Skills Day - 15 July

Created in 2014, this day celebrates youth skills with the hope of tackling youth unemployment and enhancing "young people's ability to make informed life and work choices and empower them to gain access to changing labour markets".

The UN resolution read: "The UN General Assembly invites all member states, organisations of the UN system and other international and regional organisations and civil society to mark the World Youth Skills Day appropriately, taking into account national priorities, including through awareness-raising campaigns, events with the participation of volunteers and outreach activities."

A woman posts a letter into a post box in south London
A woman posts a letter into a post box in south London 19 October 2009Reuters

World Post Day - 9 October

Created in 1969, this day marks the anniversary of two events: the creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Bern in Switzerland and the first Universal Postal Union Congress held in Japan in 1969.

The UN said: "Countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations. The Posts in many countries use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services.

International Mountain Day - 11 Dec

It was designated in 2003 to encourage communities to organise events that highlight the importance of promoting sustainable mountain development.

The UN said: "Covering around 27% of the earth's land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. They not only provide sustenance and well-being to 720 million mountain people around the world, but indirectly benefit billions more living downstream."